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Want to create dual-boot machine: Win XP and Windows Server 2008

Posted on 2014-11-14
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Last Modified: 2014-11-15
Hi, I have a fairly old machine here running XP Home SP3. The specs on it are:

eMachines T3990
Intel Celeron CPU 2.8 ghz
2 gigs RAM
70 gig HD with about 33 gigs free

I'd like to make it a dual-boot machine with the 2nd OS being the trial-version of Windows Server 2008 R2 that's available here for download:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id=11093

Could I get some guidance on if this is possible, and if so, how to do this please?

Thanks!
    Shawn
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Question by:shawn857
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40443884
I think I would be surprised if a really old computer would run Server 2008 R2 (which is 64-bit).

Do you need XP on the machine?  If not, download it and try it. I really don't think it will work, but others may know differently.
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Author Comment

by:shawn857
ID: 40443886
Thanks for the reply John... but according to the Requirement Page for 2008 Server R2, it appears that it can be installed on 32-bit system:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/bb414778

Thanks
   Shawn
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40443897
That article you quoted is for Server 2008, not 2008 R2.  See this Microsoft article. Server 2008 R2 shipped 64-bit only.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd371688(v=vs.85).aspx

I really don't think it came in 32-bit and is likely way too new for your very old computer. I do not think it will work.
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Author Comment

by:shawn857
ID: 40443902
Oh ok I see now ... well, would Windows Server 2008 (32-bit) work alright instead?

Thanks
   Shawn
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40443904
I would say only possibly. You do not have enough memory or hard drive. The only possibility I see is to dump XP (nothing at all lost) and try to devote the machine to Server 2008. I think it is a stretch however as I think Server 2008 needs a beefier computer.

Try to run the Windows 7 upgrade advisor on the computer. If Windows 7 upgrade advisor does not run or says Windows 7 won't run , then it is unlikely Server 2008 will run.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40443913
70 gig HD with about 33 gigs free  <-- The winsxs folder could take up 30 GB on a server. It is 22 Gb on my Windows 7 machine and a bit smaller on my Windows 8 machine.
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Author Comment

by:shawn857
ID: 40443930
Thanks John, I ran the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor and it seems to think that my machine could handle it. The only things it advised on were that I'd need to do a "custom installation" of Windows 7, and that my graphics adapter couldn't handle Windows Aero, and no support for Outlook Express (which I don't use).
   Also John, what is this winsxs folder? The requirements for Windows Server 2008 found at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/windowsserver/bb414778.aspx indicate that a minimum of 10GB should be sufficient.

Cheers
    Shawn

P.S: I only need Server 2008 to test the installation of a new software I'm programming. I won't be doing anything complicated/advanced.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40443934
Try it out and see. winsxs starts small and grows, so you may be able to get it installed.
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Author Comment

by:shawn857
ID: 40443942
thanks, but i don't know where to start! That's why I asked the question...

Cheers
    Shawn
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40443944
If it were me, I would ditch the XP side (I did that 10 years ago) and then try to install Server 2008 from the download. You probably need to make a bootable CD out of the ISO download.
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Expert Comment

by:Rizzle
ID: 40443947
Why do you want to run that side by side? Why dont you wipe the whole OS and then install Windows 7/8.1 and then when thats installed then use a hypervisor like VMware Workstation or Virtualbox to install the server os. In the long run this would be the best solution.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40443949
Going back to the first post, there probably is not enough total disk to do that (only 70 Gb total).

Here is a possible way to create a bootable CD from an ISO download. There is more than one way.

http://www.winiso.com/support/tutorials/make-bootable-cd.html
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Author Comment

by:shawn857
ID: 40443950
no, I need to keep the XP John. I would have to burn a CD huh?

Thanks
   Shawn
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40443955
Yes, you need to make a bootable CD, repartition the drive so as to make a partition available for Server 2008 and then install into that partition.

Some counsel from me:

I do not agree with what I just wrote. I get good beefy machine, a modern OS, install VMware Workstation on it and then Server 2008 or 2008 R2 in the virtual machine.
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Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 40444213
As already mentioned, 2008 r2 won't install to your 32bit CPU. the 32 bit 2008 version on the other hand should work fine.

First use a partitioning software, like GParted to reduce your current OS partition by about 25GB. Then just install your server 2008 to that unpartitioned space. As it'll see your XP installation it will include it into it's boot manager, and you will be able to choose the OS to boot from.

GParted can put on a bootable USB stick using the universal Linux UFD creator (in it's selection it can download it directly):

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

or you can create a CD from the iso:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=gparted
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 40444952
"P.S: I only need Server 2008 to test the installation of a new software I'm programming. I won't be doing anything complicated/advanced."

As stated your present XP PC may or may not have the resources to do the testing.

I suggest that you purchase an used / cheap  PC on Ebay for testing it.
Then you can also test on the 64 bit 2008 R2 if needed.
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Author Closing Comment

by:shawn857
ID: 40445194
Thanks... and thanks to all who contributed.

Cheers
   Shawn
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