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Windows XP (E:) and Windows 7 (C:) conflict on separate partitions

Posted on 2015-02-15
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Last Modified: 2015-02-16
I asked a computer company to split a hard drive into 2 separate partitions and build a dual boot system with windows XP (which I need for a business application) and Windows 7.

I found they installed Windows 7 as the (C:) drive and windows XP as an (E:) drive Instead of the opposite. So now I have trouble installing applications and then accessing them.

I want to run XP for my business applications with is built from Visual Studio and SQL Server as my primary drive and have Windows 7 on stand by in case I have trouble with XP.

Is there anything I can do to correct this. IF nothing else can I delete Windows 7 and have Windows XP revert to being a (C:) drive and how would I go about this?

Thanks, I'm in a real bind....
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Question by:dave_sky
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40610942
Much simpler would be to use Windows XP mode under Windows 7. But you need at least Windows 7 Pro (the home versions don't have XP mode and it's free license). This is VirtualPC running XP Pro as a VM from within Windows 7. If your PC isn't very old this really runs well and there is no need for dual boot. If you don't want VirtualPC (as that isn't the most modern HyperVisor) you can also use VMWare Player, which can convert XP mode to run under VMWare Player.

Even if you have a home version of Windows 7, you can still use VMWare Player and install a retail, non OEM copy of XP to run as a VM.

Besides that I don't see why XP booting with E:\ as it's System Drive shouldn't work with your software. Just use diskmanagement within XP to remove the drive letter from your Windows 7 partition, then install your software to E:.

You can't change the system Drive letter once it has a drive-letter. You'd have to reinstall from scratch, beginning with XP, and after that installing Windows 7.
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 40611014
C: is the boot partition. But above should work to hide it. If you really need a C: drive, you can run a
  subst C: E:\
after booting.
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 40611087
Each system should boot and and run as the C: drive, if you have a DVD drive then the other system partition will appear as E:  that's normal behaviour.  The active partition should never appear as E:

If reinstalling though always install the older version first.
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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 40611538
I've not seen anything that works as well for managing multi-boot systems as Boot-It BM.
[ https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-bare-metal.htm ]

I'd download it; create a bootable CD; boot to that CD, select CANCEL at the first prompt; then OK to enter maintenance mode.    Then very slightly resize one of your partitions so there's a few free MB on the disk (8MB is all you need).    Then reboot -- and this time let it install on the disk ... and when it asks say Yes to the "install to a dedicated partition" and Yes to let it choose that partition.   You also want to allow it to eliminate the 4-partition restriction (that's another question).

When it's done, you'll have a boot menu that lets you select between your two OS's.   Each operating system will then be on the "C:" partition -- which will, of course, actually be a different partition for each OS.

Depending on how the system was initially configured, you may need to do a bit of tweaking to get that to work okay -- it's much simpler if you install Boot-It, and THEN install the OS's.    Post back if you need further help.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 40611541
Boot Menu... As an example of how powerful this can be, this is the boot menu for one of my systems that I use for all older OS's => EVERY OS is actually on the same physical drive, and they all boot to a C: drive.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 40611627
> I've not seen anything that works as well for managing multi-boot systems as Boot-It BM.

Gary,
I never heard of this...looks interesting...thanks for posting. Do you know how it compares to NeoSmart's EasyBCD, which is what I've used for many years to have a multi-boot computer. Thanks, Joe
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 250 total points
ID: 40611804
Ask this company to recreate the configuration using these instructions: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Miscellaneous/A_685-Multiboot-system-configuration-from-scratch.html
You can install whatever Boot Manager later.
In this case the system partition of XP or Windows 7 will become C: drive letter automatically whichever system you select at startup.
Or run Oracle Virtual Box with XP inside where you can use your applications.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40611806
I never heard of this...looks interesting...thanks for posting. Do you know how it compares to NeoSmart's EasyBCD, which is what I've used for many years to have a multi-boot computer. Thanks, Joe
The difference is that EasyBCD uses Windows Boot Manager and BCD file by editing entries in it. And Boot-IT provides a standalone boot manager which is not using Windows boot manager.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dave_sky
ID: 40612144
Thanks!
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 40612263
Thanks for the explanation, noxcho — much appreciated!
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40612324
You are welcome Joe!
Take care
Nox
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