XP / W7 System Will Not Dual Boot XP

This is an XP system with multiple partitions on the system drive.  XP was previously installed and was bootable.  Windows 7 was installed on the drive according to goofled instructions regarding how to install W7 for a multiple-boot system.  W7 installed correctly on the new partitions.  However, there is no multiboot menu at startup; the system goes directly into W7.

Disk management shows that all partitions on the drive are:

XPSystem (Primary partition)
System Reserved (System, Active, Primary)
W7System (Boot, Pagefile, Crash Dump, Primary)

Startup and Recovery under System Properties shows only "Windows 7" as an available O/S.

I do not want to use a non-Microsoft boot loader on this system.

Can this system be brought into the desired dual-boot configuration using the Microsoft boot loader?
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerAsked:
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you'd use bcdedit command to add the boot entries. the commands are well documented on the internet. there is no point in me looking and pasting.

google "windows 7 boot entry for XP" : the first 2 links provide proper information, and the 3rd is the official msft doc

you can also use easybcd freeware if you want to go the easy way. it comes with a gui : select the os type and partition, and you're done. additionally it will detect config errors so you are less likely to trash something.
Bcdedit /scanos

But before that, check advanced settings under properties of computer, to make sure you have a delay of at least 5 seconds so that you can see the hoot option.

The other option you likely gave to use the motherboard/bios boot selection. During bootup, invoke the boot option, ESC, f11,f10 varies based on HW ...then select the drive XP is installed on

Since you have XP on the first, primary partition, it suggests that when Windows 7 was installed the XP drive was detached, or it happened recently following an OS repair Windows performed.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your comments.  While attempting to follow the procedures cited above, the system was reduced to unbootable due to bcdedit corrupting the boot structures and I have had to restore from backups.  I will research this further before trying again.

The underlying problem is that W7 x64 cannot be installed from a running x32 system.  Available commentaries indicate that when installing an additional operating system from within a running system, the install process automatically configures for dual boot.
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I am unfamiliar with such info.  usually, when one runs an OS from within a functional system it is perceived as an upgrade attempt.

Commonly when there are two disks (XP primary) and another partition or disk onto which another system is intalled, from a DCD/CD/USB boot, the installer detects the presence of an existing Functional OS and if memory serves prompt on whether you want the above included.

in your case, with XP being on the first disk and hosing the XP boot loader, which significantly differs from the windows 7 one

Have you considered using the sysinternals disk VHD/VHDx tools to virtualize the Xp system and then load it into the hyper-v of windows 7?

Or use vmware's converter and then vmware's player/workstation..

bcdedit might work better if windows 7 was the primary drive/partition and where the bootloader c:\boot is installed.

when bcdedit /scanos messed your system? or bootrec?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
Regrettably, virtual XP is not a possibility.  The system contains video capture cards -- excellent and expensive -- very functional but not supported on later versions of Windows.  The only reason for bringing W7 up is to edit video with later 64-bit software.
if you go through the computer boot selector, escape, F12, etc. and point to the drive where windows XP is, does it boot?

in your explanation you have
disk 0 with windows XP installed it has a c:\boot.ini

Not sure windows 7 can be booted using the older model.

I do not know how willing are you to change the disk positions.
If your XP is on the primary first drive and the windows 7 is on a "second drive" windows 7 could try to update the MBR on the windows XP system.

bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Earlier Windows OS Loader"

See if the links https://neosmart.net/wiki/bcdedit/ is something you want to try to add the reference for XP loader to your windows 7.

on your windows XP disk/partition do you have a boot folder not c:\boot.ini but actually a boot directory?


if/when windows 7 goes through automatic repair, it may ...

neighter windows 7/8/8.1/10 support the graphic capture cards? Is the manufacturer still in business?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
XP is the primary operating system and W7 is being installed on blank space on the same drive.  This is the recommended sequence of events because then the more capable W7 boot sequencer is installed over the XP boot sequencer.  Unfortunately W7 when installed standalone does not bother to check for pre-existing systems.   Thus the issue.

I tried everything I found on goofle including bootrec and W7 repair and some things I found quite unlikely and as one might expect eventually the drive became completely unbootable.

The video acquisition card situation is the usual when small Company A which manufactures a superior product is bought out by big Company B using an offer too big to refuse.  As usual, Company B said "We bought them for their technology so tell them to make something with our name on it.  Oh, and have HR fire their support staff and tell IT to remove all support material for their stuff so customers have to buy our new product."
Are you booting windows 7 from Cd, or are you trying to install windows 7 from within running windows XP?

in  situation such as yours, I think such as yours, my approach would be to get a separate system with windows 7/10 and use a KVM between them. NAS storage
Access to the data is the consideration which is why you are trying to get it onto the same HW as
The separation may help shield the XP.....

When installing windows 7, does the partition where XP is installed have a boot directory?
should list the windows 7.

bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Earlier Windows OS Loader"
adds an entry
the neosmart links deal with properly setting the parameters to get windows XP booting.

If memory serves, when you are booting the system using windows 7 DVD, it detects the presence of an existing windows install and prompts on whether you want to add...

unfortunately have not done this recently, so can not vouch for the memory..
XP partition formatted NTFS/FAT?

the partition where you elect to install windows 7 primary, unallocated?

Do you have an option to have windows 7 on its own drive (SSD)?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
Are you booting windows 7 from Cd, or are you trying to install windows 7 from within running windows XP?

As above:  The underlying problem is that W7 x64 cannot be installed from a running x32 system.

If memory serves, when you are booting the system using windows 7 DVD, it detects the presence of an existing windows install and prompts on whether you want to add...

Wouldn't it be nice if it did, which it certainly should!

This system has to dual boot in the described configuration.  Workarounds are not acceptable to the client.  Fortunately time is not pressing and I can spend as much time as necessary on a solution.
the only way i know, is using Bootit, it allows for multiple OS (128) - totally separated
hmmm... it just occured to me that the 7 loader might set hte processor to 64bits before chaining XP which would definitely not work.

you may try the reverse : instruct the XP's boot.ini to chain boot /BOOTMGR on the 7 partition
noxchoProduct ManagerCommented:
As I last time did such configuration ot was recommended to hide XP partition before running Windows 7 install. Hiding means you boot the system from a disk management tool such as acronis of paragon and set hidden mark to that partititon (and any other which should not be touched by installation).
Once the insgallation is completed you boot system again from disk management tool and unhide the xp partition. After that you need to boot into Windows 7 and add xp to bcd.
Or you activate at this step any third party boot manager such as one from nobus.
One caviate if not mistaken, shoukd Windows 7 go into auto repair mode, it will knock out the windows 7 partition.

Would the fluent ge comfortable using motherboard bootloader?

I.e. Drive 0 Windows 7
Drive 1 Windows XP whose boot.ini was modified to reflect the drive change from 0 to 1
7 boots by default, if XP is desired, during system bootup, escape, f11, f8 or whichever option brings the mb bootloader, select disk1 to boot from, it shoukd cone up XP.

Oh, remembered single drive, multiple partitions.

Do you have a similar storage resource as the one in the system to test with?
Move the XP partition further from the begging, install Windows 7 on the front partition
In this case, the XP boot.ini will change the partition counter by 1, 2

Any possibility/consideration using two storage ?
Dr Klahn, did you look into Bootit-BM?  it shopuld solve your problem
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
I am taking a week off from this problem to avoid making the Big Mistake and will look at it later on.  Many tanks for all the contributions so far.

Tanks to everyone who contributed
When tanks are your problem, especially panzers, best to deal with them first, then take the Brake.
noxchoProduct ManagerCommented:
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