Installing a new operating system is an exciting, but sometimes difficult and nerve-wracking process. Setting up your machine to dual boot two operating systems can be even more frustrating. Dual booting is the process of having two separate operating systems installed on one machine with the option of choosing which one to boot into.
Whether you’re choosing to dual boot because you aren’t satisfied with your upgrade, or simply because you like aspects of each operating system, the process is the same. Windows 7 is a big upgrade from Windows XP, yet both operating systems have their advantages. Luckily, the process to dual boot between them is fairly simple.
It might not seem like a big deal, but the order in which you install each operating system is important. While it is possible to install in either order, installing Windows XP before Windows 7 is advisable. The reason for this has to do with the Windows Boot Manager.
The Windows Boot Manager is a program which runs before Windows, and lets you choose which operating system to boot into. Windows XP has an older version of this program, and installing it on a machine with Windows 7 already installed will install the older version of Windows Boot Manager as well. This older version will not recognize future versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, and boot into XP by default. Installing Windows XP after Windows 7 would require you to reinstall the updated version of the Windows Boot Manager to resolve this issue before you can dual boot.
The first thing you need to do is install a copy of Windows XP on your machine. If you already have this installed, you can skip to the next step.
To install Windows XP you need the following items:
Whether or not you have another OS currently installed, the process for installing Windows XP is the same. However, you should take note that installing Windows XP will overwrite any other OS on the hard drive you install it to.
Once you are in the final step of installation, continue to follow the onscreen instructions until you are asked to connect to the Internet. It will then ask you to configure your Internet connection. This is done by connecting an Ethernet cable from your router or modem, or by entering your wireless network information. Windows will ask you if you are ready to activate. Choosing yes will authenticate your copy with Microsoft to prove it is a legitimate version.
Once you have your copy of Windows XP installed, it is time to create a partition on your hard drive for Windows 7. A partition is a portion of your hard drive that is designated as its own separate hard drive. This allows you to install multiple operating systems without them conflicting with one another.
After creating your partition, it is time to install Windows 7.
The process for installing Windows 7 is very similar to installing Windows XP.
To install Windows 7 you need the following items:
After you finish your installation of Windows 7, you must activate your copy within 30 days. Activation in Windows 7 is just as simple as Windows XP.
Now that you have completed the installation of each OS, you are now able to dual boot into either when you start your computer. You will be met with the Windows Boot Manager and a list of each installed OS. Simply click your desired version of Windows and your PC will do the rest.
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