Install Windows XP in addition to Windows 7

System preparation

First of all, you should know that it is strongly discouraged to install several operating systems on the same disk partition. In some cases, the installation wizard will refuse to validate the installation, while in other cases, if the installation takes place, the new system may overwrite files necessary for the existing system. If you want to install Windows XP alongside Windows 7, you must therefore have a second hard disk or have a free partition. Either way, you must have enough disk space to complete the operation. If you don't know how to create a partition, refer to the following post. Of course, you must have a Windows installation CD...

Windows XP installation

To launch the installation of Windows XP, start on the installation CD and let yourself be guided. When choosing the installation partition, select the space you have dedicated to Windows XP. Take care not to choose the partition used by Windows 7!

Reinstalling Windows 7 bootloader

When you go to restart your machine, you will find that you can no longer start under Windows 7 and that Windows XP is the only system available. Don't panic, just insert your Windows 7 DVD, boot to it, and choose the "Repair Computer" option on the install wizard's welcome screen.


In most cases, the wizard should complete the repair without your intervention. If not, when prompted by the wizard, select your installation of Windows 7, then on the next screen click "Startup Repair". After a few seconds, the wizard should prompt you to restart your computer. Accept.

Windows 7 Bootloader Setup

You are now on Windows 7, with Windows XP inaccessible. To be able to start again on it, you must configure the Windows 7 startup manager so that it offers to load one or the other of the two systems when the computer is initialized. Follow the steps below, taking care to check that each of the commands to be entered is validated by the system:

  • open a command prompt in administrator mode
  • type bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Windows XP" [Enter]
  • type bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=X: [Enter] where X: is the drive where Windows XP is installed
  • tapez bcdedit /set {ntldr} path ntldr [Entrée]
  • type bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast [Entry] to add the newly created entry back to the start menu
  • type bcdedit /timeout xx [Enter] where xx is the time before executing the default choice (by default this timeout is 30 seconds)

To be able to restart Windows XP, you have one last step. Copy the NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM files present in the i386 directory of the Windows XP installation CD to the root of the partition that contains Windows XP.

You can now enjoy both of your systems without any problem.

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tags: Microsoft Windows XP Windows 7 Microsoft
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