Want to Dual Boot Xp and Win7


A

AlleyCat

I've done it dozens of times, but have never figured out how to make
Windows 7 be a C: drive. XP is on C: now, so when I install 7, it goes
onto another partition and becomes E:, since I have the hard drive
partitioned into 4 partitions. I want to boot up to XP or 7 and have
them be C: drive, so I can use my batch files that are all written for
C: drive. I'm wondering if I can force install XP onto the "second"
partition, then install 7. I believe I'd still have the same problem,
though.

This is just wishful thinking, but I have Ghost files that I use,
instead of installing XP, because I lost my Dell install disk. I'd like
to install a "dummy" XP and then Windows 7, and then be able to re-image
one of the partitions, so I don't have to go through the hassle of a
full installation and subsequent program installations. Using Ghost
files as backups are so freaking easy, compared to re-installing or even
using some kind of backup program or restore.

Any help will be most appreciated.
 
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T

tigger

Alias writted thus:
I use different hard drives for different operating systems. I have XP,
Linux and 7 on one machine with three hard drives. Both XP and 7 have a
"C" drive.
Yes, it's an annoying tendency for each individual Windows install to
rename the partitions on booting. I understand why each has to be on a
drive named C: but it confuses sometimes!
 
S

Seth

AlleyCat said:
I've done it dozens of times, but have never figured out how to make
Windows 7 be a C: drive. XP is on C: now, so when I install 7, it goes
onto another partition and becomes E:, since I have the hard drive
partitioned into 4 partitions. I want to boot up to XP or 7 and have
them be C: drive, so I can use my batch files that are all written for
C: drive. I'm wondering if I can force install XP onto the "second"
partition, then install 7. I believe I'd still have the same problem,
though.
Just replace all instances in your batch files of "C:" with "%SystemDrive%"
(without the quotes). That variable will always point to the drive letter
of your OS instance. Now it doesn't matter what drive letter the OS is
installed on. When booted into Windows 7 on the "E:" drive that variable
will reflect it.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, AlleyCat.
...how to make Windows 7 be a C: drive.
Just BOOT FROM the Win7 DVD to run Setup.exe.

When you boot into WinXP and run Win7's Setup from there, Setup sees the
existing letter assignments and uses those same letters for the new Win7
installation.

But if you BOOT FROM the Win7 DVD, Setup has no idea what letters have been
assigned before and will start from scratch, assigning C: to the partition
where you install Win7's \Windows folder tree. That partition can be just
about anywhere on just about any HDD, so it might be what WinXP calls Drive
E: - or Drive X:. Of course, Setup will also have to re-assign any
conflicting drive letters, so the partition that WinXP calls Drive C: will
have to be assigned a new letter. Each time you reboot into the other OS,
you will see the letters assigned by that OS. You'll have to remember that
Drive E: in WinXP is Drive C: in Win7 - and vice versa. You might be
confused, but the computer will not be.

So, just boot from the Win7 DVD and install Win7 into your chosen partition.
Later, change any drive letters you like except those that Disk Management
labels with the System and Boot status; DM can't change those. Then,
whichever OS you are running will see Drive C: as its own Boot Folder - and
that other Windows folder will be "just another folder", no matter what
drive letter it uses. Your batch files should work in either OS and not
even notice the difference.

Caution: I've not used Ghost, so I'm not sure how this would affect your
situation.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2012 (Build 16.4.3505.0912) in Win8 Pro


"AlleyCat" wrote in message

I've done it dozens of times, but have never figured out how to make
Windows 7 be a C: drive. XP is on C: now, so when I install 7, it goes
onto another partition and becomes E:, since I have the hard drive
partitioned into 4 partitions. I want to boot up to XP or 7 and have
them be C: drive, so I can use my batch files that are all written for
C: drive. I'm wondering if I can force install XP onto the "second"
partition, then install 7. I believe I'd still have the same problem,
though.

This is just wishful thinking, but I have Ghost files that I use,
instead of installing XP, because I lost my Dell install disk. I'd like
to install a "dummy" XP and then Windows 7, and then be able to re-image
one of the partitions, so I don't have to go through the hassle of a
full installation and subsequent program installations. Using Ghost
files as backups are so freaking easy, compared to re-installing or even
using some kind of backup program or restore.

Any help will be most appreciated.
 
A

AlleyCat

ust replace all instances in your batch files of "C:" with "%SystemDrive%"
(without the quotes). That variable will always point to the drive letter
of your OS instance. Now it doesn't matter what drive letter the OS is
installed on. When booted into Windows 7 on the "E:" drive that variable
will reflect it.
Thanks.. I've done that, but instead or replacing all with the windir or
systemdrive, I've just copied all my batch files to the Win7 partition
and then did an "ctrl-H", and replaced all C's with E's.

What I'm looking for exactly, is to boot up to either OS and have that
OS on C:, no matter what. I can't "hide" C: in Partition Magic, so I
might have to get another hard drive, like Alias said, then have the
BIOS just boot to one or the other.

Thanks again.
 
A

AlleyCat

I use different hard drives for different operating systems. I have XP,
Linux and 7 on one machine with three hard drives. Both XP and 7 have a
"C" drive.
Thanks... probably will have to get another HD. My Barracuda 1TB drive
crashed and haven't replaced it.

Thanks again.
 
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G

Gene E. Bloch

Thanks.. I've done that, but instead or replacing all with the windir or
systemdrive, I've just copied all my batch files to the Win7 partition
and then did an "ctrl-H", and replaced all C's with E's.

What I'm looking for exactly, is to boot up to either OS and have that
OS on C:, no matter what. I can't "hide" C: in Partition Magic, so I
might have to get another hard drive, like Alias said, then have the
BIOS just boot to one or the other.

Thanks again.
I would bet that this is not a universal truth, but when I recently
created a dual boot system, the drive with the OS I boot to OS is the C:
drive and the other is D:.

Two things:

1. My system was originally W7 and I installed W8, not the same as your
configuration.

2. I always label my drives so as to tell them apart when drive letters
change.
 
S

Seth

AlleyCat said:
Thanks.. I've done that, but instead or replacing all with the windir or
systemdrive, I've just copied all my batch files to the Win7 partition
and then did an "ctrl-H", and replaced all C's with E's.
Why in the world would you do that? Use the variables once and they are good
no matter what the drive letter is. Next year you may triple boot with
Windows 8 or 9 or whatever and the OS will be on the N: drive. Gonna edit
again for that? And keep separate sets of batch files for each possibility?
What I'm looking for exactly, is to boot up to either OS and have that
OS on C:, no matter what. I can't "hide" C: in Partition Magic, so I
might have to get another hard drive, like Alias said, then have the
BIOS just boot to one or the other.
Forget about drive letters, they're arbitrary and have no real meaning.
Also, don't hardcode \Users\username, use the proper variable for that as
that path may change (it's different now then it was in XP).
 
R

Robert Baer

AlleyCat said:
I've done it dozens of times, but have never figured out how to make
Windows 7 be a C: drive. XP is on C: now, so when I install 7, it goes
onto another partition and becomes E:, since I have the hard drive
partitioned into 4 partitions. I want to boot up to XP or 7 and have
them be C: drive, so I can use my batch files that are all written for
C: drive. I'm wondering if I can force install XP onto the "second"
partition, then install 7. I believe I'd still have the same problem,
though.

This is just wishful thinking, but I have Ghost files that I use,
instead of installing XP, because I lost my Dell install disk. I'd like
to install a "dummy" XP and then Windows 7, and then be able to re-image
one of the partitions, so I don't have to go through the hassle of a
full installation and subsequent program installations. Using Ghost
files as backups are so freaking easy, compared to re-installing or even
using some kind of backup program or restore.

Any help will be most appreciated.
Hmm...what happened to D:?
One time i partitioned a HD for (in order of install) C:Win98SE,
D:Win2K, E:Win7A, F:Win7B where A and B names were for supporting
different versions if Insipid Exploder.
As drives are added, the letters "always" go C, D, E, F etc.
 
R

Robert Baer

tigger said:
Alias writted thus:


Yes, it's an annoying tendency for each individual Windows install to
rename the partitions on booting. I understand why each has to be on a
drive named C: but it confuses sometimes!
My present HD has Part1=C:Win9SE; Part2=extendedDOS, D:WORK, E:DEVEL;
Part3=F:MASTER(dos); Part4=G:Win2K.
Dual boot menu courtesy of M$ allows selection of Win98SE which
always pops up as C:, and selection of Win2K which always pops up as G:.

No renaming of drive letters, and OS does not "have" to be on C:.
 
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R

Robert Baer

AlleyCat said:
Thanks.. I've done that, but instead or replacing all with the windir or
systemdrive, I've just copied all my batch files to the Win7 partition
and then did an "ctrl-H", and replaced all C's with E's.

What I'm looking for exactly, is to boot up to either OS and have that
OS on C:, no matter what. I can't "hide" C: in Partition Magic, so I
might have to get another hard drive, like Alias said, then have the
BIOS just boot to one or the other.

Thanks again.
SUBST anyone?
 
R

Robert Baer

AlleyCat said:
Thanks... probably will have to get another HD. My Barracuda 1TB drive
crashed and haven't replaced it.

Thanks again.
A Barracuda got ate up in the sea of bytes..
 
A

AlleyCat

Two things:

1. My system was originally W7 and I installed W8, not the same as your
configuration.

2. I always label my drives so as to tell them apart when drive letters
change.
I installed Windows 8, and it DID "think" it was drive C:, even though
it wasn't really. That's the ONLY thing I liked about Windows 8. Maybe
I'll give it another try someday.
 
A

AlleyCat

Next year you may triple boot with
Windows 8 or 9 or whatever and the OS will be on the N: drive. Gonna edit
again for that? And keep separate sets of batch files for each possibility?
I already installed Windows 8 and it actually "thought" that it was on
C:, but I didn't really care for the OS... too much of a learning curve.
I was just playing around with it... see what it does. Seems fast and
not buggy. I DO like it that you can still have a desktop, instead of
all those square "icons", but overall, the OS is kinda weird. I likes my
XP!
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

I installed Windows 8, and it DID "think" it was drive C:, even though
it wasn't really. That's the ONLY thing I liked about Windows 8. Maybe
I'll give it another try someday.
I would say that *no* drive is really x: for any value of x :)

The smiley is not because I think what I said is wrong or untrue, but
because I think the situation is funny.

As you obviously already know, Windows can decide what to call a drive
at boot time, and when you plug in an external drive, it can have
different drive letters on different occasions.

Furthermore, *you* can decide what to call a drive (except the boot
drive[1]) at any time. You can even remove a drive letter, and you can
also assign a drive to a folder name (whether or not it has a drive
letter), which makes it look something like a Unix file system.

The folder name thing is quite useful. As an example, it makes it easier
to synchronize an external drive whose drive letter might depend on the
phase of the moon...

Frankly, I wish Microsoft, in its finite wisdom, had chosen the Unix
conventions, way back when.

[1] Maybe I mean the system drive; I am confused by the naming
conventions here.
 
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R

Robert Baer

Gene said:
"Change drive letter and paths" is available in Disk Management.
Except you CANNOT change drive letters for the drive that has the
swap file, AND the drive that is the active drive.
 
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