How to Dual Boot Windows XP and 7 in your PC

Dual booting provides you several benefits. You can run two operating systems in single computer. So, if you need to work on Windows, just boot to Windows. Similarly, if you wish to work with other OS, you can boot to that. You can also dual boot different versions of Windows like XP and 7 on your PC.

However, dual booting allows you to run only one OS at a time. The OS which you select on boot will be loaded. And if you wish to switch to another operating system, you have to restart your PC and select second OS on boot. So, if you wish run two OS at the same time, you can try using Hyper-V or VirtualBox. Using Hyper-V or VirtualBox, you can run another OS within your existing OS.

NOTE: If you are installing different versions of Windows on your PC, you can only install newer version over older version. For example, you can install Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10 on Windows XP but you can’t install Windows XP on Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10. If you install older version of Windows over newer version, only newly installed Windows (older version) will work and you will lose your currently installed newer version of Windows.

SEE ALSO: How to Run Windows 11 on VirtualBox by using Windows 11 VHD file?

Install Windows XP and 7 together on your Computer

This tutorial shows, how to dual boot Windows XP and Windows 7. To follow this tutorial, you should have enough free space on your HDD and at least two local disk drives already created on your HDD. You can also shrink your existing drive and make a new drive from freed up space. If you are doing it on a new PC, you can also create volumes while installing Windows.

Before we proceed with tutorial, create bootable USB or CD/DVD for Windows XP and Windows 7. You can use Rufus for creating bootable USB and ImgBurn for making bootable CD/DVD. After you are ready, follow these steps.

Step 1: Install Windows XP using Bootable Media

First, we will install Windows XP on our PC and after that we will install Windows 7. So, insert bootable Windows XP CD/DVD or USB and start installation. You may need to setup your PC to boot from USB or CD/DVD.

Windows XP setup loading
Windows XP setup loading

We are not explaining full process of installing Windows XP here. You can check this tutorial for detailed Windows XP installation steps.


Step 2: Create New Volume in your PC to Dual Boot Windows XP and 7

We need another partition to install Windows 7. You can create partitions during Windows XP installation and after that as well. So, if you have left some space unallocated during Windows XP installation, you can use that to create a new volume.

Even if you have not left any unallocated space and created single drive using all space, you can shrink it’s size to free up some space. After that you can create new volume using shrunken space.

How To Create New Disk Drive Volume Using Unallocated Free Space In Windows 10
Create a new volume for Windows 7 installation

Step 3: Insert Windows 7 Installation Media and Start Setup

Now, boot to Windows XP. After that insert Windows 7 DVD or USB into your PC. Next, open My Computer in Windows XP and launch Windows 7 setup from DVD or USB.

Insert Windows 7 installation media in your PC
Insert Windows 7 installation media in your PC

After that, Windows 7 setup will start. Click Install now to continue.

Click Install Now to start Windows 7 setup from within Windows XP
Click Install Now to start Windows 7 setup

SEE ALSO: How to Clean Install Windows 7?


Step 4: Select Update Option and Select Version of Windows 7 for Dual Boot

After you click on Install Now, setup will load necessary files. Windows 7 setup will ask you for downloading latest update for installation. If you have internet connection, you can get the updates. However, it will increase installation time, so, you can also skip these updates.

Get latest updates or skip updates - Windows 7 setup dual boot windows xp
Get latest updates or skip updates

If you are using Multi-version Disk, select which version of Windows 7 you want to install and click Next.

Select The Version Of Windows 7 To Install And Click Next
Select the version of Windows 7 to install and click Next

Step 5: Accept License Agreement and Select Custom Install for Dual Boot

Next, you will see Windows 7 license agreement. Accept the License Agreement to continue.

Accept The License Terms of Windows 7 And Click On Next
Accept the License Terms and click Next

Now you will see two options: UPGRADE and CUSTOM. Click on CUSTOM, to dual boot Windows 7 with your existing Windows XP.

Select Installation Type As Custom Advanced
Select installation type as Custom (advanced)

Step 6: Select Drive and Install Windows 7 with Windows XP

Now, select the disk drive on which you want to install Windows 7 and click Next. Make sure to not select the same drive on which Windows XP is installed. Otherwise it may mess up existing Windows.

Select second partition to install Windows
Select second partition to install Windows 7

After you click Next, Windows 7 setup will start installation process. This is time to sit back and relax. During the whole process your computer may restart several times.

Windows 7 Clean Install In Progress
Windows 7 installation in progress

Once the process is complete, your computer will restart.


Step 7: Boot to Windows 7 from Dual Boot Menu

After your computer restarts, you will see a dual boot menu. Here, you can select which OS you want to boot into. So, with Windows XP and 7 dual boot, you will get following options on boot screen:

  1. Earlier version of Windows
  2. Windows 7

Select the second option (Windows 7) and press Enter to complete Windows 7 installation.

Select Windows 7 from startup dual boot menu
Select Windows 7 from startup menu

Your Windows 7 will restart for the first time.

Windows7 starting
Windows 7 starting

Step 8: Complete Initial Setup of Windows 7

It’s time to setup your Windows 7 for first use. You will create user accounts, configure Windows Updates and Time Zone etc. Check this link for further configuration.

Choose A Username For Your Account On Windows 7
Create a user account for your Windows 7

Step 9: Windows 7 Installation Complete

Windows will finalize your settings and your Windows 7 will start. Now, you can see your Windows 7 desktop. You have successfully installed Windows XP and Windows 7 on your PC.

Windows 7 Desktop
Windows 7 Desktop

Step 10: Select Which OS to Start from Dual Boot Startup Menu

You can now use any of the two Windows XP or Windows 7. Whenever you wish to switch OSes, simply restart your PC and select appropriate option from startup dual boot menu. You can select Earlier versions of Windows to start Windows XP Windows 7 to start Windows 7.

Select Windows 7 from startup dual boot menu
Select option to start specific OS

SEE ALSO: How to Add Desktop Icons on Windows XP and Windows 7?


Dual Boot Windows XP and Windows 7 on your PC

Above tutorial explained how you can dual boot your PC with Windows XP and Windows 7. You can apply same process for other OSes as well. However, installation steps for other OSes might be quite different from Windows. After successful installation, you can enjoy two OSes in your PC.

Hope you liked this tutorial. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions in comment section down below. Also subscribe for getting latest updates directly into your inbox.

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