I have just installed Windows XP on top of Windows 7. So I’m gonna tell you how to do it while its still fresh on my mind.
It took me about 3 hours to do this because its actually the first time I have done this. So I hope this guide will help you cut down the time that I have spent on it.
Windows XP SP2/SP3 installation CD
Windows 7 installation CD
Backing up the MBR
First thing that you need to do is to download and install Easy BCD. Then backup your Master Boot Record.
Back it up into an external location. Maybe a flash drive or an external hard drive. Just in case something will go wrong.
Just click on backup settings after you have selected the external location. Then check in the actual directory if there is a .bcd file in there. If there is none, then you have to click the backup settings button again until you will find the backup file in the location that you specified.
Partition hard drive
Next thing that you’ll need to do is to partition you hard drive. So that Windows XP will have a place to be installed.
To do that just right-click on Computer and select manage. Then select the disk management section:
If you no partitions on your drive. Then you will need to shrink the partition where your current operating system is installed. Right-click on that partition and select shrink volume:
You’ll see something like this, but just wait since it may take a while depending on the size of your hard disk and how much files are stored in it.
Change the partition size to your desired size. In this example it will be 10 Gb or 10240 Mb:
You can put whatever you want as long as its not above the largest size that is possible to shrink. Click on Shrink after you have inputted the desired shrink size.
Just leave the newly created unallocated space. But remember the size that you have inputted since we will make it as a basis when we install Windows XP.
Right click on the drive and select properties if you have forgotten its size. You’ll just have to convert the number indicated in there using an online converter. Because its expressed in bytes. What we need is the value in Kilobytes and Megabytes.
Restart your system. And go to your BIOS by pressing on f2 or del on your keyboard. Here’s a list of bios suppliers and the keyboard commands that you can use to access it:
While you’re in the BIOS just change the SATA Mode to IDE. Because AHCI is somehow not compatible with Windows XP. Here are some supplements:
This step is the most important since you will be getting a Blue Screen of Death or BSOD if you don’t change the SATA Mode into IDE.
Set your BIOS so that it will boot from the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM first. If you don’t know how to do that then visit this link:
Save changes and exit.
The Windows XP installation CD will boot and then it will prompt you to press any key to boot from CD. Just press any key in your keyboard if you see this prompt.
Just go through the usual installation process. Visit this link if you don’t know how to do the usual process of installing XP.
My only reminder is that you have to select the drive partition that you created a while ago. So that you won’t messed things up.
Repairing Windows 7 MBR
What you’ll need to do now is to restore the Master Boot Record of Windows 7. You will have to use the installation of Windows 7 to do this.
Here’s a guide from Microsoft on how to repair the MBR:
But what I did was to use the commands below in the built-in command line tool in Windows 7 installation CD:
Those commands will restore the Master Boot Record.
And will enable you to see the boot loader for Windows 7 again.
Restoring Windows XP
All you have to do now is to add an entry for Windows XP on the boot loader. This is where Easy BCD comes in again. Just click on Add New Entry.
I’m using the current version of easy BCD. Version 2.02. The interface might be a little bit different if you’re using a different version.Just select Windows XP on the OS type drop-down list. And click on Add Entry
To check if it has indeed added Windows XP on the list. Just right-click Computer. Select properties. Advanced System Settings. Then click on Advanced tab. On the Startup and Recovery Section click on Settings
It has Microsoft Windows XP on the list. Then just reboot your system. But if not then you’ll just have to repeat the process that you did on Easy BCD.
Always remember that you cannot boot Windows XP if your SATA Mode is AHCI. And you cannot boot Windows 7 if your SATA Mode is set to IDE. So you need to switch SATA Mode into AHCI if you need to boot to Windows 7. And IDE if you want to use Windows XP.
That’s it. There’s a challenge for you though. If you discovered how to boot XP or 7 without switching SATA Modes then please tell to me in the comments. Thanks!