Want dual boot system, better to partition or use whole different drive?

-danr-

Vice Admiral
My Wing Commander playing and modding experience has on the whole improved since I took posession of a new system with Windows 7. On the other hand, lots of other old software (including a few WC related things) have suffered as a result of bad compatibility with the 64 bit platform.

So, I'm going to set up XP on the system additionally, just for use with older stuff. My question is, do I spend more money on a new hard drive and simply install XP there...then just switch between which one I boot from(?) Or would it be easy enough to partition my existing hard drive? Current drive has 180GB free (300GB capacity.)

Only reason I'm tempted towards a whole new drive is that the partition and installation looks tricky and haphazard...does anybody have any experience doing this? If it's straightforward enough, would be better than wasting money I guess.

Thanks.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
IF you're looking for compatability, why not install win95 on the other partition (or set up a virtual PC)?
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
IF you're looking for compatability, why not install win95 on the other partition (or set up a virtual PC)?

I considered this also, but I need XP specifically for a number of modern flight sims, all the latest Falcon 4.0 mods won't work on anything earlier.

With XP, I had all Wing Commander software working (perhaps more difficult than with Win95 but a good compromise). I also want to keep Windows 7, because it would be a waste of a free factory install to remove it. :)
 

Michelle D

Captain
I would just get a new drive and boot from the bios using the HD selection.

Disconnect the Windows 7 drive to be safe when you do the XP install, also disconnect any Multi card readers (SD cards, etc.) if your computer has one connected to the motherboard or else xp will sometimes assign drive letters to those slots and you'll end up with XP installed on G: instead of C: drive.

On a newer system you may need to add files to an older copy of windows XP install disk for your specific chipset/CPU and drivers for SATA Hard drives if your XP only came with PATA drivers. If not XP will be unable to locate your Hard drive.

I did install XP next to vista using EasyBCD. Vista was there first then I removed the Vista drive and installed XP on second HD, then plugged in both drives and used EasyBCD.

I wanted to install Windows 98 but if I remember correctly it had trouble with the Multicore CPU's
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Thanks for the great advice Michelle.

If your computer has one connected to the motherboard or else xp will sometimes assign drive letters to those slots and you'll end up with XP installed on G: instead of C: drive

Didn't think of that, I'm guessing XP doesn't need to find them on first install - and that reconnecting them after the setup 'plug and play' style would be alright. I could do with the SD to work slots in XP.

Given your location, hope you're not caught up in any of the 'quake related waves hitting Hawaii.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
You can re-assign drive letters in XP, although it is rather fiddly and probably better to have the letters arranged as early as possible.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
You can re-assign drive letters in XP, although it is rather fiddly and probably better to have the letters arranged as early as possible.

XP can indeed do it, but anything not defined as a path variable will break, which would be all the shortcuts and a few applications.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
Just for ease it's probably easier to use a 2nd drive. There's certainly no reason to remove the sd card readers as XP won't pick them up in the boot-installer. Then use, as Michelle suggests, easyBCD to set up the boot menu, don't just edit the boot.ini in xp as it can cause issues.

It's also possible that XP may not see the windows 7 drive depending on the filesystem, but you can give it a drive letter later if need arises (not had it happen to me, but have read about it!)
 
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