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I have a new harddrive. I want to install XP, Vista and Windows 7 on it

Is it possible and what should be the order. I have heard there is some MBR rewriting issue?

Any 'simple' article/tutorials are welcome

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6 Answers 6

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If there is any way you can remove Windows XP from the equation, perhaps by using it within Windows 7 via Windows Virtual PC "XP Mode" (www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx), which is now also available for 32 bit processors without Hardware Assisted Virtualization, then I would highly recommend using Windows 7 VHD boot which allows you to boot from a Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) file.

Scott Hansel did a great post has a great post on his site about VHD Booting. That was enough to get me started.

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I run Ubuntu on my computer with VirtualBox, there you can install "any" OS you want easy! Highly recommended. I run windows 7 or xp or what every I need.

Great site here by the way. Brilliant people in here. Karsten ;)

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Why all three?

The best method for this sort of thing is to choose one OS (in your case I would suggest Win7), and if you need additional ones use virtual machines to load any others on top of the host OS. The best virtual machine software is probably VMware or virtual box.

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I do not have enough RAM to hold a VM.. –  Veejay May 6 '10 at 4:29

I'd agree with the previous poster and memory is quite inexpensive, however, if you want to host multiple OS you could do worse than take a look here:

http://www.techspot.com/guides/143-dual-boot-windows7/

or

http://apcmag.com/the_definitive_dualbooting_guide_linux_vista_and_xp_stepbystep.htm

I'd partition first, with something like partedmagic http://partedmagic.com/ then install XP followed by Vista the 7 but placement of the OS on the drive may have a performance impact.

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For the install order of multiple local copies of Windows. If you do go the route of multi-booting, rather than virtualizing one or more of the OS's then the general rule of thumb is to always install the oldest Windows version first.

So in this case you'd install XP, then Vista, then 7. The newer version of Windows should always be able to understand the older version's boot record and boot menu workings and add themselves in, older versions can't understand the newer ones.

However I'd agree with the other posters that a virtual machine (or two) would be the ideal answer here.

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There are many guides around to do this! But I've heard Grub can handle your booting stuff. I encountered the MBR rewriting stuff before, google around and you'll find some commands in the windows installation disc that can help restore it.

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