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His machine boots into Windows 7, and for him to boot to xp this is what he does as he has described it to me:

Go to cmd, right click cmd, click on "run as administrator", click "yes" at user account.In DOS window, type "diskpart", enter "select disk 0", type "select partition 3", type "active." When in XP to go back to Win 7 he does the same thing except that instead of "select partition 3" he types "select partition 2."

Any idea what is going on? Win 7 came pre-installed. Isn't there any easier way?

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migrated from Aug 29 '10 at 0:52

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

This would be a better fit for Super User. Don't repost there though, as if others agree the question will be migrated automatically. – ChrisF Aug 27 '10 at 9:56
Why not just use the Windows XP Virtual Mode? – KronoS Jul 13 '12 at 15:45

Manually choosing the active partition is a really bad way of managing dual boot.

You should use the Windows 7 boot manager to handle this.

This should help you:

A reader has asked about how to add Windows XP to Windows 7 Boot Manager. Here are the steps. You do this when you cannot boot to Windows XP after installing Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt.
  2. Type the following to create a boot loader for Windows XP. bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Windows XP"
  3. Type the following to set the device to where Windows XP is installed. I used D: in this example. 4. Replace it with the drive letter of your XP installation. bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=D:
  4. Type the following to set the path. bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
  5. Type the following to add this boot loader to the boot up screen. bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast
  6. Reboot the computer.
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If you are not so confident in executing commands manually there is a graphic interface for modifying boot menu:


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