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I windows 7 on drive C, then i installed xp on drive E.

Now when booting my PC it always open on XP and not asking me which system to start

How to fix this issue? to be able to see both when boot.

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xp installs itself with the mentality of "I'm the best OS ever, why would you need another one?" – hasen Oct 2 '09 at 2:58
so did w95, come to think of it.... – quack quixote Oct 2 '09 at 8:51
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your XP install overwrote Win7's bootloader. You'll need to boot into a Win7 Recovery Console to replace it. Once that's done you should be able to configure Win7 to dual-boot to XP.

An answer to another question suggested EasyBCD -- I know nothing about the program, but it may help you out with this.

A potential 'gotcha':

  • If C: and E: are on separate physical drives, your BIOS may be booting from the E: drive first, in which case your C: drive is probably fine. Try removing the E: drive and booting C: only to test. To fix, configure the BIOS or swap cables to make sure it boots to C: first.
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+1 for EasyBCD, it fixes all sorts of problems! – Ivo Flipse Oct 2 '09 at 5:32

This is because Windows 7 it installs its own boot loader. Windows XP "Does not understand" this. When you install XP, it installs its own bootloader that overwrites the Windows 7 one.

If you plop in your Windows 7 DVD / USB / Other install media, at the first screen click repair and it should automatically do a startup repair which will be able to find the Windows 7 installation (If you didn't overwrite the partition - which you said you didn't) and install the newer boot loader - then both should work in harmony!

Typically, Windows has always been like this - It is always advised to install the older version first as the newer ones usually understand the older ones - not the other way round.

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although it is not entirely impossible to install XP after Windows 7, it is strongly recommended to install the older Windows operating system first.

How to Run a Startup Repair in Windows 7

note: this may trash your windows xp installation.

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IMO, the best option for running multiple operating systems these days is to use a virtualization product, such as VirtualBox or VMWare.

In the past, the method I settled on to run mutiple operating systems is to always install the operating systems on separate hard drives, and always disconnect any drives that you aren't immediately installing to during OS installation. Reconnect the drives after the second (third, etc.) OS has been installed.

What this does is ensure that each OS has its' own boot loader on its' own hard drive. To boot to the required drive, I use the BIOS boot selection menu, which is usually pressing the Esc key during startup. Select the drive, and you should be good to go.

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