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I have a system which has Win XP installed in its drive C, and Win 7 installed in another drive. Win 7 has drive C as active partition, which apparently means it uses the loader in that drive.
Now I'm wondering, what difference could it make to use another OS's loader? Could it change the behavior of the OS in anyway?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Karan, Michael Kjörling, gronostaj, Simon Sheehan Jul 23 '13 at 13:47

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
check here: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee851681.aspx –  Devid Jul 13 '13 at 11:24
    
@Devid thanks for the link. But that's not currently my problem. Win 7 boots just fine. However I have one question, is loader the same thing as boot loader? –  atoMerz Jul 13 '13 at 11:49
    
If you use another boot loader it want change in any way the OS. I can't answer if loader is the same as boot loader. –  Devid Jul 13 '13 at 12:20
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I'm not exactly sure what you're actually asking, but for example: The XP boot manager can't load 7, but the 7 manager CAN load XP. So if you actually tried to use XP's boot manager/loader with 7, it wouldn't work.

Check out this SU question's answers for more Windows-specific info: How to dual boot when Windows XP was installed after Windows 7?

Alternatively, you could also use a 3rd party boot manager like GRUB.

In general, the boot manager/loader is made to boot the OS. After it's done its part, the OS takes over. They are separate from each other, so the boot loader should have no effect on the OS, other than booting it.

More info: Modern Boot Loaders (Wikipedia)

Second-stage boot loaders, such as GNU GRUB, BOOTMGR, Syslinux, or NTLDR, are not themselves operating systems, but are able to load an operating system properly and transfer execution to it; the operating system subsequently initializes itself and may load extra device drivers.

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Have a look at the following link, I think it should clear things up for you: http://www.multibooters.co.uk/multiboot.html

What you're asking doesn't really make too much sense, as its not possible. I think I see where you are coming from, but there's been a slight misunderstanding here. First, those drive letters don't actually exist at hardware level - they are labels given to the partition by Windows; to the MBR there are just partitions. Windows labels the partition it is on as the C drive by default, and it's independent of other installations.

So, the partition with XP and the partition with Windows 7 will both have there own PBR; for XP this is NTLDR and for Vista, 7, and 8 this is BOOTMGR. Both have different configuration methods, but BOOTMGR does have backwards compatibility. This means that it does know how to boot XP, but obviously the NTLDR doesn't know anything about later version of Windows and so can't boot into them.

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