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I need to install Windows 7 on a computer with XP using FAT32, but

  1. I don't want to partition the disk
  2. I don't want to use any VMWare, VirtualBOX, etc.
  3. I want to make it a dual boot
  4. I don't want to destroy or change the XP installation in any way

is it possible? How?

thanks

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Sure. Use Parallels. –  Hello71 Jul 25 '10 at 23:10
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Not even close to possible with all those restrictions. As well as the issues MarkM mentions, dual-booting with Windows 7 will change the way your system boots so that XP is relegated to an 'older versions of Windows' set of options in the boot menu (whether you partition the disk or get a second one). The only way to do it without Windows 7 affecting your XP installation in any way is with virtualization.

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If you really wanted, and had two disks, you could just disable the other one in the BIOS before installing 7. This would leave both bootloaders intact and you would just need to change the boot order –  MDMarra Dec 15 '09 at 21:28
    
True, i'd forgotten the BIOS could control that. –  CodeByMoonlight Dec 15 '09 at 22:05
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No, it's not possible the way you've described.

You can't dual boot without partitioning the disk.
You can't install 7 on FAT32

You can always add a second hard drive and install it on there.

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FAT32 and NTFS are not compatible file systems. Upgrading the file system from FAT 32 to NTFS in the XP system will not change how the system works and will actually give you better performance. If you did upgrade to NTFS, then you will be able to create a dual boot system that should run just fine as long as the hardware works with Windows 7's min requirements and you have enough harddrive space.

Good luck and hope this helps.

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