My setup:

1 physical hard drive (500gb divided equally into 2 partitions)

  • Windows XP Partition (Current OS)
  • Empty Partition where I will be installing Windows 7

My question is how do I prevent the Windows7 boot loader from taking over my WindowsXP boot loader when installing the new OS ?

The reason I am asking is because I already have a ghosted backup of my WinXP partition and if I ever need to restore my xp partition using that backup, would it not overwrite the Windows7 boot loader that was placed in the XP partition with the one from the backup, thus making windows 7 unable to boot.

Also what would happen if I decided to delete the Windows XP partition altogether somewhere down the road and along with it the Win7 boot loader that was placed there, wouldn't that cause the system not to boot at all..

To avoid these issues, I simply want to make sure that BOTH the Win7 and WinXP boot loaders are available on their respective partitions and they do not interfere with each other in any way.

Is this possible?

Thx, Chris

  • If you were to restore from an image, why would it overwrite the boot sector? If it's a direct partition restore and you don't select it to affect the boot partition, it shouldn't affect it. That's not saying that the boot loader would recognize it though. – Raystafarian Mar 31 '12 at 16:23
  • To be perfectly honest it's been so long now that I have ghosted the xp partition that I cannot recall what I told it to do with the boot sector while restoring but if the restore is not an issue, surely the deletion of the xp partition (and thus the win7 loader with it) will cause issues. Bottom line is I do not want the win7 boot loader to inject itself into the xp partition in anyway just like the 2 OS were installed on 2 separate drives – Chris Mar 31 '12 at 16:36
  • Why not run something like GRUB? – Raystafarian Mar 31 '12 at 16:38
  • 1
    How will GRUB stop win7 from taking over the winxp partition. – Chris Mar 31 '12 at 16:41

Only thing I believe would work, You would have to manually edit the XP partition table and mark it as a hidden partition, then install W7, Boot into W7 then go back and unhide the XP partition, then install some sort of boot manager so you can choose which OS to boot after the bios completes post.

I have never done this but should work, hiding the XP partition should keep W7 install from changing anything to do with that partition during installation.

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