how to dual boot windows XP and 7

Not ready for Change? The Official support of Windows XP may have passed, but If you still want to use Microsoft Windows XP and use Windows 7 or 8 side by side, you can!

Today I’d like to show you how you can run two Operating Systems, on the one PC, side by side so you can enjoy the best of Two Worlds!


Dual Boot Windows Operating System

Dual Boot Windows is a great method to use if you are not ready to give up Microsoft Windows Xp.  While Microsoft Windows XP support has officially ended on 8.4.2014, if you are not ready to give up the 12 year old Operating System – Windows XP yet, you can install another operating system (if your system is capable of doing so.) and enjoy both operating systems features.  Dual boot is an alternative method that you can use to install two operating systems on the same computer, side by side. 

The Benefits of Dual Booting

One of the biggest benefits to dual boot windows is that software engineers use this method to test their software on multiple Operating Systems without having to purchase additional machines, thus saving money.   It will also give you the opportunity to try new Windows Operating System whether it be windows 7 or windows 8.  But it can be tricky. You also need to be sure that your computer will support the newer operating system and that it is compatible to do so.  I also highly recommend to use third party software to backup your system in case it does not turn out for you.  You will be able to restore your PC to how you had it previously.

The Term dual boot refers to the common configuration of specifically two operating systems. – Wkipedia


What you will need:

  • Your copy and license of Microsoft Windows XP and new Microsoft Windows Operating System either 7 or 8
  • Enough hard drive space or a second hard drive to install the second operating system!
  • EaseUS Partition Master Free version (Recommended)
  • A PC with minimum requirements for the new Operating System.  Check the official windows 7 list here



  • Before attempting this how to, I highly recommend to backup all system partitions and files.   See this guide on third party software here


Getting Started

You have two options of getting a second operating system onto the same PC. 

1If you have Windows XP already installed on your computer and your hard drive is big enough to fit a second operating system, you can use tools such as the built in computer management tools, Gparted tool or my recommendation is to use Easeus Partition Master to change the Partition size without erasing your existing data.

Disk partitioning is the act of dividing a hard disk drive (HDD) into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions, to treat one physical disk drive as if it were multiple disks, so that different file systems can be used on each partition – wikipedia

2If your computer has room, you can purchase a second hard drive and connect it to your PC (internally) and install Windows 7 on it, then use software such as EasyBCD to configure the boot order 


For this Tutorial, I will give you a step by step guide on option 1 method. 


How to dual boot windows XP and Windows 7

Step 1Prepare your existing Windows XP Operating System with EaseUS Partition Master


First, we need to prepare your existing partition hard drive, and split the partition, then we need to download EaseUS Partition Master Free – this will be a tool which we will be using to prepare the hard drive to install our second Operating System on.  You can download it from here  It is a pretty easy tool to work with and the Graphical user interface is simple to use. 


To Prepare your Windows XP Operating System to Dual Boot With Windows 7, Click here on how to partition hard drive with Easeus Partition Master


Step 2

Install Windows 7 On the Second Partition

Once you have partition your hard drive, we need to Install Windows 7 On the Second Partition, it’s pretty easy to do, just Install it as you would normally, but select the second partition.  Here is a walk through tutorial on how to install Windows 7 on a second partition


Final Thoughts


I hope you have successfully created a dual boot with Windows XP and Windows 7, if you have an problems have your say, by leaving your comments below

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Anthony Rousek


Technology Enthusiast, blogger and Microsoft Certified Professional

Anthony Rousek
Technology Enthusiast, blogger and Microsoft Certified Professional