Dual-booting all versions of Windows and Linux
Add Windows 7 to your existing Windows XP + MS-DOS Dual-Boot
How to Create a Triple-Boot with Win7 when a WinXP and MS-DOS Dual-Boot already exists
STEP 1: Install Windows 7
A Win7 + WinXP dual-boot has been created automatically by Windows 7. When "Earlier version of Windows" (XP) is selected, you will be presented with your original (and still functional) WinXP + DOS boot menu.
Win7 also creates a third boot option (for DOS) on the first boot menu but this usually does not work! In Step 2 we make it work and then eliminate the need for the second boot menu.
STEP2: Create a single Boot Menu
You can skip this Step if you wish. However most users would prefer to have a single Windows 7 boot menu that allows them to directly access all three operating systems without having to sometimes use a second menu.
You need to edit WinXP's Boot.ini which is a hidden system file in the root of C: (when booted to WinXP).
Win7 itself uses XP's Boot.ini during every bootup to determine the entries it will add to its own boot menu. If XP's Boot.ini does not contain Bootsect.dos in its pathway for MS-DOS, then the Win7 entry for MS-DOS does not work!
Finally you should restart computer to Windows XP and correct the Restore Points problem that occurs with Windows XP (read below)
Fix Restore Points Problem in XP
Windows XP does not understand some of the disk management techniques used by Windows 7 and Vista. Every time XP is booted, it destroys Win7's and Vista's Restore Points and all except the most recent backup files from Complete PC Backup - read Microsoft's Knowledge Base article 926185. The problem does not affect Windows 2000.
A small addition to XP's registry avoids this problem by making the Windows 7/Vista partition inaccessible when, and only when, XP is running. You must, however, use extreme care to ensure you enter the correct drive letter in the following corrective procedure. You must never enter the drive letter used by XP - that would prevent XP from starting! This fix is applied when XP is booted and not from any other Windows.
When XP is booted, you will be denied access to the Win7 partition and the partition will appear to be unformatted (RAW) even though the contents have not been changed. It will still be allocated a drive letter in XP. When you boot to Win7 you will have access to all your drives, including the Windows XP partition.
This is the full xp_rstr_fix.reg file: (the blank line is required)
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Help! Remove Win7 and Repair XP Startup
If you wish to remove Win7 and return to a XP-controlled startup then follow these instructions.
Your computer will automatically boot to Windows XP without any boot menu if none existed previously.
You can now use your partitioning utility to delete the Win7 partition and then resize the XP partition to incorporate the free space left after deleting Win7, or you can simply Format the Win7 partition. However you must not do this if, for some strange reason, your Win7 partition comes before the XP partition.
Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.
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