|I have not used or tried to install Windows 7 yet, but I have installed both Vista Premium and XP MCE2005 on a computer so that they dual boot, and Windows 7 has many things in common with Vista. |
I'm assuming these things are the same as for Vista.
When you boot the computer with the Windows 7 DVD, you can install Windows 7 on any partition you choose. If you want to install it on the partition XP Home is presently on, you can choose to install it on the partition XP Home is presently on, which will automatically delete the data presently on that partition without remaking the partition or re-formatting it,
or - you can delete the partition XP Home is on, and make a new one, and software partition it using NTFS partitioning and format it, and in either case, install Windows 7 on that partition.
I recommend you don't delete the partition you want to install Windows7 on, or if you do, don't do it with Vista, or probably Windows 7 , because I have discovered that Vista, and probably Windows 7 too, makes NTFS partitions slightly differently and that can cause problems when you use certain older programs. If you want to delete the partition XP Home is presently on and re-make it, I recommend you do that in XP in Disk Management BEFORE you use the Windows 7 DVD to boot the computer with.
(Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Disk Management)
and then install Windows 7 on the new devoid of data partition you made in XP without deleting the existing partition or re-formatting it.
Unlike the way the situation can be with XP, Vista, and probably Windows 7, sees its Windows partition as being installed on C, even when there is already a Windows installation on the computer. When you boot the Vista installation, and probably the Windows 7 installation, it sees it's Windows as being installed on C:\Windows.
I also discovered this - it probably applies to Windows 7 too.
I made these notes while installing both Vista Premium and XP MCE 2005 on a system..
1. It's relatively easy to dual boot XP and Vista, even if they're on different hard drives and were loaded on those drives by themselves, and there are free programs available that make tweaking that easy. However, by default whenever you boot XP, ALL the accumulated System Restore restore points are lost in Vista, every time you boot XP (or 2000). That was a bonehead thing for Microsoft to not fix before they released Vista.
If you don't want to lose the Vista System Restore restore points every time you boot XP (or 2000)............
There is no Microsoft fix. There are Microsoft suggested workarounds, but some are only available if you have a Vista Ultimate or a Vista Business version (most people are using Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Premium because they're cheaper - brand name systems usually have Home Basic or Home Premium on them), and there is Microsoft suggested registry tweak you can do in Vista, if you don't have the Ultimate or Business version of Vista, but not every program you can load in Vista is compatible with that tweak, and in that case you have to undo the registry tweak at least temporarily, and then you lose the Vista restore points anyway.
The best solution, if you don't have the Ultimate or Business version of Vista, is to use a third party multi-boot boot manager program that can HIDE the Vista partition from the XP installation while booting XP, then the Vista restore points are NOT deleted.
I tried Partition Magic 8.0's Boot Magic program - it works, but it does not enable a mouse to select the operating system with (that was required for the disabled person that owns the computer). I searched and found several boot manager programs with mouse support, that support booting Vista - some free - most will work with a USB mouse if Legacy USB or similar is enabled in the mboards's bios Setup.The ones you pay for are about $25 and up. I found a site that says many of these don't support the Hibernate feature for mboards in Vista properly, but otherwise they work fine.(Since I did not continue with trying Boot Magic, I don't know if you can configure it to HIDE the Vista partition from XP while booting XP, or whether it supports the Hibernate feature for mboards in Vista properly.) I tried one free Linux based one - could not get it to work - not enough help info came with it or available online.
I tried BootIt! New Generation - it works fine andit DOES support the Hibernate feature for mboards in Vista properly, but it's $35 US after 30 days.It's install program is only 8xx kb and easily fits on a boot floppy, or you can make a bootable CD - it's nice to know someone is still making programs that are not bloatware. It includes a simple partition manipulation program that you can create, resize, move, delete, copy, merge, etc. partitions with. It has lots of help in the program and online, but you do have to find out how to do some stuff manually (e.g. enable it to HIDE the Vista partition from the XP installation while booting XP), so it's not suitable for someone who's clueless.
(If you need more info about using BootIt! NG, PM me).
2. Vista can see and access the XP NTFS partition, but XP can't show or access the Vista partition (at least, the one Vista's Windows was installed on) in My Computer or Windows Explorer - it does show up in XP in Disk Management but as an unknown partition type. If you want to be able to exchange files both ways between XP and Vista Windows partitions, you need to make at least one other partition that doesn't have Windows Vista on it that both OSs can see, and place files you want to share on that.
Update - I have just found these:
No restore points are available when you use Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008-based operating systems in a dual-boot configuration together with an earlier Windows operating system
I know from previous research Bitblocker is not available to you unless you have the Business or Ultimate Edition of Vista, and that probably applies to Windows 7 too.
Prevent System Restore Points Being Lost When Dual Booting With Windows XP
I tried using TweakUI - it does NOT work for curing this problem, no matter what you try.
One if the things he recommends using is BootIt! NG.
System Restore points and other recovery features in Windows Vista are affected when you dual-boot with Windows XP
He recommends using BootIt! NG
Update - he has links there that take you to info about BootIt! NG
On of them is
BootIt™ Next Generation: Tutorials and Videos
I said above:
"It has lots of help in the program and online, but you do have to find out how to do some stuff manually (e.g. enable it to HIDE the Vista partition from the XP installation while booting XP), so it's not suitable for someone who's clueless. "
Apparently, the makers of BootIt! NG have made a video about how to do that, since I last looked at their support pages.
It's on that BootIt™ Next Generation: Tutorials and Videos page.
Preventing losing Vista restore points when multi-booting with XP