How to Install Windows 7 and XP on the Same Computer

by Jedadiah Casey

Microsoft released Windows XP in 2001. Windows 7 was released in 2009 as an upgrade to both Windows XP and Windows Vista. Windows XP and 7 operate differently and require their own partitions on a computer to function properly. Windows 7 is aware of XP and can dual boot. However, since XP was released before 7, it must be installed to the computer first. You can install Windows 7 and XP to the same computer by creating two partitions and installing XP first.


Insert the Windows XP installation disc into the disc drive, then boot the computer from the disc.


Remove all existing partitions from the hard drive.


Create a new partition of the desired size in megabytes. Depending on your intended usage for XP, you may want a partition of 20,000MB or more.


Install XP to the new partition.


Insert the Windows 7 installation disc into the disc drive, then boot the computer from the installation disc after Windows XP has finished installing.


Create a second partition on the hard drive of the desired size. By default, the new partition size fills the remaining free space on the hard drive.


Install Windows 7 to the new partition. The computer restarts automatically when the installation is finished.


Select which version of Windows to boot with the arrow keys on the keyboard when the computer starts up.


  • Windows XP must be installed before Windows 7 for this process to work.

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About the Author

Jedadiah Casey started writing professionally in 2007, with articles published in "The Flagler Times" newspaper. He has more than 20 years of experience with computers and networking. Casey holds a Bachelor of Science in information systems from the University of Central Florida, as well as professional industry certifications.

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