Can I Install XP and 7

Dear Elizabeth,

I have 2 CD’s of questions and your answers that are “years” old. Are you still producing
these consolidated Q & A CD’s.

Major reason for this is to ask question in an opposite of one you answered on today’s msg.
that was about installing XP on a Windows 7 computer. Now what about the opposite.

I have a computer with XP.. can I install Win 7 on it along with the XP?


Dear William,

Now that my questions and answers are available online at I have not been producing the CDs.

Now for your other question:

It is possible to install Windows 7 on a computer that is currently running XP. If you do it correctly, you will have the choice when you first start the computer to boot into either the old version of Windows (xp) or the new version.

Before you get started though, you need to find out if the hardware on your XP computer is powerful enough to support Windows 7. Microsoft has a list of minimum requirements at:

Remember that these are minimum requirements. I would make sure that the computer has more than the minimum if you want it to run well.



It’s Your Turn: What do you think?
…. Share your experience in the comments box below.

Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • DiggerP
    • January 13, 2013

    Hi William,

    You’re certainly well on your way with Elizabeth’s advice regarding installing Win 7 on your computer.

    I’d like to add the following:
    1.Run Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
    Download Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
    2.Take inventory of your hardware using Windows native
    utility > msinfo32 (type this in the Run box and click OK ) or use eg Belarc Advisor
    3.From the results of Win 7 Upgrade Advisor and your own test from either one of the system info reports,
    decide which version of Win7 you can run – 32 bit or 64 bit.
    But don’t stop there.If your computer has a brand name,go to the manufacturer’s website and see if your present hardware has listings for Win7 drivers ,both
    32 bit and 64 bit.
    Also check peripheral hardware like printer or scanner.
    4.Once you’ve decided if your “project” is feasible,
    download the appropriate drivers for your future install of Win7.
    Win7 does have a lot of drivers available and will also try to update those during or after the install,
    but it’s good to have your own store of drivers that are specific for your hardware.
    5.Create a new partition on your harddrive for win7
    or install a new harddrive and use that.

    Some caveats:If your present drive with XP only has 1 partition ,i.o.w. the whole drive has XP on it ,you’ll need to partition it outside Windows.
    You can’t shrink an active partition when you’re running it.
    To do this ,create a bootable CD from an ISO like the one found here Download the ISO for the Bootable CD
    Burn it using ImgBurn and boot up with it. Make sure you have your CD/DVD drive set as 1st boot device. Change this in the BIOS if you need to. The partitioning or shrinking/expanding is quite intuitive.

    Another caveat:If dual booting with XP and Win7 you’ll need to hide Win7 from XP or you lose all your
    System Restore Points in Win7 each time you switch to XP. See here :
    Personally I use method 1. because i don’t want Bitlocker involved (method 2. )
    There are many other articles about this.

    Once you’ve got the new partition or drive in place,
    boot up with the Win7 install DVD and select the new partition to be used for the installation.
    During the install the computer will reboot a few times.Don’t interfere by trying to press any keys ,just let it continue. It “knows” where it’s being installed so don’t make any selection during this time.
    Only take out the DVD when it has fully finished.

    Hope this will get you on your way to dual booting 🙂
    I quintuple boot a couple of my computers ,so it isn’t something that’s too difficult.


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