Dual-booting all versions of Windows and Linux
Install Dual-Boot of Windows XP and Windows 8 on a Windows 8 computer (Win 8 installed first)
Last reviewed: July 2013
This guide shows how to correctly and safely create a natural dual-boot of Windows 8 and Windows XP on a computer with Windows 8 already installed. You can then run either of those two Windows by selecting one from a menu during bootup. No data loss will occur and a third-party boot utility is not used.
In this procedure you need to resize the Windows 8 drive to make room for Windows XP unless you happen to have Unallocated disk space or you install the new Windows 8 on a second hard disk. This example uses a single hard disk.
A 64-bit Windows 8.1 (NTFS) was used in testing and a 32-bit Windows XP SP2 (FAT32) was added. The computer used was a 64-bit Dell Studio XPS 8100 (2.93 GHz), Core i7, 8 GB RAM DDR3, NVidia GeForce GTX 460, 1 TB SATA hard disk - this had no EFI/UEFI and no GPT partitions that are mostly on pre-installed Windows 8 computers.
This procedure is suitable for experienced computer users.
Warning: Do not install Windows XP on new computers that use the new GPT partition table on which Windows XP cannot install. Read How to Check if your hard disk drive is using GPT or MBR
Important Installation Notes
Full Installation CD/DVDs. The Windows you are adding cannot be installed from a Recovery partition or Repair CD/DVDs provided by some OEMs. You need the full installation or setup version to install a Windows.
Shrinking a Windows 8, 7 or Vista drive. You should use Shrink in Windows' Disk Management to resize the Windows partition. Read Shrink the Windows 8, 7 or Vista Partition for instructions on completing this task successfully. Use the free GParted Live CD only if you must - read Use GParted to Resize the Windows 8, 7 or Vista Partition to learn how.
Restore Points and Windows XP. While not essential, it's best practice to apply a fix to prevent Windows XP removing Restore Points created by Win 8.
EasyBCD. The highly-acclaimed EasyBCD is a free editing utility that allows any user to easily edit the Windows 8/7/Vista boot menu (the BCD or Boot Configuration Data). EasyBCD runs in Windows 8, 7 and Vista, but also in Windows XP if you first install Microsoft's free .NET 2.0 Framework.
Details: Install Windows XP when Windows 8 is already Installed
Installing other operating systems on your Windows 8 computer may invalidate your warrantee.
Make your preparations
Make free space and create new partitions
Always note the size of each partition and also label each (this guide will use wn_8 and w_XP).
You should have no trouble using Win 8's Shrink in Disk Management to create Unallocated space on a 2nd or 3rd hard disk. Restart Windows when finished. Then skip from here to Next Install ...
If installing on the first hard disk:
Next Install Windows XP in this Windows 8 Dual-Boot
The link below shows how to install Windows XP in this dual-boot and how to use EasyBCD with it.
The Windows boot menu will then boot Windows 8 or Windows XP when selected.
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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