Windows XP – How to Dual Boot Windows XP with Windows 8
How to protect your existing installation of Windows XP and evaluate Windows 8 over the coming months.
Talk about an odd couple, after 11 years Windows XP still has about a 38% market share and is nearing the end of Microsoft’s support lifecycle while the other has only been available for a little more than 5 months with about 3% of the market share.
The object is not to lose your current Windows XP operating system, to quickly recover XP should the installation of Windows 8 fail, to be able to easily remove the Windows 8 if you don’t like it. Using an image and data backup strategy for Windows XP will provide a layer of protection should you need it. Keep in mind nothing is ever perfect and recoveries can and do fail on rare occasions.
Device Drivers: Most store bought computers that came with Windows XP pre-installed are now fairly old and your PC manufacture may not have Windows 8 device drivers available. Home built computers on the other hand may find some or all the Windows 8 drivers you need for your motherboard and graphics card.
Note: Older computers that have a Pentium 4 processor may not support the NX bit,
which will prevent Windows 8 from installing;
socket 775 processors (Core 2 Duo or Quad Core) most likely will not have any problems.
Image Backups and drive partitions The key is to preserving your existing investment in Windows XP.
I’ll show you what you need to know in order to survive any catastrophes that may occur
by providing a detailed look at backup strategies, recovery procedures and how to install
Windows 8 alongside Windows XP to create a dual boot computer.
Document backups: Obviously you will continue to use Windows XP while evaluating Windows 8. This means you will day by day continuously add more data files (Documents, Photos, Music, Etc) when using XP. It’s not practical to create a new image backup each day, but there is a convenient utility named SyncToy which can make quick work of backing up your data files to an external USB drive. More about using SyncToy at the end of this article.
Drive Partitions: There are a significant number of partition arrangements, from a variety of computer manufactures which have preinstalled OEM versions of Windows XP or home built systems with retail versions of XP. For this article I will be using a drive with a single partition arrangement with XP installed on that partition.
Image Backup overview: All backups will be made from the Windows XP environment and backup restoration / drive recovery will be made from a bootable recovery disk.
The very first backup will be an image of the entire hard drive and is your baseline should you need to restore Windows XP. Note that a number of computers with Windows XP preinstalled may have included “Recovery Media” or a recovery partition. Recovery partition sizes vary from one manufacture to another and can be as small as 10GB or as large as 30GB. You should include this partition as part of your backup. Note that using the recovery partition or media to restore XP will erase all your existing data and applications which is the main reason for an Image Backup which will restore XP and all your data and applications.
That first / baseline image backup you create will allow you to revert to your pre Windows 8 drive configuration should Windows 8 fail to install or is lacks the device drivers you need to function properly.
The Image Backup software will be installed in Windows XP and “All” Image Backups will be created from within the Windows XP operating system, so the backup software only needs to support XP. The choice of which backup software you use is yours, however I suggest one of the following three products:
1. Norton Ghost 15: (Supports XP, Vista and Windows 7, but it cannot be installed in Windows 8) 2. Acronis True Image: Version 2011, 2012 or 2013 (Supports XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8) 3. EaseUS Todo Backup Free: Version 5.6 (For those of you who do not have Ghost or True Image, Todo backup is a free solution and supports XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8)
I will be using EaseUS Todo Backup installed in Windows XP. Before any changes are made to the drive partition layout, a baseline image backup of the entire drive will be created. After the Windows XP partition is shrunk / resized to make room for Windows 8 (using a third party partition manager from EaseUS’s Partition Master) another baseline image backup of the entire drive will be created, this second baseline will be used as a starting point prior to installing Windows 8.
Note: After you have your dual boot system configured and operational, "if and only if you plan to keep Windows 8", you should create separate image backups of just the Windows XP partition if and when you install additional applications within Windows XP. This will allow quick recovery of your latest XP configuration, data files and applications.
Step 1) First use the ‘create new folder pair’ button, pick a source (Left folder: C:\My Documents) and a folder destination (Right folder: any existing and empty folder on the USB drive). Choose the ‘Contribute’ option, enter a name for the folder pair and click ‘Finish’ and then ‘Run’ to initiate a backup from XP to the USB drive. Subsequent backups using the same folder pair will copy any new or edited files (since the last backup was run) to the folder on the USB drive.
Step 2) Reverse the process in that the next folder pair you create, the source folder will be the folder you created in step #1 and the destination folder will be C:\My Documents. This allows you to fully recover all your documents after restoring XP from an Image Backup.
You also have the option of moving the location of your Outlook Express files to a sub-folder located in your My Documents folder. This allows you to easily backup OE when you run the SyncToy My Documents backup.