Upgrading XP Machine with New HDD (Parition / Win7 DuaBoot Issues)


Aug 24, 2009
Okay, I have tried googling for answers but I am getting confused with all the issues about new hdds and xp, and dual booting xp/win7. I am looking for advice on setting up my PC for XP / XP / WIN 7 (or 8) Multi-Boot and what I need to do to deal with any XP / new HDD issues.

based on the info below, I was hoping someone could lay down a list of the issues I need to deal with (and how :) ) when I take my mid-2009 system and:
- buy a new HDD (or two) and
- do a clean install of XP on it with a ?partition? reserved for Win7/8 OS when I make the jump to a new OS.

Things like:
1) Will I have to worry about aligning my partitions to 4KB boundaries with what I was thinking of doing (info below)?
2) Will XP and Win7 work properly with what I was thinking of doing (info below; I red that having xp/win7 on same hdd is an issue)
3) Do I really need to worry about XP destroying my Win7 Restore points (I read that xp does that each time the Win7 partition is accessed)?
4) Is there a 2 TB drive comparable to the WD1001FALS that still uses 512Byte sectors (so no need for partition aligning)?
5) Are there others issues I need to worry about? Bootloader issues, already dual booting xp when I install win 7/8, etc...

a) My current system (which I built myself with NCIX help) is:

CPU: i7 920 D0 2.66 GHz
HDD: a single WD1001FALS Caviar Black 1TB SATA2

b) My current thinking is:
to just to get another 1 or 2, WD1001FALS 1TB drives to hopefully avoid the 4KB sector drives (and sector alignment issues with XP), but I would prefer to get a 2TB drive. (I was considering a SDD but the added info was making my head spin)

c) Partitions I was planning to do was:
DISK 1 (my existing 1TB drive):
C drive - XP ; 256 GB ; rarely used (just for maintenance if req'd)
D drive - XP ; remainder of DISK 1 ; main XP OS partition

DISK 2 (new hdd or 2 new hdd)
E drive - DATA ; 1.25TB or 1TB ; just for data
F drive - RSV'd for WIN7/8 ; ~768GB or 1TB ; reserved partition (or 3rd DISK) for future OS.

Let me know if any more info is needed.



Mar 10, 2006
What are you going to use the various operating systems for? If it isn't anything too demanding running virtual machines could work better for you and allow you to share files/resources through the virtualized network with something like VMWare Player.


Aug 24, 2009
Hey Jim,

I wanted to have a backup OS partition for XP that I can use if my main XP OS partition needs to reformatted for some reason, has a virus, etc. I read it is useful to dual boot a machine with the same OS (XP / XP) for such reasons.

The 3rd OS Partition is of course when I decide to update my OS to Win 7 or Win 8.