How To Dual Boot Windows XP With Windows XP

In this guide you will learn…

• How to dual boot Windows XP with Windows XP on the same hard disk drive [utilising partitions] or using two physical hard disk drives.

Real world application…

• You require an environment where you will be testing alpha, beta and release candidate software.

• You require an installation that will be dedicated to one specific task, video editing for example. But you would also like another installation for many other day-to-day tasks such as internet, email etc.


Dual booting is whereby there are two separate installations of an operating system installed onto the same computer. These installations can be onto, two physical hard disk drives or on the same hard disk drive utilising partitions. In this guide Windows XP will be dual booting along side another installation of Windows XP. You will have your own reasons for wanting to have two installations of Windows XP on the same computer.


• Windows XP Installation Disk [Home or Professional and Pre SP1, SP1 and SP2 Editions can be used]
• One Hard Disk Drive, With 2 Or More Partitions
• Two Physical Hard Disk Drives

Windows XP Installation Disk

• Place the disk in your CD/DVD ROM drive.

It will help if you have had experience on installing Windows XP however if you have not then please take a look at the following guide: How To Install Windows XP Home Edition

There is only one part of installing Windows XP that needs to be expanded on when creating a dual boot environment. This is to first create two partitions on the one hard disk or on the two physical hard disk drives. You will then need to install Windows XP to one of the partitions. Once this first installation has completed you can then again install Windows XP to the other partition. When this second installation is taking place, Windows XP will recognize the other installation and will create a menu from where you can choose which installation you would like to use. This menu can be later edited so that you can have custom names, so each installation is easily recognizable.

I’ll skip the first few parts of installing Windows XP and will join the installation from the EULA screen.

One Hard Disk Drive, With 2 Or More Partitions
• Two Primary partitions will have to be created and how to go about this will be shown further on in this guide.

Two Physical Hard Disk Drives
• This guide will assume that you have two physical hard disk drives installed into your computer.

Post Installation
•Once you have installed both operating systems you can take it further by individually naming your installation. This will make them easily distinguishable. You can also define the default operating system and the time that you have to choose which operating system you wish to start.