Create a Windows XP and 7 dual-boot system staged for an easy migration

If youíre like of lot of Windows users out there, you skipped Vista and are still running XP on your computer. Youíve been waiting for October 22 and now that itís here youíre ready to try Windows 7. Youíre system is relatively new, about three- to four-years old, and youíve run Microsoftís Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor and your hardware is well on par with Windows 7ís requirements.

However, youíre not quite ready to give up XP just yet. Maybe you have some applications that failed the Upgrade Advisorís compatibility check or maybe you got burned during the Vista debacle. No matter what the reason, you want to give the new operating system a chance but you just donít want to put all your eggs in the Windows 7 basket.

So youíre pondering the idea of installing Windows 7 in a dual-boot configuration along side of Windows XP. Doing so will place both Windows XP and Windows 7 at your disposal, which will be a big advantage as you begin your experimentation. You can investigate Windows 7, but when you need to get some work done, you can boot back into Windows XP. This type of configuration will also be handy if and when you decide that you want to move to Windows 7.

Migrating your settings, documents, and applications from XP to 7 is a much more relaxed experience when you can simply boot into Windows XP to check out how something is set up and then boot into Windows 7 to re-create the same configuration. Again, if something doesnít quite work right in 7 or is taking longer to get just the way that you want it, you can boot back into Windows XP and get your work done. Then, when you have more time, you can boot back into 7 and work on it some more.

If things continue to progress satisfactorily and you get comfortable working in Windows 7, at some point in the future youíll remove the dual-boot configuration. When you do, youíll want to set Windows 7 as the primary OS and then remove Windows XP. In order to make this type of transitions as work as smoothly as possible, both Windows XP and Windows 7 must be installed on the same hard disk but on separate partitions.

In the past, if you only have one partition on your hard disk, creating this type of configuration could be a tricky operation that required expensive third-party disk partitioning software. Fortunately, those days are long gone.

Today, you can find great disk partitioning software for free, such as Easeus Partition Master Home Edition 4.0.1. And best of all, Easeus Partition Master will safely adjust partitions while keeping data intact.

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, Iíll show you how to use Easeus Partition Master Home Edition to easily resize your existing Windows XP partition and then install Windows 7 in a dual-boot configuration on the same hard disk. In a future article, Iíll show you how to remove the dual-boot configuration and set up Windows 7 as the primary OS