I have herd it is possible to install the windows 7 boot loader on to a windows XP machine, has anyone got instructions for how to do this?

I am wishing to use the windows 7 boot loader to boot from a virtual hard drive, or on to XP on the physical hard drive.

3 Answers 3


You can install the Windows Vista / 2008 / 7 bootloader onto a Windows XP machine and dual-boot Windows XP and Windows 2008 / 7 from the VHD (I don't believe Vista has VHD boot support). I'm doing this on my main laptop computer right now. The easiest way to do it is simply to install Windows 2008 / 7 into a VHD, and you get the bootloader "for free" during the install.

  • Boot the Windows 7 DVD
  • Choose Repair and Command Prompt
  • From the command prompt, execute the following:
    CREATE VDISK FILE="filename for virtual disk here" TYPE=vdisk MAXIMUM=size-in-megabytes
  • Close up the command prompt. start the Windows 7 install.
  • Choose the virtual disk (you'll be able to tell by size which one it is). You receive a warning that you cannot install onto that disk. Continue anyway and the install completes fine.

After that completes you will have Windows 7 install that can boot off of VHD and the Vista / 2008 / 7 bootloader.

  • Demonstration: Windows 7 VHD Boot microsoft.com/downloads/…
    – Adam
    Jul 10, 2009 at 12:20
  • Very cool. Just a note that if you find this isn't working for you, you probably forgot to ATTACH. And the vdisk must be at least 5.7 GB. Jul 10, 2009 at 19:17

The most straight-forward way of installing it is through the directions at http://neosmart.net/blog/2007/how-to-install-the-vista-bootloader-on-a-windows-xp-machine/

  • These instructions rely on EasyBCD 1.7.2 – source. Newer versions like 2.0 and 2.3 do no longer have the required feature. However even with version 1.7.2, I was not able to get this to work. When told to "repair my Vista bootloader" on a XP only system, it would tell me that it's not going to restore the boot files as the Vista boot files are already present. Even when there was no `C:\Windows\Boot` at all. However, I had tried with version 2.3 before, so maybe that messed it up.
    – tanius
    May 2, 2017 at 23:35

If you have an OS in a virtual machine, you can't boot to it directly from the host's boot loader. I assume this is what you mean by virtual hard drive? Can you give some more details?

  • When you have a moment, check out the new "Boot from VHD" functionality in Windows 7 / 2008. It's pretty cool. Jul 10, 2009 at 12:49
  • "Windows 7 has a new feature that makes it easier than ever to set up multi-boot scenarios on a single machine. Boot from VHD allows you to mount a vhd as a bootable drive and, as the name implies, boot from it. It's a great scenario for creating multiple OS installations without having to create multiple OS partitions on your hard drive." edge.technet.com/Media/Boot-from-VHD-in-Win7 Jul 11, 2009 at 9:21

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