How to Add Windows XP to Windows 7 Boot Manager

A reader has asked about how to add Windows XP to Windows 7 Boot Manager. Here are the steps. You do this when you cannot boot to Windows XP after installing Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt.
  2. Type the following to create a boot loader for Windows XP.
    bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Windows XP"
  3. Type the following to set the device to where Windows XP is installed. I used D: in this example. Replace it with the drive letter of your XP installation.
    bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=D:
  4. Type the following to set the path.
    bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
  5. Type the following to add this boot loader to the boot up screen.
    bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast
  6. Reboot the computer.

[Update: 3/11/2009] Some readers have reported that they still have problems after following these steps. I have tried to reproduce the error and fix it. The error I got is different, but it’s similar in nature. Please see this post about how I fixed the problem.

[Update: 11/9/2010] I have a new post about doing this using EasyBCD.