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My system is set up for a triple boot with Win 7, Win XP Pro, and Win XP Home for the purpose of keeping my present software and hardware working while I gain experience with Win 7. This approach could be useful for Win 8 as Phil proposes but this may not be as simple as it appears.
I found that the instructions on several internet sites were not correct but did serve as an overview of how to do this. I suggest you start by getting three programs: EaseUs for partition management and creation, EasyBCD for boot configuration, and an image backup program such as Disk Manager from Acronis (included if you purchase a Seagate drive but it can be purchased stand alone).
If the operating systems are installed in the right order (oldest first) then the newer versions will automatically configure the boot manager, else the EasyBCD will be needed.
There are some other issues which are not easy to overcome with a 7 and XP dual boot. One is that XP assigns the first partition on a disc as C: and 7 creates and uses a 100 MB hidden system partition as the first partition on the disc so the two systems try to share the same disc partition. There are instructional articles on the internet about this but I found the best way to get this working is to install each OS on a clean disc and then save each as a backup file, create the partitions manually, and then restore the images to the appropriate partitions. A simple registry edit will block each OS from using the partitions of the other systems.
If the installs are not done in the first partition on the disc then the system disc will not necessarily be disc C: which creates problems for program installs.
Once these issues are overcome the dual or triple boot system works well. This is not a step by step description of how to do this but should serve as a guide for what to research.
It also helps quite a bit to keep the data files in a separate partition (logical drive) so data can be shared between the systems.
The whole process of setting up the multiple boot system was a hassle until I understood some of the quirks of how the Windows versions use the physical disc space. Moving the backups to the right partitions was the key for a good construct.
I don’t know what issues to expect with Win 8 but at least I know for certain that Win 7 and Win XP can coexist on the same system disc.