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XP + Vista Dual Boot

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  • XP + Vista Dual Boot

    Is this possible? A dual boot XP + Vista machine?
    Be easy on me, I'm here to learn

  • #2
    Re: XP + Vista Dual Boot

    I've never tried it but I dont see why not.

    Did you try

    Michael Armstrong
    MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

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    • #3
      Re: XP + Vista Dual Boot

      You can multi-boot most anything that boots on a PC compatible. I boot between WXP, W2K3, and Fedora on several machines. You may be able to do this w/ the Microsoft NTLDR but very quickly you'll find tons of limitations. The biggest problem is NTLDR and the Microsoft way doesn't hide partitions so that second system may get intertwined with the first. I suggest you look into a 3rd party solution like a BootMagic (part of PartitionMagic). I haved used it with success. I originally tried an open source solution but found it cost more in time and trouble than paying Symantec.

      Remember you can only have 4 primary partitions on this disk architecture (or up to 3 primary + 1 extended). The general recipe for multi-boot (once you give up on NTLDR) is to have the boot manager in the first partition and the various OS's in partitions 2-4 (or 2, 3, and logical drives -- trick required for the logical drives).

      Here's the website that got me on the path:

      Make sure you understand this page and the bit about "Hidden sectors" should you wish to boot from a Logical drive:

      Best of luck.


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      • #4
        Re: XP + Vista Dual Boot

        Originally posted by brcmadmin View Post
        Is this possible? A dual boot XP + Vista machine?
        Yes and I have done it. You can also dual boot an XP, Vista RC1 & Vista RC2. Obviously they need to be on different partitions. To change the boot order it must be done in Vista as XP's Boot.Ini has NO say in this.
        Joined: 23rd December 2003
        Departed: 23rd December 2015


        • #5
          Re: XP + Vista Dual Boot

          Here goes. My reasons dual-booting:
          a. Helps me with apps and/or games that work with a particular Windows OS.
          b. Utilize the BIOS CD boot method to install, partition and repair a Window OS.
          c. From previous research and discussions I avoid some issues.
          With VISTA and its New Partition Rules goto for details. I triple boot VISTA upgrade, XP Pro and Server 2003 WEB on separate hard drives. I formatted a C: primary drive FAT, with the ME boot disks, in addition created a logical partition of 2 Gb. I have a USB external hard drive formatted FAT32, works. Microsoft games RISE OF LEGENDS, AGE OF EMPIRES, RISE OF NATIONS and BATTLEFIELD 2142 run on VISTA.
          XP Pro runs BATTLEFIELD 2, CALL TO DUTY 2, FEAR Extr and SIN.
          All Windows OS's run Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, ACROBAT, Office 2003, Quarckxpress, MAYA and 3dsMAX, AutoDesk Architectecture and Inventor.
          Last edited by dozaone; 11th June 2007, 08:59. Reason: correct gramar