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Author Topic: How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?  (Read 5207 times)

Lashiec

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How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?
« on: December 18, 2008, 08:41:08 PM »
So one of my friends finally upgraded his computer (good stuff, I was thinking into stealing some of the components for my personal usage ;D), and dropt me a call to install the OS, and make some post-assembly work (moving his old hard drive there basically).

The thing is that, while he installed Vista in the main HDD, he wanted to keep XP in the old one. Since the original installation was beat up, and new components would not do any benefit to it, I simply got the HDD there, and left it disconnected. Besides, Vista complained about the new HDD not being the main one, and thus the OS installation phase was halted at that point.

So I installed Vista, changed something here and there, while admiring Vista idiosyncrasies and hunting for moved options. Also, it seems now you need an antivirus if you want to fully "enjoy" WLM chat facilities (and they wonder why I don't use it...). Everything ran fine, though, so I copied the old files to the new drive, turned off the computer, and proceeded to connect the older one and install XP. Just like before, everything went fine, and with my job nearly done, I went to Google for fixing up possible bootloader issues.

You see, apc published a few tutorials of how to dual boot between various OS, including Vista and XP, so I followed their tips to the letter. The problem is that: first, unlike they say there, XP didn't mess with Vista bootloader, and second, EasyBCD did not find XP in the other drive, so here I just opted to fix such thing myself with the tool, because in theory it should work.

OK, it didn't. XP did not start in any way, but fortunately Vista remains fine. I did some googling, and found another way to do it, old-schol, but reliable, using bcdedit. According to the guy who wrote the guide, it should work with two separate drives, but did not again.

So, the question is how to do it correctly. In my mind, a few explanations for the failure cooked over, like that the old drive was disconnected when I installed Vista, and he does not like it now, or that because of the peculiarities of the motherboard southbridge (SB700), everything is running in IDE mode (I nearly panicked when I peeked into the BIOS, and did not see SATA in any place), and the fact that the old drive is in channel 0 as the master device, and both the optical drive and the new HDD are in the channel 3 as slave and master respectively (weirdness) causes them to fight over bus dominance or something. Or perhaps that I should get some sleep, because I'm making up extravagant explanations with no basis in reality, and missed something very evident.

So, I'll appreciate if someone did something like this before would tell me how they did it, or where did they find the information about how it should be done.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 05:12:20 PM by Lashiec »

Shades

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Re: How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 11:03:16 PM »
A thing I would check first:
- BIOS is using the right drive to boot from?
  (My Asus motherboards (with VIA chipset) respond better to swapping SATA cable positions then adjusted setting in BIOS.)

The IDE drive has at least one (primary) partition that is "active". This means that the Windows bootloader will turn to that partition to boot from. However, it gets really confused when you have two drives that have both an "active" partition. Don't know if XP allows you to deactivate it's boot partition, else you could do that, trun XP off, move the drive to the Vista machine and see if the Vista boot loader will use the correct drive to start from. A good partition manager would be able to deactivate the partition as well as restoring the activation if this doesn't work.

By putting the IDE drive into çable select' mode (normally there are instructions on the drive on how to do this, but it is more than likely that removing the jumper next to IDE cable will do the trick) the BIOS will figure out where the drive should be. It's an option to try.

What you should have done is the following:
- Build the two harddisks into the Vista machine.
- Make sure both drives are visible in the BIOS
- Install XP on the old drive
- Install Vista on the new drive

In my experience (with Win98-Win2000 dual boot systems) it is the oldest Windows edition that has to be installed first and let the bootloader from the newer Windows edition sort it out.

Having said all this I must mention that I don't like the concept of dual-booting Windows at all. The novelty wears off quickly and I assure you that your friend will be working in the latest and "greatest" product from the Redmond stables sooner than you and he/she thinks.

Lashiec

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Re: How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 09:02:06 AM »
I will try your tips, many thanks :)

Yeah, after some googling this morning I realized that installing Vista first was not the brightest idea, but unfortunately it was the only way to save the contents of the old drive to the new drive. My friend did not have backups of the files, so nuking the old HDD first was not an option. There are a few workarounds to this, but they would have involved quite a bit of work, and the whole job took much more time than I expected.

Quote
Having said all this I must mention that I don't like the concept of dual-booting Windows at all. The novelty wears off quickly and I assure you that your friend will be working in the latest and "greatest" product from the Redmond stables sooner than you and he/she thinks.

Me neither. I barely see myself dual booting between Windows and Linux, which are completely different affairs, so booting between two similar OS in nature to work with the same apps is something I can't see me doing. I suppose he wanted to keep XP just in case, but after a while he was pretty enthused with Vista, so...

Carol Haynes

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Re: How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 09:10:46 AM »
I have Windows XP, Vista 32 and Vista 64 all installed on the same machine without problems.

Did you install Vista after XP and with XP "visible" in the machine - in which case Vista should simply update the boot loader on the default boot drive to get access to both during startup.

If you changed things around so that XP and Vista are on separate discs and you made the disc the defualt disc for each OS before installing Vista than Vista may not have seen XP as it was not on the default boot drive. You can simply get around by that by telling your BIOS to show a list of bootable devices during POST and selct the correct drive for the OS you want. Usually there is a key to press for the BIOS device boot menu during POST.

Eóin

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Re: How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2008, 12:25:59 PM »
You need these files on the Vista drive
boot.ini
ntldr
ntdetect.com

Then boot.ini needs to point to the correct disk for XP. My boot.ini looks like the following
[boot loader]
timeout=5
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Pro" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer

There XP is on the 2nd drive, XP x64 on the 3rd, thats 'Gaming' and 'Craftwork' respectively.

Untitled.png

Then just use EasyBCD to add the 'NT' style boot option to the Vista bootloader.

[edit] The EasyBCD Troubleshooting Windows XP page has d/l links to the necessary files if they got lost in the process of installing Vista.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 12:31:12 PM by Eóin »

Lashiec

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Re: How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 10:04:28 AM »
Well, the problem is finally solved, and dual booting between Vista and XP is working as it should. Thank you so much for the help, guys! :-*

vixay

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Re: How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2008, 09:46:59 PM »
here's another reference for future knowledge seekers..
http://apcmag.com/ho...with_screenshots.htm


I have found this guide to be quite useful
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