Dual Booting XP and Vista 64 problems.

Hey, my oem copy of vista ultimate arrived last night and I proceeding to create a fresh dual boot system with windows xp.

I have an asus commando mobo, and the plan was to install Vista on my sata drive and to install xp onto my pata device.

My intitial build went like this. Firstly I installed xp onto the pata drive(d:) and then vista 64 onto my sata drive (c:).

The issue was this, whilst xp worked fine on its own, it booted etc, as soon as I installed vista I was completely unable to then boot into xp, I was locked into a vista boot on restart and start up. I physically removed the vista drive however I was still unable to boot into xp, it clamied that it was missing hal.dll from the system 32 folder.

The interesting thing is that I then proceeding to install the os's the other way round, i.e. vista 1st and xp second. The same problem occured expecept I was locked into an xp only boot, vista was unable to boot up atall.

Is the 2nd operating system I install over writing the mbr of the first one??

Note that this never happened to me on beta, everything worked just fine.

Tonight I think I will create a partition on one of my drives and install both on there and see what happens. However I have read that vista needs a promary partition to work.

Any comments or expereince from dual botting these os?

3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about dual booting vista problems
  1. Vista seeks out your 'Active' partition (as set by the MBR) and installs its bootfiles there (regardless of what partition you actually install Vista on). In your first scenario (XP first, then Vista) you should have been able to access Vista using the increadibly UNfriendly Bcedit commands at a command prompt window. Another option is to get EasyBCD or something similar that is a hell of a lot easier to use.

    Just google BCDEDIT and as your read up on it you'll see how much of a pain it is to use at a command line (atleast for those of that have grown old and lazy and got too use to fancy icons and colorful pictures).

    In your first scenariou, when you installed XP, everything was fine. You installed Vista on a COMPLETELY seperate harddrive...yet the active parition was your XP drive. Vista installs its boot files there and 'overrules' XP's original when you blew away Vista...XP became innoperable (because when your PC was booting, the Vista bootfiles on your XP parition now needed bootfile that WERE on your Vista partition).

    It's messy as hell and I don't like it. You can get around it and truly SEPERATE your Operating system so that if you do blow ONE away it doesn't impact the others (see my links below).

    In your second should never do that. Always install the older operating systems first. There might be a 'hard way' to do it that way, but you're simply making life more difficult for yourself when you try.

    The best resource for understanding (and WONDERFUL how-to guide) multibooting:
    That's not updated to Vista, but it will give your the basics so you can move on to:
    Which SPECIFICALLY deals with Vista multibooting.
  2. Best answer
    Try this. Unplug the SATA drive and install XP onto the PATA hard drive. Once done, unplug the PATA drive and plug the SATA drive and install Vista. After both are installed and up to date, leave both plugged in and go into your BIOS and select which one you want primarily to boot (as in PATA hard drive or SATA hard drive). So, say you left PATA as your primary boot with XP on it and you wanted to boot up into Vista. You'd reboot your computer and (considering that by Commando, you mean an ASUS mobo) hit F8 which will bring you to the boot option and select the SATA hard drive to boot into Vista.

    That should work. It's what I did with XP and Linux. Seemed to work fine for me *shudders*

    As far as Vista... Vista doesn't like my ICH7R SATA drivers :(
  3. Thanks for your help guys :D

    The problem seemed to be that I had a number of mbr's on my many hard drives from previous os installs.

    I simply deisconnected my sata drives and reinstalled xp and vista on my larger and faster pata drive.

    Everything is good now!!
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