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Dual booting: XP first or Vista first?

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January 15, 2008 9:33:32 PM

Hi all,

I searched the forum for dual booting, and didn't find anything. Is it just me or is this newly revamped forum suckier than the old forum?

Anyways, my new laptop is about to arrive with no OS on the hard drive. I want to have XP and Vista on it; would it be better to install Vista first and then XP or XP first and then Vista? Advantages or disadvantages of each?

Thanks for your help!

More about : dual booting vista

January 15, 2008 9:52:45 PM

Xp first then vista
Older versions generally dont recognize newer versions
January 15, 2008 11:42:17 PM

pat mcgroin said:
Xp first then vista
Older versions generally dont recognize newer versions


Agreed. If you do XP second Vista will not show up in the boot manager.

You may need to have full version of Vista, as opposed to the upgrade, else it may kill your XP on the grounds you are upgrading and losing your rights to the old os. That's what some have said anyway. I have not tried it myself.
Related resources
January 16, 2008 1:51:23 PM

When dual-booting, you always install the old OS first, then the new.
January 16, 2008 11:55:19 PM

Is there anything else to dual-installing? Should the installations be put on separate drives? Separate partitions? Is there a FAQ or walkthrough on this somewhere?

Anything else to be wary of?
January 17, 2008 3:37:00 AM

I just did my first DYI PC last weekend (it works, yay) with xp/vista dual boot. If you want to split the hard drive 1/2-1/2 between the two OS's then you can do what I did:
1. Install XP on the entire disk. Make sure the PC starts ok, etc (you can do drivers later if you're impatient).
2. Put the vista disk in and begin install.
a) If you have a second hard drive, it is helpful to start installing on it, then cancel after a few minutes. That way the disk will be visible when you're all done.
b) Follow these directions to partition the XP disk in half so you can install vista on it:
http://apcmag.com/5023/dual_booting_xp_with_vista
Refer to the section using DISKPART
3. When all is done, you should get a timed menu at startup that allows you to choose XP or Vista. You can edit this menu using the instructions in the preceeding link.

Note: if you want to partition the first disk some other way (eg 1/4-3/4) then do it during the XP install.
January 17, 2008 1:31:12 PM

Here is another option: use two physical drives. Here's how it works.

1. Put 1 HD in system. Install an OS, either one, XP or Vista.

2. Take out that HD (just to be safe actually unplug it from MOBO) put in the other HD.

3. Install the other OS to it.

4. Now put both drives in the PC

5. Now you have two bootable drives - one with Vista and one with XP. The BIOS will boot automatically from the designated 'first hard drive'. To change this you can go into BIOS and change the drive order, which is simple but a little time consuming if you want to switch OS often, thankfully most MOBOs offer a much easier alternative

6. This alternative is the 'pop up boot menu' which is easily brought up by pressing a function key at boot. This will allow you to change the boot drive on the fly, it's easy.

I suppose the regular dual boot method you are asking about can also be used on two separate drives? It's been a while I can't recall - but you will still have the problem of possibly losing the boot config file which resides on one drive.

This method has advantages. If one hard drive dies you don't lose both of your OS, neither will you loose your boot manager configuration which can be a problem with the conventional 'dual boot' method.

There is another issue I have not looked into deeply and that is 'system restore' which I have heard gets confused with 2 OS on the same drive and tends to kill the restore file of the unbooted OS. This is what I have heard and I cannot confirm it.
January 17, 2008 4:24:21 PM

Thats a pretty good idea notherdude. And with HDD's so cheap its affordable too. Let me ask you a question. I was thinking of doing a dual boot or just going with XP for now. I have a version of xp from 2002. pre service pack 1. which means I would need sp1 & 2 but Ive heard if you dont have sp2 when you do a clean install you can have problems, recognizing 500gb drives for instance. Do you know anythign about this? any ways to avoid it?
Im on the fence about vista. On the one hand its new and will be here to stay and I should just install vista 64, or 32. and be done with it. On the other hand I know xp.
This is strictly for gaming, i dont do video editing or anything like that.
I have two older games I want to run Rome total war and medeival total war 2. Would I be better of with vista 32 home? for compatabilitys sake?
January 17, 2008 5:49:06 PM

I would suggest 'slipstreaming' the SP2 into your XP install. It's a little complicated but thankfully Paul Therrot has made a very easy to follow guide. http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sp2_slip...

What you will end up with is a new CD with sp2 pre-installed, which of course preculdes having to install sp1 - sp2 includes all of sp1 and the new stuff. This will save you a long long time of updating XP repeatedly after you install it and you avoid any of the problems with HD sizes you alluded to. That's the way to go! Once made this slipstream will cover you for all future installs too.

Vista is great. I love it and play games freely on it. If you have a new PC I'd say go for it but if your PC is old and/or underpowered you may find sticking with XP is the better choice. 2 gig RAM, dual core CPU, Video card with lots of graphics memory (128 or more) - this is what you need for a good Vista experience, IMHO.

What are your system specs?

Most all games will play and play well on Vista. There are no doubt a few exceptions and the older you go back the more you might find. I don't know about your games specifically but if you go to the official web sites of those games it should be easy to find out.
January 17, 2008 8:06:02 PM

Im building a new computer in the next week or two. Im just waiting to see if the new chips have anything to offer me. probably not because I want a quad and the q6600 seems to be the sweet spot. Overclock it to 3.2 and its better than any dual chip currently out. My pentium 4 3.0 ghz isnt cutting it any more.
My new specs will be
q6600
maximus formula
4 gb g skill 800
pc&p 750 watt psu
evga gts 512<g92> there step-up program is a great idea
500gb 7200.11 baracuda HD
CM stacker 830-huge case 99 @ newegg last month

you have me mostly convinced for vista 64. ultimate or home premium version?
youve made a very convincing case for it, and with documented information as opposed to so many others that just say it sucks and dont say why.
I only have a couple of older< medeival 2 and rome total war> games I will play, the rest will be new. Gaming and internet are the main uses, no video editing or anything.
Will I notice a difference with 8 gigs of ram as opposed to 4 on vista 64? and will I need to just use one Dimm of ram, then install OS and then add the others? I have heard it doesnt always post with more than one slot filled.
thanks for all of your great info. Im far from a noob with computers, but you guys are so far ahead of me it isnt funny. I built my first system on a p100. problem is thats the last time I built one lol.
January 17, 2008 9:46:02 PM

With a PC like the one you are getting I vote Vista and Vista 64, for sure. 8 gig vs. 4 gig. I don't know. I got 6 but it feels a lot like 4 did.
Somehow I think 4 is enough if you are not doing heavy photo or video processing. I don't do that either.
Some systems will not install Vista with 3 or more gig of RAM. You install with two, run the linked fix and then add your extra two. Not all systems have this problem.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929777

A separate problem is RAM which runs at 2.0 or higher volts but is only given 1.8 v by BIOS. If you post your specific G skill model we can check and see if you will need to adjust this setting in the BIOS.
January 18, 2008 4:07:23 PM

Here is the memory
MEM 2Gx2|GSK F2-6400CL4D-4GBPK R - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2.0 to 2.1 volts Is what the package says. 4-4-4-12 timings
So i will go with Vista 64, i can always go back to XP or reg vista.
I was thinkign of gettign an oem version for vista 64 home premium
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
is there any reason not to get that one? if not which do you recommend. and does the version I put here have the option to step back to 32 bit vista just in case.
114.00 isnt bad for the OS, full retail is alot more I think.
Im also going to use the maximus formula x38 MB. Unless you can point out a better one or a reason not to use this one. its a little pricey but I like the features of x38. Im not one to upgrade a MB every year or two. more like every 3.
Thanks for all of your help.
January 18, 2008 4:08:47 PM

Im just waiting for the new chips on the 21st to hit to see if there is anything there for me. Then I will order everything on monday and hopefully installing on friday or saturday
January 18, 2008 7:33:12 PM

Quote:
2.0 to 2.1 volts Is what the package says. 4-4-4-12 timings


So you will want to make sure the BIOS sets this value correctly. Just go into CMOS setup and set vdimm to 2.0 or 2.1. The smart thing to do is to put on 1 stick of ram only on first boot, go into bios and make sure all the RAM settings are good, and then add another stick, or, since you will be installing Vista you may want to install Vista on 1 stick only and then add the second stick, in case you have the 'above 3 gig' problem.

Also, to get your motherboard to recognize 4 gig you are likely going to have to go into the BIOS and enable 'memory remapping', on my Asus board that is what I had to do.

OEM Vista should work fine, OEM is supposed to be tied to one PC only and not transfer to another later on, in case you build a new system or heavily upgrade this one. Full retail lets you install the OS repeatedly. I believe MS is fairly forgiving about this though. At some point, say if you put in a new motherboard, you may have to call them and just tell them your MOBO died to get permission. You get no tech support from MS on OEM but you probably don't care about that.

I'm in the same boat as you - helping a friend buy a brand new system. Mine is over a year old (e6600 @3.5 ghz, 6 gig ram, asus p5b deluxe.) So I too am trying to determine a good mobo to buy. We finally settled on the Asus Maximus Formula http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and a similar Gskill 4 gig kit you are getting. So we can compare notes lalter. Just PM me if you need any help and if you learn anything cool let me know.

Good move waiting for the 45 nm Penryn chips. My friend was anxious to get going so he just got the Q6600, maybe upgrade later. This Asus board will handle Penryn, I'm pretty sure. Penryn has more cache and a few improvements which will amount to a significant improvement, clock for clock over existing chips but the big thing may well be the OC ability. Some test chips hitting about 4.5 on air cooling.

Only problem is the 45 nm Quads are delayed and it sounded like March would be the earliest we see them. The duals are coming soon though I think.
January 18, 2008 7:46:36 PM

Thanks for all the good info notherdude. I'll definatley bookmark this for future reference.
January 21, 2008 4:41:47 PM

I have Vista64 and am having difficulty getting a lot of software to work and I have to go to a dual boot machine. Obviously XP is installed first. I have 3 hard drives. I'm going to partition one of them to install XP because I don't want to have such a large space for XP.
Is it possible to have XP on one hard drive, Vista on the other, and the other two harddrives with music and documents and important stuff on accessible to both operating systems? Or does each operating system have it's own HD and that's it. I think you should be able to, since the HD's that don't have OSes installed on them should be recognized by either OS when I boot up.
January 21, 2008 6:16:49 PM

Your other drives should be unaffected and will show up in both OSes with the same stuff on them - the drive letters may or may not match but this has no consequence as the drive letters remain constant within each os.

Try the method I outlined a few posts up. It removes the need for installing XP first and does away with the dual boot config file. You simply select your boot drive from your BIOS pop up boot menu.

Quote:
Here is another option: use two physical drives. Here's how it works.

1. Put 1 HD in system. Install an OS, either one, XP or Vista.

2. Take out that HD (just to be safe actually unplug it from MOBO) put in the other HD.

3. Install the other OS to it.

4. Now put both drives in the PC

5. Now you have two bootable drives - one with Vista and one with XP. The BIOS will boot automatically from the designated 'first hard drive'. To change this you can go into BIOS and change the drive order, which is simple but a little time consuming if you want to switch OS often, thankfully most MOBOs offer a much easier alternative

6. This alternative is the 'pop up boot menu' which is easily brought up by pressing a function key at boot. This will allow you to change the boot drive on the fly, it's easy.

I suppose the regular dual boot method you are asking about can also be used on two separate drives? It's been a while I can't recall - but you will still have the problem of possibly losing the boot config file which resides on one drive.

This method has advantages. If one hard drive dies you don't lose both of your OS, neither will you loose your boot manager configuration which can be a problem with the conventional 'dual boot' method.

There is another issue I have not looked into deeply and that is 'system restore' which I have heard gets confused with 2 OS on the same drive and tends to kill the restore file of the unbooted OS. This is what I have heard and I cannot confirm it.
January 22, 2008 2:03:16 AM

Wow, that's great news. So, I currently have Vista64 installed and won't have to go back and reinstall everything on my vista drive. I can just install winxp seperately now on another physical drive. Then the two drives that don't have OSes on them will be accessible by both OSes. How about the other OS HD? When I'm in windows XP, will the Vista HD be accessible? It doesn't matter, I'm just curious.
Thanks
January 22, 2008 1:14:35 PM

faromic said:
Wow, that's great news. So, I currently have Vista64 installed and won't have to go back and reinstall everything on my vista drive. I can just install winxp seperately now on another physical drive. Then the two drives that don't have OSes on them will be accessible by both OSes. How about the other OS HD? When I'm in windows XP, will the Vista HD be accessible? It doesn't matter, I'm just curious.
Thanks


Yes. You can see and use the other OS HD. You will not have some permissions, by default at least, for system and user files protected by the other OS, but this is a good thing.
January 30, 2008 4:47:11 PM

I tried installing Windows XP the way notherdude outlined, but I get an error saying that there is no hard drive present. I disconnected the other harddrives and changed the boot priority to the one that's installed. Why would this happen?
January 31, 2008 12:20:58 AM

Please detail your situation. Did you install Vista and XP on separate drives - with only one drive in the system during install?

No hard drive? When do you get this error? I am in the dark here. Does XP install give you this error? Does the BIOS recognize the drive?

IDE or SATA? If IDE you could be jumpered wrong.

We need all your details.
January 31, 2008 4:29:59 PM

Yes, Vista is installed on one drive and I want to install XP on another physical drive. I have 3 physical drives. the 3rd will be used for storage. I unpluged the other two drives (the vista drive and storage drive) before trying to install XP. The single drive is recognized in the BIOS but when I try to install windows xp i get the error. It occurs after the user agreement screen where you press F8. Then I get a message that there is no drive and to press F3 to exit. All drives are SATA so no jumper issues. I think it could be a BIOS setting; it has to be.
January 31, 2008 7:43:58 PM

Perhaps in the BIOS you need to set the SATA controller mode to "IDE", if it currently set to "AHCI" this may be the problem.
January 31, 2008 11:10:44 PM

faromic said:
What is AHCI?

I found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host_Controller_I...


AHCI is a new drive interface standard which I have yet to try. It offers some features like hot swapping of drives. You can either select or deselect AHCI as a BIOS option. If you select to run it you will need to load special drivers or else you cannot install to or access the drive. Since it doesn't add much to us regular Windows users most of us are choosing to run our SATA controllers in "IDE" mode instead, which requires no special drivers.

Anyway, since you could not access your drive to install XP it occurred to me that maybe AHCI is turned on in your BIOS and this is why you cannot install to it.

Just go into BIOS and on one of the main pages you should see something like "SATA operation mode" - open that up and then choose 'IDE mode' and you should be good to go, fingers crossed.


February 1, 2008 1:07:22 PM

I'm having trouble figuring this out. I only really have 2 menus that this option could be in. There is "IDE function setup" In there there are several options to change. There is:
OnChip IDE Channel10
Primary Master P10
Primary Slave P10
Primary Master UDMA
Primary Slave UDMA
These are all set to auto
Then there is IDE DMA transfer access; which is currently set to enabled.
Then there is:
Serial-ATA Controller which is All Enabled
then:
IDE prefetch mode which is enabled.

The other menu is RAID Config:
In here there is:

RAID Enable: (enabled)
SATA 0 Primary (enabled)
SATA 0 Secondary (disabled)
SATA 1 Primary (disabled)
SATA 1 Secondary (disabled)
SATA 2 Primary (disabled)
SATA 2 Secondary (enabled)

I have 6 SATA ports total with 4 physical drives. Both SATA 0 ports are in raid 0. I've played around with all these settings for over and hour and can't get the windows xp installation to recognize a drive.
February 1, 2008 3:39:27 PM

Quote:
Serial-ATA Controller which is All Enabled


Are there any options in this one?

What MOBO do you have?
February 1, 2008 6:10:08 PM

In the manual it says:

"This function allows you to enable specific SATA controllers, enable all controllers, or disable all controllers. The options available are [SATA-0],
[SATA-0+1], [Enable All], and [Disabled]."
February 1, 2008 6:10:55 PM

I have the EVGA 680i chipset mobo. It's the 122-CK-NF68 nForce 680i SLI Mainboard
February 1, 2008 7:15:24 PM

faromic said:
I have the EVGA 680i chipset mobo. It's the 122-CK-NF68 nForce 680i SLI Mainboard

The all enabled thing is not what I was looking for then. You are looking for sata mode, it can be set to either IDE, AHCI, or RAID. Then again on a 680i mobo things may be a bit different.
February 1, 2008 11:57:20 PM

In the RAID menu there is an option for each SATA port...I think.

I wrote the six above in the post about what's in each menu.
In the manual under RAID Config>SATAx Primary/Secondary (where x is 0,1,or 2) it says,
"When RAID Enable is set to [enabled], you can enable or disable the various SATA functions.
February 2, 2008 12:12:15 AM

Sorry but not having your board and BIOS I am just guessing.

But let me get this straight, RAID is enabled on some of your SATA ports?

If so, can you disable it? RAID mode requires drivers you have not loaded and will likely stop any OS install cold. I'm not sure if this menu is telling us RAID 'mode' is enabled or if these ports are simply able to run RAID, should you decide to turn it on. If you can turn off RAID then by all means do so and see if the drive is seen by XP install. I guess the one to try first is the general one that says: RAID enable (enable) turn it to disable.

If the above does not apply:

Assume you have booted Vista with both drives hooked up, can you see and use the drive you wish to install XP to?

If yes, then I would assume this SATA mode thing is probably not the issue. (though I am not sure about this) If you can see it in administrative tools . . .disk management then try deleting the existing partition and then creating a new one and then formating the drive (assuming there is nothing on it that you want). Then try again to install XP to it. Maybe put the drive on a different SATA port this time around.
February 2, 2008 12:51:31 AM

I'll try it.

But if I disable all RAID on all ports I won't be able to boot into vista, right?
February 2, 2008 3:12:06 AM

faromic said:
I'll try it.

But if I disable all RAID on all ports I won't be able to boot into vista, right?


No Vista will boot fine UNLESS you set up a RAID array and installed Vista to that.

You can always change it back if for some reason it stops Vista.

You can also just put the XP drive on one of the SATA ports where RAID is already disabled. Try all of above.
February 2, 2008 9:03:50 PM

Vista is setup on a RAID 0 array as of right now....and I want to setup XP on a single drive.....
February 2, 2008 9:18:18 PM

Did not know that. Try the XP drive on one of the SATA connectors on which RAID was not enabled, such as the SATA 1 or 2 which show up on your list above. They are labled as such on the MOBO too I think, or else just feed XP the drivers by pressing 'f6' early prompted in the boot up of the install disk
February 3, 2008 3:28:53 PM

So even though I'm not installing xp on the RAID partition, I can still give it the drivers at the start of setup and then it would recognize the single non RAID drive that I want to install XP to?
February 3, 2008 9:55:48 PM

I think so.

You already have a RAID 0 array with Vista on it, correct? Two drives in RAID 0?

If so then take those two drives out of the system. Unplug them totally. Then attach the drive you want XP on but put it on a different SATA connector and remember what connectors you have the Vista array on so you can put it back the same way.

Feed XP the RAID drivers and I think this will make the drive usable, even though you don't want RAID for the XP drive it should make it available. You may have some other SATA drivers with your system too, these might also work instead of using the RAID drivers.

I think that's how it works but I can't be 100% sure. Won't hurt your Vista install though. Just be sure you put the Vista drives back on the same RAID enabled connectors.

Have you tried simply putting the XP drive on one of the non-raid enabled connectors?
February 4, 2008 2:30:09 AM

Yes, I have I disabled all but two of the SATA ports that are in use by the RAID array. That's why I'm so baffled.
February 18, 2008 4:36:54 PM

OK, so I gave up using two seperate drives. Now I'm going to attempt installing XP on the RAID 0 HD. I currently have Vista64 installed on this drive. Do I have to partition it first? I read somewhere Vista has a built in partition program?? Then would I just boot into the RAID drive with the XP disk in the drive and setup XP?
March 10, 2008 4:46:59 PM

Well I got xp installed on the separate hard drive. Now I have Vista on a RAID 0 HD and XP on a single (separate HD). Is there is pop up boot device menu. I know some mobo's have them. So I don't have to go into the BIOS every time I want to boot into the other OS? If a menu popped up with the 2 hard drives then it would be much easier. If there isn't one built in, I have to manually choose my boot HD through the BIOS everytime?
April 13, 2008 7:24:21 PM

All this Information in here posted is awesome,and very helpful, I'm 98% ready to go ahead and do this, 2 seperate drives one with Vista,and the other with Win XP, The 2% of me thats unsure Is I didn't read anywhere in all these post's that you can Install the 2nd drive with OS already Installed, with Pics, and games, Etc.. To sum up...I am running Vista, and want to Install the 2nd Win XP HD with everything on it ready to go, can this be done ? Or Is it a problem, since Its already set up and ready to go from another PC (that one died) ! Thanks to all that reply.
April 16, 2008 12:54:51 PM

Use it if:
1.You dont want to play with the BIOS evey time.
2.You dont mind splitting a HD.

PT I have tried using two HD's one for XP one for Vista and it didn't work, thats why I split the one HD.
P.S. EasyBCD is a great help good program works a treat ...oh and its free.
June 10, 2009 11:09:19 PM

doors fan said:
All this Information in here posted is awesome,and very helpful, I'm 98% ready to go ahead and do this, 2 seperate drives one with Vista,and the other with Win XP, The 2% of me thats unsure Is I didn't read anywhere in all these post's that you can Install the 2nd drive with OS already Installed, with Pics, and games, Etc.. To sum up...I am running Vista, and want to Install the 2nd Win XP HD with everything on it ready to go, can this be done ? Or Is it a problem, since Its already set up and ready to go from another PC (that one died) ! Thanks to all that reply.


Hi, I'm wanting to do the same thing you've asked. Did you get any response to adding a XP hard drive to Vista machine? I have a PC with XP on it and want to put that hard drive in my Vista machine and boot from it too sometimes. Did you try it?
June 12, 2009 4:51:38 PM

the prblem using one hard drive is that if the drive fails you loose both os's even though it is a slim chance.
!