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dual boot XP/Vista advice

Last response: in Windows Vista
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October 9, 2008 3:20:23 AM

I'm setting up a new PC and am planning to dual-boot XP Home (32 bit) and Vista Home Premium (64 bit). It will be a clean install of each OS on a newly formatted hard drive. I have two SATA hard drives (a 74 gb WD Raptor and soon-to-have a 640 gb WD Caviar Blue). I'm looking for some advice about installation issues, so any opinions and links to threads or other resources are appreciated.

Which OS should I install first, and/or does it make a difference?

Should I install both OS's on the faster Raptor in separate partitions, or is it better to install each OS on a separate drive (from what I have read, the WD 640 is one of the fastest 7200 RPM drives available).

Whether or not both OS's are on the same disk, will I still be able to install programs from both OS's to my larger disk when the Raptor fills up? Will I be able to access data/media files from either OS?

Thanks!!

More about : dual boot vista advice

October 9, 2008 4:36:54 AM

unless there's a specific reason (i.e, there's an application you need that absolutely won't run in vista) you still need XP, i would suggest you just install vista 64.
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October 9, 2008 12:40:36 PM

I had XP first for 2 years then installed Vista 64 Ultimnate on a second hard drive. From scratch I would install XP first then Vista 64. I needed XP for 3 programs only and I did not feel like spending anouther 100 dollars each for the Vista versions. How it is done can be debatable. I actually unplugged my XP drive and installed Vista on the new HD, then replugged my XP HD back in, then through MOBO bios choose which HD MBR to boot off of. That is the Hardware way, the software way is to have Windows show a boot loader, you need to install XP first though, XP can't see Vista because it is older.
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October 9, 2008 1:40:26 PM

maximiza said:
I had XP first for 2 years then installed Vista 64 Ultimnate on a second hard drive. From scratch I would install XP first then Vista 64. I needed XP for 3 programs only and I did not feel like spending anouther 100 dollars each for the Vista versions. How it is done can be debatable. I actually unplugged my XP drive and installed Vista on the new HD, then replugged my XP HD back in, then through MOBO bios choose which HD MBR to boot off of. That is the Hardware way, the software way is to have Windows show a boot loader, you need to install XP first though, XP can't see Vista because it is older.

I might add that many if not most newer mobos have a 'pop up' boot menu which will allow you to select which HD to boot from on the fly. On my Asus board I simply press f8 after hitting the power button and I can select any of my five drives to boot from. IMO this is by far the best method of dual booting because it avoids the bootloader issues that otherwise come into play. Of course you need two physical drives to do this.

If you don't have 2 physical drives then simply load the XP cd and before installing XP use the XP partitioning tools to partition your drive into two parts - one for XP and one for Vista - then install XP first and then Vista. The Vista bootloader will automatically detect the XP install and include it on the boot menu. If you install Vista first and then XP you will lose your option to boot Vista.

EDIT I reread the OP and see he has two physical drives coming - yea, for sure install each OS to separate drives and use your pop up boot menu to select which one to boot. While installing remove the other hard drive, physically unplug it, and the vice versa when you install the second OS.

Having OSes on separate drives is a great idea for another reason - if one drive dies you only lose 1 OS and not both.
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October 10, 2008 2:58:27 AM

Thank you for the advice! Someone in another forum suggested running XP in a virtual machine, which I hadn't really considered. I'm thinking now i'll just install Vista first, and if everything works OK (games, peripherals, other software) not even worry about XP.
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