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How do you dual boot Vista 64 & XP32

Last response: in Windows Vista
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November 10, 2008 9:12:43 PM

I'm building a new system, and what I want to do is install Vista 64 on one hard drive, and XP 32-sp3, on another hard drive, and be able to chose which one I boot too at start up.

I've tried the search function, and frankly was just too lazy to pour through all the articles.

Can someone point me to the definitive, latest, how to??
Or, tell me how I should go about this.

Vista first, then XP, or vice versa.

More about : dual boot vista xp32

November 10, 2008 9:50:08 PM

install XP first, then vista....

vista will pick up the XP install and use it's bootloader to allow you to chose which OS to boot to. If you install the other way around, XP will not know what to do with the Vista installation. Otherwise, it's pretty straightforward
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November 11, 2008 11:04:03 AM

pinaplex's method works great and is the standard dual boot but there is one more alternative:

1. install one OS to one hard drive
2. physically remove that hard drive from the system, to be safe
3. install other OS to the other hard drive
4. put first hard drive back in - now you have two bootable drives in the system. The BIOS will boot from the designated 'first' drive automatically.
5. you choose your OS from the pop up boot menu - this is the f8 key on my Asus board for example - you press it immediately after power on and it shows you all of your drives. Just remember which OS went on which drive.

This method will have the simple advantage of not having to worry over losing your boot configuration files. No matter what happens to one OS or one hard drive you will always be able to boot the other one without having to use a boot repair utility. These boot configuration files have a tendency to get lost or messy, etc, as more time passes. It also means that if you mostly boot one OS you can set that hard drive in the BIOS as the 'first hard drive' and it will boot that one automatically and then when you want the other OS you can hit that pop up boot menu.
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November 11, 2008 12:16:09 PM

Well that just confused me, LOL. I want to keep it simple.
I planned on using two different hard drives for the OS'.

Is there a way to backup the bootloader so that if it becomes corrupt, I can reconstruct it??? I won't have a floppy drive in this computer, but could use cd's or flash drive to boot off, I guess?

So let me get this straight. If I use pinaplex method, and the bootloader becomes corrupt, even if I remove one drive/OS, I still won't be able to boot??? How often does this happen??
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November 11, 2008 1:13:18 PM

Just use pinaplex's method if you want to keep it simple. The chances the boot cfg. file will ever become corrupt are about the same as hard drive failure/data corruption in general. If that ever happens you can fix it easily enough. You will need to keep the OS with the boot cfg on it in your system in order to boot the OS on the other drive, IIRC. If you ever take it out you can use a utility to fix it.

The other method is not exactly complicated, though I can see where it might seem that way.
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November 11, 2008 1:18:35 PM

The other method doesn't seem that complicated. I just think it would be a PITA to have to enter the BIOS everytime to change the OS. I have muliple boot systems before on XP where I ran 4 versions of XP. I ran 4 because I screwed up the other 3....LOL.
But, I always had a "pristine" version of XP that I could fall back on if I hosed one of the others.

Too bad my computer caught fire. Now I can't access anything on my raid 0 drives because the controller on my new computer will be different, and I don't want to spend $180 on data recovery software that may or may not work.
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November 11, 2008 1:28:01 PM

iflyems said:
The other method doesn't seem that complicated. I just think it would be a PITA to have to enter the BIOS everytime to change the OS. I have muliple boot systems before on XP where I ran 4 versions of XP. I ran 4 because I screwed up the other 3....LOL.
But, I always had a "pristine" version of XP that I could fall back on if I hosed one of the others.

Too bad my computer caught fire. Now I can't access anything on my raid 0 drives because the controller on my new computer will be different, and I don't want to spend $180 on data recovery software that may or may not work.


No, you don't have to actually enter the BIOS. That would be a PITA for sure. It's much simpler than that. Most BIOS these days have a quick and easy 'pop-up' style boot menu for this very reason. You press a function key at startup and a very quick selection menu pops up where you will see all of your drives listed. It's just as fast as a conventional dual boot menu but you do have to remember to hit that key. Of course on a regular dual boot you also have to remember to hit a key too if you don't want the first listed OS to boot.

When your BIOS boots next time watch and see if it says something like 'press f8 or f12 for boot menu or boot options, or pop up boot menu. If for some reason your's does not have this option then this method is no go.

I have XP and Vista on a dual boot like this and at first I thought I would be using XP a lot but after a time I only used Vista. Now I am glad I do not have a boot config to worry about or fiddle with. This way your boot will always be 'modular', LOL if that is the right term.
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November 11, 2008 1:55:58 PM

I have another question; I have two Seagate 200gb SATA drives. They both have 1.5gb/sec throughput. The new single drive I'm getting is the Western Digital 1tb drive that has a throughput of 3gb/sec. I had planned on using the two 200gb drives for each OS, and the 1tb drive for storage, and installing games.
Is the speed difference on the throughput of the OS drives that critical??? How much performance will I lose if I put the OS' on the 1.5gb/sec drives Vs. the 3gb/sec drives???

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November 11, 2008 4:50:31 PM

iflyems said:
I have another question; I have two Seagate 200gb SATA drives. They both have 1.5gb/sec throughput. The new single drive I'm getting is the Western Digital 1tb drive that has a throughput of 3gb/sec. I had planned on using the two 200gb drives for each OS, and the 1tb drive for storage, and installing games.
Is the speed difference on the throughput of the OS drives that critical??? How much performance will I lose if I put the OS' on the 1.5gb/sec drives Vs. the 3gb/sec drives???



you won't notice any discernable perfomance difference. because no matter what, hard drives don't even use close to the 150 gb/s transfer rate of SATA I. you might have slight differences in synthetic benchmarks, but it's not hardly noticeable in realworld performance.
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November 13, 2008 3:10:47 AM

@iflyems

Something for your consideration is the amount of RAM you intend to run to support Vista64 and how it will affect dual booting WinXP32.
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November 13, 2008 12:47:33 PM

I'll be running 8gb of ram. I had intended to stay with 4gb, but it was so cheap I doubled up.

Now my question is; I got Vista64 home edition, the cheapest one. I read somewhere that this model of Vista is only capable of using 4gb of ram...??? And that I would need Ultimate to utilize all 8gb.....wft??

Can I later upgrade to Ultimate with having to do a complete re-install of the OS? Can you just purchase an upgrade of Vista 64??
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November 13, 2008 1:18:47 PM

Install XP as a virtual PC. You can download the software free from Microsoft. It works great. I have Vista, XP, and Server 2003 all running on the same box.
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November 13, 2008 1:23:37 PM

tallyman89 said:
Install XP as a virtual PC. You can download the software free from Microsoft. It works great. I have Vista, XP, and Server 2003 all running on the same box.

Why would I do that??? I'm installing XP32 on one hard drive, and Vista 64 on the other.

I have another question; I have a WD 1Tb hard drive. Can I use that same hard drive for installs and storage using either OS??? I realize that if/when I install duplicate programs, I have to rename the install folders. Just wondering if I will run into problems.
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November 13, 2008 1:26:38 PM

Why would you do that? Ease of installation. You do not have to rename install folders or do anything special. You set how much disk space you want, how much ram you want to use and you are set. You can install on different drives if you want. More and more businesses are doing this. Buy one hefty box and running multiple virtual OS's on them. Saves $$$$
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November 13, 2008 1:51:09 PM

I meant about the Virtual PC. I downloaded the vista 64 bit version. I had planned on installing XP32 first, on one hard drive. Once I got that all set up, I had planned on installing Vista64 home premium, on the second hard drive.

With Virtual PC running on Vista 64, after this install, will it be possible to just click something on the Vista desktop, and exit into XP32 to play games and use programs that aren't compatible with Vista?? Or, do I have to reboot into XP 32?
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November 13, 2008 4:18:28 PM

I installed Vista 64 Ultimate first and use it as my main OS. Then I installed Virutal PC. From there I installed my other OS's. To make it work you start your main OS then start Virtual PC. Once that is started you select the OS you want to use. I have 2 OS's to choose from (XP and Server 2003). If I start another OS it is real time. Just like a normal install. I can even toggle between OS's if needed. You do not reboot at all. You click and go. Microsoft has instructions on how to install virtual OS's. You can even change the amount of RAM to give to each virtual OS. If you will run 8gigs RAM, you will have plenty for Vista and XP. I have 4gigs and have no issues

I have done multi-boot installs like others have suggested but to me it took extra work and care to be sure all works properly. Virutal PC is so much easier. I have not played games on a virtual OS so I can not guarantee the performance. But for my needs I do not have any issues with it at all.

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November 13, 2008 4:23:39 PM

If your main OS is 64-bit you will need to install the 64-bit Virtual PC software. But you can still install 32-bit OS as virtual OS's. My XP and Server 2003 are 32-bit.
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November 13, 2008 4:29:54 PM

Yea, I got the 64 bit version. My only concern is gaming.
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November 13, 2008 4:50:32 PM

I just checked the specs, and I can't use virtual PC.
Quote:
Host operating systems

Virtual PC 2007 officially supports the following host operating systems:

* Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista Ultimate, Enterprise, Business editions and European Business N only, not Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic or Home Premium or European Vista Home N editions)
* Windows XP Professional and Tablet PC Edition (32-bit) and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, not Windows XP Home Edition or * Windows XP Media Center Edition)
* Windows Server 2003


I have Vista 64 home premium(not supported as host), and win XP32 home basic(not supported as host), so I'm back to the ole dual boot.
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November 14, 2008 2:25:38 AM

XP32 home basic and 8G of RAM, NOT!!!!!!!!!!!
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November 14, 2008 11:18:14 AM

Oh well, it was worth a shot. Good luck.
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November 14, 2008 12:03:52 PM

4Ryan6 said:
XP32 home basic and 8G of RAM, NOT!!!!!!!!!!!


I am well aware of the <4gb limit of XP. But thanks for stopping by to show how smart you are.

I plan on using Vista 64, which can read >4gb. XP 32 is for my older stuff that won't run on Vista.
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November 14, 2008 3:50:01 PM

I got same thing, Been running smooth as a dual booter.
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November 22, 2008 10:37:34 PM

I was finally successful in my dual boot of XP and Vista 64. It would have been easy to install XP first, then Vista, but then I wouldn't have learned anything. So, I installed Vista 64 first. I then tried to install XP32 on a second hard drive, but that wasn't going so well. So I found some instructions here;

And it worked. It wasn't easy, and I didn't need to compact my Vista64 install because it was on a 1Tb drive, and I had plenty of room. So, I made a partition on my large drive, but I was only able to make it a maximum of about 5.8Gb, not sure why, but that would suffice.

Like I said, just follow the instructions carefully. Once you install XP32 on your partition, the Vista bootloader will be corrupt. No big deal. Just plop the Vista DVD in, boot from that, select repair, then select command line, and type in exactly what is on the website. I ended up not having to modify the bootloader after that, it worked fine. When I boot, I have Vista on the top, and something like "other windows" next.
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June 13, 2009 8:29:58 AM

My laptop has only one drive, and it is very difficult to find free partition tools that work well with my Vista 64. My Vista is home premium so Virtual PC won't work on my computer.
I guess the only solution is to find a partition tool that works well with Vista 64 and free, is there anyone who knows where to find that? Thank you so much.
I didn't find the disk management tool in my computer, where is it? Not in the Accessory or Administrator Tool.
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June 14, 2009 4:24:35 PM

iflyems said:
I am well aware of the <4gb limit of XP. But thanks for stopping by to show how smart you are.

I plan on using Vista 64, which can read >4gb. XP 32 is for my older stuff that won't run on Vista.



Well since you took it that way???

Which wasn't the way it was intended referring to WinXP 32bit Home Basic editions limitations.

Hows your WinXP deleting your Vista Restore points going with that dual boot setup of yours?


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