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Having Trouble W/ Dual Booting VISTA and XP...

  • Configuration
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
July 1, 2009 3:12:16 AM

I'm going to start off with my whole process on how I did this. I am performing this in a Compaq SR5310F Desktop computer that originally came with Vista Home Premium:

Within Vista, I opened the Disk Management utility. I then shrunk the volume and left myself with exactly 40GB of unallocated space for my XP installation. I then booted from my XP Pro cd, selected that unallocated space, formatted it using NTFS, then installed XP. It copied all the files fine, but when it reboots to launch the GUI of the installation, I get a message saying, "Error loading operating system"

I figured something like this would happen because XP cannot recognize Vista and I have just replaced the vista boot loader with the XP bootloader. So, I popped in my Vista home premium disk, went to the Startup Repair, let it run. It told me that it fixed any problems and that I should reboot my computer. I figured it had replaced the bootloader with Vista's and it would boot to Vista...but I am still getting the "Error loading operating system" message.

I have tried installing these two OSs a couple different ways...basically the only differences were where I created the partition for XP. I tried creating the partition for XP while installing vista also, but still have the same results. I tried just installing XP in the unallocated space instead of defining a drive letter before installing, but still the same results.

I have a feeling that if I installed XP first, and then vista, the vista bootloader would then be installed and this would all work. but i know its possible to do this with vista installed first and I want to know how. Am I missing something??

More about : trouble dual booting vista

July 1, 2009 3:27:51 AM

Every tutorial i am looking at is doing the same thing I am doing. But in the tutorials, after XP has copied its files over to the partition, it reboots and actually loads the GUI of XP, and then the rest of the installation continues. They then have XP installed and it works fine. Only thing left is to reinstate Vista's boot loader.

With me, I can never get to the GUI portion of the XP install. After XP copies its files and reboots, I just get this message. I dont understand what i'm doing wrong.
July 1, 2009 2:42:00 PM

I assume that the steps you followed are the ones below?
Try it again but this time format the new partition from within Vista following steps 2,3,and 4 exactly.

Also does your computer have a SATA controller?
If so you will need either XP SP2 or the system drivers for your SATA controller when installing XP.
XP standard doesnt have the drivers but SP2 does, so if your computer maker doesnt have XP drivers on the web site then you may need to slipstream SP2 onto your XP disk and then the install should go well.

Step 1. In Vista, click Start, type diskmgmt.msc, and press Enter. Click Continue if prompted by User Account Control.

Step 2. Right-click a drive and choose Shrink Volume. Specify the amount to shrink, which in this case is the amount you want for your XP partition. At a minimum, you'll need around 2.5GB for XP Pro SP2. I suggest you select a larger partition to leave room for updates and other files that may need to be on the same drive as XP. Because I wanted a 5GB partition, I typed 5000 (representing 5,000 megabytes) in the available box. Click Shrink.

Step 3. Right-click the newly available area and choose New Simple Volume. Follow the steps in the wizard to assign a drive letter now, or wait until the next step. When prompted, check Perform a quick format to format the volume with NTFS.

Step 4. When the wizard is done formatting the new volume, you can assign or rearrange drive letters as needed. For example, changing drive letters may also put your CD/DVD drive in a more logical order.

To do that, right-click a volume or the CD/DVD drive and choose Change Drive Letters and Paths. If a volume hasn't got a drive letter yet, click Add. Otherwise, select the drive icon in the dialog box and click Change.

If you're rearranging the letters on existing drives, you may need to change the drives in a particular order. Or you may need to give a drive a temporary letter (such as Z) to free up a letter for another drive; you would change the Z drive to something else later. Make your selection and click OK. Repeat for other partitions or drives until you have the order you want.

Step 5. When you're done with your partitioning chores, exit Disk Management. Insert your XP disc into the drive and restart your system, booting from that disk.

Step 6. Follow the steps to install XP. When asked for the target drive, select your new partition and press Enter. Because you already formatted this partition with NTFS, you can skip the formatting step. At the appropriate screen, arrow down to Leave the current file system intact (no changes) and press Enter. Continue the installation process until it's finished and XP has started.
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July 1, 2009 4:17:43 PM

Pat, that is exactly what I tried. I thought maybe if i formatted the partition and gave it a drive letter within vista, that would insure that i was not installing xp on top of any important vista files. even after doing it the exact same way u described, i am still running into this problem.

I am also using an xp sp2 cd, so i should be ok with the sata issue. i really dont understand whats going on. i'm actually just going to try it on a completely different machine because i am out of ideas and things to try
August 5, 2009 7:27:22 AM

I'm having the same problem. If you have found a resolution to it, I'd like to know. At the least it'll save me the time of figuring it out. From what it looks like to me, it looks like xp is dropping all of it's boot info on the "vista" partition, ie partition 0. So, maybe sometime in the next few weeks I'll hack up an xp install and slipstream some tweaks into it and see if I can get it to run. I'm a techie, and I need to figure out how to get xp dual booted with vista on a new HP G70-460US laptop. I've already got all the sata drivers slipstreamed.
Actually, I just had an epiphany, I think the xp boot loader is pointing to either partition 1.

Have you tried loading off the windows xp cd, dropping to the recovery console and running something like:
"fixmbr \device\harddisk0\partition2"
? (without the quotes)

In my case, it looks like the xp install is actually creating a boot record that is pointing to the HP system recovery partition, not the actual partition I installed xp to. In my case, which is a fresh out of the box factory default laptop, my partitions are as follows:
partition 0 = Vista install
partition 1 = HP Restore partition
Partition 2 - New install of XP.

I'm tired and will give it a shot tomorrow.
August 5, 2009 1:50:04 PM

I think you may be onto something.
From a command prompt type
bcdedit <enter>
under the heading Windows Boot Manager what partition does it list?
August 5, 2009 2:21:05 PM

I have successfully created a dual boot operating system with Vista installed then XP second on a couple of machines.

You're right wheely, the XP bootloader wipes out the Vista boot loader, so it needs to be repaired.

The tutorial I used was the one provided from syschat:

Basically the process was:

1. With Vista already installed, use the Vista partition manager to create a partition for XP

2. Install XP on the new partition

3. Repair the Vista bootloader using the Vista install disk with a few cammand prompts.

4. Done.

I hope the tutorial helps, I was going to use a third party boot manager but didn't need to once I found this....

I had to create a custom install cd of XP with nLite on one of the machines so I could include the SATA and AHCI to successfully do this.

August 5, 2009 3:57:07 PM

Well, I have accomplished this install by just installing xp first, then vista, that way vistas bootloader is the last one installed and therefore allows for no extra repairing... BUT, I still dont understnad what happened considering I have installed XP after installing vista before following those same guidelines. I installed vista, xp, and xp 64-bit in that order creating a triple boot system on the same hdd with no problems. just dont know why i ran into problems with this, but watev, its fixed now.

thanks ;)