Ok so this is an interesting question. I am dual booting Vista and XP pro on a xps 1730. To my understanding i would have to install programs i need twice, once on the Vista partition and once on the xp partition, but isnt it possible to create a separate partition to install all my programs onto that both OS partitions can point to and run the programs off of? There has to be a way but i just want to make sure it is possible before i try myself and find out it isnt and have to reformat everything again.
It all depends on how much the program requires certain registry keys to exist within the OS. I can play Crysis on my XP dual boot when I only installed it on Vista. Fallout 3 will just start the launcher and give me the install option even though I started it from where I installed it. So I now have Fallout 3 installed twice, but it doesn't work on Vista so I'm going to remove it once obviously.
Since the programs don't actually install differently (ie different stuff) if you are on Vista or XP, you should be able to install to the same physical location. The important part is that it is INSTALLED in both OSes.
Install to C:\program files - using XP
Boot Vista, then find the XP install of the program.
Delete the contents of the folder.
Now when in XP, the files are in the expected location, and in Vista too.
oh ok i see..what i will probably do then is use one OS for certain programs and one for others, so i dont end up having to go through and deleting xp files before installing every time i want to use a program on a different OS and not take up double the space. I just partitioned a 5 gig for XP pro..which ill prob have to make larger...then a 60 gig for programs on XP, and a 20 for data files..then a 10 for Vista..again which i may have to make bigger..and a 10 for the data files. I wanted to keep vista for Media center because the XPS 1730's come with a remote so i can sit wherever and use it for media...thanx alot for your help guys..one more question..when installing Vista i had to load SATA drivers so it could complete the install otherwise it just sat at the completing install stage and got stuck there..so i installed the driver from the vista install screen where it asks me to choose a partition and i hit load drivers and installed it from a disk. I guess it overwrote my xp SATA driver and then i couldnt see any partitions....would slipstreaming the drivers onto a Vista install CD work? can i just put the driver files on the Vista partition before installing it so they are already on there?
they are working out very well so far..acronis disk director wont allow me to manage the sizes of my partitions for some reason..it says it completes the operation, but it just keeps everything the same..id like to increase the xp partition by about 2 gigs to 7..5 is cutting it too close..it only has about 500 megs of free space on it and it still needs to update some more..the great part about this is i wont have to reinstall programs if i want to reinstall any OS