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Dual Boot Windows XP and Vista [How To]

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Dual Boot Windows XP and VistaDual Boot Windows XP and Vista

Personally I love Vista and have not experienced problems with it. However, there are times when I need to use XP (i.e. when I’m writing an XP compatible guide for this website) You may have your own reasons for use of both systems, or you may just have a license for both and want to use them both. In this guide you’ll learn how to dual boot Windows XP and Vista.

In this guide I’ll show you how to install XP after having Vista installed, and vice versa. Installing Vista after installing XP is a lot easier than installing XP after Vista; however, you should have no problem with both approaches.

Please Note: You either need to install each operating system on a different physical disk or you will need to partition your drive before attempting a dual boot. Each partition should be a primary partition. Google will point you in the right direction if you don’t know how to partition your drive.

Installing XP after Installing Vista

1. Simply boot from your Windows XP installation disk, select the disk or partition you wish to install XP on (make sure you don’t install XP on the Vista partition), and Windows will take care of itself.

2. Now boot from your Vista installation DVD. Click Next on the regional settings screen and click on Repair Your Computer. Select the Vista install and run the Startup Repair.

3. The next step is to tell Vista that XP exists by adding an entry for XP to the Vista boot manager. In Windows Vista, click Start and type Run. Right click on the shortcut and select Run as Administrator…
Run the following commands
in the same order they are presented here

bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d “Windows XP”
bcdedit /set {ntldr} device boot
bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast

Now reboot your computer and you should have the option to boot to either Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Installing Vista after Installing XP

Installing Vista is really easy if you already have Windows XP installed. Simply boot from your Windows Vista installation disk, select the disk or partition you wish to install Vista on (make sure you don’t install Vista on the XP partition), and Windows will take care of itself. After installing Vista, you will be presented with a boot screen offering you to boot to Windows Vista or an earlier version of Windows (XP.)

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6 Responses to Dual Boot Windows XP and Vista [How To]



Thanks for the tips. Hmm… Why do I need this? I don’t have Windows Vista yet. :P



I’ll probably use it if I decide to put XP/Server 2008 on my new Thinkpad t61p. Server 2008, supposedly run 17-20% more efficient than Vista with all the bells & whistles. Keeps getting better and better.



Server 2008 works a lot better and I’d switch completely if all my hardware would work with it.

We’ve been talking about “Windows Workstation 2008″ here: http://www.mintywhite.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=317



It doest work for my HP Pavillion notebook. I am currently using vista and when I was trying to install XP in the partition that I created it has problems. It says that the installation can not found any partition to instal xp. what should I do? any helpe? anyway I formatted the new partion into nfts.

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