Sunday, January 20, 2008

How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first) -- the step-by-step guide


Scenario: You want to install Vista on your PC alongside your XP installation, on the same drive. You have installed Vista already. (If you have XP installed first, check out our earlier tutorial on how to dual boot Vista and XP with XP installed first.)

Tutorial Summary: We're going to use the DISKPART on the Vista DVD to shrink the Vista partition on the hard disk and create enough space for an installation of Vista. We'll then install XP, repair the Vista bootloader which will be overwritten during the XP installation, and then use the EasyBCD utility to configure Vista's bootloader to boot the XP partition.

This is an updated tutorial, based on our first Windows Vista/XP dual-booting workshop. The main difference is that EasyBCD has been updated, but the processes are essentially unchanged.

This tutorial was tested on a VMWare 6 Workstation and an AcerPower SK50 system.

Prepare Windows Vista

This tutorial assumes that Vista has been installed on a partition which takes up 100% of the hard drive, so we need to create some space. Boot off the Vista DVD. Hit Next from the start screen and then select "Install now". (If Vista came preinstalled on your machine and you don't have a Vista install DVD, you can use the Gnome Partition Editor Gparted to do it. Our earlier tutorial on dual-booting XP and Vista if you've installed XP first describes how to use it.)

Install Vista

Don't type in your product key and untick "Automatically activate Windows when I'm online", then hit "Next", and "No" when asked whether you want to enter the key.

Vista Product Key

When prompted to choose the edition of Vista you're installing you can actually select any of them as we're not doing a Vista install at this point. Also tick "I have selected the edition of Windows that I purchased" and hit "Next".

Vista Version

Accept the license terms and hit "Next" again, then choose a Custom installation.

On the screen where you're asked where you want to install Windows, you should see a single large partition marked Primary – this is where Vista is already installed.

Vista Partition

Press SHIFT + F10. This is a Windows PE 2.0 shortcut to open up a command window – very useful trick.

Command Tool

Type in DISKPART and press Enter. This opens the Microsoft DiskPart application. You need to select the active disk, so type in:

list disk

The primary disk is generally Disk 0, so type in:

select disk 0


Now we need a list of volumes on this disk, so type in:

list volume

In this case Volume 0 is the one we want, so type in:

select volume 0


Now type in:



DiskPart will go off and reclaim as much of the drive as it can – you should get at least 50% of the space back.

Now type



EXIT (again)

to quit the command window and get back to the install screen. Click Refresh and the partition window will update – you should now see the original Primary partition plus a brand new partition.

New Partitions

This is where we will install Windows XP. Eject the DVD, restart the machine (just hit the reset button) and boot off the Windows XP CD.

Now, install Windows XP

When the Windows XP setup reaches the point where you're prompted where it is to be installed, you'll see that while XP can see the space we created earlier, it can also see the partition with Vista on it.

XP Partition

You should be able to see the space you reclaimed on the disk earlier which has become "unallocated space".

Create a second partition using the Windows XP installer screen above by selecting the free space on the drive and pressing "C" to create a partition (if prompted, choose NTFS as the file system.)

Irritatingly, XP assigns a drive letter to this partition (C:) which means that it will use the next available drive letter after all the other physical drives have been taken into account.

This means that the system drive of the XP installation won't be C:.

From XP's perspective this isn't really a problem – it's smart enough to figure out where everything should go – but some applications make assumptions about where they should install to, and can't cope with a non-standard Windows configuration.

This was also the case with our tutorial on dualbooting Ubuntu and XP, where Ubuntu had been installed first. However in that scenario, even though the XP system drive had a non-standard drive letter, it couldn't read the Linux partitions so there was no danger of the two systems overlapping. This is not the case with Vista/XP.

Nonetheless, install XP as normal – there's no need to do anything differently.

IMPORTANT NOTEafter the initial file copy, Windows XP reboots and loads up the GUI-based component of the install. You may get the following error: "A disk read error occurred – press Ctrl-Alt-Del to continue". This is caused by a corrupt bootloader – click here to see how to fix this problem.

When the system reboots it won't bring up a boot menu. Although XP recognises the Vista partition it doesn't recognise Vista itself.

The Windows XP bootloader gets installed to the MBR and Vista can no longer boot.

When XP loads, open up Windows Explorer and you'll see something interesting – a C: and (in this case) an E: drive.

The C: drive contains Windows Vista, and as Windows XP can read NTFS partitions, it can browse and modify Vista's file structure.

More importantly, applications which have installation paths hard-coded into their install scripts rather than using Windows system parameter variables could easily dump files into C: when they should be installing to E:. This isn't such a great situation.

Two Drives

Restoring Vista and dual booting

Because you can't use the Windows XP bootloader to boot Vista, we have to reinstate Vista's bootloader to the MBR and configure it to manage both operating systems.

Compared with scenarios involving Ubuntu where you have to reinstall the GRUB bootloader, getting Vista up and operational again is very easy.

Boot from the Vista DVD and on the screen where you're prompted to "Install now", select "Repair your computer".

Repair Vista

The next screen searches for local Vista installations – there should only be one, so click Next.

Choose Vista

This loads the System Recovery Options screen. Select the first option – Startup Repair. This looks for problems which would prevent Vista from loading (like a missing bootloader) and automatically fixes them.

Startup Repair

If you click on "Click here for diagnostic and repair details" and scroll to the bottom of the list, it shows that the problem detected and repaired was a corrupt boot sector (according to Vista, anyway).

Repair Diagnostics

Click Close and then Finish, and the system will restart and boot into Vista.

Now we need to enable dualbooting with XP, and EasyBCD is the best application to achieve this.

Download and install EasyBCD.

Launch the app and go to Add/Remove Entries.

Under "Add an Entry" and under the Windows tab and select in the Version drop-down list "Windows NT/2k/XP/2k3".

Change the Drive to E:\ and the name to "Windows XP", then click "Add Entry" and "Save".

Vista & XP - EasyBCD

Reboot the system and you'll have two entries in the Vista bootloader, and can boot into either operating system.

Vista Bootloader

Removing Windows XP

If you eventually decide that dualbooting XP as the second OS isn't all it's cracked up to be, it's pretty easy to undo the changes made.

Use EasyBCD to remove the Windows XP boot entry, and then go into Computer Management (right-click on Computer, Manage) and go to Disk Management.

Right-click E: drive (the Windows XP partition) and select Delete Volume.

Right-click the newly-created partition and select Delete Partition.

Then right-click the C: drive (the Vista system partition) and click Extend Volume – this opens up the Extend Volume Wizard.

Extend Volume Wizard

The wizard gives you a readout on how much space is actually available to extend the partition – enter in how much you want to use and press Next. Vista will extend the system partition to reclaim the disk and Windows is well and truly gone.

Fixing the corrupt bootloader

If the Windows XP bootload corrupts during the install, performing a reinstall won't fix it, nor will going into the XP Recovery Mode and attempting to repair the MBR.

Luckily, the install was up to the stage where all you need to do is be able to boot from the Windows XP partition, and the install will pick up from where it left off.

To achieve this, follow the procedure outlined above to restore the Vista bootloader (under "Restoring Vista and Dualbooting").

This allows the system to boot into Vista, and then you can use EasyBCD to create an XP boot entry and boot into that to continue on with XP's installation. (For details on using EasyBCD, also see the section "Restoring Vista and Dualbooting".)

Other APC dual-booting tutorials:

The definitive dual-booting guide: Linux, Vista and XP step-by-step

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Top of Form

Common FAQs

Bottom of Form

1: How about OSX

How come there are a couple of guides for installing Windows with Linux and Windows with Windows, but there does not seem to be any on installing Windows with Mac OSX, or is just too easy that a guide is not needed?

deryckw (326 days ago)


2: On a Mac it's very easy with

On a Mac it's very easy with Apple Boot Camp, and on a PC, it's illegal :-)

Dan Warne (326 days ago)


3: Our computer-genious

Our computer-genious incestly demanded on the Mac-based InDesign-program and wow what happened; it falls at least three, or four times per day. Mac never falls, ou jee!

Nikander (300 days ago)


4: you, sir are a mac zealot

you, sir are a mac zealot, so go to hell. Any pc can beat any mac performance wise.

Anonymous1 (114 days ago)


5: That's a ludicrous assertion

That's a ludicrous assertion ... Macs ARE PCs these days. They use exactly the same hardware. It's the software that is different on a Mac.

APC administrator (114 days ago)


6: LOL. Sir, a pc is a

LOL. Sir, a pc is a "collection of parts". You cant say mac is a pc because it does not have a collection of parts you f*****. Why dont you ponder this statement -All pc's are personal computers but all computers are not pc's.

Anonymous 77 (75 days ago)


7: pc stands for personal

pc stands for personal computer so how is a mac not a personal computer if you use it for personal use its a pc
if a pc was a collection of parts it would be called a cop not a pc ponder that

Anonymous78 (51 days ago)


8: Great discussion, guys keep

Great discussion, guys keep up the good work!

Anonymous8889 (44 days ago)


9: You sir are pwned. How is a

You sir are pwned. How is a mac not a "collection of parts" like a PC is? Your statement is baseless. The previous poster was 100% correct. Macs are just PCs these days, especially since their departure from Motorola cpus. Apple PCs and notebooks all run out of the production lines in pre-determined configurations, but so do Acer, HP and Dell pcs. Apple's simply have a custom built case which makes them extremely difficult to upgrade - they still source CPUs and chipsets from intel, videocards from ATI and nVidia, and their other components like harddisks and RAM from various manufacturers. The only thing that makes them different, is that the OSX operating system is built for this cut down bundle of "PC" parts to make them "user friendly".

stuffman (20 days ago)


10: Incorrect, the logic board

Incorrect, the logic board is still built by Apple. And the logic board does not contain a traditional PC "bios". Intel macs use EFI.

Which is 100% incompatible with most PC operating systems.

And in the Motorola days, they still used nVidia and ATI video cards and chipsets. So in that you are also incorrect.

Macs are still not PC's. BootCamp actually activates a bios emulation routine in the EFI chip.

Anonymous25 (4 days ago)


11: PCs havent been able to keep

PCs havent been able to keep up with Macs for YEARS now! Do a little research before you open your pie hole!

MacMan (38 days ago)


12: Just curious, I haven't been

Just curious, I haven't been interested in Macs for years since I quit having to maintain them, but isn't OSX just their Unix installation? And how does it differ from Linux?

GerryG (36 days ago)


13: I dont have anything against

I dont have anything against Mac. The only advantage over a PC is the Mac OS. Other than that, you get can heck of a lot better performing PC, lower price points and more compatible with more software. Also, when was the last time you seen a Mac built for extreme gaming with an Intel Extreme Quad Core, Three 768MB nVidia 8800GTX and a PhisX Acc. You havent. If Mac is so much better and more secure, why does the Government, NASA & Fortune 500 COs use PC?

NickNov80 (18 days ago)


14: I got this one. The

I got this one. The government use PCs not because they are cheaper, but because the government IT shops resist having to maintain two OS skill sets. Tell a Window admin that he needs to learn howto a maintain Linux or Mac OS X, and he will whine. The first thing a government manager will say is we don't have the resources to train people for a multi-platform environment or there is not enough demand (how could there be). This creates an IT pearl harbor scenario, and there is a general who is pushing for mixed environments. Btw, the government ordered a PC for me that was twice cost of a good Mac.

sagan (12 days ago)


15: Dell PCs & Dual Boot

Hey, as a class exercise, in Computer Engineering, we took up this problem. My teacher had bought a new Dell Inspiron, with Vista preinstalled. Of course, we decided XP was much better, and went to install XP.

Having similar problems to everyone else, we were unable to boot up XP itself, and forced onto vista. So we came here, tried most of the solutions using EasyBCD, and failed.

We had tried using GParted to move some space, the Laptop came with 99 gig in a Vista partition, 2 gig in an extended *unknown* partition, 45 meg or so in a FAT16 partition (no idea what that is for), and a restore partition (forget the size, I think it was either 4 gig or 10 gig). It now has 49 gig for Vista, 2 gig extended, same for FAT16, and the rest in XP, which is a secondary partition underneath Extended. Rebooted, tried the whole thing again, and failed. After a few more tries with various things, we found that the simple solution in boot.ini was to change the part. # from 5 to 4 (Vista). Very simple solution, that had been overlooked.

Might throw more up here on this later, especially if I missed a step. Hope this helps dell users.

One last comment: Vista is not backwards compatible with XP, so do not transfer files unless absolutely sure you want to. If your XP dies on a dual boot, as my friends did, you can recover it to Vista, however if Vista dies, and it is not fixable, you are totally screwed. Word to the wise.


Steve B. (278 days ago)


16: it's a good comment Steve

it's a good comment Steve B., I'm facing the same problem as you are.

I have tried EasyBCD but it still doesn't work.

About the "boot.ini" as you've mentioned, could you please explain more about to fix this out?

Looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

iCorp (269 days ago)


17: If EasyBCD can't work,you

If EasyBCD can't work,you need to scrub your MBR. Basically, boot from a Windows XP CD, enter the "recovery console" and type, delete the "Windows XP" entry, and add a new entry, that will make XP boot. From there, use EBCD to add Vista. software review.

ana (127 days ago)


18: What do you need to type

What do you need to type after entering the recovery console? I think you skipped a word (the most important one).

Rich (114 days ago)


19: I coppied the Vista's root

I coppied the Vista's root folder the folder Boot, and the files bootmgr, boot.ini, NTDETECT.COM and ntldr and pasted them to the root of my XP drive.
I am using Dell Inspiron laptop, didn't changed anything from the bios settings. I have tried the Vista bootloader Pro to reisntall the vista bootloader from the bootloader tab. Still I couldn't fint the word 'reinstall', the tab has 4 or more radio buttons and all i can do is 'install' bootloader and as soon as i reboot my system it ends up in DOS prompting that file is corrupted, I have installed vista boot loader by clicking on a radio button says "All". Now my question is I have done the same trick in my bosses computer (desktop) and nothing unusual happened. Why with my laptop then? I don't wanna uninstall vista os, and i have another partition to install only xp os. But how can I get the bootmenu where I can choose which os to select? i will appreciate your replies. forgive my bad english i am international.

rOcKnRoLL (256 days ago)


20: is this comment after

is this comment after following the direction from this page or is is prior to. Because now im questioning if i should even do a dual boot on my inspiron 1505. when i go to disk management i see 4 partition a 47 MB healthy 10 gig Drive D: (primary partition).
3 is C: 100 gig OS partion a random 2 gig (healthy partition)

so im guessing if i wanted to do a dual boot i would have to shrink the 100 gig OS?

bdon (238 days ago)


21: I saw Steve's comment on

I saw Steve's comment on problems with dual-booting Vista and XP on a notebook. I would like to ask some advice.

Right now I'm torn between buying an Acer TravelMate 6592G which has a 15 inch screen and XP pre-installed or an Acer TravelMate 7720G with a 17 inch screen and Vista pre-installed. I prefer the 17 inch screen because I'm a graphic designer and this particular model also has a better processor etc.

BUT, I use Adobe products that don't run (well) on Vista. My computer salesman said it's possible with the 17 inch model to do a dual-boot for Vista and XP, the bonus is it has two separate hard-drives so I wouldn't need partitions.

I am NOT a techie and would try dual-booting myself with the help of a tutorial, hoping all will go smoothly. But is there any guarantee it will run properly, if I do everything right? Can anyone give me some advice? I would really appreciate it!

Jennifer (65 days ago)



try this tutorial

and i would go with the 17in if that is what you really want
you can just dump vista and install Xp using this tutorial its for a Hp but its the best one to learn how to intregrate the SATA drivers

i am not that big of a techie and i got it.

Anonymous2 (40 days ago)


23: Because you CANNOT install

Because you CANNOT install OSX on any generic motherboard.
You have to buy an Apple pc to install OSX. There has
never been a real case of somebody installing OSX on any ol'
motherboard! And by the way, it is not illegal to dual-boot 2 versions of the EULA one more time my friend...

ChesterCopperpot (248 days ago)


24: Ahh, but you can

I have my Toshiba tri-booting with Fedora Core 6, Windows XP, and Mac OS 10.4.3. This has been possible for a couple years now...

IndustrialG33k (245 days ago)


25: Maybe because Macs are

Maybe because Macs are worthless pieces of crapola!

The Dude (9 days ago)


26: Understatement!

"Windows Vista is not ready for prime time."
That is the understatement of the century. Do you want to hear a very funny joke? I bought Windows Vista Ultimate. The WOW starts NOW. Yeah sure. More like when hell freezes over or when I finally buy a MAC.

JR (326 days ago)


27: Couldn't have said it better

Couldn't have said it better myself

FireFly (291 days ago)


28: i don't get why you need to

i don't get why you need to boot with vista disc just to shrink the drive. can't you just do it within vista's disk management as detailed below?

wilkie (326 days ago)


29: You can use the embedded

You can use the embedded tool or the DVD - there's no actual requirement to do it either way. I was just demonstrating the DVD method because it uses DISKPART from within Windows PE 2.0 and is just rather nifty.

You could certainly use the GUI or DISKPART from within the OS.

James Bannan (326 days ago)


30: One question, how can I use

One question, how can I use the repair option without a disk? I have a laptop that came with the OS installed, and I am wondering how to get the the boot repaired without a disk.

Baggy52 (61 days ago)


31: I was wondering this myself

I was wondering this myself

JL (40 days ago)


32: or just do diskpart in Vista

You don't need the DVD, and you don't need to reboot.
Just type diskpart in an cmd prompt and follow the guidelines as described.
things will work fine, your system will automaticly reboot, and there you have your new space :-)

Frank vd Horst (142 days ago)


33: Vista then XP

Or you could just install MS Virtual Workstation 2007 which seems to run ok under Vista and is free.

dicko (326 days ago)


34: According to the MS website,

According to the MS website, virtual PC will not run with Vista Home Premium or Basic as host!

Mayclone (293 days ago)


35: ORLY?


The17thsailor (142 days ago)


36: This is incorrect. I'm

This is incorrect. I'm running a 64 bit version of microsoft virtual machine on windows vista ultimate 64 bit, but that doesn't help me with my issue since I don't reccomend using a virtual machine to run 3d graphics intensive programs.

Callak (113 days ago)


37: MS Virtual PC 2007 - Running Vista and XP

I unsuccessfully tried to dual boot with my HP Pavillion Notebook which came with pre-installed Vista Ultimate.

I desparately needed to have XP on my machine as I wanted to connect to my work via VPN.

Nothing worked ... then came trying this with MS Virtual PC 2007... gave me exacly what I was looking for. I can now run Visa as the Host OS and XP as Guest OS. Enjoying best of both worlds..
MS Virtial PC 2007 is highly recommended if you need both OS running in the same machine...

Nemo (129 days ago)


38: dual boot vista and xp versus xp virtual

I do same on hp dv6589us and works okay but on vpc 2007 cannot use actual video driver, e.g., on a desktop with samsung 22" monitor.
but on laptop even though one reason I bought new one was for vista and dual core, etc., with vpc 2007 and xp I can make it look like my old laptop. BTW my new laptop has 4GB RAM so I allocate 2 to xp and could probably do more even.

Jazza (116 days ago)


39: I installed MS Virtual PC

I installed MS Virtual PC 2007 and it is working fine with guess XP Pro, I have Windows Vista Business with 2 Gigas of Ram, and 256 of video ram, but virtual xp only reconize 4 megas !!, but i need more, since i run programas like photohop and corel you know a way to solve this problem.

thank you in advance.

Luis (59 days ago)


40: Hi, My Laptop is


My Laptop is preinstalled with Windows Vista Business. Now, I badly need to have XP on my laptop so that I can install a specific software that does not work with vista.

Kindly guide me with detailed steps of how can I have Vista as the Host OS and XP as Guest OS using the MS Virtual PC 2007?

Appreciate your immediate reply.

Amit (39 days ago)


41: Thanks...

Nice article... thanks a million.

Jigga (326 days ago)


42: Cannot get it

I think this is a good step by step guide but I cannot understand why there would be a need to dual boot Vista with XP. If you have installed Vista and for some reason you need XP then you can have that XP install in a virtual environment instead without going the dual boot way.

Wes (326 days ago)


43: Dual-boot is still the king

Virtual environments have come a long, long way, but the more you work with them, you realize there are some things you just can't expect to do. Especially for a gamer like myself - there's no way you can run a game that won't run under Vista (and there's a bunch at this point) - in a virtual environment. Dual-booting gives you full native access to either O/S with no simulation layers and problems to get in the way. I've been doing it this way since Windows 95 and NT 3.51 - and there's no better way to go!

Hagar (325 days ago)


44: Gaming under Vista is pretty

Gaming under Vista is pretty bad at the moment. That is one excellent reason to keep a native partition of XP on hand...

JimmyConga (317 days ago)


45: Because Vista isn't enterprise ready

Vista's support for WPA Enterprise wireless support is broken, and I don't think XP would be able to associate to APs from within a VM.

Nigel (310 days ago)


46: why not virtual?

because if a hardware device doesnt work in vista, you can not get it to work through virtual machine in vista.

stevecaseyo (199 days ago)


47: Nice article, exactly what I

Nice article, exactly what I have been searching for. My problem is this PC only came with a "restore" disk and so don't have the option of doing a repair install to fix the corrupt bootloader. Anyone have any suggestions?

Craig (325 days ago)


48: You can do it from XP.

You can do it from XP. Install SP2, .NET Framework 2.0, then EasyBCD. Run BCD, click Manage Bootloader. Select Reinstall the Vista Bootloader, then click write. Reboot and it should boot into Vista. From there you can install and run BCD. Click ADD/Remove Entries, and add an entry for XP and save it. That should be it.

Skippy (325 days ago)


49: I couldn't boot into

I couldn't boot into anything....Vista or XP.

Now I have a copy of Vista so I got the repair done so I can boot into Vista.
I downloaded EasyBCD and ran it per instructions. On reboot I get both options: Vista or XP but when I try to boot to XP, I get another error blah, blah, "File: \ntdlr". XP never finished setting up?!?!? How do I get past this?

Craig (324 days ago)


50: I have the same problem

I am having the same problem. The dual boot is set up. I can run vista fine. I keep getting the "File: /ntdlr" is missing or corrupt. Any ideas?

Reuben (324 days ago)


51: /ntdlr missing or corrupt

copy and ntdlr from the /i386 directory on the XP CD to your XP drive, eg, copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
and copy e:\i386\ c:\

James (318 days ago)


52: Just did that but I get the

Just did that but I get the same error ??

Cally (317 days ago)


53: Try these steps, it worked on a VAIO laptop

Two issues...

EasyBCD did not set the boot drive properly after I added an entry for XP while running Vista. So add your entry and then click on "Configure Boot". Select you Windows XP OS under "Entry-Based Settings" and note the drive location. Make sure it's set to C:\.

Even though I installed to a D: drive, the ntldr, boot.ini etc, were written to the C: drive. Since vista does not use these files I guess it's ok to put them in the same directory...seems odd to me. At any rate, The boot entry has to be set to C:\ not D:\.

KWR (311 days ago)


54: BIG Help

Changing the drive letter to Point to C: worked (even though XP is installed on F:)
Thanx allot... I needed to get this fixed for work

DW (297 days ago)


55: Illiterate

1: BIG Help

&~~SPECIAL_REMOVE!#~~gt;Changing the drive letter to Point to C: &~~SPECIAL_REMOVE!#~~gt;worked (even though XP is installed on F:)
&~~SPECIAL_REMOVE!#~~gt;Thanx allot... I needed to get this fixed &~~SPECIAL_REMOVE!#~~gt;for work

You need to stop thanxing and alloting and learn to spell.

TheRealAnonymous (214 days ago)


56: still doesn't work for me

Should the files bec opied to c:\ or f:\?

cmoohasdfa (282 days ago)


57: This was very, very, very

This was very, very, very helpfull information. I have no words to say THANK YOU !!! cheers and from meee :)))

Anton Donchev Donchev (62 days ago)


58: Hurray, Follow these step my


Follow these step my problem is resolved right now i have dual boot system

very very thanks

raj shekhar (47 days ago)


59: You are a genius

I would just like to thank you for that wonderful bit of information. I have been searching all over the web for over 5 hours trying to sort my dual boot system out, and eventually i come across your post about copying the files from the xp disc onto the harddrive and now all is well. YIPPPEEE im so happy now im off to bed. Cheers once again.

Kevin (307 days ago)



Great tips from Skippy....this works great

ping182nz (303 days ago)


61: Top Tip, running OEM Vista

Top Tip, running OEM Vista Business with an asus recovery disc, only thing I had to do different was install .net framework 3.0...2.0 didnt work??? after that install easy BCD into XP repair MBR jump back into Vista install easy bcd there too and use as described...BEST TIP EVER!!!

Heath (155 days ago)


62: Thank you so much. Your

Thank you so much. Your suggestion worked like a champ!

Intrepidman (133 days ago)


63: Thank you, you are a

Thank you, you are a lifesaver. :D

Need XP as can't get SQL Server running on bloody F%*ing Vista for some reason.

RickD43 (70 days ago)


64: Thank you very much, Skippy!

Thank you very much, Skippy! You've saved me a lot of trouble. Just spent the past 8 hours re-installing all my programs on XP only to discover I couldn't boot into Vista!
Followed your advise and it worked perfectly. Thanks again! Now I can finally get some rest... :)

ThomasLHS (70 days ago)


65: I had the same problem with

I had the same problem with my Sony VAIO n250e.

You cannot do this without a vista install dvd. Don't even try or you will be pulling your hair out. Even though theres other forums with information how to do this using vistaboot pro, I could never get that program working. I suggest you have someone download you a torrent of the dvd so you can get yourself an illegal copy. Your Vista key should be on the bottom of your computer.

Good luck.

drew (325 days ago)


66: Great Article

Great. Couldn't have done it without the article. I had a couple different issues making it work. After installing XP, the Vista startup repair did not work for me (several unsuccessful attempts). So I installed SP2 for XP and EasyBCD. Running BCD from XP, I ran Manage Bootloader and reinstalled the Vista bootloader. Then booted into Vista and installed BCD and Added an entry for XP.

bigphil (325 days ago)


67: Great Help

I have been trying to dual boot for about 2 weeks now. i bought a windows vista computer and i wanted to put xp on the 2nd partiioned hard drive. i have been able to install XP but never knew how to get back. i ended up having to reinstall vista a few times. without this guide i would be racking my brain still. i just wanted to say thank you for the guide. It is very well done and very informative.

Robert C. (321 days ago)


68: DUAL OS.

I have window vista in my system.Now i want to install the XP on the same system.Could you please guide how to install it.

gandhammadhav (242 days ago)


69: um you could try READING the

um you could try READING the above article

rivencole (25 days ago)


70: xp 64??

Hello there, does it works on XP 64? im ok with the vista boot recover and with easyBCD but xp just wont load (blank screen) after selecting boot. Playing arround with BCD I noticed (in the view settings TAB) entry #2 this:

Name: Windows XP
BCD ID: {2c82aa72-cb94-11db-8660-0015f2e6ae3c}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \ntldr
Windows Directory:

Although i put D when creating the entry it's still on C, so I changed the drive to D:\( in configure Boot TAb)which is the xp64 boot drive, but nothing happens.
Is there a problem with NLTDR? or the blank windows directory (I was unable to change it on easyBCD).

engo (320 days ago)


71: Can't get XP to install on Vista computer.

I bought a brand new Vista system and installed a second drive with the intention of installing XP on the second drive for dual boot. However, I can't even get the XP installation started. When I try to boot to the XP DVD it gets past all the loading of files and right up to "starting windows" and then I get a blue screen that says "A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer...". The only English in the "technical information" part of the message is "pci.sys". Has anyone encountered a problem like this? Any suggestions for getting past it?

mansart (320 days ago)


72: yes. i have this problem as

yes. i have this problem as well, at least the "blue screen" with a message about "pci.sys" on a new Dell Inspiron 9400 with Vista Home Basic preinstalled when trying to boot from an XPPro CD (trying to setup a dual boot Vista / XP installation) not from the installation DVD. Dell support is kind of sketchy on the answer. The actually advised me to look for Internet articles like this ?!? and seemed to indicate this is Vista protecting itself from low-level viruses - but that seems odd that it would do it this way. i really hate microsoft products and only keep this OS because i am sure i will have a bunch of problems with the hardware and my favorite linux distro.

Anonymous89095 (316 days ago)


73: hey did you ever figure out

hey did you ever figure out the solution to your problems loading xp pro on to your system with vista pre-installed already? i am still having the same problem with the pci.sys error

kblade (314 days ago)


74: i had the same problem on a

i had the same problem on a new dimension 9200 but the answer is simple, xp doesnt come with SATA drivers.
i got the drivers from dell's website, put them on a flopy and during the initial xp set up presed F6 to enable me to load the drivers and it then worked fine. hope it helps you.

imbobbychild (294 days ago)


75: So... What do you do if you

So... What do you do if you don't have a floppy drive? I think I'm stuck.

Ales (291 days ago)


76: I got around this by

I got around this by "borrowing" the floppy drive from any other PC, connecting it to my machine. Then go into Bios at bootup by pressing F2 or Del, and enable the floppy drive, save and exit. When all this works you can return the FDD to its mother machine. You should disable the FDD in Bios on your PC so it doesn't hang up trying to boot from a non-existent drive. This worked for me. Just don't turn on the donor PC while the FDD is missing.

John (283 days ago)


77: Found my own solution. :P

I don't have another computer to borrow a floppy drive from, so I'm still stuck in that case. BUT I stumbled across something that *might* work in its stead: I'll have to give it a go this weekend when I have time to kill.

Ales (282 days ago)


78: SATA issue

Hi, I had the same issue on my T60. The solution is either to have and usb floppy drive or to look in the bios for an option to change SATA settings. In T60's bios there was an option to change SATA from AHCI to Compatible mode - after changing to compatible then the XP recognized the HDD.

nsz (223 days ago)


79: HELP !!!! having the

HELP !!!! having the sata issues with my FSC Amilo Xi2528.. nothing i have tried has worked so far.

I have tried the Nlite boot disk including the sata drivers from my drivers support disk .. the xp install still see's no Hdd

I have tried changing the Bios setting.. bs default they were set to compatible ( and there wasnt an option to change this, it was greyed out )

I dont have a floppy drive

I found some intel sata drivers for my notebook on the FSC website but they are wrapped up in an exe file.

I really need to get xp running as Vista home premium is utterly useless to me at the moment

makdaddy (87 days ago)


80: Use a XP SP2 install cd

I could not get xp installed on a brand new inspiron 9400. Kept getting the BSOD with complaints about the pci.sys driver. So I made a SP2 cd from my old one using this link. That solved my problem.

HakonBingen (285 days ago)


81: Hi, I am exactly facing the


I am exactly facing the very same issue. Any solutions found for this problem ? . My HP DV2000 laptop is pre-installed with Vista home premium, and I use the shrink option to create an additional partition. Then, when I try to install WIN XP, after the "starting windows" point, a a blue screen appears with the words "A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer...". Can anyone help me to fix this ?

anandsmailbox (93 days ago)


82: fixed! i have a hp pavillion


i have a hp pavillion a1740n.
i didnt like vista, reinstalling with xp.
apparently the problem is that the computer is newer than the xp. change bios to boot from dvd/cdrom. do a fresh install. it will ask to install raid/scsi drivers, press f6. but since the hp 1740n was made for vista, there is no support for thr xp drivers. to bypass this, you need and ide hard drive & ide cdrom. detached cable from serial hd & serial cdrom. then go to bios settings and disable the serial controller. use only the ide controller for now. xp will now install without the blue error screen. xp will install but missing drivers. use temporary pci nic with availble xp drivers to get online. once online, use driver magician v3.19+ to update drivers. now update remaining drivers with device manager, update online. restart, reattch serial drives & serial controller, reenable serial controller in bios, update drivers in windows. and then use the windows update( will authenticate) to update rest of drivers.

only downside is now your xp is on an ide drive. and serial drive is a secondary drive. but that was fine for me, i just removed the serial hard drive altogether and used it in my other faster computer. also removed the temporary pci nic & ide cdrom. the hp a1740n now consists of: winxp, 1 ide hd, 1 serial dvdrom.

lionhead (74 days ago)


83: Problems in dual booting

I bought a computer with the Windows Vista Premium Home OS (Portuguese version) already installed. However I have programs that run only in Windows XP. I used this tutorial to install a dual booting, starting with the Gparted to create a new partition. When I finished installing Windows XP (English version) I noticed that I only see a C:, which I believe has the Windows XP OS. This is not what I read in the tutorial, as they mentioned that after rebooting I should see the two partitions, one with the Vista and the other with the XP. Any suggestion? The "Fixing the corrupt bootloader" will be enough to fix this?
Thank you so much for any help.

Joao C. (320 days ago)


84: I've got Vista and I've been trying to install XP dual boot...

I've tried to follow the instructions here and I'm getting caught up in XP install... it doesn't seem to be recognizing any of my drives and then it gives me a blue screen of death and the following error : Setupdd.Sys - Page_Fault_in_nonpaged_Area ... I looked up this error and it seems to all be RAM problems... but since my computer runs perfectly fine with Vista... why would this be? Here's some of my back story: I'm trying to install Windows XP Home... my vista version is Home Premium... I'm trying to create a dual boot for XP because some of my hardware/software isn't compatiable with Vista (I've tried the Virtual thing, it doesnt work for what I'm trying to do) ... my computer is a brand new Gateway 5408.. 320 GB harddrive, intel core 2 duo processor (1.8 Ghz), 3 GB ram (I added 2 GB .. Vista is recognizing all of it and running smoothly) ... the guy that sold me XP Home said that XP Home would only recognize 2 GB ram... could this be my problem?

Weirdbiz (319 days ago)


85: Try taking out the 2GB RAM

Try taking out the 2GB RAM and trying again to see if that's the problem.

Slaphappy (319 days ago)


86: I am in the same situation

I am in the same situation too...
My computer is a brand new HP, 2Gb ram, 160Gb Hd, Intel Core 2 Duo with Vista Home Premium preinstalled, I tried to follow the instructions, I make a 20Gb partition with Gparted but when insert the Xp Professional install-cd I receive a blue screen with this error "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in you computer"
Can someone help me???

gioggio82 (319 days ago)


87: Hard Driver Detection


Just go to your BIOS setup and disable the SATA Native support. Disable this option and windows XP will detect your hard drive.


Atif Azhar (314 days ago)


88: Hard Drive Detection

I'm having the same problem, once I get the hardrive partitioned and insert the XP cd I get a blue screen that says Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer, could I please get some detailed help how to fix this thanks.

DSchwa (287 days ago)



Running a brand new Gateway laptop
went through the tutorial up tot he installing of XP... I get the whole HD not detected error as well, and I do haev a SATA HD..... here is my issue... I do not have a floppy drive, obviously becuase it's a laptop, so I cannot use the F6 feature to install the sata drivers, which I currently have on CD... any ideas? Please help. I bought this laptop because i will be in the hospital for a while and I need to work, but my work VPN doesn't work with Vista...

eryka (218 days ago)


90: I just got onto this site,

I just got onto this site, so this may be really late...
I got around the issue of XP not finding my hard drive by creating a custom windows XP install CD using nLite freeware ( Download or locate hard drive drivers and use nLite to add these drivers to the XP install software. Then boot using new custom CD. All worked after this.

Dennis (133 days ago)


91: so if i have a wd hd all i

so if i have a wd hd all i have to do is fint drives for wd and add them to the xp installer like u said?

metttin (72 days ago)


92: In the BIOS settings u have

In the BIOS settings u have to disable the SATA support for the Hard disk. Then u will be able to install XP.

susu (203 days ago)


93: followup: SATA II harddrive?

I did some more research on my problem and I found some people saying that XP doesn't have the driver for SATA II and that I would need to press F6 at the beginning and load the driver for my harddrive... if so I'm not quite sure how to go about doing that... anyone have any suggestions?

Weirdbiz (319 days ago)


94: Another Possible Solution?

I thought of another possible solution to my problem and I wanted to ask some of the experts here if it's possible before I go to the trouble of doing it (because it would be some trouble) ... What if I add another harddrive to my system that I know windows XP can recognize? I have a 250 GB western digital IDE harddrive sitting around - could I just add that to my system and then install windows xp on it? Or can I not have different harddrive types on the same system?

Weirdbiz (319 days ago)


95: Vista XP

That's never worked for me. But you can put a new hard drive in and make it your master, then partition it with two partitions. Then install XP FIRST and Vista second. You end up with an easy clean dual boot without all the hassle. The format the original HD, that you've made a slave, for storage. Or just leave Vista on it, for sometime down the line when you want to only run Vista. You'll alredy have clean installation. Just make the HD your master.

CJ (317 days ago)


96: If you already have XP

If you already have XP installed and want Vista also you need Dual boot. For Dual boot you need to partition your C: drive first and then install Vista over XP and select partition different than where your XP installation is.

Pula (70 days ago)


97: Cannot boot into XP

This has all worked for me up until the point where I need to select which operating system I want to boot in. I get the options Vista and XP, vista loads fine but XP will not load.

See the following link which is a picture of what I am trying to say!

My Picture

Please help! It must be something easy? I am nearly there!

Thanks alot guys, jack.

Jack (319 days ago)


98: In my picture above, which

In my picture above, which windows disk does it mean will fix it? The XP disk or the Vista disk?

Thanks guys.

Jack (319 days ago)


99: I get the same screen

I get the same screen when I try to boot into XP, but my situation is even worse because Vista won't load either. If I choose Vista the computer just reboots and then goes into Windows Error Recovery. I try using the repair tool but it says it is unable to repair the system. I assume it's just a problem with the bootloader but I don't know how to fix it at this point. Can anyone help?

mansart (317 days ago)


100: Solution Found!

I was able to find a solution to the XP \ntldr error. Fortunately it's very simple. You can find the solution here:

Now if I can just get Vista booting again I'll be a happy camper....suggestions anyone?

mansart (317 days ago)


101: can i shrink the vista drive even more?

this tutorial was great i now have my dual boot up and running but wondered could i do another shrink on the
original vista held drive it has too much space for what i need and i would like to partition again

Paul (318 days ago)


102: Patition problems

I have a new dell notebook with vista preinstalled, I need to dual-boot xp so i can use Rockwell software. My disk 0 is as follows: -:Partition1 [fat] 47mb, d:partition2 (backup) [NTFS] 10gb, c:Patition3 [NTFS], unpartioned space (followed instructions from above), F:partition4 [unknown] 2gb. When i got to the part of the xp install that asked, "to setup winxp on the selected item, press ENTER" i chose the unpartitioned space and hit enter, then i get this message that reads, "Setup cannot create a new partions in the space you selected because the maximum number of partions already exists on the disk" I hit enter again and it takes me back to the previous page. I don't know what to do now.

Randyharv (317 days ago)


103: partition problem

Format your hard drive with two partition 3/5 and 2/5. Install XP first, on the slightly smaller partition. Then install Vista on the remaining partition. It's very simple. If you need extra storage space, install a second hard drive. You'll have a nice clean system, that should last you for years, without doing anything else to your O/S.
Doing it this way will add years to your life, and avoid premature graying. If your system didn't come with a O/S recovery DVD, you can obtain one from the manufacturer. I suggest that, for many reasons, but mostly the added years and premature graying.

CJ (317 days ago)


104: At first I want to thank you

At first I want to thank you for this great tutorial. I was lucky to find it because it was exactly what i needed...
Now I have my 2 operating systems installed with the vista bootloader showing "windows vista" (1) and "windows XP" (2) Unfortunatly when choosing "Windows XP" I get an '/ntldr' error. Vista works fine.
Can somebody help me out? Thanks in advance

laurens (317 days ago)


105: ntldr error

First, thanks a lot for the tutorial, it is exactly what I needed..
I installed both OS and the vista bootloader displays "windows vista" and "windows XP" but when choosing "windows XP" I get a '/ntldr' error
Vista works fine (luckily). Anybody can help me out? Thanks a lot in advance!

laurens (317 days ago)


106: ntldr error

First, thanks a lot for the tutorial, it is exactly what I needed..
I installed both OS and the vista bootloader displays "windows vista" and "windows XP" but when choosing "windows XP" I get a '/ntldr' error
Vista works fine (luckily). Anybody can help me out? Thanks a lot in advance!

laurens (317 days ago)


107: ntldr error

I'm sorry for the triple post (please remove the first 2)
I have found this tutorial above with the following steps but I wonder if this will affect my vista installation, which is the most important of course...
Or is there an other way to solve the ntldr error...? Advice appeciated.

Windows XP users

1.Insert the Windows XP bootable CD into the computer.
2.When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key.
3.Once in the Windows XP setup menu press the "R" key to repair Windows.
4.Log into your Windows installation by pressing the "1" key and pressing enter.
You will then be prompted for your administrator password, enter that password.
5.Copy the below two files to the root directory of the primary hard disk. In the below example we are copying these files from the CD-ROM drive letter "E". This letter may be different on your computer.

copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
copy e:\i386\ c:\

6.Once both of these files have been successfully copied, remove the CD from the computer and reboot.

laurens (316 days ago)


108: Problem with Vista Ultimate corrupt files

I have tried the steps outlined to dual boot Vista Ultimate and XP Professional. However, I soon get errors from Vista that the file system is corrupt and chkdsk should be run. When I run chkdsk for Vista, it eventually will not complete -- saying that there is not enough space to rewrite the MFT. Vista will still boot, but the file system appears to become more corrupt until eventually Vista will not boot at all and running the Vista repair utility reports that the problem cannot be repaired.

James (316 days ago)


109: ntldr error

When trying the tutorial above, windows XP setup loads but then I got a
blue screen
. "Windows setup closed..." Vista's still ok, XP, no clue. Who can help me out...? Thanks

laurens (316 days ago)


110: I had also ntldr error. Then

I had also ntldr error. Then I copied ntldr and on c:\ drive. Than I got hall.dll error, when tryed to access windows XP. Here is solution:
Put windows Xp CD in. Choose "r" for repair, choose number where you have windows XP and type admin password(when not, yust press enter). Now type
"attrib /scan"
You see now, where is your XP installed(on my computer was [3] d:\WINDOWS). Then type
"attrib /rebuild"
and for numbers, where are no XP installed choose
On number, where is windows XP choose "yes"
and that's it. Type

That works for me:)))

Primus (314 days ago)


111: Thanks a lot Primus... I'll

Thanks a lot Primus...
I'll try that but I had a blue screen when xp setup was loading from cd... Is there a solution maybe via Vista

laurens (314 days ago)


112: xp and vista

I think the command you used was bootcfg /scan
and bootcfg /rebuild

demarcheur (311 days ago)


113: Yep it was bootcfg /scan and

Yep it was bootcfg /scan and bootcfg /rebuild. And it worked like a charm. If you get an error about hal.dll this is the fix.

type bootcfg /scan
type bootcfg /rebuild
type y next to the correct installation
then hit enter twice when asked about loader options

voila XP installation should resume on next reboot.

Beniled (8 days ago)


114: Vista

i have one of those acers that has disk to disk recovery and i cant go into repair for vista is there any other way i canr epair vista or is there any where i can get a illegal copy of vista that i wont fully install just use to repair the boot sector??? i dont want an illegal copy of vista i just need it to repair my boot.

wittles371 (312 days ago)


115: You just have to download a

You just have to download a copy of vista (torrents, newsgroups, limewire, whatever) or loan it from smb else, preferably in your only language. Write this as an image on a dvd and boot from that.

laurens (312 days ago)


116: Dual Boot

I managed to successfully dual-boot Vista and XP. My Laptop was supplied with Vista pre-installed but I have 2 hard-drives and installed XP on the second. I used OSL2000 to manage booting.
This worked well for over a month and then for no apparent reason when I booted into Vista one day it ran the diskchecking utility (chkdsk). It found some errors on my D drive (XP drive) and proceeded to repair them. Some four and a half hours later (after replacing "invalid" security descriptors) Vista booted. But the D drive was inaccessible and was reprted as having 0 bytes free of 0 bytes. Sure enough when I tried to boot into XP it failed.
Has anyone experienced a similar problem?
Does anyone know why chkdsk should do this?

RayBlane (312 days ago)


117: Hi everyone. I tried to use

Hi everyone. I tried to use this article to create a dual boot on my computer. The first part went good. The second partition has been created but when it came to restart the system afer installing XP, I got the message Erro to load operating system.

System in not loading vista either. I tried to repair the boot sector usig repair start up with Vista DVD but it reports no problem to repair.

No longer able to boot my system...still gettin error to load operating system and nothing happens.

SOmebody can help? Ill be very happy to get help. Thousands of thanks.


Jacques (312 days ago)


118: I fixed my /ntldr error !

Excellent guide to dual booting Vista and XP with Vista installed first.

However I too had the missing /ntldr error. To fix it firstly I copied and ntdlr from the /i386 directory on my XP CD to the root of the drive where XP is installed.

This still gave the same error message. Then I checked the settings (Overview) in EasyBCD and noticed that it didn't specify the Drive. Therefore the XP bootloader didn't know where to look for ntldr!

I then clicked on Configure Boot and clicked on the dropdown for Entry Based Settings and selected "Microsoft Windows XP Professional". The Drive had the entry "Deleted partition" I changed this to my XP drive letter which is G:\ and saved settings.

This allowed XP to boot successfully.

StanyD (312 days ago)


119: I cant get it to work, still

I cant get it to work, still gets the ntldr error. XP is working because when I go to the disc utility and set, in my case D:, as active partition (D:=XP) and then restart my XP loads without problem and when I want to return to Vista I do the same in XP´s disc utility, setting Vista as active partition. How to get the loader to find the ntldr... tried everything I have found on the internet...

Tjompen (310 days ago)



I installed Vista Build 6000 on first partition, XP on the second from a Ghost-image (had it on partition 2 on the drive I copied it from therefore no need to edit the boot.ini file), used this guide and the EasyBCD 1.52 and made my Windows XP entry, putting the drive letter to C: for both. Then the Ntldr error came, googleed and tried every trick on the net, changed the C: to D: etc but the solution for me was to copy the files ntldr, boot.ini and from the XP-partition to the Vista-partition. You will have make the system files visible to find them. Now the problem is no more. Now both Vista AND XP boots perfectly.

Hope this helps all you out there with the same problem.

Tjompen (310 days ago)


121: vista says nothing's wrong

I installed xp fine. When I put in the vista dvd to repair the bootloader for vista, after running startup repair, vista says it found nothing. Now I cant get into vista anymore. Is there another way to get into vista? from the command prompt maybe?


Sam (312 days ago)


122: i haev the same problem, now

i haev the same problem, now it says, error laoding operating sustem, adn NEITHER work, please help

fgfhgdfghdfbndfgbndfyfdgnb (311 days ago)


123: Other links

Very good tutorial, except I might suggest that the author go back and add the bit about the ntldr. Kind of a critical step for most users. Especially seeing how the replies to this article keep asking about how to solve the issues.

To do the job manually (entering XP into your Vista boot record), Microsoft has a page on it's support site:

Jeremy (311 days ago)


124: dual boot vista @ xp

I followed your instr. but XP only shows one part. Drive 0 If I select it it wants to format it. I don't want to format it if Vista is on that partition and I can't find out. It indicates all of lthe bites are free.
Please advise.

seawyfe (311 days ago)


125: Hi everyone. I just want to

Hi everyone. I just want to say that the solution to the problem when we get the error message
ERROR LOADING OPERATING SYSTEM is to remove Vista from drive, reinstall XP and than follow the procedure for Dual boot when XP is installed first. To remove VISTA boot from DVD, go to install proceedure and when you see the partitions use disk options and delete all partitions shut down and reinstall XP. Make sure to do a back up before. Good luck.


Jacques (310 days ago)


126: i fixed it. if u had the

i fixed it. if u had the problem, 'error loading operating system'. i fixed it by installing vista on the other partition, OVER the XP one. it told me xp will go in a folder called windows.old and that i cant sue it, go ok, now in the load screen it says would u like to load vista or vista? try one and if it asks about making log in names, reset ur computer, and go to the other one. it should log in fine and everything should be as it was before. from there since ur in there now, u should back up ur files before u try formatting that partition with the new vista and old xp 'what i am currently doing right now' im only doing the format thing right now so dunno if itll not making everything die again, but do what i said up top to get back INTO vista so u can backup everything

gfdghdytfhbdfghdxfythd (311 days ago)


127: I am getting "error loading

I am getting "error loading operating system" when trying to boot Vista and the startup repair isn't finding an error.

I canceled the install of XP because I couldn't see the 50gig partition I shrunk for it.

up the creek w/o OS (310 days ago)


128: ntldr problem SOLVED...for me.

I installed Vista Build 6000 on first partition, XP on the second from a Ghost-image (had it on partition 2 on the drive I copied it from therefore no need to edit the boot.ini file), used this guide and the EasyBCD 1.52 and made my Windows XP entry, putting the drive letter to C: for both. Then the Ntldr error came, googleed and tried every trick on the net, changed the C: to D: etc but the solution for me was to copy the files ntldr, boot.ini and from the XP-partition to the Vista-partition. You will have make the system files visible to find them. Now the problem is no more. Now both Vista AND XP boots perfectly from the Vista boot loader.

Hope this helps all you out there with the same problem.

Tjompen (309 days ago)


129: I thought I was saved (maybe

I thought I was saved (maybe I am) but I can't find the files anywhere! Where did you find them? (the system files are set visible) And you just copied them from your D: XP to your C: Vista drive?
For the bootloader you have also vista pointing to your C: and XP to your D: (or also to C:?) Thanks in advance!

lp (309 days ago)


130: Still can't get to reconize a Hard Drive

Just got my new Gateway NX570X Laptop in the mail yesterday and have spent atleast 12 hours trying to get this thing to dual boot, the problem is it doesn't reconize any harddrives when getting to the screen of which harddrive to install it on. Iread about changing the settings BIOS setup and disable the SATA Native support and I can't seam to find it, I would assume you were talking about the Bios settings when you hit F2 on start up but not seeing where you can disable it if anyone could please help it would be appreciative, I did partition the hard drive and I want to load xp pro with my vista.

Oppy (309 days ago)


131: update

I can't find the files; ntldr, boot.ini and on the XP partition but I do see them on my Vista drive. Because those files are always installed on your primary drive, and this is vista for me. So did you meant copy it from the vista drive(C:) to the XP drive (D:)?! If not what can I do then?

lp (309 days ago)


132: NTLDR etc

Well, since I had a ghost image and did not install XP the normal way (I installed the Vista normaly) The NTLDR ended up in the XP-partition as it should. If the ntldr and the other files are found on the vista partition copy those to the xp as well.(Read my post for what three files) Think this should work. I have the three files on both partitions. A warning though, when I today updated my XP with IE7 the installation connected the Vista-partition with the XP and I ended up with a mix and the next time I opened Vista there was trouble. Suddenly the C-drive in Vista was the XP-partition...well my computer got fucked up...To the question if I put C: on both Vista and XP, Yes I did. Why this happened I dont know, my skills end right there...for now.

Tjompen (309 days ago)


133: Ok, thanks a lot Tjompen,

Ok, thanks a lot Tjompen, but as you say your computer got f*cked up i'd be better not try the 'copy-the-3-files-trick'? Or wasn't that the reason, was it because you have pointed for both OS to C:\? I just really don't wont my vista installation to get messed up!
Torenada, how have you done it? Or didn't you had the ntldr error?

lp (308 days ago)


134: Ntldr

The reason for the f*** up was the installation of IE7 when I was in XP-mode. But since I had backed up my partitions with the Vista backup found on Ultimate I could save most of my work...

Tjompen (308 days ago)


135: I have copied the files

I have copied the files (ntdetect and ntldr to the XP partition) but now I get the hal.dll error! I'm almost there... Who can help me out? Thanks in advance

lp (308 days ago)


136: Hal.dll error

You need to copy the boot.ini-file as well AND make sure that it is pointing to the position of the XP-partition. I have read that a faulty boot.ini gives the Hal.dll error

Tjompen (308 days ago)


137: Thanks. I thought it had to

Thanks. I thought it had to be because it didn't copied/find the boot.ini file. Anyway, I don't find this file on my Vista nor XP partition.
After all I read/heard/experienced I start to doubt the use of this dual boot. As you said some installations copy their files to the vista partition program files folder, often over vista files. Also there is more chance of screwing up your OS/software/hardware or eventually loose your files. For me personally, i don't like messing up my brand new (pretty expensive) system...
Would you rather recommend the dual boot experience or advice me to delete the XP partition and forget about it now no harm has been done yet...?

lp (308 days ago)


138: Well, I find it impossible

Well, I find it impossible to have only Vista due to lack of drivers for my tv-card, graphic-card etc. I have now run my dualboot for a few days without the problems I had earlier so I am happy to be able to have them both. The importent thing is to make a backup of the XP with Ghost or Acronis or whatever program you prefer for imaging you drive and then use the backup in Vista to make a image for Vista. If something goes wrong it does not take that long time to restore. For me it took less than 40 minutes to restore the computer. Now that I know how it shouldnt take more than 25 minutes but I do not expect more hassle...

Tjompen (307 days ago)


139: After many many days of

After many many days of working on this, I finally got my dual boot of Vista and XP to work. However, now when I am logged into XP, it does not see a network connection, so I have no internet. I have tried to ping the router and do ipconfig but it does nothing. Any ideas on how I can get internet back on xp?

Torenada (309 days ago)


140: I am having the same

I am having the same problem... Have you found anything

Brad99 (286 days ago)


141: Same problem here

I haven't found any solutions on the internet to solve this?

lucas2007 (271 days ago)


142: i get same

i get same problem!!!help!!!!

trouble getter (239 days ago)


143: Lost network connections on XP

I had the same problem. I put XP Pro on a SONY VAIO with Vista Business pre- installed. In XP everything looked fine except I had no Network Adaptors showing in the Device Manager. Therefore I couldn't get onto the internet or connect to any networks using XP.

Through the Device Manager on Vista I found that I had the following Network Adaptors:

Intel® PRO/Wireless 394ABG Network Connection and Marvell Yukon 88E8036 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller.

I just did a web search on both of them. The Marvell Yukon search gave me a link to a site where I could download their setup software. I installed the software on XP and it created an entry in Network Adaptors in the Device Manager. I plugged in my network cable and it worked.

The Intel search took me straight to a download page on the Intel site. I loaded the software on XP and it also created an entry in the Network Adaptors in the Device Manager. Through Network Connections I created my wireless connection and it worked as well.

sjd (234 days ago)


144: HELP!!!

Hello, I currently am on the windows xp portion of my pc. What i did wrong was not search for info on dual-booting before i fell into my problem. What i did wrong was not partition my drive before i installed windows xp professions sp2 over my windows vista ultimate. I just left filesystem intact and created a new windows folder for example my windows vista is under C:/Windows and xp is under C:/Windows2 . Ok and now the problem. When i boot up the computer, both of the OS boot's say windows xp. I choose the first one it takes me to the windows xp just installed. And when i choose the second one it just leaves me at either a black screen or an error saying file is missing or corrupt. File is hal.dll. How can i fix this problem. I read all the sites on that boot up for vista is different than boot.ini. and i dont know how to work vista's boot up. Currently I am on xp, and dont know what to do. Please help. Thanks.

P.S. I download windows vista from microsoft's live marketplace so it wont load up my DVD when i burn the install files to it during boot. What should I do. I can easily reformat and end all the problems, but i have too much important files and information on my vista part that i need. thanks again.

Myth (308 days ago)


145: Windows XP drivers

These instructions worked perfectly for me, thanks! After I made the dual boot and logged into Windows XP, I found that I needed drivers for this brand new HP Pavillion. They were not readily available on the HP website. I had to log into their live chat and wait while the person doled them out to me one at a time (via FTP link) over the course of about an hour. Seems like they would have a better solution, but I have my drivers and all seems to be well.

Chuppy (308 days ago)


146: Windows XP Drivers

Hey Chuppy,
I was wondering what type of HP Pavilion you had purchased. I myself have the HP Pavilion a1740n...
I've successfully dual opp'd my rig except I don't have the drivers for XP. I have no sound, no internet connection,...etc on XP..I was wondering if you could possibly help me out.

Cheers buddy!

George (284 days ago)


147: XP Drivers for Pavilion

DV 9000 Laptop DV9208NR Preinstalled with Vista Home Premium..
Went through other older models within the DV9000 series.. Located all drivers I needed for XP from there..
Make sure the Model you select is within the same series, and have the same Hardware (all the way down to the Processor).. Should be fine from there to aquire the drivers..

BTW.. I want to thank the makers of this page..

Infopumper (283 days ago)


148: Hi Chuppy

Hi Chuppy
I bought a HP Pavilion dv6560us notebook and i cant install Xp becouse i havent the HDD drivers.
Please can you send them to my email:
Thanks, Elvi

Elvi (156 days ago)


149: hi chuppy i have pavilion

hi chuppy

i have pavilion dv 2530

i do the following instruction but when i logon into my
xp i dont have internet connection , no sound , no fingerprint .etc .

i hope so someone help me with this i hate vista please
help me to get hp pavilion 2530 drives for xp .

mehdi (142 days ago)


150: Chuppy: You are the man of

You are the man of the hour for many of us! I finally got dual boot to work on my Pavillion a1744x. I got drivers from HP but still do not have sound or internet. I think I can fix internet with my provider, but don't know how to get the sound up! Which driver controls audio?

slats (85 days ago)


151: 2 hard drives - 1 on Vista , other XP pro

I have a new system with Vista Ultimate pre-installed by system builder. Wanting to add 200gig IDE Seagate HD already loaded with XP Pro. This was Master and only hard disk in a prior system. To date have changed BIOS boot sequence to boot into 2nd HD (with XP) instead of Vista. It goes thru POST etc then displays menu showing start up options..start windows normally.. start in safe mode etc. I choose normal start however it just restarts computer then displaying same start up menu screen again. What do I need to do to make 2nd drive boot up with XP? or suggest other way of allowing Vista and XP on separate drives to work.

BobMelbourne (306 days ago)


152: Restoring XP disk image

Great article - thank you!

One quick question: I have installed Vista on a new, larger disk that has been partitioned. XP was running on this machine prior to the Vista install and I would like to transfer my existing XP disk image to the second partition on the new disk.
In the article it mentions that the new partition will have the next available drive letter so I suspect that my plan is flawed as all my current programs and setting will try to access the "C:" drive.
Is there any way around this? After much config work I'd hate to re-install either OS everything again...

Thanks much, Martin

martinSyd (306 days ago)


153: boot.ini

I almost 'completed' my bual boot but I'm still saddled with the hal.dll error when I try to start my windows XP.
I'm pretty sure it is because I can't find the boot.ini file. Copying the hal.dll file is a bad idea btw.
So, can somebody help my with configuring the right boot.ini file?
My Vista is (originally pre-installed) on my C: and my XP partition is on the F: partition. So vista is of course my primary OS. What should the boot.ini look like?
And where should this file be?
Thanks in advance!

lp (306 days ago)


154: I am actually having the

I am actually having the same problem right now... what did you do to solve the hal.dll issue?

nhall (20 days ago)



...oh and...THANK YOU!!

Honestly, this was wracking my brain and I'm so happy that you but together such a thorough how are my SAVIOR!!!

Thanks again!


Jason (304 days ago)


156: Regarding "Restoring Vista and dual booting"

planning to get a new lappy(Vista home premium) and install xp pro into it..

well...since its preinstalled...can the given rescue/recovery disk be used to repair vista?

plus....the xp pro i have is with sp1...if i install sp2...would it be installed in the vista installed-drive or the xp installed-drive?

Rockhound (302 days ago)


157: XP boot problem.

Hi. i have vista home preinstalled. I wanted to install xp pro on it. it gives me the blue screen. what do i do? if i need to do something with drivers how do i do that?

Abdeath (301 days ago)


158: Im passed the ntldr problem but now this...

I got passed my ntldr problem by copying the files from CD like what has been said, but now when i attempt to boot into xp im getting an error pointing to system32\ntokrnl.exe telling me it needs replacing. I got this far before and decided to reintall xp but its happening again.

ive googled it, and apparently it can be caused by a currupt boot.ini but i wouldnt know what one of them looks like so, here is my boot.ini(P.S. Location of boot.ini is F:\boot.ini)

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /noexecute=optin /tutag=p55edn /kernel=tukernel.exe

Chiller (301 days ago)


159: The problem with this is

The problem with this is that when XP installs, it automatically installs to a C:\ drive. If Vista is on the C:\ drive, dont won't mess with it. Try this: In Vista, run easyBCD and go to Add remove entries...delete the windows XP entry and click SAVE. Now at the bottom where it says add an entry, add XP, but assign it to the drive C:\! click SAVE, and reboot to see what happens...this should solve your problem....and many others

Hagan Walker (280 days ago)


160: Re:blue screen

I had that same problem. You need to download the appropriate controllers and put them in a floppy drive. during XP install press F6 to specify their location in the floppy. Hope this helps!!

kmaiti (300 days ago)


161: No floppy drive

What if I don't have a floppy to load RAID drivers from?

Anonymous$# (291 days ago)


162: Installing xp with vista pre installed

I was trying to install XP on XPS410 which came preinstalled with Vista. The instruction on this website is absolutely the best to follow. It works perfectly. Two things I would like to add:
1. You can make partitions from Vista itself using drive management tool.
2. If you have one of the new systems with no IDE connections you need to install those drivers via a floppy drive and for me an external usb floppy drive did not work.

kmaiti (301 days ago)


163: Cannot get past xp install

I received vista business through my school, online. I also have an inspiron e1705 and I partitioned the disk, but it only let me get 9 GB of free space on 100GB of memory (first problem), then I put my old xp media center version in and it says it won't install a system older then the new one which is vista, what do I do for both?

Jared (300 days ago)


164: New Vista notebook - no dvd

this 'how to' guide was helpful to say the least but, it had missed a few things. I got a hp pavilion 9205ca with vista home premi and no install dvd. the way i got around this for the dual boot is like someone commented above. one you get to the xp install step install .NET framework 2.0 and get easyBCD in there and use its reinstall vista bootloader and click write MBR. Then when you restart you should get your choices between xp and vista. Even better vista will boot up like a pro.

Much thanks to all who wrote this guide and who left comments. It was a great help.

The shaun (300 days ago)



For those of you who get the blue screen while booting xp cd, this might work.

I had the same problem. My computer which is new had SATA hard drive. all i needed to do was press F6 in the beginning of booting the xp cd, and specify the RAID-Controlled SATA driver that you get from your manufacturer drivers.

This worked with XP SP2 cd, not SP1 but that could just be my cd. Hope it helped.

Abdeath (300 days ago)


166: I guess you don't realize

I guess you don't realize that EasyBCD is based on stolen program code. This is the only reason I can see why you choose to publicize a rip-off program in a respected magazine like yours.

jbo (298 days ago)


167: vista/xp

great article,wish id read it before trying to instal xp on a free partition,lol

neilgriffs (298 days ago)


168: when i boot vista to repair

when i boot vista to repair it it doesnt find the hdd

mat (297 days ago)


169: Repair

Everything seems to be fine for me until i need to repair Vista, when i boot from the Vista DVD, it doesnt give me the option to Rapair my computer. Any ideas?

Anonymous23456 (296 days ago)


170: Thank you so much, this was

Thank you so much, this was such a big help:)

killer675 (295 days ago)


171: Error when installing XP Mediacenter

First of, thanks for the great article and I am one of those stuck with Vista due to a new purchase and abs. must have XP for some of my business software that does not run on Vista.

When I install XP (following the steps above), I get the following error after I select the free partition
"Drive C is unformatted, damaged or formated with a file system that is incompatible with Windows XP. To continue installing XP, Setup needs to format this drive.
- To format this drive and continue Setup, press F1
- To return to previous screen without formating, press ESC"

The C drive is the Vista partition and I don't want to loose it, in the hope that someday, Vista will fly. Help !

Thanks in advance

RPAUL (291 days ago)


172: Problem installing Vista OEM and XP retail. Please help?

Hi guys,

Could anyone provide me some walkthroughs? I have a HP latop which came with the Vista OEM version on the 1st internal hard drive. I purchased and installed a 2nd internal hard drive on the laptop, as well as installed the XP retail on the second hard drive. However, all I have now is XP whenever I turn on the laptop. How could I fix the issue so that I could have dual OS on this laptop? By the way, if I physically take out the second hard drive, I will not be able to boot up the Vista.

Please provide me some steps here. Thank you, guys.

Phil (289 days ago)


173: Hi Phil, I have exactly the

Hi Phil,
I have exactly the same problem with Acer TravelMate laptop. Though I installed XP not on a separate HD but separate partition.


Roman (289 days ago)


174: After windows update could not boot to vista

I had followed the procedure above, and got vista and xp booting ok. I was working in xp and downloaded any update for windows xp installed it, i also had installed a few other things like a bluetooth adapter, nero, and some dvd coping software. As usual it prompted me to restart to finalize the updates. I restarted tried to go into vista and it would not let me. It flashes up an error screen for about 1/2 a second, something about if a new camera or other device was installed disconnect and reboot, and then it reboots automatically. I disconnected all my external devices and rebooted, did not help. I tried booting from the CD and repairing the startup and it said it was not able to fix problem. At long last i used my recovery cd and reset the vista partition to new, but when i go to my computer it doesn't show the xp partition. The vista partition is still shrunk. I used BCD and tried to re-add xp to the bootloader and it said that ntdlr was missing or corupt. Is there any way to get back to my xp partition, and what did i do wrong to cause vista not to boot up.

chuck (289 days ago)


175: Has anyone got a fix for the

Has anyone got a fix for the system32\ntokrnl.exe problem im having? ive looked up and down the internet for a fix but nothing seems to work. I dont want to use the XP CD to repair my xp install just incase it trys repairing the vista install and kills that too.

Chiller (287 days ago)


176: The author of this article

The author of this article REALLY needs to include a fix for the ntldr message. He should also comment on the fact there are other ways to create partitions.

I had the ntldr error, the fix i used was:

Making sure bcdedit had my windows xp entry as C: (even though it was actually e: )which is the same place as my vista install.

Copied ntldr and to the c:\ folder. I had to also make a boot.ini file in the same folder. Do this by opening up notepad and entering in

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /noexecute=optin /tutag=p55edn /kernel=tukernel.exe

Note partition(2) means xp is installe don the second partition of the drive, change this to whatever partition your xp install is on. Observe you must do this twice.
Then saving as boot.ini make sure this is the name of the file once saved.

Gurshaan (287 days ago)


177: that sounds like something i

that sounds like something i would like to try however, my install of xp is on another HD rather than on another partition. does this boot.ini still apply for me, or do I have to do it another way?

chiller (286 days ago)


178: If your xp is on another

If your xp is on another hard drive you need to modify the lines, so partition(2) would be partition(1) and disk(0) would be disk(whicheverhdnumber)
just google it, probably some kinds out there that will tell you exactly what you need to put, i cant say specifically because i dont know your exact setup.

creomortis (286 days ago)


179: editing boot.ini

All above was really helpful and allowed me to get dual boot working perfectly - but only after tearing my hair out for a couple of hours!! Because ...

If your XP OS is on another drive, as mentioned above, you need to change the value of the RDISK() setting and NOT the DISK() setting (which should remain at 0)in boot.ini.

Then all should work ....

SDG (122 days ago)


180: So i made a mistake at the

So i made a mistake at the Windows XP partition stage, and i was made to when i tried booting to windows XP once didn't let me. It sais "Error loading Operating system" can and one help me on this?

Zeeshan (286 days ago)


181: Hi everyone. I tried this

Hi everyone. I tried this tutorial and was doing fine until I got to the stage of creating the unallocated space in the vista installation setup.
I followed the instructions and shrunk the drive however when i left the Windows PE 2.0 shortcut the unallocated space did not show up on the partition page even after refreshing.
So i rebooted the vista setup cd and the unallocated space still failed to show.
So I then decided to just boot up vista as normal and I noticed in My Computer that the the unallocated space appeared as a seperate drive even though i hadn't created a partion on the unallocated space yet.
This looked suspicious and so I double checked in Computer Management and found that the unallocted space actually exsisted as a partition and appeared as a seperate drive.
So then I booted up the XP installation setup and none of the partitions showed up.
Please help!

Karan (285 days ago)


182: This is all great, of

This is all great, of course, assuming you HAVE a vista DVD or an XP cd to boot from. Seeing as my system came w/vista preinstalled, and I don't have an XP disc.. it would appear there are no great options for me huh?

WDonohue (284 days ago)


183: Legally preinstalled OS's

Legally preinstalled OS's will generally have provision to create back-ups, but if you have erased or deleted these then you are on your own.

Why don't you have an XP disc and how do you end up with two preinstalled OS versions on one machine?

That said speak with your wallets people any machine not supplied with disc media is either illegal or unsuitable for intended purpose. Do not purchase a machine without Media for the installed OS. Your needs will likely change over time and you will save yourself a lot of future grief.

raindog (284 days ago)


184: get a life

get a life

Lesley Hibbs (162 days ago)


185: I have a pre-installed

I have a pre-installed version of Vista on my new HP notebook. I also have the recovery disc that only allows you to restore the entire system to factory settings which installs vista for you and all of the software in one go. So I have no disk for Vista although I have my Vista serial number. I also am a student of UF (Gators) and we can download a free version of XP or Vista with our own individual license key. The download installs an .iso image file and so I have no XP disk either and everything is perfectly legal!

John F. K. (148 days ago)


186: Failed to boot into os


I was fine through the installation of xp, up until the first restart. The computer restarts, and gets to where it should continue with the xp installation, and right after it says press any key to boot into the cd/dvd it says "failed to boot into os." It hangs there until I restart or shut off. I couldn't get into xp or vista at that point. I managed to go back in and delete the xp partition and get back into vista fine.

If it matters I am using two harddrives trying to install the os'es on separate drives.

When I tried to repair the startup of vista, it asked if I recently plugged in a camara or mp3 player type device, and if I had disconnect it and restart hte computer. I checked the log and it found no errors and said it booted into vista fine.

Please help, I really appreciate it!

Anon (284 days ago)


187: Thanks alotttt guys u made

Thanks alotttt guys u made it working....

Tarek (283 days ago)


188: Upgraded to Vista

I bought a new pc with Windows Xp home edition installed and i got a cd with Vista home premium upgrade.When i upgraded to Vista i got a msg saying my graphic card is unsuported, I got a Nvidia Gforce 7600 i downloaded the international Vista driver from Nvidias homepage and when i try to install it i get a msg saying " Ur not using Windows Vista"
That s why i want to install Xp too but i get the blue screen saying i have no discs available.Can someone tell me what i doing wrong?
p.s i splitted my hard disc to two parts already

chrisp27 (282 days ago)


189: Vista and XP on separate drives

Help pleasee
I want to add a separate hard drive onto my new system which has Vista on hd. I want the extra hd to have XP pro on it. Please tell me way/s of making this work having it as dual boot procedure. Vista is loaded currently. Thanks in advance for help on this.

lyle256 (280 days ago)


190: Lost USB support

I followed all of your directions to a "T", though I have two 250Gb hard drives so I set up an OS on each. It allowed me to completely setup my XP installation on the D: drive, but now when I boot into XP, I can't use my Logitech mouse or keyboard. Both are cordless and connect to the PC through a sender unit plugged into a USB port. As soon as XP starts booting the lights go out on my sender unit. XP recognized both just fine throughout the entire installation. Any ideas?

John J. Spikes Jr. (280 days ago)


191: i was doing the duel boot

i was doing the duel boot and i made the second partion
and went on to install xp i loox and it showed there was no unusued space i went back into vista and the 60 gigs i was going to use for xp are gone

hoffman (279 days ago)


192: Thanks

I installed Network 2.0 and then did the BCD thing from XP to get Vista working and it succefully loaded up. I then installed this in Vista and added XP in the bootup section and now when I load up the comp, I get the choice between XP and Vista, and both work fine. Just make sure you set both OS's to drive C.

Scotty (278 days ago)


193: I get to the step where you

I get to the step where you switch to the XP disc, but XP doesn't see the unallocated space, which shows up fine in the Vista install, 22 GB unallocated on Drive 0, 211 or something on the first partition. XP just sees the reduced amount of partion 1, no unallocated space. The only differences I can think of between this article and my situation is I'm trying to use my original XP Home upgrade CD, so I have to put the Windows ME upgrade CD in first to unlock it. Do I have to use XP Pro? Does it have to be a full CD version, not an upgrade? Does it have to be SP2, not an original XP CD?

Geoff123456 (274 days ago)


194: Vista Ultimate Bitlocker Encryption

I initially had Vista Ultimate installed with Bitlocker encryption enabled using a USB flashdrive (C:\ and S:\ on the hdd).

I created a partition (X:\)and loaded XP onto it.

I found your guide after I realized that I didn't have the ability to dual boot.

I get to the Systems Recovery Options part of your guide and there isn't an OS to select from. I decided to click on "next" anyway.

When I rebooted I got "a disk read error has occurred - press ctrl+alt+del" error message. Pressing ctrl+alt+del reboots my system and takes me back to the same error message.

At this point I can't access Vista or XP.

Using my Vista DVD, I tried to reinstall Vista but the software won't let me install to the same partition I had it on previously (it recognizes that it is encrypted with Bitlocker).

I was able to reinstall XP to the partition I had originally created for it.
I have tried EasyBCD and VistaBootPro from inside XP but neither recognizes that Vista is installed on my hdd in order to reinstall the Vista bootloader.

I would like to gain access back to my original installation of Vista instead of having to delete that partition from inside XP.

I have 2 gut feelings:

This problem has something to do with the original S:\ being created by enabling Bitlocker and my USB flashdrive.
2. I get to use Patition Magic and reinstall Vista.

I intially wanted to have XP as part of a dual boot for the sole purpose of gaming.

If there is anything anyone can think of to help with this situation, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

Towtol (273 days ago)


195: Nice but...

"Boot from the Vista DVD and on the screen where you're prompted to "Install now", select "Repair your computer"."
I got my new PC today, with Vista pre-installed.
No Retail DVD, just a "recovery disc".
Can I dual boot with this too?

DaKhaa (272 days ago)


196: Possibly

You might be able to if your recovery disk has the files on it mentioned in this Mcrosoft article -

Towtol (272 days ago)


197: Getting black screen after selecting XP

I have Vista Premium (installed first) on my main system SATA drive. And I have XP on a second IDE drive.

I have copied the Boot folder and the file bootmgr from Vista to the XP root drive, as well as copied ntldr, boot.ini and from my XP (SP2) installation to the root of my Vista drive.

After restarting, I can get into Vista fine. I restart and select XP, and I just hang forever at a black screen?

Once I hit the restart button on the computer after that and try to login to Vista, Startup Repair kicks in sayig it didn't start right last time and ask's me to repair (doesn't mention what it's going to do). I click cancel, it does some other "attempting repair" progressbar for ages, then I end up with a Send Error or Don't Send Error screen. I click don't send and then Continue, and I boot up just fine into Vista again.

Another interesting note: If I boot the pc with my patched to SP2 XP install disk, it will load into XP.

Anyone know what to do?

Thanks in advance for any help!

AppleBag (272 days ago)


198: Resolved

Thought I would post what I did to fix my particular issue, in case someone else has this problem down the road and comes here:

What I did was, I edited the boot.ini on both roots from rdisk(0) to rdisk(1) (4 instances) and now both Vista and XP load up fine from the bootloader.

AppleBag (270 days ago)


199: i was wondering if there was

i was wondering if there was a way to extend the xp partition after it is installed. i kinda want more space on my xp partition now =p

ihpsn (271 days ago)


200: Video problens

hmm the situtation that am in has mayby nothing to do with the boot.

anyway here it goes.
the trouble is when i start Vista
my resolution is like the lowest so i need to change it for my own settings

and when i boot Xp its the same setting as last time.

does anybody know what am doing wrong or what the probleem is,

thanks in advance

HaiiiIii (271 days ago)


201: Delete Vista partition

Hi - great article. Built a new PC, installed Vista Home Prem, had issues with old sw/peripherals, so installed XP Pro on another drive, set up dual boot as described here with BCD. Works brilliantly.

Now have decided I can do without Vista completely, would like to delete the partition it is in. I have BCD in the Vista partition though, so want to know if there are any traps if I:
1. disable dual booting via bcd in vista (C)
2. boot to XP in D:/ and use disk management to delete Vista (c:/)
I'm hoping that the XP part will now become c:/ - is it that simple? i suspect there could be a big stuff up!

Any pointers appreciated, Bill

Bill Irwin (271 days ago)


202: I would just use an Imaging

I would just use an Imaging tool like Acronis True Image, make an image of your XP partition. Then just put it on top of Vista (it will completely overwrite it sector for sector).

Just need to make sure you have the Vista drive set as the system boot drive in the Bios.

After that (if necessary) just use the /fixmbr feature of the XP boot disk, and format your first XP drive for the extra space or whatever you want to do with it.

Applebag (270 days ago)


203: hey thanks, that sounds like

hey thanks, that sounds like a simpler option. I'm using Ghost for backups so *should* be able to restore my XP partition to the Vista one right? The only thing that worries me is all the paths set to D:/ by various software installed... might be a bit of tidying up to do afterwards.


Bill Irwin (269 days ago)


204: Recovery Partition in Vista

Just took delivery of a new Dell XPS 410, and prepping to make this system dual boot. One thing I notice is that the system currently has a D: drive that is set as the recovery partition. Is there a way to designate space on the C: drive for this purpose so I can use D: as my XP boot partition? Between the partitions on the hard drive, a second hard drive and two optical drives, its just alot of drive letters to be shuffling with. Any thoughts or suggestions from the other readers of this forum are greatly appreciated.

David Provost (270 days ago)


205: There should be some program

There should be some program that came with the Dell to make a recovery cd out of the recovery partition. You could try making the cd to be safe, and then just formatting that partition for your double boot.

Applebag (270 days ago)


206: That would be a good idea,

That would be a good idea, since everything I'm reading tells me that partition takes you back to INITIAL state, no need to keep it on the hard drive when a CD copy will do, thanks. I'll look to see if there's a utility that came with the machine.

David Provost (270 days ago)


207: Dual Hard Drives

I just scanned through the previous comments and didn't see anything about something I have been considering. What I was thinking of doing was installing XP onto a second HD but first I was thinking about disconnecting the current HD with Vista then connect new HD, install XP then plug Vista drive in. Can anybody tell me if this will work and what I may need to do to make it work.

Troy (269 days ago)


208: Was able to get the XPS410 to dual boot!!

following these instructions worked like a charm. Just a couple anomolies. The first was that even though I created a new partition on the primary hard drive (using vista) and set up the D: drive for XP, that partition was seen as F: by the XP install. Now my XP has system installed on F: (not really a big deal) Second issue, I may have selected the wrong option when update the SATA BIOS. Now when I reboot, the bios waits about 20 seconds for me to hit CTRL-I to set up the RAID on my two sata drives. I dont want run these as raid, so I just let it time out. Anyone have thoughts on who I can revert this BIOS setting (I *think* its a bios issue anyway)

David Provost (267 days ago)


209: All cleaned up XPS 410

Figured out my last problem, it was the boot order of devices, I had put the SATA/RAID controller ahead of the system disk, which caused the long pause before booting. Changed those around and all is well. Also had to download drivers from the dell website for the Intel chipset, sound card (integrated) and modem.

David Provost (267 days ago)


210: in theory

so in theory i could do the whole dual boot thing to put xp on there with vista, then remove vista because it sux, keep the xp, and not lose all the stuff i have on my hard drive? if so, how would i remove vista?

CDIZZLE (265 days ago)


211: Loading XP then removing vista

why not back up all the DATA (not programs, OS) on your vista machine to CD/DVD/USB drive then reformat your drive and install XP from scratch?

David Provost (263 days ago)


212: vista xp dual boot

Thanks for your great article, I was able to install both,
they are up and running, and I am a happy camper again!



ptownprinc (261 days ago)


213: Argh, help! When I tell it

Argh, help!
When I tell it to shrink (using that shift+F10 thingy), it gives me this message: "Virtual Disk Service error: The specified shrink size is less than the minimum shrink size allowed. The arguments you specified for this command are not valid."
Cheers in advance.

burritobrother (258 days ago)


214: the informatic need people

the informatic need people like you...

thanks (257 days ago)


215: after reading this: "More

after reading this:

"More importantly, applications which have installation paths hard-coded into their install scripts rather than using Windows system parameter variables could easily dump files into C: when they should be installing to E:. This isn't such a great situation."

i notice you don't actually offer any solution to the problem, or explain why you are giving us advice on this dual boot when infact it could mess things up. why?

wutdlandish (255 days ago)


216: Man i'm screwed.....please help, nah seriously!

I followed the above instructions to the pin point until realising that the vista disk i have was actually a recovery disk that came with my Asus lap-top and not the install dvd. Right, as you've probably presumed i carried on probably out of stupidity but i like to think i was just being adventurous!
As it stands i have installed vista (c:) and XP (e:), the EasyBCD was already installed from when i tried before and it simply didn't work (which when i tried to install again i noticed Vista recovery had actually deleted the XP partition).
Well now i want out and would settle with W2K!

I have a toaster as far as my knowledge takes me, when i boot up i get the 'Asus' welcome page and it just sits there, if i reboot and press F2 for BIOS i get the system specs and 'entering SETUP...' followed by auto detecting the USB, IDE Hard Disk, ATAPI CDROM then Pri Master details but it just sits there.

Anyone any ideas? Please, please, please!

Grum (254 days ago)


217: your system is fine

Basic overview on how to get back to square 1:

Get a boot cd and use it to re-format your hard drive (there are many freely available, e.g. gparted)
2. Use the recovery dvd to re-install vista.

Your system will be perfectly fine. If you want more details, e-mail me at dbplists-at-gmail-dot-com

dbplists (253 days ago)


218: Hi all

Hi all I had all the above problems, too (Vista on drive C, XP installed second on D:) The solution for me was to reinstall XP (it asked if I wanted to install into same directory as before, I said yes, & it kept all my files & settings) I was then able to boot into XP & run VistabootPRO from within XP & it set up the dual boot perfectly. hth.

granny52 (251 days ago)


219: Duelbooting Sound

We followed all the instructions and finally got the duelbooting to work but when ever we go onto XP there is no sound devices available for some reason when they still work perfectly fine on Vista what would we have to do to get the sound to work on XP aswell?

Guy (251 days ago)


220: I had the same issue after

I had the same issue after installing XP today to dualboot with Vista Ultimate. For me it was simply a matter of having individual driver packages for each OS. In comparison of Vista Ultimate and XP, I have found that in most cases you DO NEED OS specific drivers, depending on the hardware.


ATI Drivers are OS Specific, A few sound cards I have tested are also.

You can usually download OS Specific Drivers from your OEM's website.

Good Luck.

V15T4 (249 days ago)


221: share "my documents" between XP and Vista?

I was able to do the dual boot install with XP and Vista. I still use XP as my main work environment and boot into Vista to play and slowly install programs there to see what works and what doesn't. I installed office 2003 OK on Vista (It was already installed on XP). Now, I would like to share the "My Documents" folder of XP so that I can read/write that folder and any documents within it from Vista. How do I do this? I don't want to allow "everyone" access to the "My Documents" folder -- only my userid from my Vista boot and my userid from my XP boot. I am afraid to try to take ownership of "My Documents" from Vista because I'm afraid that I will no longer be able to access the files from XP. Is it possible to set permissions so that both XP and Vista can have r/w access to the same files but yet not open up the directory to everyone? (I know that I could do this with a separate server but that's not the question).


DavidB (251 days ago)


222: excellent


xyz (64 days ago)


223: Using external USB HD to boot from ?

I have upgraded my Notebook from XP Media to Vista Home Premium and have difficulty running some applications. Rather than partition my disc I thought it might be easier to use an external USB HD and then setup the notebook to boot from the external USB first in the bios. Is this a good approach, as I have read there can be issues which I thought this might negate them. Thanks Roger

Roger (248 days ago)


224: Not really, See you have an

Not really,

See you have an issue trying to boot XP from usb. When XP starts booting, it will load the USB drivers and effectivly disconnect the boot drive from the system. The only way around it is complicated and messy.

Tjmax (246 days ago)


225: Booting XP from an USB External Hard Drive

I have been attempting to do this in vain.
I have the following HDDs: 320 GB ATA drive in NTFS format with Vista. Old hard drive is 40 GB IDE in Fat 32 format with XP. To get around the booting problem can I install the old hard drive as slave to the new hard drive? Or are the two incompatible?

Slats (157 days ago)


226: Refer to my previous comment

Refer to my previous comment #195. Had more tough experience with this: Found out that the SATA and IDE were incompatible so I got an IDE to SATA converter that works just fine with everything but a dual boot! The system recognizes the slave drive and all its files, but it still will not boot into XP! Anyone, anyone have any ideas about this? I have set up dual boot systems in the past but never with this much trouble. I am at the point of suggesting a new motto for microsoft: If it's Microsoft it suks!

slats (96 days ago)


227: I wasted some hours trying

I wasted some hours trying to get my Vista to recognize the newly installed XP last night. This morning I found this site and tried what was suggested, ... voilà it worked. Thanks guys.

Mike (246 days ago)


228: Installing XP Pro wipes out Vista


I bought a new Toshi laptop w/ Vista installed and am trying to make it dual boot. I installed XP Pro OK, but things got screwed up with the ntldr issue (I wish I'd read all the comments). So, I tried reinstalling XP Pro. During the install, instead of an EULA and the option to select a partition, I got a message saying there's already a \WINDOWS folder on the drive. Thinking this was the existing XP folder, I went ahead and used it. I was wrong, it was on the Vista partition and broke Vista. So I reinstalled Vista and deleted the XP partition. Now, whenever I try to install XP, I have the same problem: no EULA, no partition choice, just the option of wiping out Vista's \Windows folder or aborting the install.

Can any of you geniuses suggest a way around this?

Marsh (246 days ago)


229: ntldr

I too had the dreaded ntldr problem and have a few points that may help others. (1) If you follow the tutorial, chances are boot.ini, ntldr, and ARE installed on your system. Make sure your viewing options are set to allow you to see system files and go to C:\. The files were there for me: no need to copy them from the XP installation CD. (2) You really have two options on how to configure the system to access these files properly. In my case, the problem was that the files were in C:\, but the BCD was set to boot off of D:\ (which is where I have XP). You can either (a) copy the files from C:\ to D:\ (i.e., wherever you have XP), OR you can change the BCD to point to where these files are (C:\). Since boot.ini points to the partition where XP resides, STARTING the boot process from somewhere else works fine. The advantage of copying the files is that if one of the partitions becomes corrupted, the other one may still work. The disadvantage is that you have duplicate files taking up space; if one copy changes, you have to locate and fix the others; and it's less elegant. (3) I used VistaBootPro to fix the BCD. It worked fine. Don't worry about its need to have .NET installed. Vista has .NET. Just install VistaBootPro under Vista and run it there.

Marsh (245 days ago)


230: more memory

i have done everything as said and it works

but now i wish to give xp more space as it only has
2gb left where as vista has 25gb free space how do i
give xp an extra 15gbs of vista's space now that the
dual boot has already been made?

mark (245 days ago)


231: Cannot boot Vista anymore


I used this guide to add an XP installation next to an existing Vista installation, with the difference that I used a second hard disk for XP.

This is what I did:
- Add second hard disk as slave and boot Vista. Vista boots (from primary) and recognizes the second hard disk and I can browse the files on it.
- Boot with XP cd-rom and install XP on the second hard disk (which it calls D:). The XP installation copies its files and reboots. Then I get a boot error.
- Boot with Vista cd-rom and repair the MBR. Vista recognizes the (one) Vista installation, I choose to repair the MBR and it reports that it found an error and fixed it.
- Reboot Vista -&~~SPECIAL_REMOVE!#~~gt; boot error!

And there I get the standard boot error message at the command prompt. I disconnected the second hard disk (with half-way XP install) and set the DVD player on that cable back to primary. Still the same error.

Now I can only boot with the Vista cd-rom. It still finds the (one) Vista install, when I try to repair it it reports there was nothing to repair. But still I can't boot it...

Any help is greatly appreciated.



John (243 days ago)


232: Help???

I installed xp after vista but i dont have a vista install cd, in gparted i can see the drives, i want to boot to vista to repair the bootloader but i cant even though the vista partition is flagged for boot, the extended partition for xp is flagged lba but it boots into xp and not vista. please help me out =]

Chown (243 days ago)


233: I think it's easier to do this by changing active partition

The following method has been working for me to add an XP boot to an existing Vista. It has the advantages of not needing to repair the Vista boot AND of having the XP system drive installed as C:

Create the available space as described in the article

Using Disk Manager from Vista, create a new partition in that unallocated space -- don't use the XP install to do that.

Still in Disk Manager, set that new partition as Active. WARNING: That means that the machine will now be trying to boot from the empty partition. That's OK because the next thing you're going to do is install XP from a bootable CD. If you restart and then change your mind, you'll have to have some bootable utility to change the active partition again.

Boot from the XP installation CD and start the install. When you get to the step where you select the XP partition, you'll notice that your new target partition is C! That's because the active partition is always assigned that letter at this point. So your new partition will show as C and the existing Vista will show up as some other letter. So XP WILL be installed as C. Vista will remain C, too. Finish the install.

Once XP is running, copy NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, and BOOT.ini from the XP partition to the Vista partition. This is required because the Vista partition will soon be the boot partition again .

Still from XP, use Disk Manager to change the Active partition back to the original Vista partition. The Vista partition's letter will show up as something other than C, doesn't matter, it will be C when booting Vista. Since the XP install never touched the Vista partition, NO repair is needed -- reboot and Vista will startup again.

Use EasyBCP as described to add the XP boot.

I can vouch from experience that this works very well. In fact you can have any number of Windows OSes all running as C using this method. You can also adjust drive letters using the HKLM/System/MountedDevices registry key. I've used this method to have 5 or 10 OSes installed in different partitions all at one time, and to restore various images to any partition and then fix the drive letters.

Doug Hynes (242 days ago)


234: Works good .. thanks guys

Works good .. thanks guys

OzzY (241 days ago)


235: Doug Hynes' Active Partition Method

Your variation looks attractive since Vista is untouched. I would like to have the two OS's on physically separate drives. Can your method apply to to this case also?

If so please detail the differences in procedure.

jim (240 days ago)


236: XP on separate drive

This is trickier but possible. You can still use this basic method, but you have to create, at least temporarily, a small empty partition on drive 0.

Windows has the concept of the "system partition" where the actual OS is, and the "boot partition" where boot sector and loader are located. While the system partition can be on any partition on any drive, the boot partition has to be the active partition on drive 0.

Why my method works without modifying Vista is because by changing the active partition, the Vista boot partition isn't mucked with. The article's method requires the repair because XP, not knowing about Vista, wipes the Vista boot information with its own. In either case, the last step is teaching the Vista partition to also act as the XP boot partition.

So, just as in the instructions above, create an empty partition on drive 0 and set it to active. The difference is, this partition can be tiny because it's just going to hold the boot files. Then boot from the XP cd and install to any drive and partition you want. Then follow the rest of the instructions, except you'll need to copy the XP files from the boot partition and not from the main XP partition.

When you're done and have reset the active partition to the Vista partition, you can delete the other partition on drive 0 -- it's no longer in play.

This still has the advantage of not touching Vista BUT your resulting XP will NOT have drive C as the system drive.

It is possible to have the XP partition end up as C but it's more work, potentially a lot more. What you do is initially install XP on the active partition, then use Norton, Acronis, or some other imaging utility to copy the partition to where you want it, then modify the MountedDevices registry to tell XP to see the partition as C.

I used this method to build lots of test boxes off the same images so the effort was worth it, but may not be worth it to you for one setup. OTH I just find a system drive letter that's not C always eventually causes headaches.

Doug Hynes (239 days ago)


237: The Definitive Solution

Hi Doug,

Excellent posting! You have now given us the definitive solution. It should solve everyone's NTLDR, HAL.DLL etc problems. I wiped my XP partition and reinstalled XP with your system. XP installed perfectly and dual booted correctly with Vista. The trick is clearly to make each partition active as required.

During my previous XP installation, the PC rebooted several times (as normal) but could not find the HAL.DLL file each time. I worked round this, but ended up with the system files installed in a BOOT directory rather than a WINDOWS directory. XP did run, but I was never happy with the installation.

My problem is now to find XP drivers for my HP Pavilion DV6200 laptop. The ones I have downloaded from the HP FTP site do not appear to install correctly. If you can offer any help in this direction I should be most grateful. In the meantime,I shall email HP technical support!

BobN (234 days ago)


238: Where?

Where do I find NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, and BOOT.ini in the XP partition?

Vanya (233 days ago)


239: Doug, This is what I was

This is what I was looking for. I want to keep the drive letter for Vista and XP the same (C). One question before I dive into it. Do you have to go in and change the active partition each time you want to switch between Vista and XP to keep the drive letter to C, or does installing it this way and then using the Vista boot manager still keep the drives the same ?


Joe Searfoss (229 days ago)


240: Step 3

I setted the new patition as Active and boot it from XP CD but I only see C: drive with full disk space. I dont see an other drive which should be Vista per your doc. Please help! Thanks!

Sipa (181 days ago)


241: Others believe your system

Others believe your system works well. I wanted to dbl-chk a couple things before i try it.
My system: HP dv6500t CTO new laptop with Vista Ultimate 64-bit and SATA drives. No system disk; it's OEM only with a recovery disk.
What I want: a dual-boot with Xp Pro SP2 as the other OS.
1) No floppy. How get SATA drives in there so XP will recognize it and boot off it? Where find and how to get into machine?
2) Will the recovery disk work (don't have system disk for Vista)?
3) Is Vista/64 a problem if I want to put on XP/32-bit?

Thank you so much in advance for taking the time to share your thoughts!

David P (141 days ago)


242: sata problem

I have same problem and i don't have any drivers! I know that you can use nlite program to integrate sata drivers to winXP installation. Can you send me those drivers? If you need, i can send you nlite

Razher (112 days ago)


243: Vista Pre-Installed

So, how can you dual-boot Vista / XP, with Vista being pre-installed and I don't have the Vista DVD. 'Cause as I follow the HOW TO, it mentions to repair the MBR using Vista DVD.

Arthas (241 days ago)


244: This is a much needed issue

This is a much needed issue that needs attention. Perhaps the generous author of these articles could create one for just this situation?

Hard to derive meaningful steps to follow from all of the various posts found herein.

My experience thus far has been painful in trying to follow these steps with pre-installed Vista.

I used Gnome to resize partition. Then tried to load up XP. But, continue to get hit with .psi problem and corrupted boot files.

I can load Linux but computer won't even load Vista any longer, XPPro can't load either.

Any assistance for those of us with these pre-installed systems without disks would be greatly appreciated.


Sonny (239 days ago)


245: Vista pre-installed

Before I started all this I created VISTA recovery disks. If you boot up using the recovery disk you will get the same screen as is shown in the turorial. ie - repair your computer, etc.

sjd (234 days ago)


246: After Dual Boot

This guide look real good and I will certainly be using it to install XP OS but I have a little question:
I have Vista that was pre installed and I will install XP as a second OS but I also wish to install Linux so my question is witch guide do I follow after installing XP to then install Linux?? Or is it a case of any will do??
Thanx in advance for help.

Esoteric (241 days ago)


247: Can anyone please tell me,

Can anyone please tell me, after I installed dual boot system. Do I need to reinstall the driver? I have got other softwares installed on Vista, am I able to use them under XP or I need to reinstall them?

bw_william (237 days ago)


248: If it works

Does anyone know how i can get this to work for a ACER aspire 5610 laptop?

Rj (236 days ago)


249: Need to load Sata driver two times?

My laptop doesn't have a floppy drive to install the sata driver when i boot from the XP CD.
Yesterday i got me an external USB drive, formatted a floppy, put on the RAID SATA drivers,
boot from the XP CD,
Loaded the drivers,
Setup sees the unformatted partition and formats it,
windows tries to install on that partition and asks again for the RAID drivers on A:
So i press 'enter' but nothing happens???
It just stays there and does not look at the floppy or the install CD.
The only option left is F3 = quit install.
Anyone got some ideas?

Trigio (236 days ago)


250: Did i trash my computer?

Alright, I decided I wanted a dual boot. My laptop came w/ Vista Premium install on the C: drive and a second partition that I named as my B: drive. I wanted to splitt B: into another partition lets say K: and i wanted to make K: my XP pro partition. Well... I didnt think anything of messing anything I just pop in my XP disk and went to my B: partition and reformat it and make it into two more partitions. Well when I started I choose the wrong option and choose to Install keeping files. So installing XP on my full B: partition instead of making an K partition.

I couldnt get out so I just held the power button down to restart the Computer when it restarted and w/ the disk out I keep getting a Error loading operating system.

So at this very moment I have put the XP disc back in and Formating the B: partition.

As soon as that has finished should I put in my Vista disc and try to recover or should I go ahead and make a K: and install XP, and then do the the Vista repair. Or is my Vista completely trashed and I have to make a complete new install.

Please let me know if you have any answers or suggestions.
Thanks before hand.

Bane (235 days ago)


251: Fixed but not Fixed

Well it doesnt seem like I hurt my computer there....after that I got Vista to run again with the repair. Then I went and made two partitions and went to install XP. After the formatting and everything and when it went to restart into the GUI it said Error loading operating i tried do the Vista repair and so that way I could do the EasyBCD...but Vista would never repair and I couldn't get booted back on to do that. So now I am kinda stuck as it wont repair and it wont boot in either operating system. Please help.

Bane (234 days ago)


252: Alright sorry for all the mess

Ok I got my system back to somewhat normal. Since I couldnt run any restore points or system what I did was Install a clean version of Vista on the second partition. After it finished and rebooted I restarted and I had the option of booting a different Vista (my orginal) and it I went and deleted and formated the new Vista partition and I can now use my original. I dont know if I am going to try and do a dual boot again any time soon but there was also an option of on the start up, to start w/ an earlier version of Windows..if anyone knows how I can get rid of this option please let me know...I sorry for all the posts that I ended up fixing myself...I just didnt want to have to sit here for a day or two without my main computer, so I just fooled around with it a bit.

Also it seems my highspeed USB ports are no longer highspeed? I plugged in my external hdd and it said this device can perform at a higher speed blah blah blah...and I left one of my external hdd plugged in during all this and i think it got messed up because it isnt opening on my Vista computer and on my xp computer it says that it is currupted. But it is still being recognized on both systems. Anyone know what I should do about the 3 things.

Bane (234 days ago)


253: I have the same problem....I

I have the same problem....I get Error Loading Operating System and I cant get into vista.....any idea's please.


Cowboy (172 days ago)


254: Good Article

Thanks for the article. I will be reformatting my computer in the next few weeks and this is exactly what I was looking for. I already have Vista installed on a separate drive, so I imagine the steps to format my XP drive and reinstall it are much the same as described here.

Alex M (234 days ago)


255: Thanks for the Article, another tip for users with big drives.

Thanks for the great post. I ran into one other problem that I had to fix and I'm not sure if anyone posted yet (although there are about 150 replies). After shrinking my first partition the windows xp installer would not find the free space I created. The reason was that my hard drive is about 250gigabytes and Windows XP Pro as released without any service packs will only recognize 150 gigs of space before it stops. So the installer would only look so far into my hard drive before deciding there was only one partition. I was forced to slipstream windowsXP service Pack 2 into an install disk. See this great article for how to do that:

Also while doing that I couldn't find a version of nero6 that would work properly (the demo for 7 kept failing, and don't try Nero in vista!) so I found an online download here with the cd key at the bottom of this page under Radderz post:
Thanks again!

Todd F (232 days ago)


256: Gparted-o.3.4-7 ISO

I have a new HP desktop with Vista Home Premium pre-installed, and am trying to install XP in a dual-booting configuration. I don't have a Vista install disk, so I'm using Gparted to shrink the existing drive and create a new partition. I've download Gparted 3.4-7 to a CD, but the computer won't boot to it. What am I doing wrong?

Jack (229 days ago)


257: I think I have the same

I think I have the same laptop as mentioned in post #48- an HP Pavilion with Vista Home Premium preloaded. No disk, but an HP recovery disk.
HD is a Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00 ATA 160GB.

I have the partition, but when booting from an XP CD I get the "Cannot find any hard drives " error.

In post 49, it is suggested that SATA support be turned off in the BIOS- but there is no ability to do this in the Phoenix BIOS. Shutting off DMA support does not help.

Any ideas?

Soapy (228 days ago)


258: 2 questions Do I back up my

2 questions

Do I back up my files as a precaution, or am I doing it because they will be reformatted?
How would I go about the Vista repair process if Vista came pre-installed(I have no Vista dvd to boot to the repair startup)?

CheeseREX (228 days ago)


259: dual boot problem?

I was sent this article.

Anyone experiencing this with Vista dual boot?

Tom (227 days ago)


260: First Time

Hello. I haven't done this dual boot yet, because i am unsure if it works or not and i have some questions. I have the Windows Xp Boot disc with a serial number. However that serial number is used for my laptop.

Do i need a new serial or not, or i don't need a serial at all?

After all these instructions, do windows vista make a backup on the hard disk?

Is this really works without any problems?

Please answer me by emailing me at:

evilkidbuu (227 days ago)


261: ok, so i see that my

ok, so i see that my previous comment was either deleted or not added at all. hmmm...

anway, it questioned the fact that, under the situation you advocate, xp is installed to drive D instead of drive C. you yourself point out the possible problems involved in this and i won't go into it futher.

but, i have just installed windows 2000. i used the 2000 boot disk to create 2 partitions when i was installing it. i installed 2000 to the primary partition. then i installed vista to the second one. vista has automatically dual booted me with 2000. it gives me the option from the vista boot screen of "previous version of windows" or vista. this is obviously from a clean install, your guide aims for an existing installation with a disk shink.

but, what this has done for me is that vista and 2000 both think they are installed on the drive called C. ie, when you boot up with 2000, drive C has the 2000 installation on it. but when you boot vista, it does exactly the same. and this is not either installation using eachothers partition either. i know this because of verifying the size of the drive. whenever you boot up vista, the D drive switches its name to drive C. how cool is that? this is very smart behaviour for both operating systems. and one i would advocated if you were wanting a dual boot.

woodlander (227 days ago)


262: i am in a mess

hi guys. i am dentist that actually really stupid in computing.looolz.i installed vista after xp and everything was going so fine and i got dual booting between both with no any problems.meanwhile after some time i inserted xp cd to do some repairs in the system.after finishing this step i did restart and suddenly the dual boot page didnt appear on startup and everytime directs me immediately to xp and no vista anymore.plz guys if anyone have anyidea about me mess.plz reply.thnx alot

kiko (227 days ago)


263: blue screen

Hi everyone I bought a dual core from dell with vista already on it. I tried to install xp. It would crash after booting from the "xp install cd" and would only let me reboot. It would state that there was a problem and windows was shutting down to prevent problems and I should run check disk and virus scan to see if the drive is still ok. I tried several things from reading posts. I tried to format everything using the vista cd and then putting the xp cd in. It would load but right before the "agree to terms" part it would shut down and show a blue screen. I also tried to install vista first and then partition the hard drive using the shrink tool in vista and then I booted with the xp cd and it still did the same thing and gave me the blue screen letting me know that it was going to stop and I should check my hard drive. PLEASE HELP. I tried everything I could from forums and I still cannot load xp on. I would actually rather just have xp than have a dual boot but will take a dual boot if it is the only way to have xp. Thank you in advance!

newdell (226 days ago)


264: I am having the same problem

I am having the same problem as you on a new quad core dell dimension 9200. I am looking for some help on this

Appleman (126 days ago)


265: hey kiko, the xp boot cd has

hey kiko, the xp boot cd has viewed the vista bootloader as something to be 'repaired' and got rid of it, then replaced it with it's own. since xp bootloader cannot recognize vista, you wouldn't be able to dual boot.

i think you just need to use this bdsm piece of software these guys write about in the article

woodlander (226 days ago)


266: plz. help

dear wood lander.thanx alot man for ur care conserning my mess.but fortunately i dunno the software that u r talking about plz if u can tell me about it or type its link again so as to help me as i am really disappointed from what happened by the xp cd.thnx

kiko (225 days ago)


267: Dual boot issues ... help!

OK - So I have both a partition with XP (15G ) and one with Vista (182G) on my machine.

I can boot into Vista using the Vista boot loader. I added the XP boot to the EasyBCD boot list and it appears on the Master Boot Loader screen with the Vista boot option. When I select the XP boot option, I get a 'NTDLR not found' error.

If I remove the MBD I can boot the XP installation but then to get back to Vista, I have to repair the boot loader from the Vista DVD.

Also - when I look at the deatails on the Easy BCD details page - it seems that it is trying to boot the XP install from F: even though I selected C: in the XP boot set-up!

Any assistance or ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!

janderman (224 days ago)


268: Dual boot issue help2

I have the same problem as Janderman.
I have tried resinstalled both vista and xp(mce) again. And same failure accur (cannot find \ntldr). I have tried with both XP and Vista installed first but no change. I have used Acronis for making new partitions in Vista before I installed XP the first time.

Using Easybcd i also see that the drive letter change (to C: from E:) when I want to add XP to the list.

I also need ideas.

cntrading (223 days ago)


269: Dual boot issue help1

Used the vista installation disk to format the drive where I previus had the XP installed. Also used Vista to "shink" the partion. Then follow the guide, and this time it worked. Maybe Vista need to make the partion it selves to make it work.

When using Easybcd it shows that C: is used for both Vista and XP.???? Dont no why but it still works

cntrading (221 days ago)


270: just to let every1 know,

just to let every1 know, vista has its own partitioning program built in... google it

You Can Partition Using Vista's Built In Programs... (222 days ago)


271: Most important things to note when installing vista with partition must be set active (use gparted acronis boot cd partition magic or fdisk etc) otherwise it won't continue the installation during the first reboot. ALSO make sure you format the partition with vista. If you use a partition tool to create a partition label vista won't install when it reboots. (if you are concerned about xp dumping files in your vista partition you can use acronis boot cd or what ever to hide your vista partition until you have installed xp/programs)
2.It does not matter whether you install vista first or or xp as far as i can see. When i installed xp 1st and vista ultimate (cd not dvd) 2nd, xp did not show up in the vista boot loader. I tried installing vista 1st and xp 2nd i ended up with the same situation.
3.The answer was so simple. First thing is to install EasyBCD 1.6. In the 'Add/Remove Entries ' Advanced options' add an xp entry. You will probably find like i did that your xp entry will point to the c: drive even though your XP partition is not 'c:' (note your 'active' partition c: is now windows vista) You don't need to change the default setting but if your xp entry is not pointing to the c: drive you can change it manually under the 'Entry-based settings' in the 'Configure Boot tab). The second thing to do is simply copy the files 'NTLDR' and 'NTDETECT' from your xp CD (located in the i386 folder) to the c: drive of your windows vista partition. Your vista partition should now have the following:


reboot and enjoy

So much time wasted on this when i could have been installing the new versions of fedora, ubuntu and xandros which just arrived in the mail this week. With your favorite linux distrubutions you simply install each 'grub bootloader' in your boot partition for that distribution. You can do this during your Linux installation by choosing the 'advanced boot loader settings'.
By using 'EasyBCD' you can use the 'vista bootloader' to point towards your Linux boot partitions. The way i set up Linux was adding an entry the xp boot.ini file with 'bootpart'. It is so easy and hassle free to reinstall windows since i never had to touch my linux installations when windows needs reinstalling (note install your linux boot partitions after your c: drive) .

Cheers everybody johnnylinux

johnnylinux (218 days ago)


272: boot vista xp and linux

An update on booting fedora 7 with EasyBCD 1.6. The first time i went to the 'Add/Remove' tabb, Linux/BSD tabb, the 'Drive' partition number showed my boot partition as being number 3. I added the entry and tried to boot Fedora but with no luck. I read the great documentation on the 'NeroSmart' website and discovered the awesome 'SuperGrubDisc '.

I burned the image and within a few minutes i was able to locate grub and boot fedora 7 for the first time after installation. I rebooted Vista and tried EasyBSD again and this time the drive (partition) listing was in a different order. The /boot partition was now number 1. I added the entry and rebooted and it worked like a dream. Great program and excellent documentation.

johnny (217 days ago)


273: Hard Drive not located

Ok, im in a bit of a mess here considering i can't get further unlike the majority here. From my pre-installed Vista, i went to My Computer -&~~SPECIAL_REMOVE!#~~gt; Manage -&~~SPECIAL_REMOVE!#~~gt; Disk Management and was able to Shrink my main and primary drive in which Vista Ultimate is installed on (400 GB Sata Drive). I was then able to set about 100 GB of unallocated space over that will be used for the XP partition. When i insert my XP setup disk, and boot i receive the error that it doesn't detect any hard drive or partition. Anyone have any suggestions on what i should do because im lost even though reading thru all the comments.

~Please and thank you

Mike (212 days ago)


274: Me too

I'm having the same problem. As nobody has answred here yet, did you find a solution from anywhere else?

Hamid (118 days ago)


275: Hard disk or partition not found

I have seen this error with some sata controllers.
It can be bypassed by going into the bios and choosing the compatibility mode for the sata controller.

hackman (102 days ago)


276: Unsure

So if I have Vista on drive C, and install XP on G, when I install something system-related on XP, how will it install to G:\windows instead of C:\windows?

That is something that bugs me, and I am unsure about.

MaxRabbit (212 days ago)


277: Vista bypasses XP setup disk

I partitioned my hard disk using Disk Management, Vista OS on C: drive, XP on E: drive and Data on D: drive. I tried numerous time to reboot with XP setup disk but each time it just reboot into Vista not detecting XP setup disk at all...pls help.

Chasl77 (210 days ago)


278: help help help

ok after reading all the problems you guys had i dont even recon is a good idea to et into all this but i need to dual boot my laptop with xp and vista i followed the tutorial in here which went fine till i was meant to install xp, the program compatibility assitant in vista does not let me install it and i dont know if i am just missing something really obious. can anyone help? thanks

antonio (210 days ago)


279: answer

If your still wondering where you went wrong, I had the same problem. You don't install after you log in to Vista, you install from BIOS setup. When your PC starts up, find the BIOS menu, like F2, and change your boot order to cd/dvd drive first.

bronxbadhan (143 days ago)


280: Awesome Post

Can't thank you enough for this post -- you saved my sanity. Works perfecty if you follow the directions. Save yourself some time and download BSD on your Vista partition before you start.

Anonymous95B10 (210 days ago)


281: XP preinstalled on a second disk

I bought a desk top with Vista installed.
If I add a second HDD from an old PC that has XP installed, can I use easyBCD to set up for dual booting?
OR do I need to install XP from a CD so that Vista knows about it?

zeerocks (208 days ago)


282: Visat and XP on seperate HDDs

Similar query to Phil 222.
I just installed Vista on a new 250GB HDD, while keeping XP Pro and all my apps on the old HDD.

Keeping the case open if I want to switch back to XP because certain apps are not Vista compatible (according to Vista on install, like Nero 7 Premier), all I do is switch data and power cables from one to the other HDD.

Presumably if I had both plugged into the m/b simultaneously, I could simply go into Bios on boot and switch the boot priority order to either HDD to get me the option of which OS to run at any one time.

I don't want to get both OS on the new HDD. Any advice appreciated.

Jack Bauer (204 days ago)


283: I just loaded XP pro on a

I just loaded XP pro on a seperate hardrive to Vista on my brand new HP pavilion dv9000 series laptop. I followed the instructions on this link and it works perfectly. easyBCD works a treat and the only other thing I had to do that is not mentioned by the authors of this article is to install drivers for sound, graphics and USB support for XP. When I boot I get a choice of either vista or XP and both boot up no problems at all.

I am not an expert by any means but have built about 20 systems for friends so far and as a novice having a few thoughts I think most of the problems have occured with installing two OS on one hard drive. I know it is simple procedure to partition and have done it many times using programs like partition magic, but I cant help but notice everyone having problems when arranging dual OS's on one partitioned drive. Anyway, thats just food for thought!

Ajax (200 days ago)


284: Audio Driver for Pavilion 9000

Dear Ajax,
Tel me were you found " audio driver" for Pavilion 9000 ?
I have the same laptop....and no audio driver for XP-Pro ....?
Please Help !

Igor (175 days ago)


285: duellboot

I was thinking the same thing I have hp tx 1000 with vista
a ext.60 gig western digital harddrive so are you saying you loaded xp on a ext.harddrive and got to work

marty (145 days ago)


286: Removing XP from a dual boot system.

Hi, the article was excellent. I want to remove XP from my computer. But Xp is on the C:/ drive and Vista is on H:/ drive, can anyone give me some tips of how I can Kill XP without have a lot of issues? I read the articles for both xp and vista dual booting and removing the other o/s. I noticed it makes no mention of how to remove the old O/S just the newly installed O/S. Thanks and cheers keep up the good work!

Daz (204 days ago)


287: Dual booting vista with a mac osx 10.4.9

I got a fujitsu laptop running vista and osx how i did it? use the pre-patched uphuck image (osx patched)run the installer on a system using intel chips and voila!

mic (202 days ago)


288: getting round the XP drive letter assignments

been thinking about the drive letter assignment problem with XP - while not the end of the world i have come across programs that wanted to install to a c: and not what xp says is it's system drive - and it does seem kind of irritating and messy to have xp not assign it's system drive as c: so....

....i was thinking, could you...

I have Partition Magic 8, and i was wondering if it would be possible to follow the instructions up to the point before you install XP, run PM8 and get it to hide the partition that Vista is currently on. Then run the XP install - in this case will XP not see the Vista partition and therefore not assign it the c: drive letter? Boot in to XP and would it then show it's system partition as C:

Once XP has been installed as per the guide, you would normally go to the "Restoring Vista and dual booting" section of the guide which is basically running the Vista DVD and using the repair options to fix the booting issue. Before you do this you could then run PM8 again and unhide the Vista partition, and then run the Vista DVD

Following the above you should in theory end up with a dual boot, Vista will have it's system drive as C: but when you boot XP (presuming the previous experiment ended up with xp thinking it's system drive was c: ) will it still think it's system drive is C: ?

Even if (and that's a pretty big if in my eyes) it did work would it cause any problems? If you did an install with xp first and then Vista they would both claim that there system drives are both C: so can't really see why it would cause problems.

JJBTNC (200 days ago)


289: Shrink


My computer has 120gig of space when I got to the stage when typing shrink it it left me with a total of 55gig left and vista taking 44gig left of space.

Please help



steve.dan (199 days ago)


290: Success - Newbie help

wanted to share some observations.

You do not need a Vista DVD to do this process
2. Read post 183 and then next ones after that (do the partioning this way)
3. Read post 23 - 30 if you run into the ntdlr problem
4. In my case I needed a floppy drive becasue I had to load the SATA controller. Note that XP SP2 caused a stop error. When I loaded the drivers from dell (using F6) worked fine.
5. I have Dell XPS 410. Comes with 3 primary partitons (main OS, recovery and a EISA part). I deleted the recovery, shrank the main OS and created a XP drive. Not sure if it me or Vista but could not make more than 3 primary drives.
6. You will need to install all drivers for XP.
7. The dell XPS comes with all XP drivers
8. If you use Gparted to do the work it will take a long time. To move a partiton took 8+ hours. Although it did work like a charm.
Good luck

Joe (198 days ago)


291: Joe - dell recovery options after install xp

Just wanted to check with you Joe about the Dell recovery options you get at boot.

I'm not sure it's clear to users that installing OS's might mess with their pcs built in recovery process - just wanted to try and clear some things up.

On a friends Dell he bought recently there is a recovery option when you boot -F11 i think - that allows you to reload a factory image.
When you go through the process of installing xp do you lose this functionality?
I realise in your case you deleted the recovery partition where this image is located so obviously you not bothered by it - but i just wondered if you have noticed if the Dell recovery system via a keypress at boot was still available?

My thinking is that it would be gone as the MBR would have been changed during the install of XP and it would be a custom Dell MBR that gives this recovery functionality?

If it is lost do you know if it can be restored?
Maybe by backing up the MBR (not sure what program you would use)before the install of xp and then restoring the Dell MBR afterwards?
This might then allow you to boot to xp or vista but KEEP the recovery boot option?

jjbtnc (198 days ago)


292: Image

No option.
You can get the recovery partition from Dell. However I just made an image of the recovery partiton and put it on a old hard drive. Hopefully I won't need XP to long.

Joe (198 days ago)


293: Anyone have RAM issues? "Acquiring Network" Loop?

Ok. So I did everything as planned, and it worked PERFECTLY except... I couldn't get online... It successfully connected to my wireless hub, but couldnt get an IP address.. also, before I uploaded XP, Vista ran pretty well.. but after I loaded XP, everything slowed down so much... and XP has an extremely slow start up... what should I do?

Jon (198 days ago)


294: HDD

I wiped out my XP/OS and installed Vista Ultimate. I then decided to dual boot with XP Pro so I proceeded to shrink the drive and set aside 10G for XP Pro. I a Dell XPS210 with a SATA hard drive by the way. I inserted my XP Pro CD and rebooted to the cd. I then chose the unallocated space for the XP install and formatted with NTFS. After the formatting completed the system rebooted. At reboot the bios version screen came up and the system came to a halt. I could not access setup or the ability to choose the boot method. I then disconnected the hard drive and was able to boot to a CD. SATA drives are hot swappable so I reconnected the hard drive as the system was booting from the CD but I still cannot see the hard drive. If the hard drive is attached the system will stop at the screen that stated the bios and go no further. The only way to get to bios is if I disconnect the hard drive. I have the system set to recognize the SATA and boot from the CD first but the problem continues. I haven't seen this problem with any other systems on this board and I hope someone can shed some light on this problem. Thanks

fourdogs (196 days ago)


295: Small tips to everyone, im

Small tips to everyone, im now having a dual boot on my pc and its easy to use. first, install windows xp, make two partitions, 1 for xp and 1 for vista. after installing windows xp, proceed on the installation of windows vista. after intallation of vista you can now boot with the "earlier version of windows", w/c is xp and windows vista w/c is your first boot priority. then download the BCD, (its very useful to me), then try to modify your booting options, been using this since windows vista launches and i've tried this for so many times. PEACE.

norman (191 days ago)


296: XP wont even install

After carefully following these instructions, I never fail to get an error message that says XP cannot be installed because of the newer OS. No one else seems to have this problem here.

Its the i386\winnt32.exe thats causing the problem.

Lomax (191 days ago)


297: dual boot problem

When i get to the part where you install xp the blue screen appears but there is only one partition and that is c: where my Vista is stored so i f3 out so as not to install 2 OS on same drive how do i get the new partition to show its self when i reeboot vista it can see both partitions c: and the new x:

tony (189 days ago)


298: No hard drive !

I get to the point of going to install Windows XP, and it says it can't find a hard drive to install on to, and the only option is Exit. Also, I can't seem to know find the unallocated space that was created, any ideas please ?

Ste1200 (187 days ago)


299: I've made a terrible mistake...

Eep. Thanks for a great tutorial, but despite its thorough step-by-step instructions, I think I've messed it up!

As it stands, no OS will boot for me, instead, I'm constantly being lumbered with "Error Loading Operating System". The DISKPAT process was executed successfully and I had attempted to install XP on the 2nd partition, which had just under 50gb available.

I have since tried the diagnostics on the Vista boot disc, to no avail. I've also started completely from scratch with the XP installation, but still the same thing.

I'm pretty much computer-less at this point... so any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Tim (186 days ago)


300: FIX for missing Boot manager problem. Comp Seems to have no OS

What I found I had done was mistakenly made active the :D drive which did not have a boot manager active.

The manufacturer i.e. E-machines in my case directed me to the "Data Life Guard 11" tools for E-machines. (Google it)

I did not find it helpful since I did not have a floppy on my comp.

However I figured out a fix with out the E-Machine solution.

Insert the "Operating System" disk that comes with the computer.

This is different then the "System Recovery Disk" that has to be ordered from the manufacturer.
(Which I have done and received at this point)
I suggest you do the same. but you will not need it to fix the missing Boot Manager Problem.

Insert Operating System disk.

Restart computer and hit F11 and space bar back and fourth until a prompt screen comes up.

Click the advanced options.

Fist click repair. This will not fix the problem . "But I have found it has to be done for some reason."

Then restart. Do the F11 and space bar again. This time select advanced options and then the "Ignore signatures option"

It will say are you sure. Click yes. Then Restart.

Boot the operating system disk again. This time just click install operating system. It will now show you both partitions. The one you have active with no boot drive and your old set-up.

Click on the new one. Click the format button. Click yes. Then click the delete button and click yes. Then click install to the drive you just deleted.

When it is done your computer will start as normal. But you will notice it is a whole new VISTA.


Just go to start Then control panel, then System and Maintenance, then scroll to bottom and select "Create and format hard disk partitions. Once there you will see your old set up under another drive letter and this new one is "C"

Right Click your old set up and click make as active. Restart. Your comp will be back to where you started.

If you go to the Format Hard disk Partitions again. you can now format and delete the new set up you had just made to get you computer back up and running.

Just be sure to NOT choose make active again.

You will now notice your old set up is back as :C drive. Hope that helps anyone who made the very simple minded mistake I did. As it can be quit frustrating having a none working computer.

Slim (185 days ago)



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