Windows

How do I... Install Windows Vista in a dual-boot configuration along with Windows XP?

Are you really excited about the prospect of experimenting with the new features in the Windows Vista operating system, but are not yet ready to give up your existing Windows XP installation? Greg Shultz walks you step by step through the entire dual boot configuration procedure.

This article is also available as a TechRepublic download. A TechRepublic gallery explaining how to create a dual boot configuration is available as well.

Are you really excited about the prospect of experimenting with the new features in the Windows Vista operating system, but are not yet ready to give up your existing Windows XP installation? For instance, you may be on the fence, because you're not 100 percent sure that all your existing hardware and software will work in Vista and you still need them to get your work done.

If so, then you may be the perfect candidate for a dual-boot configuration. With this type of configuration, you can easily experiment with Windows Vista and still use Windows XP. In other words, you get to have your cake and eat it too.

In this article, I'll discuss some of the options you'll need to consider as you begin thinking about and planning for adding Windows Vista to your existing system in a dual-boot configuration. I’ll then walk you step by step through the entire procedure.

The location options

In order to install Windows Vista in a dual-boot configuration along with Windows XP, you need to have either a second partition on your existing hard disk or a second hard disk in your system. To give yourself enough room to experiment, you should have at least 20 GB and preferably 40 GB of space available on either the second partition or on the second hard disk.

If you don't have enough available space on your existing hard disk for a second partition, then you'll need to connect a second hard disk to your system. If you do have enough available space on your exiting hard disk for a second partition, then you'll need to obtain a partitioning software package. I recommend, Symantec’s Norton PartitionMagic only because I’ve used PartitionMagic for years. However, there are other partitioning software packages that I’ve heard are just as good, such as Acronis Disk Director or VCOM Partition Commander Professional.

Of course, detailed instructions on connecting a second hard disk or partitioning your existing hard disk are beyond the scope of this article. However, in either case, the second hard disk or the second partition must be formatted with NTFS before you begin the installation operation. If you add a second partition to your existing hard disk via a partitioning software package, you will be able to format it as NTFS at the same time as you create the partition. If you're installing a second hard disk, the easiest way to format it as NTFS is from within Windows XP’s Disk Manager, which you can quickly access by pressing [Windows]+R to access the Run dialog box and typing diskmgmt.msc in the Open text box.

The installation options

You can approach the dual-boot installation operation in one of two ways -- by cold booting from the Windows Vista DVD or by inserting the Windows Vista DVD while Windows XP is running. As you can imagine, you'll encounter slightly different introductory screens depending on which approach you use, but once you get stared the operation is essentially the same.

While both methods will produce the same result, I prefer the cold booting from the DVD method. The main reason is that you don't have to worry about any interference from antivirus/antispyware/firewall software on your existing Windows XP installation.

Performing the installation

Once you have your second partition or second hard disk operational, just insert your Windows Vista DVD, restart the system, and boot from the DVD. Once the system boots from the DVD, Windows Vista’s Setup will begin loading and will display the screen shown in Figure A.

Figure A:

Windows Vista’s Setup will take a few moments to load files before the installation actually commences.

In a few moments, you’ll see the screen that prompts you to choose the regional and language options, as shown in Figure B. As you can see, the default settings are for U.S. and English and if that’s you, you can just click Next to move on.

Figure B:

The default settings on the regional and language screen are for the U.S. and English.

On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to begin the installation procedure, as shown in Figure C. To begin, just click the Install Now button

Figure C:

To get started, click the Install Now button.

In the next screen, you’ll be prompted to type in your product key for activation, as shown in Figure D. By default, the Automatically Activate Windows When I’m online check box is selected; however, you’ll notice that I’ve cleared it. The main reason that I’ve done so here is that while writing this article, I’ve experimented over and over with this installation procedure and want to conserve on the number of times that I can legitimately activate this copy of Windows Vista before Microsoft locks it down and requires me to call in and manually request a new product key.

Figure D:

At this point in the installation, you’re prompted to type in your product key for activation.

Now, if you just want to temporarily install Vista in a dual-boot configuration while you experiment, but plan on installing it as your main operating system once you’re satisfied with the way that Vista behaves with your hardware and software, you too may want to disable the automatic activation routine. Even though you’ve disabled the automatic activation routine, you can still install Windows Vista and use it as you normally would for 30 days.

If you want to keep Vista in a dual-boot configuration, you can activate your license online anytime you want. If you decide to make Vista your main operating system, you can repartition your hard disk, reinstall Vista on the main partition and activate the new installation in the process.

If you decide to disable the automatic activation routine, you’ll see a confirmation dialog box, as shown in Figure E, which contains a harsh warning and prompts you to reconsider. You can just click No to continue.

Figure E:

Even though this dialog box contains a harsh warning, Microsoft wouldn’t have made automatic activation a choice if opting out was really dangerous.

Because, I didn’t enter in a product key, Setup doesn’t know what edition I’ve purchased and prompts me to select one of the seven editions on this disk, as shown in Figure F. Since, I'm working with the Ultimate edition, I selected that edition, checked the box, and clicked Next.

Figure F:

When you don’t enter a product key, Setup doesn’t know what edition you have a license for and so prompts you to select one of the seven editions

On the next page (Figure G), you’ll see the Microsoft Software License Terms and are prompted to read through them. However, unless you’re very curious you can just select the I Accept The License Terms check box and click Next.

Figure G:

Unless you’re very curious, you can just click through the license terms screen.

If you’re booting from the DVD, when you get to the Which Type Of Installation Do You Want page, the only option is Custom (advanced) as shown in Figure H. To move on, just click the Custom icon.

Figure H:

When you boot from the Windows Vista DVD, the only installation type that is available is the Custom (advanced).

When you arrive at the Where Do You Want To Install Windows? page, you’ll see your second partition or second drive. I created a second partition on which to install Windows Vista, so my page looked like the one in Figure I.

Figure I:

I created a second partition on a 160 GB hard disk on which to install Windows Vista.

Once the select a partition or disk and click Next, the rest of the installation will continue as it normally would. As such, I won’t follow the installation procedure any further in this article.

Windows Boot Manager

Once the installation is complete, you'll see the Windows Boot Manager screen, as shown in Figure K. As you can see, booting either Windows XP (listed as an Earlier Version of Windows) or Windows Vista is a simple menu choice. This menu will appear on the screen for 30 seconds before Windows Boot Manager launches the default operating system, which is Windows Vista.

Figure J:

The Windows Boot Manager allows you to select which operating system you want to boot.

The Activation countdown

Since I described installing Windows Vista without activating it for testing purposes, I wanted to point out that the Windows Vista will indeed keep track of your 30 day trial on the System screen, as shown in Figure K. In addition, it will regularly display

Figure K:

If you decide not to activate during your dual-boot installation, you can keep track of how many days you have until you must activate on the System page.

Configuring Windows Boot Manager

As I mentioned, the Windows Boot Manager menu will appear on the screen for 30 seconds before Windows Boot Manager launches the default operating system -- Windows Vista. However, if you wish to adjust the countdown or change the default operating system, you can do so from within Windows Vista.

Once you've booted into Windows Vista, press [Windows]+[Break] to access the System page. Next, click the Advance System Setting link in the Tasks pane and confirm though the UAC prompt. When you see the System Properties dialog box, click Settings in the Startup and Recovery panel. You’ll then see the Startup and Recovery dialog box, as shown in Figure L.

Figure L:

You can use the controls in the Startup and Recovery dialog box change the default operating system and the number of seconds that the Windows Boot Manager menu will appear on the screen.

In the System Startup pane, you can change the Default Operating System setting from the drop down list as well as use the spin buttons to adjust, up or down, the number of seconds to display the menu before launching the default operating system.

Conclusion

Installing Windows Vista in a dual-boot configuration along side Windows XP is a great way to experiment with the new operating system until you get comfortable with it. In this article, I’ve shown you how to how to create a Windows Vista dual-boot configuration.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

83 comments
Tom M. Andre
Tom M. Andre

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wpbrownjr@bellsouth.net
wpbrownjr@bellsouth.net

Great discussion! I have a dual boot system, xp and vista 64. It works great. Each on separate hd. My problem is how to uninstall dual boot. I installed it when I installed vista64. Now I just want to run vista64. Can I uninstall dual boot the way I installed it, from the vista64 install disk? Thanks

keshava_k_prasad
keshava_k_prasad

Hi, I've installed Vista over XP, I'm getting an error as DIST BOOT FAILURE when i re start the system, it works fine when i use any of the OS CD to start, please advise what needs to be done Thanks

jazari_h
jazari_h

I have changed boot.ini file in windows XP manually, but it does not work. I cannot update anymore because xp does not work at xp anymore. How can I recovery my boot.ini so it will work back well.

aragorn1986es
aragorn1986es

I'm getting mad reading forums to solve a question i have, I have free space, 70gb, and I want to dual boot with vista, xp 32bit installed first, but I want to know if i can install vista in a logical partition exclusively for vista... I this tutorial I can see that vista is being already installed in a logical partition...but...then i read in this forum that we need to do a master(primary I think...) partition... Could anyone send a bit of help...? My e-mail: aragorn1986es@hotmail.com Thanks in advance.

tjohns
tjohns

Do you have to buy the full version to install Vista in the dual-boot configuration or can you get the upgrade version?

tonyw
tonyw

It's all very well to add a second OS, but does the added OS (i.e. Vista) know where to find all your programs installed under the original OS (i.e. XP)? I think this might be a BIG problem area. If it is, what are the solutions (if any)?

qunaibi_ala
qunaibi_ala

Can Any one help How can I install sql server 2005 , and Visual studio 2005 and use web service with IIS7 on Windows Vista

murgold
murgold

I have current programs that use older Dbase and Fox Pro files. I now use MS ACCESS 97 for Queries and reports. Newer versions of Access requires a conversion of the older Dbase and Fox Pro file. This is not feasable. It is my understanding that MS ACCESS 97will not work with Vista. Can I instal the hard drive from my old computer which contains The Windows OS and MS Access 97 in a new computer with the Vista OS as the Master. The older hard disk would be the slave. Will this give me an operable dual boot system that will allow me to operate in the Windows XP mode to use MS Access 97 for legacy apps. If this is feasabe how exactly do I install dual booting capability for Windows XP and Vista

cutestpilot
cutestpilot

i need to do the opposite cause am sort of sick from Vista atthe same time i would like to keep it atmy computer so how can i do so?? Thanks alot

chris092070
chris092070

the best way to do this isuse the bios to change boot order,and either disable or enable boot other device option.....its so simple it sounds difficultyou install vista on 1 harddrive and xp on the other.then you set boot order depending on operating system desired,if you have vista on master ide 1,and xp on slave ide 1,and you want to boot vista and be able to access xp while booted to vista,access to xp for using files from it,then boot order in bios would be like this..... floppy hdd 1 cdrom boot other devices...yes(or enabled)or disabled i cant remember THIS gives you access to xp harddrive in "my computer" if you want to boot to xp install and have access to files in vista ,then you change bios settings like this floppy hdd 2 cdrom boot other devices...yes(or enabled) or disabled now you have access to files in vista as the harddrive will be visable in "my computer" besides why would you want 2 partitions on a single harddrive anyways,what if the hard drive crashes and is unusable,a second partition on a single harddrive is putting all your restoration back up,drivers,files,and soforth at risk of being lost.use a second harddrive formatted for storage,or run a harddrive with vista,and one with xp and have copies of important files on both,hell even use a usb hard drive as a third storage drive.this is the way i roll,and i have never said "i lost everything when my harddrive crashed" but,this kind of configuration is hard to do on a raid system,but i dont like raid anyways,to much of a headache when you are trying to "perform miracles" and keep it simple oh i give lessons on wendsdays>>>>>>>

chris092070
chris092070

the best way to do this isuse the bios to change boot order,and either disable or enable boot other device option.....its so simple it sounds difficultyou install vista on 1 harddrive and xp on the other.then you set boot order depending on operating system desired,if you have vista on master ide 1,and xp on slave ide 1,and you want to boot vista and be able to access xp while booted to vista,access to xp for using files from it,then boot order in bios would be like this..... floppy hdd 1 cdrom boot other devices...yes(or enabled) THIS gives you access to xp harddrive in "my computer" if you want to boot to xp install and have access to files in vista ,then you change bios settings like this floppy hdd 2 cdrom boot other devices...yes(or enabled) now you have access to files in vista as the harddrive will be visable in "my computer" besides why would you want 2 partitions on a single harddrive anyways,what if the hard drive crashes and is unusable,a second partition on a single harddrive is putting all your restoration back up,drivers,files,and soforth at risk of being lost.use a second harddrive formatted for storage,or run a harddrive with vista,and one with xp and have copies of important files on both,hell even use a usb hard drive as a third storage drive.this is the way i roll,and i have never said "i lost everything when my harddrive crashed" but,this kind of configuration is hard to do on a raid system,but i dont like raid anyways,to much of a headache when you are trying to "perform miracles" and keep it simple oh i give lessons on wendsdays>>>>>>>

psycho_550
psycho_550

Can this work with an raid 0 setup with two 150gb raptors?

jimdeese
jimdeese

can I install xp on a system that already has vista installed ?

DaveHoniker
DaveHoniker

what about the reverse way first Vista then XP. My new laptop came with vista and i want to install xp and use dual boot.

manojdxb2002
manojdxb2002

I was having dual operating system with vista and XP now i am not able to get access on XP please help me my Email Id is manojdxb2002@hotmail.com Thanks

mark.aziere
mark.aziere

I have installed Vista using the Seperate disk method, however, it does not give me the dual boot option; Shouldn't it have written to the Boot.ini file already? Can this be done manually, and if so, which OS's Boot.ini should I add the line to? Any other suggestions?

wselph
wselph

Here is my starting system: disk1: "C" XP with basic SW in "Program Files"; disk2: "D" no-OS with additional SW in "Program Files"; installed Vista upgrade to disk2. with Vista installed here is what happened. disk2: "C" Vista with basic SW in "Program Files"; XP applications erased; glad I had a backup; disk1: "D" XP untouched and dual-boot works. So i had to move the disk2 "Progarm Files" in place; boot XP and uninstall each application; then re-install into disk1 so OS will truely be separate.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Run winXP in a VMware virtual machine. This works great for everything except Games where the drivers need direct access to hardware. Previously I was a fan of the removable drive boxes back when I was running Dos, win98, winNT on the family computer but on my own drive to keep my fiddling from breaking the usable shared OS isntall. These days though; VMware that bad boy.

j's
j's

I created the partition and followed the instructions for the install. My boot screen has 2 choices for Vista. The correct one is already highlighted, the 2nd gives an error of" Windows failed to start...File: \windows\system32\winload.exe... I don't need this 2nd selection. How can I get rid of it?

DonSMau
DonSMau

The article implies that the one DVD contains all Vista versions, and that the serial no. will dictate which parts of the disk gets installed to the HDD. Is that caorrect? Can I install Ultimate to play with, then install Home later on when I want to register? Also, does anyone know whether the install DVD contains 32-bit and 64-bit versions, or do they come on separate DVDs?

pianoguy
pianoguy

My two hitches when doing this were: 1. I had used PM to create partitions of my new 200GB drive and it recommended "logical" partitions (I created two). But in Vista setup it didn't see them, so I went back to PM and changed them to Primary, and then Vista setup worked. 2. I also couldn't get the DVD to boot, no matter what I did with the boot order. THEN a friend suggested to make the DVD drive a primary not slave. Voila! Did it. FYI: I'm going to try to triple-boot, with two versions of Vista each on primary partitions of my main HD (I use a second HD for all data storage), plus XP. I've never done more than a double, and never tried even that with essentially the same OS. I need a separate test environment for Vista+Office'07 (in case you wondered). Thoughts anyone?

JollyRgr
JollyRgr

The dual boot option appears to be a viable solution, I've use it many times in the past. I'm currently building a new test system and was looking to set up an XP Pro 32bit/Vista 32bit/Vista 64 bit option. Are there any complications that you are aware of when installing the 64bit version I should be on the look out for?

mroseberry
mroseberry

I absolutely will not install the express upgrade to Vista Business on my laptop unless I can dual boot Vista and XP but I would love to be able to multi-boot Vista, XP, and Linux on on my laptop. Does anyone know if Vista, XP, and Linux can be setup to do a multi-boot from the same hard drive? If so, how can it be done?

spam
spam

Hi, I have a dual boot of windows XP and windows Vista Business running happily on the same machine. Quite easy to do. 1 - partition your drives with gparted (why? well, because it's free! http://gparted.sourceforge.net/). Make sure the partitions are both master partitions. 2 - install xp on one partition 3 - install vista on another partition voila.

emerem2tor
emerem2tor

Tony, you need to reinstall all applications under the second OS. Dual boot has nothing to do with your applications; you can have some applications running under one OS and others (or the same applications, having different, or same settings) running under other OS. For example, if you install XP twice on the same partition, it is going to be on 2 different folders, but only one Program Files folder, which contains all the applications for both OS. The applications would be treated differently, according with the registry settings from each OS. But if you install XP twice on 2 different partitions, there would be 2 Program Files folders (one on each partition) handling the applications. The registry settings under each OS are taking care of how each application runs. The same is available for Vista + XP, or Vista + Vista.

danielarbib
danielarbib

Finally, as I said, in another reply, I gave up and built a system with a plug-in/caddy hard drive option. Now all I do is to shut down and remove one drive with, say Vista 64 bit Ultimate and insert my trusty XPpro 32 bit which then boots normally. Dual booting from BIOS has been a nightmare.

danielarbib
danielarbib

I am not trying to partition my drive with two operating systems, I have two physically indepedent drives "C" and "D" both of which are accsesible in boot up process. This works fine with two identical XPpro/SP2 setups, but when I wiped to raw state my "D" drive and install Vista Ultimate 32 bit, then I found that neither drive would open normally

emerem2tor
emerem2tor

This is what I did: I installed XP on D: drive on the same HDD (Vista is on C: drive). Now I got XP working, but not Vista! I'm trying to figure it out how can I have both of them...

d.arbib
d.arbib

Finally gave up trying to use 32 bit XPpro/SP2 on one drive and Vista Ultimate 64 bit on the other Wouldn,t work properly whichever was first installed I am now re-building an AMD 6000+ computer with front plug-in hard drive caddies and hope that I can plug in one or other OS, be it Vista, XP or Linux Has anybody had experience of this procedure?

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

Yes, the Windows Vista DVD's will contain multiple versions of the operating system in order to facilitate the Anytime Upgrade feature. Yes, if the DVD has multiple versions, you can install any of the versions on the DVD for a free 30-Day trial. You must then reformat and then reinstall the version that you purchased. You can then activate it. The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista come on separate DVDs.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I am sure other experts on this thread will probably give better advice; but I had no problem multibooting using the regular intall routine of any Windows operating system. It was only necessary to install the oldest OS first in the primary partition and in ascending order from there. Just pick the correct partition to install to during the pre-install dialog. I saved my Linux OS for last and used the instructions for multi-booting from the booklet that came with the disc set. It all seemed very intuitive and was easily done from beginning to end. I formated FAT 16 for '98, and NTFS for all the rest of the Windows partitions; - then whatever New File System for the particular distro of Linux used.

mark.broadnax
mark.broadnax

I did the same thing, using gparted. Worked just fine. The best way to dual boot Vista and XP is to install XP first. When you are ready to install Vista, boot off the Vista CD. This way the install will find the available partition with no problem. Also, doing it this way will make either partition the C:\ drive. That is, whether you boot into XP or Vista the partition containing the OS you are booting off will be seen as C:\, which will allieviate problems with applications that insist on installing on that drive

puntim
puntim

Vista and its boot manager should you decide to reclaim its space? I got rid of Vista with a reformat but am left with its boot manager. Any ideas on getting rid of the latter?

tonyw
tonyw

Thanks - as I thought! I seem to remember in the old days when the equivalent of the registry was a DOS file called WIN.INI, you could fairly easily get two or more versions of Windows to use the same applications without having to re-install them (aah - those were the days!!). I think it doesn't say much for MS and their OS if I have to reinstall all my apps again just to have the opportunity of choosing which OS I'm going to use today; and can you install two copies of a single user version of software in different partitions on the same computer?

dejan.mag
dejan.mag

...on my laptop. couldnt install XP from VISTA directly, so I installed it by booting the CD before the hard drive with vista on one partition. i've set up XP on the other partition, it worked... but then I couldnt get back to VISTA because there werent any other OS's to choose from on boot-up, or in the boot manager. it was there on the other partition, it just couldnt be recognized. the VISTA is a 32-bit SP1 home premium edition the XP is a 64-bit SP2 pro version. can this dual-boot be done somehow?

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

though the caddies I used were pretty cheap and woujld not allow another device on the same bus as the caddy. Over all, its a very nice way to go for multiple OS. No risk of other OS corruption, no hasell with boot loaders, and a second (or third) hard drive can be set up as a fixed disk to use as a swap disk between OS's.

steve
steve

Can the Vista partition access files on the XP partition, and vice versa, doing this or are the partitions totally independent and invisible to each other?

DonSMau
DonSMau

I've been wondering about this too. I already have DOS, Win2k and a couple of Linices and I'd rather not reinstall /everything/ just to get Vista on. I'm thinking I could just install each Linux over the top of its current install and would hope that it won't overwrite all my customisations? Does anyone have any experience at this?

fixit
fixit

to remove any boot loader boot a win98se floppy or CD and get a dos prompt then do: fdisk /mbr Done!

emerem2tor
emerem2tor

... but it should be under different OS. For example you might have Office installed under XP on C: drive and you can also have the same Office under Vista on D: drive, (or on C: drive). But if you install the same app twice under the same OS, then the second installation would override the previous path and you cannot switch in between the 2. Besides, most of the new apps would detect a previous install and might not let you to reinstall, eventually to repair, which involves changing the path, as above. Therefore, you'll end up having one install only, the latest one. Win.ini is Windows configuration file used when Windows starts up. After v.3.1, Windows uses registry and win.ini is there only for backward compatibility with 16 bit apps. It didn?t and doesn?t replace the registry. It only contains settings for small and simple apps, which don?t require registry settings. Just open win.ini in XP and if you see there a path for an app, then you know that it is 16-bit and have an idea about that app and its default settings. However, these apps (or their updates) might write in registry, too, for further customization. But if you delete those registry settings you still be able to play them under default settings, which are stored on win.ini.

shazardy2000
shazardy2000

I have had the same problem with linux and windows. The typical install was windows and then linux but 1 day i did it the other way around and noticed that there was no bootloader... So there are 2 ways i know of getting it to work. Either install linux last on the pc or if a Win OS is installed after linux you will need a 3rd party bootloader like acronis to find the linux and windows installations. But what would be pretty nice is if windows could have recognised the linux file system.

hassan_125_9
hassan_125_9

Install Vista first and then install Linux. They both'll work fine.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Sorry I don't have enough Linux experience in that area; so I can't help you there. You can only have four primary partitions per hard disk - the rules say you can't run an operating system on logical drive partitions but I ran XP on one for 3 years, until I started messing with the allocation tables and then it blew up of course. Other wise you could run more that way. I have used Partition Magic to copy partitions and mirror one partition to another, it is very powerfull and has worked swimmingly; but I have found the new versions are poorly written like all of Symantecs other software, so is consequently unstable. Make sure the base formatting was done by the original disc manufacturers software or risk losing all data. Hard drives are getting cheap; looks like it is time for you to buy another one.

ian.men
ian.men

Gdisk will remove any and all partitions on any HDD but be carefull you could loose All reading the help file is a must.Gdisk is part of Norton Ghost distro's and is also on Hire's Boot & Maintainence cd,very very handy.

puntim
puntim

But after working through them as they came in, the one that worked for me was that by JBanks a couple of posts down. Could not put this post as a reply due to the forum limit But thanks again

sndchsr
sndchsr

I ran into this problem and used the "Boot sector restoration tool" through the recovery console booting from my Vista install disk. You can access the recovery console through one of the repair options on the Vista disk Assuming your Vista DVD is on drive E and XP is on drive C, open the recovery console command prompt and type: E:boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 C: If it doesn't work because access is denied and it can't be unmounted. If this is the case, type: E:boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 C: /force It isn't recommended to use the /force switch unless you have to. If your system was doing a write operation at the time it could cause an error on one of your files. I found this solution on a message board when my system was rendered unbootable when Vista had a issue.I'd give credit to the site if I could remember! This got me back to the XP bootloader and into XP. Handle with care...Vista doesn't seem to disappear very clean.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

the norton ghost 2003 cd for the same reason. GDisk is very much like fdisk but can read and write ntfs and ext2/3 partitions as well. Boots in 35 sec as opposed to the 1 min + for XP recovery console. I use to use a 98 boot floppy, but I do not have floppy drives any more, and one machine will not boot off a USB stick. Though it would be sweet to have a 98 boot disk on a USB key.

fixit
fixit

You know its strange to me, but it never even entered my mind to use the XP CD recovery console. When I want to be rid of an old OS i use the old familiar tools because they boot quick. Windows98 CD boots fast and the commands are very familiar. J

cleaverx
cleaverx

Did you try both fixmbr and fixboot?

puntim
puntim

but I have already tried doing this from the XP instal cd in repair mode with no result. Will have another go using a usb stick formatted as a win98 boot disk regards

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