Dual boot Vista Beta 2 and XP

By agronick
Jun 13, 2006
  1. Does anyone know how to dual boot Vista Beta 2 and XP. Vista no longer uses the boot.ini. Does anyone know a workaround?
  2. wlknaack

    wlknaack TS Rookie Posts: 143

    First, you could use a 3rd party boot manager. There are retail versions available and a freeware version called GRUB. If you have Partition Magic installed, you already have a boot manager, BootMagic, which you can install from the Partition Magic Installation CD.

    Second, I do not know if Vista Beta 2 has the same capability to manage a dual boot like WinXP. If Vista does, then you install WinXP first, and Vista second. If Vista does not, then you would install Vista first and WinXP second.

    Be advised, in the case of a WinXP managed dual boot, all the boot information would be in the boot sector of Vista, and if you decided to remove Vista, then the WinXP would not be bootable. I suggest, therefore, that the 3rd party boot manager, which is independent of either OS, is the way to go.
  3. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    The latest one does.
  4. Char_X

    Char_X TS Rookie Posts: 170

    Yep, there are a lot of boot managers like Lilo, for example, wich is free. Partition Magic has its boot loader actually; also, if you have DiskDirector it has it own Osselector..
  5. altheman

    altheman TS Rookie Posts: 425

    would the fixboot and fixmbr commands from recovary console fix this?? im asking 'cos i plan on dual booting vista and xp soon, and i dont have experiance using 3rd party bootloaders.
  6. wlknaack

    wlknaack TS Rookie Posts: 143

    The boot sector of the WinXP installation would be essentially empty and, to the best of my knowledge, theoretically, fixboot and fixmbr should rebuild the standard boot sector. However, fixmbr will not affect the partition signature, and you may, I repeat may, run into the situation where the partition signature in the boot sector will not match the partition signature stored in the registry. If that happens you cannot boot. Do not despair because there is a way to correct this. Go to and download and create a Win98 Boot Disk. If you run into the situation where you still cannot boot after you have rebuilt the boot sector, boot to the Win98 floppy and run fdisk /mbr. This will zero-out the partition signature. Remove the floppy and reboot. WinXP will now be forced to rebuild the partition signature and store in in the boot sector and the registry, and they will now match.

    As a note aside: It is not complicated to use a boot manager and, since the boot manager is independent of either operating system, it is not affected by removing or changing these operating systems. On the other hand, getting into a Windows managed dual-boot is easy, but it can be a nightmare when you try, or are accidentally forced, to get out of it, as the above discussion illustrates.
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