Install XP from Windows Vista

By redwire
Oct 7, 2010
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  1. How would I go about installing XP on a seperate partition while in vista?

    I don't have a cd drive, floppy or usb stick so it would have to be directly in vista.
  2. pjamme

    pjamme TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 285

    Redwire,
    IMHO you must have either a Cd/DVD or USB to do what you want, sorry
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,335   +49

    Whilst pjamme is correct about you needing an additional drive, it would virtually always be a cd drive you need (or DVD - are you without either, surely not). I would say 'get a USB drive'. At 4Gb/8Gb they are extremely cheap and have lots of uses.

    In your case, you would take the USB drive to a friend, along with the install CD of WinXP. You would then copy the whole CD onto the USB drive, then back on your own PC, start Vista and try the install by double-clicking on the setup.exe on the USB copy of XP install. Might work, (more likely if you start Vista in safe mode) but strictly speaking you need a separate partition to install it on, The install does not have partitioning software on it, and you need to create the desired XP partition first. Furthermore XP needs to be installed before Vista, because of the new Vista/Win 7 boot loader, and also from a boot off the install CD.

    So quite honestly, what you want to do is perfectly possible, but may be beyond your own competance level.
  4. redwire

    redwire Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Actually, you're both wrong.

    bit.ly/avw8K0
    Take a look at theoutcast's post.


    Basically, I'm looking for installation instructions except for installing from vista.

    I have installed XP, Vista and Windows 7 and repaired a large amount of PC's, so I don't mind any posts regardless of how technical they are. Not everyone's competency of computers online is terrible.

    It is a laptop that has a broken DVD drive, broken usb ports(2) and I do not have access to an external hard drive because mine is not here with me.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,335   +49

    Ok, not so easy then. I would download Easeus free partiton manager http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm and shorten any existing partition(s) as required to release at least 20Gb free space. Create new primary partition and format NTFS in the free space.

    Either take the PC to another PC, connect broadband and copy the XP install CD onto the new partition into an \xpinstall directory. (only part needed as the post you quote says).

    Alternatively, extract the HDD and connect to another PC with an adapter (very cheap) and again do the copy as described.

    All pretty much the same as resulting from the post you quote.

    Then booting the laptop starting a Dos window and away you go, except you are already on your laptop, so no need to halt the process part way through. You may have trouble if the laptop only has SATA drive. You need sata drivers during XP install in that case.

    After a successful install laptop will then only boot into XP. Your existing Vista is still there, but will be inaccessible until you manage to re-write the boot manager again, to include Vista and XP as dual-boot. Also not easy without an external drive. Burning or buying a copy of UBCD4WIN might help if you had.

    BTW which part of the instructions by thoutcaste do you trip up on? To be honest I cannot see much hope of you solving the setting up of dual-boot problem without an external drive, but I might be corrected on that.
  6. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Don't forget that the drivers can be the most difficult part... Many Windows 7 machines cannot use VISTA drivers, and the manufacturers often do not offer them... so you have to spend some time finding and collecting.
  7. redwire

    redwire Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I already know how to make partitions and I don't intend to dual boot vista, I'll end up formatting the leftover partition from vista and use it as a partition for storage.

    What tripped me up was that he said I needed windows xp sp2 or earlier, I didn't think it would work from vista.
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,335   +49

    There are two issues. First is to get round the install when already running a later OS, and second is to be offered a dual boot during install, which only happens if moving upward in the OS series.

    As the question of dual booting does not arise, the method of copying the install files to a HDD empty partition should work however you manage to do it. The main thing is to have something to boot from in order to run the cmd.exe from which to start the setup executable. You probably will get a warning, as the post says, and whether or not you can get past that when running Vista you will find out when you try it.

    Personally, I dodged the bullet of Vista, but in XP I know I can easily boot the PC into virtually pure Dos just by pressing function keys during boot, or even easier, disconnect the keyboard during boot.. If you can do the same in Vista, you should be ok.
  9. redwire

    redwire Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I can access command prompt from vista restore disk/restore partition, that should work, no?

    I've never tried installing from an active pc(logged on) so I'm a bit skeptical when it comes to this method.
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,335   +49

    yes, command prompt from restore partition should work, I think. Still might be a problem doing a reverse OS series install though, but you will find out !

    As raybay points out, you should research the XP driver issue and see if you can download them all onto the new partition first, ready to be installed as soon as XP is up.


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