Seeking XP/Vista dual boot advice

By mrtraver
Oct 8, 2008
  1. I'm setting up a new PC and am planning to dual-boot XP Home (32 bit) and Vista Home Premium (64 bit). It will be a clean install of each OS on a newly formatted hard drive. I have two SATA hard drives (a 74 gb WD Raptor and soon-to-have a 640 gb WD Caviar Blue). I'm looking for some advice about installation issues, so any opinions and links to threads or other resources are appreciated.

    Which OS should I install first, and/or does it make a difference?

    Should I install both OS's on the faster Raptor in separate partitions, or is it better to install each OS on a separate drive (from what I have read, the WD 640 is one of the fastest 7200 RPM drives available).

    If I install Vista first and decide later to dual-boot XP for legacy apps/peripherals, can it easily be done? I.e., can I create new partitions after installation with Vista, or do I have to reformat like with XP?

    Whether or not both OS's are on the same disk, will I still be able to install programs from both OS's to my larger disk when the Raptor fills up? Will I be able to access data/media files from either OS?

  2. pcaceit

    pcaceit TS Rookie Posts: 315


    Raptor is the Best!
    as its only 74GB I expect it would fill up quite quickly if you install both xp and vista on it.

    I would Have Raptor as Primary (Sata 0 ) and install xp first so that it makes raptor your system Partition (if you install vista first xp will distroy the vista boot data and you will have to run recovery to get dual boot options back) Then install vista on your caviar. I would partition the caviar in two partitions first 300GB and the remaining as storage.

    But if vista is going to be your main system i would install vista on the caviar then just have a small 100GB partition for xp on the caviar. After you install xp, boot your vista DVD and select startup repair and vista will create your dual boot startup options.

    You can access Data from both systems .

    You do not have to reformat whichever one you install first, you just create partitions with either systems, and when you install the other system just select a different partition to in stall it on.

    If you were to partition Your Raptor and install both Vista and xp on it, You can install programs on the larger drive, You could create folders called Programs_XP and Programs_Vista and install you programs in those. or you could create separtitions for XP and Vista.

    You should Download "Easy BCD" from this site:
    It will help you to manage your boot options when you dual boot. try it now. and i would install it on both xp and vista.

    hope this was helpful
  3. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    All i did was install xp on one sata drive. Disconnect it, install vista on another sata drive.
    Conect them both back up and it would automatically boot into vista.
    If i wanted to boot into XP, then i i hit F12 on startup for boot options and chose the appropriate hdd to boot from.
    This way as i nearly always boot into vista i can turn the pc on and wonder off, knowing it will boot into vista and be ready on the desktop when i come back to the pc, without me having to wait around to select an OS to boot into every time i turn the pc on.On the odd occasion i wanted xp, then yes, i'd hang around, press F12 then choose the xp drive.
  4. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 337   +43

    Awesomely helpful suggestions; thank you!
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