Dual Boot Vista x64 and XP x86 - no reason why it shouldn't work ...

By Feenicks
Jul 12, 2007
  1. Hi everyone, I apologise in advance if this has been covered a million times, I know it's very irritating when you read threads that have an obvious answer, but for me this problem is driving me absolutely bonkers.

    I have two partitions on the same drive, one Vista and one XP. I was running Vista x86 and XP x86 together with a boot menu absolutely perfectly until horrible things started happening to my Vista installation and I decided to reinstall Vista. I backed everything up and reinstalled only with Vista x64 instead of x86.

    Vista wrote a new MBR etc and obviously the menu was gone and it went straight into Vista, so once everything was set up I went to set up a new menu using VistaBoot Pro, like I did last time. All the settings were identical except now when I choose XP from the menu, the system reboots.

    I thought maybe Vista had done something to XP's boot files so I made the XP partition the active partition, ran recovery console on the XP disc and ran FIXMBR and FIXBOOT. So then I had a system which booted straight into my previous install of XP with no problems.

    Following that, I put in the Vista DVD and fixed the boot loader again so that it would go back into Vista and hopefully I could make a new boot menu and everything would work fine again. Unfortunately I have the same problem - with the Vista partition as the active partition the menu comes up but if I try to go to XP, it reboots straight away. However, if I set my XP partition as the active partition, it goes straight into XP with no problems at all.

    I realise I technically have access to both Vista and XP if I swap the active partition but that's a stupid solution, so I have to ask, why doesn't the boot menu work? The Vista partition is the first partition on the drive (C:) and the XP partition is the second one (D:). On my previous setup, before I reinstalled, booting into Vista would make the partition with Vista (the first partition) the C drive, but if I went into XP then it would make my XP partition (the second partition) the C drive.

    If it's any help, my Vista bcdedit looks like this:

    Windows Boot Manager
    identifier              {bootmgr}
    device                  partition=C:
    default                 {current}
    displayorder            {current}
    timeout                 3
    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier              {current}
    device                  partition=C:
    path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description             Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit
    osdevice                partition=C:
    systemroot              \Windows
    resumeobject            {bafa8462-3083-11dc-b912-806e6f6e6963}
    Windows Legacy OS Loader
    identifier              {ntldr}
    device                  partition=D:
    path                    \ntldr
    description             Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Give up this dual boot up, and deside what single OS you are going to use
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You complicate things tremendously with 64-bit on one partition, and plain XP on the other. You can find information on this at the Microsoft Knowledge base articles on X-64, and on Dual boot. I doubt you will every make it work. It is like Celery and Cumquats.
    Further, I cannot see any practical reason, or logic reason, or advantage why you would want to create this setup. Tell us more.
    Your X-64 processor rules, if you have one.
  4. Feenicks

    Feenicks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Never mind guys, I got it working.

    I changed my bcdedit to make the legacy OS support look at the Vista partition then copied NTDETECT.COM, ntldr and boot.ini over to the Vista partition. Works fine now, Vista x64 on one partition and XP on the other.

    The reason why I want this setup is because I use Vista mainly and switch to XP for games, and I wanted to install Vista x64 so I can make use of my 64-bit processor.

    Thanks for your assistance. Tmagic650, I think you quit way too easily :p
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