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Monday, January 5, 2009

Dual booting Windows XP and Vista

Application compatibility remains one of the most annoying problems for Microsoft Windows Vista users. The ability to upgrade the software to a new Windows Vista compatible version is not always a good option.The major problem is that the vendor that developed the particular application may no longer available or the cost to upgrade to new version is too high.So in order to run the older applications it is better to dual boot Windows Vista and XP together in the same computer. Dual booting Windows XP and Vista on the same computer will allow you to select proper operating system from a boot menu that pop up's during the booting process says what operating sytem you want to run. This pop up window is displayed right after you power on your computer.Installing both Windows XP and Windows Vista on one computer can be a little hard depending upon what operating system you have installed first on your computer.This article will help you to configure both versions of Windows on your computer, depending on what Windows Version you have installed first: If Windows XP is installed first: If you want to dual boot Windows XP and Vista and Windows XP is previously installed on your computer you will not have to do much work to dual boot with Windows Vista. Just boot to your Windows Vista installation DVD, select custom install option and install Windows Vista on a separate partition or physical drive than where Windows XP is installed.It is important that the disk partition to which the Windows Vista is installed,has at least 20GB space. The Windows Vista installation will leave your Windows XP install intact and automatically install a proper boot menu with both XP and Vista listed. If Windows Vista is installed first: If you want to dual boot Windows XP and Vista and Windows Vista is previously installed on your computer you will have to do much work to dual boot with Windows XP.If you are completely formatted your hard drive and wiped out Windows XP when you installed Vista, your setup is going to be a little more complicated. Follow these steps to dual boot Windows Vista with XP: * Boot up your computer with a Windows XP installation CD and install Windows XP to a different partition or physical drive than where Windows Vista is installed. When the XP installation setup is finished, your computer will automatically boot into Windows XP only. Don't worry about it because Windows Vista is still on your computer if you correctly installed Windows XP to a different partition or physical drive. * When you installed Windows XP on a Vista system, the Vista Boot Manager components was replaced by the Windows XP boot components.So in order to get proper boot menu,the corrupted Vista Boot Manager needs to be fixed by using the Windows Vista installation DVD. Boot your computer with the Windows Vista installation DVD , click Next on the regional settings screen and then click on the option Repair your computer in the lower left of the window. Select your Windows Vista install and then run the Startup Repair. This will fix the Windows Boot Manager and Vista will once again startup automatically. * After the fixing of Vista boot manager, we need to add an entry to the Windows Boot Manger for Windows XP. This task is done through the Windows Vista. When you are back in Windows Vista, open an administrative level command prompt(elevated command prompt) window and run the following commands: bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Windows XP" bcdedit /set {ntldr} device boot bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast * Reboot your computer and test out the new boot menu. Dual boot the Windows XP and Vista has now been configured on your computer. You will be now able to enjoy the benefits and enhancements of Windows Vista without giving up the ability to run older applications and games that require Windows XP.

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