Windows XP Users: Don't Boot Vista, Dual Boot Instead: Page 2

Posted February 26, 2008

Ronald Barrett

Ronald Barrett

(Page 2 of 2)

4. Now insert your XP disk and reboot your system. When prompted press any key to boot into the XP setup disc. Follow the XP installation steps and choose your newly created drive when prompted for the installation location. At the disk formatting screen you can choose “Leave the current file system” and finish the installation.

5. Upon reboot the system will by default boot to Windows XP, so we need to create our startup boot menu. Insert the Vista DVD and reboot the system. When prompted click next.

Next, click Repair your Computer (be careful not to choose install). At the System Recovery Console select Windows Vista and click next. Then choose the command prompt option.

7. At the command prompt type the following:

bootrec.exe /fixMBR – press enter
bootrec.exe /fixBoot – press enter

Close the command prompt and reboot.

8. Once the system restarts it will boot into Windows Vista. Click the start orb and type cmd.exe and then click Ctrl+Shift+Enter; this will open the command prompt with elevated privileges. If you are prompted by the UAC, press continue. What follows next is a series of commands that should be type exactly as shown below. After each command is typed you should receive a message of “The operation completed successfully” or “The specified entry already exists”. Either response is fine. {Note: If Vista is installed on a drive other than c:, first change the command prompt to the drive Vista is installed on, then type the commands.}

bcdedit -set {ntldr} device partition=C:
bcdedit -set {ntldr} path ntldr
bcdedit -displayorder {ntldr} -addlast
bcdedit -set {ntldr} description "Microsoft Windows

And that’s it. After your next reboot you will be prompted to choose between Windows Vista and Windows XP. Select the OS you want and you’re ready to go.

Customize the boot menu

By default the system will boot to Windows Vista if no option is chosen, but this too can be rectified. Boot into Windows Vista. Right click Computer and choose properties. Choose advanced system settings. And under Startup and Recovery, click settings.

Here you can choose the default operating system, as well as how long (in seconds) the boot menu will allow for you to choose an operating system.

Is it really worth the effort?

Some may wonder if it’s worth the trouble of creating a dual boot environment. After all, news of Windows 7 has already begun to spread like wildfire.

I had someone recently ask if Windows Vista is going to turn out to be the next Windows Me disaster, which many viewed as the prelude to Windows XP. But Windows 7 is only in its infancy stages and those who are optimistic say it will come sometime in 2010. This release will also build on, not abandon what has been done with Windows Vista. So in the meantime continue to enjoy those comfy jeans…err.. Windows XP, but have Vista around so you can break it in and eventually Vista will grow on you.

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Tags: Windows, Microsoft, software, Vista, Storage

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