Dual Booting Vista & XP

  mjtomlin 10:33 09 Nov 07

After trying (unsuccessfully!) to get a PCI firewire card to function with Vista I have re-installed XP Pro SP2.

XP Pro is installed onto a separate IDE drive (primary master) Vista is installed onto a SATA drive (SATA 1).

As it was getting late and I had run out of patience I simply unplugged the SATA drive with VIsta installed and booted with XP.

Is it possible to dual boot with XP & Vista installed onto 1 IDE & 1 SATA drive and will I have to install any further software to enable this?

Any help is greatly appreciated.


  Pine Man 11:08 09 Nov 07

As long as you install XP first on one drive. After that when you try to install Vista you will be given the opportunity to dual boot it to the second drive. It doesn't matter that the two drives are different and you won't need additional software.

  mjtomlin 11:15 09 Nov 07

Vista is already installed on the SATA drive, I have just removed the power and data cables from the drive at the moment, if the drive is reconnected will the system recognise that there are 2 operating systems on the comuter?


  Pine Man 11:25 09 Nov 07

I doubt it, you will probably have to re-install Vista.

Alternatively you might be able to get a 'boot manager' program, which allows you to select which drive you want at boot up.

  mjtomlin 11:41 09 Nov 07


Think I will probably just re-install Vista.

A couple of questions regarding this -

When the other HDD is plugged back in, is the system likely to boot with XP or Vista?

Is it simply a case of boot in XP, reinstall Vista & format the SATA drive in the process?

When vista has been installed and is subsequently reinstalled I am guessing that it will do the online validation - will this register as my copy of Vista has been installed twice and therfore be deemed non-genuine?

Thanks for your help

  Pine Man 12:22 09 Nov 07

Whichever disk is 'master' will boot first and by the sound of it this should be XP. Then, yes, it is simply a matter of inserting your Vista CD and directing it to your other drive to install it after formatting if necessary.

You shouldn't have problems validating it as it will be on the same drive in the same PC. If you do a phone call will resolve it easily.

  fw545c 21:56 13 Nov 07

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  Zeppelyn 22:57 13 Nov 07

If you have the Vista install DVD then you can repair the boot process from it, it will show both ista and as options.

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