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Tech Helproom


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Dual boot


Ian in Northampton
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OK, same machine as the 'optical drive' machine...

It came with Vista. I'm no big Vista fan - I prefer XP.

I could easily just install XP on it. However, as I have done previously with a Dell Inspiron 9200, I plan to dual boot it. My thinking is that, if I can't find all the XP drivers I need in the short term, I'll at least have a working Vista machine.

Once I have all the XP drivers, I may convert it to XP only (although that was the plan with the Dell a year ago, and it's still a dual boot machine...)

Anyway... I'm planning to follow the instructions here:

http://apcmag.com/howtodualbootvistaandxpwithvistainstalledfirst_thestepbystep_guide.htm

My question is: the hard drive on the machine I'm planning to dual boot already has both a C: and a D: partition. Do I therefore need to follow the instructions on the second page "create free space for Windows XP"? Or can I start from page 3?

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Ian in Northampton

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Frustratingly, I have 'real' stuff to do now before I can get to this... :-(

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Ian in Northampton

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OK - I've made my slipstreamed bootable operating system. Problem is, the resulting file was too large to burn to a CD - so I've burned it to a DVD. Will a PC boot from an XP DVD rather than an XP CD?

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rdave13

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Having hunted for the XP-SP3 with sata drivers slipstreamed yesterday, it's on a CD not DVD. It shows up as 565 MB.

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Ian in Northampton

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Well, I ended up with about 750MB... :-( And that's just with SP2 slipstreamed into an SP1 version of XP. In theory, though, there's no reason why a DVD won't boot in the same way as CD - is there? (Dave: I'm starting to feel this is a journey we're going through together. I really appreciate your help.)

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rdave13

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No reason at all that it won't boot from a DVD. My original XP disc had SP3 on it already. This shows the files and folders on the disc, link.

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Ian in Northampton

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That looks about right. I've got a few extra files/folders which are probably a function of the slipstream - including, handily, a .txt file with the serial key on it... :-) I'll give it a whirl - probably tomorrow now. Thanks again rdave.

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rdave13

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One thing I'd do is to download EasyBCD and dot net 2 to a flash drive/ disc so if you land with an XP install that can't connect (drivers), then you can at least repair Vista's boot loader,again, if needed. Don't bother if you have other laptops etc. Just a precaution.

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Ian in Northampton

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A happy ending!

As ever with a Windows reinstall, not without its heart-stopping moments (what do non-smokers do to calm their nerves when reinstalling Windows?)

Worst was "Unknown load error \system\rootsystem32\ntdll.dll". Research showed that a very likely cause was a faulty install disk. I took it out, wiped it on my jeans - and second time round, it went fine. (What do people without a second PC do when they come across errors during an install?)

The usual ups and downs with drivers (I always forget that Radeon drivers need the .net framework installing first, for example).

Of course, I'm not 100% happy. There's a PCI Device and a Storage Controller showing up in Device Manager with a yellow exclamation mark. I hate that, even though everything I want to work seems to be working.

I haven't even got round to the dual boot thing yet. I may leave that as an option for the future as the XP installation looks good.

Many thanks for all your help, rdave (and others). I shall the more enjoy my Sunday evening beers.

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