How To Dual Boot Windows XP And Vista

Even though Windows Vista has been around for close to two years, there are still many people who can’t bear to get rid of Win XP due to its stability and better hardware support. Luckily you can get the best of both world by creating a dual boot between Vista and XP.

Here is the tutorial to create a dual boot Vista/XP system. It is divided into 3 scenarios: Installing XP/Vista on a blank unformatted hard disk, installing Vista with XP pre-installed, installing XP with Vista preinstalled.  You will find yourself in one of these scenarios.

Installing windows XP and Vista on a blank unformatted hard disk

Step 1: Insert in the WinXP installer CD and boot up the computer into the blue WinXP installer screen.

Press Enter, follow by F8 to reach the hard disk selection screen.

winxp-partition

Press C to create a partition. Enter the partition size for WinXP. Press Enter

winxp-partition

It will prompt you again to allocate partition size for the remaining space. This time, enter the partition size for Vista and press Enter. Vista will need at least 15 GB of hard disk space.

winxp-partition2

Once done, the installer will bring you back to the hard disk selection screen, now with two partitioned hard disk.

Select the partition that you going to install WinXP and press Enter.

winxp-installation

When it prompts you for partition format, select “Format the partition using the NTFS file system“.

winxp-installation

Proceed with the Win XP installation.

Step 2: When you have completed the WinXP installation, insert in the Vista installer CD and reboot the computer into the Vista installer mode.

Follow the instruction on the screen until you reach the point where it asks you to select the partition. Choose the partition that you created for Vista.

vista-installation

Proceed with the installation.

When it is done, it will reboot and you will be able to choose if you want to boot up Win XP (Earlier version of Windows) or Vista.

windows-selection

Dual boot Vista with Win XP pre-installed

Let’s say your hard disk is already installed with Win XP and you want to create a dual boot between your existing Win XP and a new installation of Vista, here’s how you do it.

Follow the instruction here to create a new partition for your Vista installation.

Once you have created a new partition, follow the Step 2 above to install your Vista (make sure you select the correct partition when installing Vista, else you will erase all the data in the WinXP partition).

Dual boot WinXP with Vista pre-installed

If you have bought a new system that comes with Vista pre-installed and you want to create a dual boot between the existing Vista and a new installation of Win XP, here’s how you do it:

Follow the instruction here to create a new partition for your WinXP installation. (Alternatively you can use the Disk management in Vista to resize and create the partition).

Once you have created a new partition, follow the Step 1 above to install your WinXP (make sure you select the correct partition when installing WinXP, else you will erase all the data in the Vista partition).

After you have installed WinXP, you will find that it has erased the bootloader and you can’t boot into your Vista anymore. To fix this, put in your Vista CD and boot the computer into the installer screen.

Choose Repair your computer

Vista repair bootloader

Highlight the Vista partition and click Next

vista bootloader repair select

Click on Startup Repair from the list of option

vista-startup-repair

The installer will now restore your Vista bootloader. When it is done, it will prompt you to restart your system. Click Finish to restart.

vista finish bootloader repair

It should boot back to Vista now.

In your Vista, download and install EasyBCD

Launch the application.

EasyBCD

On the left pane, select Add/Remove Entries. On the right pane in the Add an Entry section under the Windows tab, select Windows NT/2k/XP/2k3 under the Type dropdown bar. Name it Windows XP and click Add Entry.

easybcd-add-entry

Close the EasyBCD application and restart your system. You should be able to select to boot into Windows Vista or XP now.

dual-boot-screen

That’s it!