First, my personal opinion of Vista.
Our dual boot computer was a test to see how well it would
work. We have Vista Ultimate installed on
another computer since it was released and personally I see
no need to switch to Vista. At least not in the near future.
It's a nicer looking OS and possibly more secure but it's
quite annoying with the pop up screens
asking if your sure you want to do something and occasional
reboots after a crash. Yes it crashes
about twice a week. Why, we have no idea. A log message
tells us to upgrade the BIOS but it is using
the newest BIOS. Go figure. To be fair, this does not happen
on our other Vista computer.
Our XP computers always perform very well and they have no
Vista security makes it difficult to do some things that are
quick and easy with XP like share
folders over a network. I can't imagine a home user with a
simple home network setting up sharing
and then having to set file permissions. In our opinion, it
is not easy enough for the average user.
You almost need a tech support person on call to use it. Of
course this is just my personal opinion.
The reasons why we did our dual boot setup this way are not
given here. It's simply too much to get into now so we are
showing you how we did it the easiest way we knew how.
How we setup the dual boot computer.
For our dual boot computer we used an Intel Dual core 1.8
MHz with 2GB of ram already running XP
Pro. from drive C: It has one hard drive partitioned using
NTFS partitions of C: D: E:
1) We used Partition Magic to add a new 30GB partition
"After" E: by taking space from D: and E:
The new partition must be a NTFS partition and set as a
"Primary drive as is the XP partition.
Do Not make it a Logical drive. Yes you can have two primary
We named the new drive "Vista" (F:).
At this point it is important to understand that when
running XP, the "Vista" drive letter may be F: or the last
letter on your system but when running Vista, drive C: will
be the Vista drive. Drive D: will be the unused XP operating
system when using Vista. Other drives will be moved down one
letter when booting to Vista.
Perhaps it's easier to say that when using XP, the XP OS is
on C: and the (unused) Vista OS is on the last drive.
When using Vista it switches drive letters. Vista is C: and
(unused) XP is D: and so on.
2) Boot with the Vista DVD and install Vista on the new
When finished the computer will boot and you’ll be presented
with a boot menu with two options:
“Microsoft Windows Vista” and “An Earlier Version of
Windows”. Defaults to Vista in a few seconds.
This works well and the only problem we found was while
running Vista, our backup program from a networked computer
it would backup our files to the wrong (changed) drive
When booting to XP this is not a problem but be careful if
you use a backup "TO" a drive while
How to make XP the default OS when dual booting with Vista.