Can I dual-boot Vista/XP if both are installed seperately?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by jmk396, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. jmk396

    jmk396 Gawd

    Jul 22, 2004
    I wanted to have two completely seperate installs of XP and Vista so here is what I did:

    * Created two NTFS partitions and set partition #1 to active or "boot"
    * Installed XP to partition #1

    * Set partition #2 to active or "boot"
    * Installed Vista to partition #2

    Now, I did this so that each install was completely seperate from each other and Vista didn't store it's boot files on XP's partition, etc.

    However, can I have Vista boot XP even though it's on a different partition? I've configured bcdedit to use the partition and \ntldr but I think it says ntldr not found (during boot).

    I'm guessing this is because XP is expecting itself to be the active/boot partition but Vista is currently set.

    Do I need a 3rd party boot manager? It seems to be looking that way (which is fine).
  2. Catweazle

    Catweazle 2[H]4U

    Jan 20, 2004
    I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend why you would be wanting to do what you are wanting to do, but yes. You're gonna need a third party boot manager to do it :)
  3. jmk396

    jmk396 Gawd

    Jul 22, 2004
    Well, I'm going to be installing mac osx too so I just figured that this would be the best way to do it...
  4. MaDSpartus

    MaDSpartus Limp Gawd

    Jun 24, 2004
    do it on 2 different drives and set the primary boot drive in the bios for whichever you want to use.

    i hate having 2 os on the same drive, i use bios as my boot manager (but not for xp / vista :p)
  5. cv65user

    cv65user Limp Gawd

    Sep 20, 2006
    no , use fdisk . set xp to main active partitoin , then boot to xp , then edit xps bootldr , that shld sort it
  6. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

    Apr 28, 2007
    Your method of separating the OS installations and boot files is good for a single drive.
    I used this method many years ago when hard drives cost a bomb and found it was by far the best way to install 2 OS's.
    (now I use 2 separate drives and change the boot order in the CMOS to have entirely separated OS installs on different drives)

    I think I understand what you mean when you asked "However, can I have Vista boot XP even though it's on a different partition?"
    You can change the active partition in Disk Manager and then reboot using the now active partition.
    I can tell you how to do it on XP, Vista will be similar:

    Open Computer Management / Disk Management
    Select the partition you want to boot next and right click it.
    Select "mark partition as active".
    Reboot, job done :)

    Hopefully MAC OS has a similar tool you can use while already booted.
  7. Gillette

    Gillette [H]ard|Gawd

    Feb 6, 2005
    I'm not sure if this has been fixed or not but do NOT use BitLocker in Vista if you're installing a thirdparty bootloader.

    Yes, Startup Disk I believe is what you're looking for... that's off the top of my head, someone can probably correct me.