Windows Vista forum

General discussion

can i install windows xp in the same hard drive

by izote / July 17, 2006 12:23 PM PDT

i have windows vista but i like to know how to install windows xp in my computer running windows vista, in the same hard drive. how can i do that? thank you for your help.

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by John.Wilkinson / July 17, 2006 1:29 PM PDT

Unfortunately it's not a simple process:
1.) Backup all of your files.
2.) Wipe your hard drive clean.
3.) Use the Windows XP CD to create two partitions on the drive.
4.) Install Windows XP onto the first partition.
5.) Install Vista onto the second partition.
6.) Reinstall all of your programs and replace all of your files from backup.

Good luck.

P.S. You can also read another member's (Yoni's) reply by clicking here.

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You Can Install Vista First...
by terryparker / July 20, 2006 9:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes...

Sorry to let you know Jhon, but you do NOT have ti install Windows XP first. If you go to Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management. (In Windows Vista).
Click on Disk Management. It will then list all the partitions on your Hard Drive. If you right click on the Hard Drive icon you can shrink or extend your Volume (that's what Microsoft call a partition).
Shrink your volume and then create a new volume from the unallocated space.
You can then insert your Windows XP CD and install it on your second partition!!!

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Can result in the inability to boot Windows...
by John.Wilkinson / July 20, 2006 9:19 AM PDT

There are a couple known issues with attempting to install a previous version of Windows on a system already running Vista Beta 2, resulting in the inability to boot Vista, or any of the installed OSes. (You can find one of the related Microsoft KB articles by clicking here.) So, while you can attempt to install XP after Vista, it's best to just go in order to reduce the chance of your efforts going for not.


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Did IT...
by terryparker / July 20, 2006 11:10 AM PDT

I did it today for my dad and it works. I installed Windows Vista Build 5472 first and then Windows XP Pro and they both boot up perfectly and have caused him no problems..... SO FAR!!!

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Might be fixed the new build...
by John.Wilkinson / July 20, 2006 11:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Did IT...

The issue was reported in the CPP Beta 2, but it may have since been resolved in the latest build. Anyhow, glad to hear it worked for you.


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Installing XP after Vista already installed
by makerman / October 7, 2007 8:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Did IT...

Thanks for your input. It was very powerful. I have Windows Vista Home Premium with a dual-core processor E2140. I have already created the unallocated space. Not sure where to go from there can you help? What steps should I take to install the XP PRO?

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Installed XP successfully after Vista
by rajsave / October 31, 2007 4:49 AM PDT


Recently i baught Compaq Presario V6336EA with preinstalled VISTA. After lots of pain i successfully installed XP in the different partition assuming that i will able to dual boot it. But then what i found is i cant boot to VISTA as its not giving me any option while startup. Its simply boot through XP directly. Can anyone having any idea abt this problem.

Thnanks in advance.


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Checked The Vista 'Tips' Thread Yet At The Top Of The Forum?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 31, 2007 10:09 AM PDT
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hi everybody
by nevjola / November 1, 2007 11:15 PM PDT

I have done this before. You nead to install vistabootpro and .net framework 2.0. After this you will nead to reboot your computer and everything will be ok. hope this will help you

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(NT) This is correct
by Dango517 / November 1, 2007 11:32 PM PDT
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Consider this
by Dango517 / November 1, 2007 11:53 PM PDT

If you dual boot and the drive crashes you loose both. If one becomes unrecoverable then the other maybe lost as well. In other words risky.

Consider adding a second hard drive. (Easier said then done.) Cost as low as $60.00 or you could go with virtualization software. See Microsofts virtual PC or VM Ware for free software.

See this:

The risks are less but the end result is not as good as a second hard drive. If you really want to spend some money add two Raid 1-5 drives and mirror your configuration adding the second OS to the secondary hard drive or back up.

See this:,124948/article.html

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secondary drive for multiple boot option
by pattsy_fagan / November 3, 2007 4:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Consider this

Hi. I just purchased a Dell PC which includes Windows Vista. I would like to connect the harddrive from my previous PC (running XP) to the harddrive of my new PC (running Vista). I read some posts which recommend installing a secondary harddrive for a multiple boot. If I connect my previous harddrive already containing XP to the new harddrive (Vista) will I be able to boot from both Vista and XP?

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by Dango517 / November 3, 2007 6:42 AM PDT

but you may lose the installed version of XP that you have on it currently. A reformatting of the moved drive will most likely be needed, once install. Then you will need to reinstall XP on it.

If this is a Western Digital drive then software is available from there web site to check the hard drive for problems after you install it. Run this software to insure it is properly functioning "prior" to installing XP. Other makes of hard drives may provide this software as well. Check these respective sites.

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Not directly...
by John.Wilkinson / November 3, 2007 10:28 AM PDT

There are three primary issues:

1.) If you connect the old hard drive and reboot XP will not be an option as Vista will not know about its existence...that's only established during the OS's installation, not connection. There's a relatively easy process to address that, but check out the other issues first.

2.) Barring the first issue, the required drivers may not be loaded, which can result in anything from the sound not working to Windows being unbootable. That would force you to perform a repair installation which, in turn, would force you to repair Vista. (Installing/repairing XP on a Vista system causes Vista to become temporarilly unbootable.)

3.) Finally, even if the first two didn't come into consideration if that copy of XP was preinstalled by Dell, HP, etc. then it's an OEM copy that's permanently locked to the old computer and cannot be used/run on any other system.

Thus it is, unfortunately, not a plug-and-play situation, so it ranges from somewhat tedious to impossible, depending on the exact situation. If you wish to proceed and would like some direction let us know, and see what information you can fill in about the old computer.


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I'd agree with John here
by Dango517 / November 3, 2007 6:38 PM PDT
In reply to: Not directly...

This is much easier said then done. If your old drive is still installed on a computer search EULA in that computers help and support, this should provide your license agreement. Some times the OS can be moved once, sometimes not. Again, easier said then done.

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