Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Partitions for Dual Boot Setup

by jy dog / February 10, 2007 3:07 AM PST

I want to set up XP and Vista dual boot.

On a single os drive, I use a seperate partitions for os and programs. Can I do this with a dual boot setup? If so what is best...

Like this:

D: Vista
E. XP Apps
F: Vista Apps

Or should apps be on partition next to os, like this:

D: XP Apps
E: Vista
F: Vista Apps

Also, should Apps partitions be set as primary or logical?

I would, of course, install the programs in the partition corresponding to the OS. Just not sure if this will cause problems. Therefore, is it better to just have two partitions - one for XP and one for Vista, and install all the apps in each accordingly? (But then what about fragmentation?)

Thanks for any help.

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by M3wThr33 / February 10, 2007 9:16 AM PST

No...that won't need to have a separate drive to dual boot and your BIOS must accommodate DUAL BOOTING.

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That's not correct...
by John.Wilkinson / February 11, 2007 12:11 AM PST
In reply to: Partition
mhowell0: You can have multiple operating systems on a single hard drive, provided each one it on its own separate partition. In addition, the BIOS do not need to support dual-booting...that is handled by each individual operating system's boot manager. The BIOS simply prepare the system for boot and pass the job onto the primary boot manager, which takes it from there.

jy dog: Yes, what you propose is completely doable. It actually does not matter which order you have the drives (both OSes and then both program partions or OS and then program partition) because the partition with the OS simply houses a reference to the program's location. It doesn't care if the program's on A:\ or Z:\, just as long as it knows where it is.

Personally, I'd just install the programs to the same drive as the OS, though. Not all programs let you choose where to install them to, so they will default to the partition of the currently-running OS, be that XP or Vista. In addition, most programs store a number of files on the OS partition regardless of where you tell it to install. That limits the effectiveness of the proposed setup and complicates the finding of files should you (not the computer) ever have to. It wouldn't hurt, but there wouldn't be much benefit in doing it that way.

As to fragmentation levels, it's more of an issue with downloads and the movement of personal files than it is for applications, so any change would be minimal. Just run the Windows Defragmenter or another of your choice using the analyze option every couple weeks, based on usage, and see if it recommends defragmenting or not. Do that and it shouldn't become a major concern.

Hope this helps,
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by M3wThr33 / February 12, 2007 1:47 AM PST
In reply to: That's not correct...

Yes you can do as you said with one HD. I have done both before. XP will setup and ask which version that you would like to boot to. I was just trying to save some grief. Partitioning hads its own set of problems. Not as such that you can't get around it. I found that I much preferred to install a separate HD (cheap) and keep systems separate. If you run low on space you are back to resizing partitions.

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