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Vista reinstall

I have Windows Vista Home Basic on a Dell Dimension E521 with 80gb of hard drive space. The CPU is AMD 64 3200+. Can I add a secondary hard drive and reinstall the operating system on the secondary hard drive? Is it possible to have Vista Home Basic on one hard drive and XP Home on the second hard drive? Can I use a a backup copy of Vista Home Basic OS system and program files to reinstall on the secondary hard drive? Are all choices possible depending on what I choose?

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Answers...

In reply to: Vista reinstall

"Can I add a secondary hard drive and reinstall the operating system on the secondary hard drive?"
-> Yes, you can.


"Is it possible to have Vista Home Basic on one hard drive and XP Home on the second hard drive?"
-> Yes, but you will have to install your copy of Windows Vista first, then Windows XP (assuming the license is not in use on any other computer), and then use VistaBootPRO to edit the BCD store to restore Windows Vista's bootability.


"Can I use a a backup copy of Vista Home Basic OS system and program files to reinstall on the secondary hard drive?"
-> That depends on what the "backup copy" entails and how it was created.


John

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Why wouldn't you

In reply to: Answers...

Why wouldn't you just install XP first, then let Vista's installer pick up on XP, install its own bootloader, and configure it to boot XP as well? It's a lot less hassle that way.

Just as a general rule when trying to set up a dual boot with Windows... Install the older version first. Didn't work in the DOS (Win9x/Me) days when the installer just assumed it would be the only OS on the system and obliterated the MBR with its own bootloader... But with the NT line, generally every newer version will be able to detect older versions and automatically configure a dual boot setup IF it's installed AFTER the older version of Windows.

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Because it is not a retail copy of Windows Vista...

In reply to: Why wouldn't you

Last time I checked, that OEM system recovery system was designed to wipe the hard drive, which would eliminate Windows XP right after you got done installing it. I could be wrong, but I've yet to see Dell, HP, et cetera make it as easy to dual-boot as it is with retail editions.

John

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Not with Dell

In reply to: Because it is not a retail copy of Windows Vista...

Not with Dell. HP and the rest might just give you some highly customized reinstall disc that's essentially worthless, but every Dell system I've ever bought is almost a bog standard retail disc. The only thing they really tend to modify is to add a check that will bypass the activation if it detects a Dell BIOS.

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Seems to vary...

In reply to: Not with Dell

If I remember correctly, Dell, at least in the past, offered to include a retail Windows CD/DVD and key, as opposed to their custom recovery system, for an extra fee. As far as I know, it varies based on product lines, though I may be wrong. Last Dell I used the OEM disc for, built a little over a year ago, had some nice customizations, including removal of Windows Vista's repair options and the addition of bloatware. Thus, I just turn to VBP instead of listing conditional instructions dependent upon the reader determining what type of CD/DVD it is. Same result, and one of the reasons why I build my own. Usually costs less and "unstable Windows" is remarkably stable on solid hardware.

John

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