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ozgeek

Vista/XP dual boot -

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Scot

I've had zero problems with this too. I've been testing Vista (every build since the alpha build I got in 2003) in a dual-boot configuration with XP always in the C: drive. No troubles at all with it.The thing about the switched drive letters is funny though, because it happened to me earlier, but it's not happening with me now. I have three machines with Build 6000 on them, and not one of them is showing Vista as Drive C: when I'm booted to Vista. But I know exactly what everyone means who's seeing that -- because I have seen it before. I even wrote about it negatively almost 18 months ago.I need to figure out why this happens and write about it though. I bet a lot of other people could use help with this.I detailed how I install Vista in a dual-boot configuration here.-- Scot

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b2cm
In PartitionMagic, you can mark a partition as active and it will take immediate effect after you reboot. You can hide a partition, but I don't recall that method works with NT based OS. I used to hide a partition and mark another one active during early Windows 9.x days, but I remember no matter what, my Windows 2000 could always spot another partition even if it is hidden.
I use BootMagic and enable the advanced partition hiding feature. If Vista does not install its boot program in the MBR (like LILO for some distros) the partition on which it is installed is self-contained, so you can use any 3rd-party boot manager with partition hiding.

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Gary

The problems that I was having was when I had Xp on C: Build 5308 on the Primary partition on my second SATA drive which was H: and build 5384 on the second logical partition on the second SATA drive which was I:.This was before I started using VistaBootPRO. Sometimes it would boot and sometimes it would not.Once I started using VistaBooyPRO I stop having such problems. Although I now only have one build of Vista at a time on my machine.Now I just have Xp and Build 5744.

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RandomBox
... I detailed how I install Vista in a dual-boot configuration here.-- Scot
You are a patient and very thorough man Scot F.,
To install Vista smartly in a new partition, you need at least 20GB of free storage capacity. Create a new 15GB drive, and leave a minimum of 5GB free to your existing Windows installation. That will leave you a bit of room to install apps on your Vista partition.
I had my initial WinVistaRC1 installed in a 17GByte SCSI drive and after installing a few applications and Office2007Beta, I got a cautionary prompt that 17GB was not a good hardware config for WinVista.-------------------------------*The worst-case scenario that I can come up with for the dual-boot config (which relies on a single boot loader (boot.in or BCD)) is when the older (e.g. WinXP) OS gets corrupt for some odd reason (HDD crash or an infection, or ??); how does a user recover from it, as I have heard everyone continue to say that the older OS MUST be installed FIRST?*Would this worst-case mandate that BOTH OSs be reinstalled all over again? Multi-boot does not care; as each OS is autonomous and does not have a "co-dependency". It would be nice if WinVista allowed some user flexibility as to how the BCD handles a dual-boot strategy, without being so aggressive.*Does WinVista BCD also take over control if there is a Linux OS installed in the system (in another HDD or another partition)? *Does the LinuxOS require to be installed FIRST? Previously, Acronis OS Selector (DiskDirector) was able to handle a mix of WinXP + Linux, but I am not quite sure if AcronisDiskDirector can accomodate WinVista + Linux. ----------------------------------For me the answer is a simple question of time and money.After attempting to get RC1 WinVista to play nice with WinXP in dual-boot, I ran out of patience after the third reinstall of WinVista (plus resurrecting one WinXP Acronis Image). Life has become smoother upon going back to my multi-boot config and haven't had any problem since. I think I recall WinVista takes about 40 minutes to install from scratch.----------------------------------Since you obviously have the clout in the industry; it maybe worthwhile to contact Acronis people and discuss with them your need for (your previously discussed) dynamic partition needs.

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kkehoe
The thing about the switched drive letters is funny though, because it happened to me earlier, but it's not happening with me now. I have three machines with Build 6000 on them, and not one of them is showing Vista as Drive C: when I'm booted to Vista. But I know exactly what everyone means who's seeing that -- because I have seen it before. I even wrote about it negatively almost 18 months ago.I need to figure out why this happens and write about it though. I bet a lot of other people could use help with this.-- Scot
If you boot to the Vista DVD to do the install, it will make itself Drive C:. If you launch the install from within the existing O/S, the drive lettering from that O/S will be maintained.Microsoft's position on this is "by design."Kevin

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b2cm

Windows always considers the active primary partition (the 'system' volume, where the Windows boot files are located) as C: If Vista operating system folders and files are installed to a different volume (a logical partition), naturally the drive letter of the Vista volume will be anything but C:.

Edited by b2cm

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Scot

Kevin,Thanks for the info. I thought it was going to be something like that. And I can corroborate this because I do usually install from the XP GUI rather than rebooting to the Vista CD. (This is an old habit from long ago when, under Win9x, installs went better when you started from the GUI because of issues with long filenames.) But it looks like it pays new benefits -- or not -- depending on whether you like the volume drive letter change or not.But ... mystery solved thanks to Kevin.-- Scot

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Scot

Random, I don't know the answers to your questions -- though they are interesting ones. Bottom line, Windows multiple-boot config just is not designed for reinstallations. To be frank about this, I can't remember the last time I personally reinstalled Windows over itself. Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of that approach to fixing Windows. I usually try to trace down the source of the problem. For me, the thing that works the most frequently is to just start uninstalling applications. Also, though, cloning your installation when it's in a good situation and using that as your fix-it tool is my preferred approach. I rarely use this either. I think you're missing the spirit of what Windows multiboot was intended for. It's not really intended for longterm use. It is purely designed to let someone test a new or different OS while preserving his existing one. You're wondering whether Notepad is Microsoft Word. It isn't. About Linux ... Windows multiboot doesn't support Linux at all. Linux's multiboot solution takes over when you mix the two. Linux does not have to be installed first in that setting. I've performed that setup more than once.I have never used the Acronis product, so I can't say much about it. I probably should take a look at their entire line. I wrote their PR dept. a couple of months ago and I never heard back.-- Scot

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Peachy

Scot, Actually, Windows ntldr can boot Linux. It's not automatic, but it's not that difficult. Bascially when you install your Linux distro you choose to install GRUB or lilo into the root partition or on a floppy disk. Boot into Linux using the floppy or a CD-ROM. Then copy the boot sector to a file with the command

dd if=/dev/hd{n} of=linux.sec bs=1 count=512

where {n) is the partition. Substitute s for h if using SCSI or SATA drives. The outpuf filename is arbitrary. Next boot into XP and copy the linux.sec to the root of the XP installation and add a line to the boot.ini file like this:

c:\linux.sec = "Linux distro x.x.x"

Voila, dual-boot into Linux. Before doing the dd command ensure that the Linux bootloader is installed in the root partition by re-running the boot loader installation if necessary.

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