How To: Dual Boot Windows XP and Windows Vista

This is a follow up to my How To: Upgrade Windows XP to Windows Vista for those that are looking to install Windows Vista as a dual-boot with Windows XP.

If you’re going to tackle dual-boot, I’m going to presume that concepts like disk partitions and such are right up your alley. If you don’t know what a partition is, spend some time on Google and come back to this dual-boot in a few weeks. 🙂

How To: Dual Boot Windows XP and Windows Vista

  1. Make backups. Period. Do not pass go. MAKE BACKUPS!
  2. Set up a new NTFS partition (called V:) of at least 20GB using Acronis, GParted Live (free), Parition Magic or your favorite partition tool. Note: Windows XP’s native partition tool is *not* recommended.
  3. Boot to Windows XP.
  4. Inspect your new V: drive
  5. If your BIOS is configured to boot from DVD, I suggest installing Vista from DVD boot. Otherwise you have to install Vista from within XP. Also note, you may need driver cds for your peripherals!
  6. Reboot after install. You should have a boot menu on startup. The MICROSOFT WINDOWS option refers to Vista. The PREVIOUS VERSION option refers to XP.

That’s it! Enjoy!!

For further detail, I recommend the APC article on dual-boot, as it includes a step-by-step with screen shots.