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Thread: Dual boot pc

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe

    Default Dual boot pc

    I know this is slightly off-off topic, but I was just wondering if any of you had or are planning on setting up a dual boot pc? Many of you are probably planning on sticking with Win XP for a while yet but what if you want to start using Vista aswell? I installed a second hard disk (SATA) into another computer on Sunday night, it has Vista already on it and I want put Win XP on the second disk. I've done this but now I've read that Vista and Win XP can't communicate with each other and the boot procedure has been changed in Vista which makes it slightly more difficult to install a second OS and get it working.

    Then I came across a utility called Vista Boot Pro 3.2 and this allows you to make changes not only to Vista's boot file but add the changes to the registry and save them. I have also done this and now I get the two line menu after the computer starts offering both operating systems. The problem I have is that when I select Win XP, it tells me there is a file missing called ntldr and apparently this file is needed to get Win XP working. There is no problem in getting into Vista.

    I don't know if ntldr is supposed to be on the Win XP hard disk or on the Vista hard disk, it's just this last piece of the puzzle that needs to be sorted and hopefully it will all fall into place. Any help from you would be gratefully appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Well I did it, I now have the two operating systems (Win XP and Vista) running on the one computer. They are on separate hard disks. I tried Vista Boot Pro 3.2 first and that didn't work (it left a bit of a mess behind so that needs tidying up) and then I came across another utility called EasyBCD 1.7 from NeoSmart Technologies. Got a few instructions on how to use it, I changed a few settings and it worked...

    Inside EasyBCD 1.7 there is another little utility called iReboot (click on the icon to download it) and this has to be running in the Systems Tray/Notification Area every time you use one of your operating systems and just before you restart or shut the computer down, you right mouse click on the icon - looks like a cop's hat - and select the OS you wish to reboot into when the menu comes up. You then go through the normal restart or shutdown procedure and when the computer is restarted again, you will boot into the other OS. I know it's done in a roundabout way, but at least it works and it gives me the best of both operating systems now.

    I didn't know until I got into this that you can have 4 operating systems on each hard disk (separate partitions), so with two hard disks you can have up to 8 different operating systems (that is so totally bonkers...) If any of you are interested in this, I will post more of the details in the next day or so.

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