Ever since Windows Vista came out, a lot of hype has been going around the new bootloader. That’s the hype that drove us to create EasyBCD, and that’s the same hype that’s been driving people to ask all around the web: “Is it possible to install the new Windows Vista bootloader on a non-Vista machine? Can I get XP to use the new Vista bootloader? How can I install the Vista bootloader on my XP-only machine?”
First, a disclaimer: In order to use the Vista bootloader, you’ll need some licensed Vista files. The only legal way to get these is by already having Windows Vista legally installed on another machine and grabbing the files from there. Kapish? Second, the answer: Of course you can. And here’s how!
- Go to a Vista machine and zip-up the C:\Windows\Boot\ folder.
- Extract those zipped files to the same location on your XP machine. (i.e. you should now have a C:\Windows\Boot\ folder on your XP machine, too).
- Download and install the latest version of EasyBCD.
- Run EasyBCD. When you first start it, it’ll tell you what you already know: the Vista bootloader isn’t installed! It’ll ask if you want to repair it – (obviously) click yes.
- When prompted for the letter of a Vista drive, give it the same drive letter as your XP partition – the one you copied those files to earlier. When asked for the boot drive letter, give the letter of the drive with boot.ini and ntldr (most likely C:\).
- Let EasyBCD “repair” your bootloader and wait for it to finish.
- Once it’s done, you’ll have a (non-working) entry to boot into Windows Vista – delete it from the “Add/Remove Entries” screen and instead add a new entry for Windows XP.
- Reboot & Enjoy!
5 easy steps (never mind the numbering), and you’ll have the Vista bootloader up and running in no time. What you do with it after that…. well, that’s up to you.