Adding XP 'dual boot' to new Gateway w/Vista-- Help


I've been lurking around here for a day or two trying to figure out how to either replace Vista on my new computer, or to add Windows XP SP2 and dual boot the new machine.

Here's the new stuff.... Gateway GT5678 desktop w/Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 - 4gb ram.

The new box has a WD 750gb drive w/ SATA II - 2 partitions NTFS.
Partition_1 is "C:" with Vista on it. "Recovery" is "D:" w/14.8gb reserved, C: has 688gbytes.

I've got 'tons' of older software from my old XP SP2 machine and can't get any of my important daily "productive" software up and running on the new machine. I've copied about 160 gbytes of files from an external MB drive to the new drive, but would have no problem reformating... the new drive... but only if I 'have' to.

I've read quite a few posts regarding dual boot options using stuff like the 'easyBCD' and 'Vista Hide 'n Seek' so I'm leaning toward the dual boot option...

But... I have some questions.

#1 - Can anyone tell me for sure.. Will XP run in the quad core environment?

#2 - If so, can I just use the Vista 'Shrink Volume' to create space for an XP Partition?

After reading about the 'demise' of XP SP2 tomorrow... I ran out and bought a 'full' version of XP Home SP2 just in case. My old system was an eMachines OEM, so I didn't trust the system disks to get me where I need to go.

#3 - If I can shrink the large volume, will booting from the new XP disk give me a chance to install a new NTFS partition on the existing drive? Or, do I need some third party software to repartition?

(btw... my old drive 'was' in NTFS format and I 'have' downloaded the SATA II WD drivers and put them on a CD if I need them).

#4 - If I 'can' do all of the above... what's the 'best plan' for drive letters, etc.? Can I rename existing? Or, is that gonna kill me?

#5 - If none of the above looks 'do-able' what's my best option to get my old XP stuff up and running?

I'm sorry for the long list of questions... just laying out what seems logical from what I've read so far.:S

Thanks a bunch!

Hello Greybeard,

Welcome to NST!

Okay on to your answers.

1. Yes XP will run on Quad core CPU's.

2. Yes. We have some good instructions in our wiki that lead to some great articles.

Vista XP Dual Boot - Understand the basics - The NeoSmart Forums
How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first) -- the step-by-step guide with screenshots

3. Yes. It will give you the option to select where to install to. Just see the guide on how to install XP.

Installing Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

4. The Drive letters are assigned automatically. If you are a fanatic of having the drive letters be the same in XP and Vista then you might have a issue as XP might install as C: just as Vista is under C:.

5. Does not apply. It will work.

I hope that helps and the info provided will give you some good knowledge of what you are about to take on. If you have anymore questions please feel free to ask.

Thanks Makaveli213!

Thanks for the great reply. I'll take a look at those links and then give it a try as soon as I can.

If I have any more questions, I will let you know.

Thanks again,

Hello GreyBeard,

It is not a problem. Glad to be of use in any way. Just ask we are very friendly here and love to help. :smile:

XP Doesn't seem to finish installing - SATA II Drivers?

Hi again,

Well I've followed the links and repartitioned the drive using vista's 'shrink volumn' function and the instructions provided in your links, but the XP installer disk 'hangs' and dumps me out.

I downloaded the Western Digital drivers for the SATA II drive, but when the XP installer gets to the point of asking for other drivers it says it can't find 'floppy A' and then won't let me install the CD with the WD drivers.

If I try to just continue the entire program locks up with an error message with 4-5 code references.

I've manually loaded the boot.ini file, ntldr, and NTDETECT files in the active partition (vista C: ) but the installer still won't find the new partition "F:" so I can't finish installing XP.

I tried working around with the EasyBCD and doing the 'restore' vista option and I get two menu options on boot up but I can't get XP to load so I'm thinking the drivers never loaded and XP never finished installing.

Any suggestions how to 'fool' the installer, or get XP on the system. I also tried editing the boot.ini file with "0-3" as the partition number, but still nada!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

You could try installing XP from within Vista. That way, the drives are at least "seen" during the installation proccess. Then recover the Vista bootloader using EasyBCD while you're in Vista, add the entry for XP if it wasn't already added, and you should be good to go.
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I made the same suggestion to another user in another thread last week, but it turns out Windows won't allow the installation of an earlier system from a running newer system. It "greys out" the option, presumably on the grounds that updating to a previous system must be an error.