Install XP after Vista procedure failure

I'm trying to follow the procedure for installing XP after Vista (Installing XP After Vista - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki). I am doing something unusual because I need to practice this part of the installation on a machine that only has XP installed. This version of XP was clean installed about eight weeks ago.

I already have .NET 2.0 SP2 installed. I tried to uninstall this but 'Add/Remove Programs' told me it was already in use by another program. I'm reluctant to mess with this because I've heard of problems with .NET installations.

I installed EasyBCD v1.7.2 and the installation appeared to complete succesfully. When I start it, my firewall asks me to allow EasyBCD to connect to the internet which I grant. Then Explorer halts. I've tried this several times. On one occasion, Windows did report that it had shut down explorer.

There are no problems with hard rebooting XP after this occurs. I have a boot time utility that defrags the swap files and this reported that it was unable to lock the C drive which was dirty.

The event viewer contained no entries from the time of the crash. I could see no log files in C:\WINDOWS from that time either.
Hello Photo, welcome to TSN ("NST" spelled backwards:brows:smile:.
If you can't boot into Vista after installing XP, you will need to run Startup Repair from the vista install disk (possible 2-3 times since it can only fix one thing per pass). That should repair the Vista boot, then you can just use EasyBCD 2.0 Beta to add an XP entry to the BCD, and it will do all the hard work for you automatically.
Then you will have a dual-boot.


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Thank you for your quick response and welcome. A little more background may help.

Dell are giving me a warranty replacement of my 30 m.o. XPS 700 which has XP and no Vista with a new XPS730 which will be running Vista and no XP. I will have 10 days to decide which machine to send back.

I doubt that this is enough time to ensure that critical applications will run in Vista. The manufacturers claim they will but we've all been there!

After the new XPS730 arrives, I plan to install XP and use EasyBCD to dual boot. I can simply reinstall my applications to XP and figure out if Vista will work after my ten days is up.

There won't be much time for troubleshooting after the XPS730 arrives so I'm studying and practicing the installation procedures before it arrives. As part of that I'm installing EasyBCD on my present XPS700 to see what it looks like before it becomes mission critical. Although this machine does not have Vista, I can at least do all the parts of the install up to the changes to the point where I ask FreeBCD to reinstall the Vista bootloader.
As of EasyBCD 2.0 Beta Build 63, it will now create a copy of NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM in the root of the "system" partition, in addition to creating and auto-configuring BOOT.INI correctly. Hence why I suggested to use the beta build instead of 1.7.2 to add the XP entry after you install it. :wink:
Your problem will be that EasyBCD is looking for the BCD, which you don't have, and won't have till the Vista machine arrives. There's nothing to test till then.
Don't worry. There's always someone here to advise when your new PC arrives.
You can prepare by downloading the recovery CD and burning the ISO.
When you add XP to Vista, the install will regress the Vista bootloader, and you'll need to repair the Vista boot.
Then download EasyBCD 2.0 latest build to Vista, add an entry for XP (let it auto-configure for you) and you'll be dual-booting.
Thank you both for the helpful answers.

I'm surprised that the absence of the critical BCD file does not lead to an error message and the opportunity to exit gracefully. However, I do realise I was trying to operate an unusual scenario.

The warning about Dell was particularly useful. I've downloaded the links which Terry suggested and the beta version of EasyBCD.

I must admit I've not come across your symptoms before.
EasyBCD normally just tells you it can't find the BCD. It sounds like it might be something to do with the "check for updates" option which I have turned off anyway.