Multi boot question : vista, linux, xp



My laptop has a vista preinstalled, and a fedora 10 which I installed in May. Now can I install a windows xp?
I don't know if it's possible?
Thanks a lot!.
Hi Paul, welcome to NST.
Yes of course it's possible, that's what we're here for.
Read some of the early links in the sticky thread, and you'll find tutorials.
Installing XP will regress the boot so that only XP is bootable.
You'll find that problem and how to get the multi-boot back, adressed further down the same thread.
The faqs talks about questions of dual boot, like vista after fedora, etc.
But not assuming the case when vista and fedora already installed..
I don't know what's the first thing I should do? to install Neogrub or to prepare a partition for xp? and how?
Thanks a lot.
If you don't have a bootable Vista installation DVD, get yourself a copy of our recovery disk and burn a bootable CD from the ISO.
You're probably going to need it to repair the boot after XP has back-levelled it, so have it ready-to-go before you start.
I have a vista dvd which could be used to fix the boot.
then how to prepare a partition for xp? should this be done in fedora or vista?
and when should I install neogrub?
Shrink the space in Vista.
Install XP to the new partition.
Boot the Vista DVD and "startup repair" until Vista is booting again.
Install EasyBCD 2.0 latest build on Vista
Add an entry for XP, let EasyBCD auto-configure when it offers.
Add an entry for Linux, don't tick the "grub isn't ..." box (you don't need Neogrub when all the OSs are on the same HDD)

All the above pre-suppose that you are presently dual-booting Vista/Linux with Vista in control.
If when you installed Linux, you allowed grub to take over the boot process, then installing XP will surplant grub not bootmgr, and if you want grub still to be the controlling boot, then it's grub advice you need, not the help of EasyBCD.
Thanks, this is just what I need!
but what do you mean by "with vista in control"? when I boot the computer I'll see a grub interface with two item on them, 'vista' and 'fedora', and the sequence of them could be adjusted in fedora: /boot/grub/menu.lst contains exactly the items that will show up in the grub interface at boot.

so in this case what should I do? I guess I won't see the grub interface after I installed windows xp.. right?
You allowed grub to take control.
That's what it does unless you use "advanced" options when installing the boot manager for Linux, so you are presently dual-booting through grub, not using Vista BCD.
EasyBCD, as the name implies, is a program designed to help you manage Vista/W7's BCD, and dual-boot through it.
You will either need to get grub working again after you install XP (EasyBCD won't help you with that), or you'll need to put the Vista bootmgr/BCD back in control as I described before.
If you do decide to boot through Vista, you'll have an extra complication. You didn't use "advanced" when you installed grub.
If you had, you would have put grub in the same partition as Linux; but you allowed it to take over from Vista, and when XP takes over from it, there will be no grub in the Linux partition for the BCD to chain to.
That means that instead of just adding a Linux entry to the BCD as I described before, which would have chained to grub in the Linux partition, you're also going to have to reinstall grub into the Linux partition, for the BCD to have something to chain to.
Thanks for reply.
I didn't know there is an such a advanced option for fedora installation. I think the grub is installed to somewhere called 'MBR'. that should be the vista partition. if I want to install grub to linux partition, what should I choose?
if I install windows xp then could not enter fedora, that's a big loss for me.
so I first shrink partition in vista, then boot from xp dvd and install xp to available disk space(unformatted space) , when installation completes, the windows BCD would take control and grub would be lost.
If I reinstall grub, I'm afraid xp would be lost again..
You need to install grub to the Fedora boot-sector and not to the MBR.
Read section4 of the wiki guide.
I'm no Linux expert, so you'll need someone else to advise how to reinstall grub on an existing Fedora system, unless you're prepared to reinstall the whole OS, in which case just follow the wiki guide with regard to the placement of grub.
When you've installed XP, NTLDR (the XP boot manager/loader) will be in control of the boot. It can't boot Vista, and unlike Linux you can't stop it taking over.
Afterwards, you need to decide whether you want the Vista BCD to control the triple boot, in which case you follow post #6.
If you want grub to control the boot, then wait around for one of the Linux experts to advise on how to reinstall grub.
Boot from your Fedora live disc. Say your Fedora installation is on the second partition, first hard drive. It would be something like this in the terminal:

sudo grub
setup (hd0,1)
Please say what you want to do Paul.
If you're looking to boot with grub, then I'll move this thread out of the EasyBCD suport forum.
could you explain what will be an extra complexity if I choose to let NeoBCD in vista take control of boot?
It's kind of clear to me. Had I installed grub to fedora sector and let vista bcd to control boot, it would be much easier to install xp.
maybe I can reinstall grub to fedora sector before I install xp? but how to let vista take control of boot once grub is reinstalled?
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If you reinstall grub to the linux boot sector, it won't take control of the boot.
You can then do the first 6 lines of post #6 and your triple boot will be controlled through the BCD .