Properly Setting up Dual Boot

Hi, I found you via a google search and it seems like you like to help people so here I am. To make a long story short I have a fairly new Dell 531 that came with Vista and I wiped it clean and went to XP and then I started a Dual boot. Both times it messed up or I did, but it seemed to come after I wiped Vista off of the computer. The problem was with the NetLDR after the fact. I ended up just reinstalling XP all together. I still had my old computer so it wasnt that bad.

For the last month I have been running XP alone on my puter. I have a partitioned hard drive with an empty D I have called Vista. I want to install Vista on this drive. I see after the fact I will install Easy BCD to set up my dual boot. When I boot into XP will XP still be my C & Vista my D.......

When I boot into VIsta will my Vista be C & my XP D?

If I decide to kill Vista again what is the proper way and will I lose my XP like previously. I know longer have my old computer and I have everything reinstalled on it again. I guess I am also concerned about the way the drives are lettered in each, especially if I am in Vista and it installs a program into the XP drive. Not that it matters but my 2 drives are set like this

Seagate 160 GB

C: XP-----58.5 GB
D: Vista--90 GB--(empty now)

I also have a Seagate 320GB that is partitioned off into 8 Drives(yes I separate & organize everything)

Well thanks for any assistance you can provide. I am not worried about the dual boot, I am mainly worried if I want to get rid of Vista again because of issues, I know some might say then dont install it, but since I have it I want it on my puter)
This situation with the Operating Systems seeing themselves as the C:\ drive and the Opposite OS as the D:\ drive is common. This happens when you do a fresh install from the CD/DVD for ech OS. It is nothing to worry about.

If you kill Vista you have to make XP drive the Active System drive. From there you use the XP Disc and go into the Recovery Console and do a dixboot and fixmbr. That will allow for XP to boot again correctly.

Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies SFCRedRage!
Thanks for the Quick Reply. Like I said I already have XP installed so that part is done.

All that would be next is to pop in my Vista DVD

Reboot the computer and let the install begin. Should I reformat the D: drive even though it is empty(couldn't hurt I guess). I ask because if I do will it change from the D: drive down to something else

Usually I dont have to enter the key because it is from a Dell Disk and it automatically does this.

Then lastly I would install the EasyBCD to set up my dual boot or will the Vista Bootloader set up a Dual Boot.

Is this correct and is there anything else I might need to do. I generally feel pretty good about my knowledge with computers, but I would rather let the experts fine pick some of this stuff so I dont have to install everything all over again
Since you already ahve the drive empty it wont hurt to format but it isnt needed. If you format it wont change your drive letters or anything.

Since you already have run XP it should auto detect it and add the entry to the Vista boot loader. But if not we can always giv eyou the needed info to accomplish this task.

But other than that your plans are fine. Good Luck. We are here is anything goes wrong or you need help with anything else.
OK, All Went Well.....the Boot Screen showed up automatically, of course I dont like the Earlier Version, So I installed EasyBCD and changed the name to XP. The C & D Drives flip flop for each OS which I like. After I import a few things here and there I am going to try and make them invisible to each other so I dont go in and inadvertently do something wrong. On my STorage drive I have broke into 8 separate partitioned drives it flip flopped a few of them, but I can change them in Vista to what I want. The thing I want to know is should I install Easy BCD in both Operating Systems or should I just leave it on the Vista. I dont want to mess something up.
OK all worked well. Now to install the programs I need. The only thing that scares me is if I decide to uninstall, but all should be good now......or at least I hope.....

I am probably going to change the default to XP so not to confuse the wife.
You have a great place here. I have not downloaded that yet. I was tired so I decided to wait until today. Is .rar the only format it comes in or am I missing something
I will probably install the Hide N seek Later......When I am doing some importing from my XP Drive for mail setting and stuff like that I want to be able to easily find it. Once I have everything set up I plan on then hiding them from each other, because I have been know to fat finger
HnS only hides Vista from XP, not the other way round. It's because XP clobbers Vista's system recovery points. Vista does absolutely no harm to XP so it doesn't need to have it hidden. So you can merrily carry on importing your mail etc from XP even with HnS active.

You will be losing all your Vista shadow copies and recovery points each time you boot into XP until you've used HnS. (Or used a difficult long-winded alternative !)
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The mail was a bugger but I got it.....No wonder why that XP drive kept showing

I uninstalled HnS because it added another screen in the Boot menu which I didnt like.I think I seen while quickly scrolling where you can get rid of it, but I will probably wait until I have time down the road to play with it. I'm ok with it but it will confuse my wife. I will probably use Vista the majority of the time and my wife XP.

Thanks for answering......I looked and wondered who the heck was SFC, forgetting I put that in front....I usually go by just Red or Brian.....well and a lot worse sometime
When you run the HnS UI Brian, it makes the previous boot menu redundant, so just go into EasyBCD and set the wait to zero and you won't see it.
You'll just get a single level boot for Vista or XP and whichever you choose it will do the appropriate hiding/unhiding and go directly there.
You only saw the second menu, because it's good practice to leave it set to non-zero during Beta testing, in case you need to back HnS out and go back.(In which case you'd have no boot choice - just the default if the old menu had zero set)
But once you've got HnS up and working ( I think all the bugs are gone now- certainly I've been using it for some time now), just use EasyBCD to do as I said and you'll never see the second menu again.
You can tell HnS to make XP your default for your wife's sake in the last phase where it asks if you want to edit the names and time etc.
OK, I am redoing it now.....I named the appropriate drives with their respective OS.......I should see all drives in Vista and all drive but Vista when I boot to XP.....

I want to make sure I do this right, so before I make any changes I want to make sure I do this right:

On the change the default boot option in the Vista HnS Startup screen what should I leave that at or is this the one I make XP & set to zero. Then underneathe that option is the Specify how long. Do I have to set that one also.

I don't want to set the wrong one to zero. Which screen shoul I probable set to zero the Easy BCD or the Hm=nS......thanks again
The EasyBCD option is the one to set to zero, but you don't have to do it during HnS install, you can leave it till HnS is finished (use the other options to rename your new boot menu items).
When It's all up and running OK, just call EasyBCD then, when you're happy that both your boots are what you want, and set the previous (redundant) boot delay to zero, at which point you'll never see the second menu again.
Don't set the HnS delay to zero or you'll never get a boot choice, It'll just go straight into the default without asking !
All is not lost - go into c:\menu.lst and edit the line timeout 0 to timeout 5 or whatever
I got it fixed.......I'm kind of laughing.....I tok the 50/50 shot on which one and I picked the wrong one. I edited it to 10 seconds and now I am happily typing from Vista again.........:lol: