XP Pro + Vista Ultimate Both on C:?

#1
Hi, all. I just happened across this forum while looking for some answers for my dual booting needs. This is my first post, so please tread softly :smile:

Here is the situation:
I have two physicallyt separate S-ATA HDDs', and have installed Vista x64 and XP on both of them fine. I got them to dual-boot without changing anything, but there is one problem.
When I boot Vista, I get Vista's system drive as C: drive, like it should. However, when I boot XP, its system drive is in F: drive, not C: drive. Even when I boot XP, the C: drive letter is taken by Vista's system drive.

Is there a way to:
1) Have Vista take the C: system drive when I boot Vista
2) Have XP take the C: system drive when I boot XP
3) Still have the same dual booting ability?

I thought about just letting XP stay in its F: drive, but seeing as some program installations would insist to install on the C: drive, I figured that probably wouldn't be the smartest idea.. :scared:

One solution I thought might be possible is, to only connect 1 physical HDD when installing XP; disconnect the HDD that just installed XP; connect the other physical HDD, and install Vista on it; and later sort out any complications with the booting configurations with EasyBCD. Would that be a feasible option?

Any help or comment would be tremendously helpful to me, as I'm pretty new to this whole dual-booting business..>.<
Thanks for your time you took to read this.

-SG
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi SG, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

You can't change an existing system from X: to C:, but if you're making a new install that should work :smile:
 
#3
Hi SG, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

You can't change an existing system from X: to C:, but if you're making a new install that should work :smile:
Thanks for the quick reply.
I'm willing to go through another installation - or 5 - if I can get it to work out.
So would the only way to pull off having both system drives take place in C: be the way I suggested at the end of my post? (To have only 1 HDD connected to the motherboard at a time)

After I install both HDD's with XP and Vista, can you tell me what I should do in EasyBCD to make the dual booting possible?
Oh, and one more thing - since Vista is snug in C: drive, should I only re-install XP? Or do you think it would be better to just do a fresh re-install of both OS's? If I need to do re-installations for both OS's, which do you recommend installing first?
Again, thanks for your time. :lol:
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Yes, it's safe to leave Vista alone.

There is something that might work: boot from the XP CD instead of installing it from within an OS, sometimes it assigns itself C: automatically.
 
#5
I have actually installed both OS's by booting from the CD directly. I guess I was just unlucky.
I will disconnect the HDD with Vista installation, and do a fresh installation of XP onto the other HDD, and post how it goes.
Do you have any recommendations on what to do in EasyBCD to enable dual booting, after the install?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Well, once you reinstall XP you'll end up booting into XP only.
Assuming your XP is properly drive C:, just install and run EasyBCD (note that you'll need to install .NET 2.0 first) and do Bootloader Management | Reinstall Vista Bootloader

You're old XP entry in EasyBCD should still work.
 
#7
Did a fresh install of XP, installed EasyBCD onto it, and when I tried to run it for the first time, it gave me an error dialog that reads,
EasyBCD has detected that your BCD boot data and MBR are either not from the latest versinos of Windows Vista, or don't yet exist. If you'd like EasyBCD to correct these issues, press OK. This will modify the MBR and requires that you have Windows Vista installed on this machine. You can cancel at any time. Press 'No' to exit EasyBCD now.
I clicked Yes, and it asks for the "Correct Boot Drive," and the next dialogue asks for the "Vista Drive Letter." Since I booted XP, the C: is the XP system drive, and F: has the Vista on it. What should I choose for each selection? (Correct Boot Drive and Vista Drive Letter)


Just summarizing my current setup:
1. XP and Vista installed separately,
2. If I set my BIOS default HDD to the HDD with XP loaded (HDD1), XP boots,
3. If I set my BIOS default HDD to the HDD with Vista loaded (HDD2), Vista boots,
4. Dual-booting option does not show,
5. However, when booted with each OS, the C: drive is always the system drive, for both XP and Vista.
6. When trying to run EasyBCD from XP, it gives me the error dialogue mentioned above.

This is more complicated than I thought!
Would booting Vista, installing EasyBCD, and adding XP to the bootloader be another feasible option?

Thanks for your help. :smile:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
No need.

Pick C:\ for the boot drive and F:\ for the Vista drive.