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windows_vista_orb.jpgAre you like me itching to try out Windows Vista but not ready to take the plunge 100%?

Dual booting is an option and it’s not that hard to do, so put on your geek hat and let’s get started.

Step 1 Use or buy a second hard drive, A 40 gig drive from Newegg is only $35 to $40 dollars. Yes you could partition your existing drive by reformatting and using the XP disk to add partitions or buying a partitioning tool like Partition Magic, but if your XP install is working fine why mess with it.

Step 2 Set the jumper on the new drive to Slave or cable select depending on your setup. Install the new drive and boot the computer.

Step 3 Formatting the new drive. From the desktop right click “my computer” and choose manage, under storage choose “Disk Management”. Here you will see all the hard drives installed. Notice disk 0 is your XP installation. Disk 1 is your new drive. We need to format this drive.



Right click in the unallocated space of Disk 1 and choose New Partition


Click next.


Choose Primary partition.


Specify a partition size. I recommend using the maximum size
Click next.


Assign a drive letter. Just use the one offered if you’d like.



Formatting the drive.

File System: NTFS
Allocation size: Default
Volume label: Here I would label it Vista. It will help avoid confusion later

Click next. Then finish (Depending on the drive size it might take a few minutes.)



The drive is now ready for the Vista install.

Installing Windows Vista.

Step 4

Insert the Vista DVD into the computer and reboot the system.


Once the computer restarts and boots from the DVD, Windows Vista’s setup will begin and show the screen below.

In the next screen fill in the info requested.



On this screen you will begin the install process.


On this screen you will type in your product key


On this screen you have to accept the license terms.




On this screen you choose which type of installation you want to do
You want “Custom” (Advanced) if you choose upgrade you will install over XP and we don’t want that for this guide.


This screen is where you choose where to install Vista.
You will see both your drives. (It will differ from this picture a little)
You will want to choose your Vista Drive it should be Disk 1



After you select the disk you want – click next and complete the installation.
When the installation is complete the Boot Manager will appear for
30 seconds and you can choose which version of Windows to start.
The earlier version is XP and the default is Vista.


Congratulations now you’re ready to install all your programs.

I’d like to announce the launch of my new site Vista Revisited at http://www.vistarevisited.com Stop by and have a look. I’ve copied all the Vista content from here to my new site and from now on I will only post Vista content to Vista Revisited. Thanks for visiting and be sure to check out my new site.


  One Response to “Dual Booting Windows XP and Vista, An Install Guide”

  1. Very nice guide,worked perfectly

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