First of all, this writeup is not going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to install either XP or Vista.
What it is intended to do though, is to point-out some of the most common occurrence's that happen when install either Vista or XP to create a "Dual-boot system"
I would also recommend you print this off to make it easier to follow, because parts of it will refer you to various locations from the link below marked * *Why would you want to have Vista and XP on the same PC?
For the benefit of those questioning the reasoning behind such a desire!
There is still a considerable amount of software that is not compatible with Vista.
So you may prefer to do it from one workstation rather than wear out your slippers walking between PC's or into different rooms, and, it's nice to have all the necessary "stuff" in one location.
Although you will need to reboot the PC to change from one OS to the other.
However before doing anything else.
If Vista is already installed on your PC.
Then you need to go to either the PC makers website or the individual sites to make sure drivers for your hardware are available for XP to suit your PC hardware. (Not all of them are)
ie: Graphics Card, Sound Card etc, and possibly even the M/Board. You will also need a XP installation disc.
On this first link you will find exact, step-by-step instructions how to install XP along with Vista being installed first.
It does actually cover installing Vista with XP being installed first also. (just look for the link)
Although I now think it is quite easy and very straight forward.
I would recommend you "Read it twice & do it once"
* * http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_vista_and_xp_with_vista_installed_first__the_stepbystep_guide.htm
One other small program you might like to download beforehand is called "EasyBCD 1.7.1
* * * You can download a free copy from here:
it's a free program and will be required later.
My own scenario was this:
PC 1 with IDE HDD
Came pre-installed with XP on C:
Vista was later installed onto D:
PC 2 with SATA HDD
Came pre-installed with Vista on C:
XP was later installed onto D:
Both of these PC's now have Vista and XP installed onto the same HDD. ( 2 partitions C: & D: )
The only awkward time was with PC 2 with the SATA HDD, because my version of XP did not contain a "SATA Controller Driver"
(I am informed that newer versions of XP now have the SATA Controller Driver on the XP install disc)
So this had to be downloaded first and put onto a floppy disc and the disc inserted when required to do so,
(when asked if additional drivers are required and pressing "F6" during the initial start-up) to install the SATA Controller Driver.
There is only a very short amount of time to select this option and should you miss it, then XP will not be allowed to be installed. (You get an ERROR message)
Once XP is installed, the Vista disc then has to be inserted and the PC rebooted, you then select the option to carry-out a "Repair Vista" to repair the MBR (Master Boot Record) which gets overwritten during the XP installation and you find you can no longer get into Vista. (the repair is fully automated and only takes 2 minutes)
So from the panel that appears, just select the operating system to repair, (mine only ever gave me the one OS to chose from)
"See page 4 from the link above" marked * *
Now after the repair, when the PC is started, during the startup, a screen asks which operating system you want to boot into.
"Old version of Windows"
XP Windows (or something similar)
This part is relevant to both types of installation. "See Page 4 from the Link above" marked * *
However, by now installing EasyBCD into Vista which hopefully you downloaded earlier from the link above marked * * * you are then able to chose, not only which system to automatically boot into but also change the names that appear on the screen during the boot-up process and also how long the screen is displayed for.
You can of course change any of these settings as you see fit to do so at any time.
Or chose the boot-up system during the boot process, within EasyBCD.
"Again that is discussed on the main tutorial from the link above" (page 4 I think)
Other than that, there was no difference in installing either XP or Vista to create a dual boot system.
(Although installing Vista as with PC 1 was much easier without needing the SATA controller)Finally:
Backup your work before doing anything.