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Dual Boot Vista XP

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,031
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Dual Boot Vista XP

I am nearly at the point of building my next PC (all bits due for delivery this week) but i would like a bit of guidance.
I intend to install Vista 64 bit and once that is running properly recycle the parts from my old computer. At this point I will be adding XP to the new computer (transferring the license) in dual boot mode. In itself that isn't a problem although getting the Vista boot back again is a bit messy.
My problem is that I have never used dual boot before and I have no idea as to the disk space for each boot partition. I was thinking of allowing 100GB for the Vista partition and 50GB for the XP partition leaving about 300GB for data and games which would only be used on one or other of the systems. Would there be any real advantage in creating a 4th partition only for swap files or should I stay with my usual system of manually setting the swap file with a minimum size of about 8GB (installed ram 4GB)
Some of my programmes would need to run under both systems which would need two separate installs but 50GB in XP should be OK for that.
12 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

I'd say it's worth adding the swap partition. You can have 4 primary partitions on one disk, so there's no problem there, and both XP and Vista could share the same swap partition. I do find that my computer runs happier (and needs defragging less often) if the swap file has its own partition.
Not applicable

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

If you are looking for performance gains at the same time (and who isn't?!?!) it might be worth getting a seperate HDD to use for your swap files.
At least that way the swap files can be accessed at the same time as accessing program files/dlls/data files or whatever on your other hdd.
If its not feasible to have a seperate physical disk, I'd do as you suggest. 2x boot partitions, and 1 x shared data partition with a 4th partition for swap files.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

Thanks for the replies - I will go for a separate partition for the swap files - a second hard drive would be a possibility when I dismantle the old computer but I am not too sure if I will see a performance improvement as it is much slower than the new one ( old one is Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 SATA and new one is a Seagate 7200.11 with AHCI enabled)
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

Those 7200.11's are awesome performance wise. I've been looking at some reviews 'cos a mate's just bought 3 500Gb sataII models to raid and the graphs outstrip even the WD raptors in most areas, especially the older ones.
VileReynard
All Star
Posts: 11,182
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

Can I suggest SCSI?
My main disk on my desktop is a 72G 10,000 drive (couldn't afford 15000 rpm)  Grin
Also a much slower 250G SATA (only 7200 rpm) which is adequate for backups and very large files.

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,031
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

Not sure about the effect of SCSI but the reviews seem to indicate it is very close to the Raptor using SATA http://www.nextlevelhardware.com/storage/barracuda/ also it is much quieter and that is one of my aims with this PC
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

you might like to read
http://apcmag.com/5485/dualbooting_vista_and_xp
Whane ever I have duel booted I have always used System Commander as this lets you have 100 O/S and it will setup the drives for you and add XP to the boot manager. It also lets you have xp and vista on drive c as it can hide the partitions from the other O/S. Partition magic boot manager is good as well.
I dont see there is any gain from having the swap file on the same drive as the O/S even if it is in another partition as its still using the same drive. I wouldnt have the swap files for both O/S on the same partition as one may corrupt the other. Never tried it with vista but it used to corrupt win98, xp and win2k.
It goes back to the old question do you duel boot or use a virtual pc? Virtual pc is a lot simpler to use and setup unless you are using some memory.CPU hungry software on the virtual pc.
I just got the intel quad pc and I run a virtual pc, email, sidebar, emule, create a dvd with video rendering and the cpu doent get over 31% use with all that running.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,031
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

Update - Vista 64 bit up and running - it took me 8 hours before I switched off UAC - why can't I add programmes to the trusted zone
The_10th
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Registered: ‎08-04-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

Quote from: samuria
...It goes back to the old question do you duel boot or use a virtual pc? Virtual pc is a lot simpler to use and setup unless you are using some memory.CPU hungry software on the virtual pc.

That is true but what I don't like about Virtual machines is that if the 'base' OS plays up then all your 'virtual' Oses are kaput.
With a dual-boot you could at least google on how to fix the kaput one if needed for problems not related to MBR records anyhow.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

Quote from: geezer
Quote from: samuria
...It goes back to the old question do you duel boot or use a virtual pc? Virtual pc is a lot simpler to use and setup unless you are using some memory.CPU hungry software on the virtual pc.

That is true but what I don't like about Virtual machines is that if the 'base' OS plays up then all your 'virtual' Oses are kaput.

Actually its far simpler to put right. Just reinstall the base OS OR move the virtual machine to another machine on your network with the appropriate emulator installed.
Fixing partitions that have gone wrong on the other hand is a very painful and tedious experience. I destroyed a 17GB partition once using XOSL boot loader - It was a very nasty experience.
On that note though I will recommend XOSL boot loader as it is one of the most advanced I've ever seen/used. You just have to be careful if you install it into a dedicated partition though as by default it targets the c: partition and completely destroys it. Suprisingly there is no warning screen to avoid this either...
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
mystraal
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-11-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

I've read quite a lot about dual booting and everyone seems to be partioning a disc, I've always just recycled a disc and put the second OS on separate disc. Vista on main and XP  as backup and older games. Just select F12 from boot menu, seems easir and works for me.
The_10th
Grafter
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Registered: ‎08-04-2007

Re: Dual Boot Vista XP

That is good advice as no bootloader can mess your original bootloader for the OS selected.