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Windows Vista and XP dual-boot setup
Support Knowledge Base

Things you'll need:

1. XP installation CD
2. Vista installation CD
3. Graphics and mainboard drivers CDs (both are usually shipped in the mainboard box)

We will be splitting a single physical hard drive into two partitions, one for XP and one for Vista. Assuming that:

1. You already have Vista installed
2. You want the partitions with OS's on them to be labeled C: and D:
3. You have a second physical hard drive used for storage (non OS) which you want labeled as E:

do this first:

Rename all the drives (including the card reader drives) so that the storage one is called E:, and all other drives have a letter above that. That would circumvent the issue of Windows XP sometimes assgining a letter other than C: to its drive.

Windows XP installation

1. Backup any and all important files you may have transferred to the machine.
2. Make sure you have one hard drive labeled "System" and the other "Storage", to prevent mixups
3. Put Windows XP CD in the drive, reboot the machine, the system will ask to "press any key to boot from CD" (if not you will need to go into bios and set CD-ROM as your first boot device)
4. Windows XP setup files will load, and you will be presented with a choice of hard drives to install windows upon
5. Select the drive currently labeled as "System", and delete all the partitions on it. Press L to confirm when the system asks you something along the lines of "all data will be lost"
6. Now you have all your other drives lettered and one drive without either a letter or a name to it. We will use that one drive to have both XP and Vista run off of it by splitting it into two logical drives also known as partitions. Select that drive and choose "create a partition on selected drive".
7. When presented with a choice of how large a partition you want, just take the number on the screen and divide it in half to split the drive evenly.
8. Select "perform a quick format" next, and the rest of XP installation routine is self-explanatory.
9. After the installation has completed and you are on the Windows XP desktop, we will set up Vista before installing any drivers. But before that go to My Computer and rename the C: drive you have XP on to "XP_system" or something along those lines, to prevent confusion during the next step.

The next stage will install Vista onto the second partition of the same hard drive you have XP on, and create a choice menu for which OS you'd like to boot this time.

Windows Vista installation

1. Put Vista installation DVD in the drive, and reboot the system. Press any key when the machine asks you to, and you will get to Vista installation screen. It uses GUI (Graphic User Interface), so navigating through it is much easier and can be done with mouse.
2. Choose "Custom Installation", it should actually be the only option available.
3. When the system asks you which drive to install to, look at the list presented and click on the one with no letter/name next to it. This is the second partition of the very drive we've already installed XP on. Make sure you do not choose the one labeled "XP_System" as that would overwrite the XP installation.
4. The rest of the process is self-explanatory, and the boot choice menu will be automatically created for you. Vista will be the default boot OS, and will boot itself up unless you choose "older version of Microsoft Windows" which corresponds to XP.

Driver Installation

So now that you have both OS'es installed and you can boot into either one of them by choice, let us proceed and install all the drivers. To do that let us start with Vista first:

1. Put the ASUS (or other) mainboard CD into the drive, and it will autoplay and show you a menu with a choice of which drivers you'd like to install. Just click on "ASUS InstALL" and that would take care of all the drivers installation for you!

One word of caution though: since the machine will be rebooting itself after certain portion of drivers are installed and the Drivers CD has a boot sector on it (the machine can boot from the driver CD to have diagnostics etc run), you may want to either remove the CD right after it started rebooting or use the secondary optical drive which the system will not try to search for boot record on. Should you run late and the system boots off the drivers CD and show a bunch of options on the screen, just remove the CD and hit "CTRL+ALT+DEL" simultaneously for a soft reset.

2. Now that the mainboard drivers are installed, you will need the graphics card driver. You can either use the ones on the CD that came with the graphics card, or go to

http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

to get the latest ones. Having the latest graphics drivers is important for optimal 3D performance.

After all of the above is done, boot into XP and repeat the driver installation routine, with the only exception being that you will need to manually choose to boot into XP after each reboot.

And that about sums it up! Please let us know if you require any further clarification, or have run into any kind of issues.

 
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