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Alan_A

Experiences with Dual Boot?

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My new build is coming along nicely - i7 965 running at 3.875 (will try for 4.0 over the weekend), GTX 280 (will try to clock to FTW standard using Rivatuner), FSX-dedicted Velociraptor on 3ware 9650SE... And Vista 64.Long story about that - I won't bore you with the details but it involves some positive reviews and some notion of future-proofing.However, since I was undecided, I also have a copy of XP64 on hand.Since I'm experiencing buyer's remorse about Vista - especially after trying to tune it per Nick N's instructions and being reminded what a mess it is - I'm wondering if I should wipe the Vista install and start over with XP. I haven't yet tested FSX - might make sense to do that but on the other hand I'm at an early point where it would be comparitively easy to start over without a huge amount of reloading.The other option is a dual-boot system.What have your experiences been with that? Is it worth considering? The complexity worries me (I don't like complex solutions - they're too fragile) but on the other hand, if it worked, it'd allow me to hedge.I have Acronis Disk Director on hand and could use the OS selector - or another dual boot solution.Or stick with Vista.Or go to XP 64.Without opening up another whole Vista vs. XP debate - there are enough of those - what do you think of the dual boot option? Worth considering? If not, why? If yes, how?Thanks in advance.Alan

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Alan:I am one of those guys that likes Vista for day to day computing. I was running FSX in Vista until I got the Dreamfleet Dakota...wonderful airplane but absolutely refused to work properly in Vista for me. So on a whim and after scouring the tech sites I decided that I would give dual boot a try and start using XP for FSX.I bought an 80GB WD hard drive that was to be the dedicated XP drive and a VRap for FSX. My original RAID setup remained my Vista installation. I read about the way to partition drives and felt that it would be easier and better performance if I just went ahead and got separate drives for FSX.My XP installation was very clean...nothing but the barebones as far as overhead (no office, no anti-virus, no web plug-ins, etc...). The difference is amazing when you don't have all that bloat in your OS. And the real difference came in FSX performance-very noticable on my humble E6700 duo core. So with the dual boot you can have your cake and eat it too.It is not hard to do at all...take a look at these links:NeosmartAPCI followed these guides and used EasyBCD as my boot manager. You can either partition your existing drive or add new drives like I did. The only thing to be careful of is to remember that each OS sees itself as the C drive, so you have to keep straight the drive letter assignments in each OS. Just give each volume a unique name (the same in both OS) and you won't mix them up.I am in the process of deciding on components for a new build i7, and I plan on going dual boot again except with Vista64/XP64.Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

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Alan:I am one of those guys that likes Vista for day to day computing. I was running FSX in Vista until I got the Dreamfleet Dakota...wonderful airplane but absolutely refused to work properly in Vista for me. So on a whim and after scouring the tech sites I decided that I would give dual boot a try and start using XP for FSX.I bought an 80GB WD hard drive that was to be the dedicated XP drive and a VRap for FSX. My original RAID setup remained my Vista installation. I read about the way to partition drives and felt that it would be easier and better performance if I just went ahead and got separate drives for FSX.My XP installation was very clean...nothing but the barebones as far as overhead (no office, no anti-virus, no web plug-ins, etc...). The difference is amazing when you don't have all that bloat in your OS. And the real difference came in FSX performance-very noticable on my humble E6700 duo core. So with the dual boot you can have your cake and eat it too.It is not hard to do at all...take a look at these links:NeosmartAPCI followed these guides and used EasyBCD as my boot manager. You can either partition your existing drive or add new drives like I did. The only thing to be careful of is to remember that each OS sees itself as the C drive, so you have to keep straight the drive letter assignments in each OS. Just give each volume a unique name (the same in both OS) and you won't mix them up.I am in the process of deciding on components for a new build i7, and I plan on going dual boot again except with Vista64/XP64.Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks - that's a big help and the process sounds pretty manageable.Did you find that FSX performed better overall under XP? That's what I got from reading your message but I wanted to be sure.If so - was your Vista installation equally stripped down? I've tuned mine per Nick N's instructions but I still get the sense there's too much bloat there - maybe I'm not killing enough services or maybe it's just the nature of the beast.Finally - I'm early on in the build and haven't yet installed FSX. In your setup, were two installs required or was each OS able to read a single install? Or should I install FSX first, then XP?I appreciate your advice - I'm a newbie at this, though evolving rapidly...Alan

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Thanks - that's a big help and the process sounds pretty manageable.Did you find that FSX performed better overall under XP? That's what I got from reading your message but I wanted to be sure.If so - was your Vista installation equally stripped down? I've tuned mine per Nick N's instructions but I still get the sense there's too much bloat there - maybe I'm not killing enough services or maybe it's just the nature of the beast.Finally - I'm early on in the build and haven't yet installed FSX. In your setup, were two installs required or was each OS able to read a single install? Or should I install FSX first, then XP?I appreciate your advice - I'm a newbie at this, though evolving rapidly...Alan
FSX did perform better for me...not necessarily just because of XP, but a combination of that and having an OS with nothing at all running in the background. When I was running FSX in Vista, I did try to strip it down but since it was my primary OS it also had AV and other necessary every day applications installed that seemed to leave a memory footprint even after a manual shut-down. Running the OS barebones, Vista is still more resource hungry than XP so it would be logical to assume that it is a better platform for FSX.As far as the install, I only did one FSX install in XP. If you wanted to run it in both OS's, it would require two separate installs. So what I did was install Vista as my primary OS, then install XP and configure the dual boot. Once I had XP running and all of the XP updates/SPs/drivers installed I then installed FSX...simple as that.

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FSX did perform better for me...not necessarily just because of XP, but a combination of that and having an OS with nothing at all running in the background. When I was running FSX in Vista, I did try to strip it down but since it was my primary OS it also had AV and other necessary every day applications installed that seemed to leave a memory footprint even after a manual shut-down. Running the OS barebones, Vista is still more resource hungry than XP so it would be logical to assume that it is a better platform for FSX.As far as the install, I only did one FSX install in XP. If you wanted to run it in both OS's, it would require two separate installs. So what I did was install Vista as my primary OS, then install XP and configure the dual boot. Once I had XP running and all of the XP updates/SPs/drivers installed I then installed FSX...simple as that.
Thanks. I thought that's how it'd work but I wanted to confirm.My new build is for FSX only (OK, with maybe a little time out for X-Plane, Rail Sim and a couple of others). So I can strip down the OS and see how it runs. I might start with Vista and see if that's OK. If not, I'll follow your dual-boot instructions - for which, again, many thanks.I have a couple of days to think about all the options since I managed to burn out two case fans on my latest overclocking attempt. Odd, since the CPU temperatures weren't running above 75 degrees C. It may be that the P6T Deluxe isn't happy running five fans. The system will be down until the new Sunbeam fan controller gets here.Will let you know how the adventure went after it continues.Thanks again!Alan

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Thanks. I thought that's how it'd work but I wanted to confirm.My new build is for FSX only (OK, with maybe a little time out for X-Plane, Rail Sim and a couple of others). So I can strip down the OS and see how it runs. I might start with Vista and see if that's OK. If not, I'll follow your dual-boot instructions - for which, again, many thanks.I have a couple of days to think about all the options since I managed to burn out two case fans on my latest overclocking attempt. Odd, since the CPU temperatures weren't running above 75 degrees C. It may be that the P6T Deluxe isn't happy running five fans. The system will be down until the new Sunbeam fan controller gets here.Will let you know how the adventure went after it continues.Thanks again!Alan
Alan I am doing dual boot XP-32 and Vista 64. FSX runs flawlessly on Vista 64 for me--better that in XP. This may be because I have XP loaded with alot of software, despite being optimized generally. I'm using Vista only for FSX and web browsing, that's it. I'm certain XP 64 would be fine, but I can attest Vista 64 has caused me no grief in terms of FSX. The final solution for me was using FPS_Limiter which has taken Vista 64 from very good to nearly perfect in IQ, smoothness & frame rate. If you are not awares read my thread in the main FSX forum re FPS Limiter.I use the F8 Boot Drive Popup in my AMI BIOS--one for XP another for Vista. The OS' are effectively isolated from each other. Restore points work fine in both OS'. I applied the reg tweak to hide the Vista volume from XP.Noel

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Alan I am doing dual boot XP-32 and Vista 64. FSX runs flawlessly on Vista 64 for me--better that in XP. This may be because I have XP loaded with alot of software, despite being optimized generally. I'm using Vista only for FSX and web browsing, that's it. I'm certain XP 64 would be fine, but I can attest Vista 64 has caused me no grief in terms of FSX. The final solution for me was using FPS_Limiter which has taken Vista 64 from very good to nearly perfect in IQ, smoothness & frame rate. If you are not awares read my thread in the main FSX forum re FPS Limiter.I use the F8 Boot Drive Popup in my AMI BIOS--one for XP another for Vista. The OS' are effectively isolated from each other. Restore points work fine in both OS'. I applied the reg tweak to hide the Vista volume from XP.Noel
Thanks. A few days after the last post, I've got Vista stripped down and looking better. I had to take a second tour throur Nick's XP/Vista tuning guide and then work through the services and the startup menu again. I think I missed a few things on the first try because I didn't know Vista well enough and I was trying to do too much at once.At this point I think I'm going to try Vista 64 for FSX and see how it works. If I can't get it sorted, then I'll bite the bullet and go back to XP. Haven't tested FSX yet - I wanted to work through some basic system-level stuff first and I'm just now getting my overclock stable after losing time to my fan problem.I'll have an update (or maybe new questions) after I get FSX installed and tuned. Re: the Frame Rate Limiter - yes, I've been following that thread and I've downloaded it. I'll see how FSX runs without it, then will try it, just to have a clean comparison.If I go the dual-boot route, at least I know now how to do it. Thanks to everybody for the links and tips.Alan

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Thanks. A few days after the last post, I've got Vista stripped down and looking better. I had to take a second tour throur Nick's XP/Vista tuning guide and then work through the services and the startup menu again. I think I missed a few things on the first try because I didn't know Vista well enough and I was trying to do too much at once.At this point I think I'm going to try Vista 64 for FSX and see how it works. If I can't get it sorted, then I'll bite the bullet and go back to XP. Haven't tested FSX yet - I wanted to work through some basic system-level stuff first and I'm just now getting my overclock stable after losing time to my fan problem.I'll have an update (or maybe new questions) after I get FSX installed and tuned. Re: the Frame Rate Limiter - yes, I've been following that thread and I've downloaded it. I'll see how FSX runs without it, then will try it, just to have a clean comparison.If I go the dual-boot route, at least I know now how to do it. Thanks to everybody for the links and tips.Alan
Here's the logic for dual booting from the BIOS: I don't run my PC at warp speed when doing everything else EXCEPT FSX. So I keep memory & cpu voltages low for much of the time, and only crank it when I am flying in FSX. I assigned an o'clock profile to Vista 64, and a stock speeds profile to XP 32. I still have the choice to boot to either drive from the BIOS indepently of the two profiles, but it's kinda nice because the clock profile is married to the OS that boots from that profile.

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