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Sarge27

Windows Vista / HD Partitions

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I understand that operating Windows Vista and Windows XP on one computer is possible due to the magic :-) of hard drive partitioning, but I'm not quite sure how to go about this, although I do consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about computers. Could someone please explain how I go about HD partitions?I;m hoping that I shall not need to revert to XP except for Internet connections (the Vista installer tells me that my wireless adapter is not compatible with Windows Vista) as so far I have not experienced any problems with Office 2007 Beta 2, Internet Explorer Beta 2 or Window Media Player 11 Beta... Thanks,Jacob Fordham

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Don't bother trying unless all the drivers are available for your motherboard, video card,etc.

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Keep in mind that hard drive partitions are a hardware concept, and disk volumes are an operating system concept.All hard drives for PCs are capable of defining 1-4 physical disk partitions. But, only one physical partition is ever available for an operating system. This is termed the "active partition". the idea was to have mulitple operating systems side by side with no interaction. the "active partition" on the 1st drive gets the "C:" disk volume identification.It is possible to substitute an "extended partition" for one of the 4 physical partitions. The "extended partition" is NOT an active partition, at least from Windows standpoint. But, the extended partition can hold 0 or more "logical partitions". The advantage of the logical partitions is that they are visible to the active partition's operating system.In the windows multiboot scenario, the active partition is modified so that during boot, a selection menu is provided. The selection menu allows booting to continue with the operating system in the active partition, or changes booting to another visible partition (either a logical partition within disk 1's extended partition, or a second (or subsequent) drive.After partitions are created, they must be made available to an operating system by defining them as disk volumes and installing an appropriate file system via a format. For XP and Vista, this will be NTFS. Note: I don't know the effect of Vista formats, so I would format all disk volumes using XP format, just to ensure that the file system is readable by XP.I use "partition magic" for hard disk partitioning. I've been using it since about version 1, and I trust it. There no doubt are some free alternatives, I just haven't explored them.A word of warning. Older computers had problems with big disk drives. A number of different approaches have been used to get around this. Most involve installing some special software (such as OnTrack) onto the disk to make the disk appear smaller than it really is. Once a disk has been used in this way it is hard to make changes, without a total low level format (losing all data). This shouldn't be a problem in a computer less than 3 or so years old. Your current hard disk is probably set up with a single active partition using the entire drive. The first step is to shrink the partition to create free space. Of course, you need unused file system space in the disk volume or you can't do this. PM allows you to reduce the size of an existing partion. Recommend you shrink from the top down (right to left) so that the start of the existing partition is at the physical beginning of the disk. I don't know how much space you need for a reasonable Vista volume -- maybe 10Gb? At this point I would execute PM (or whateve you use) to shrink the XP partition. This will involve a reboot. NOTE. I HAVE NEVER HAD PM FAIL IN RESIZING A PARTITION. BUT IF IT DOES, ALL YOUR FILES WILL BE LOST. THUS, BACK UP IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED PRIOR TO PLAYING WITH PARTITIONS.Also, most of these operations require a boot into DOS mode and then a boot back into XP.Once you have sufficient free space on the hard drive, you are in good shape. all you need to do now is create an extended partition, using all the free space on the drive. Then, create a new logical partition, using all the free space in the (new) extended partition.Then create a new disk volume with this partition and format it as NTFS. This new volume will probably be assigned as "D:" and this might not be what you want (it might force your optical drive letter to change). You can set this to something else (such as V: for vista?) to keep it out of the way when you are in XP. Now you should be ready for the vista install. I'm not sure how the installer works, but there should be an advanced install that allows install to a different partition, not upgrading the XP partition. If it asks you to format you shouldn't need to. Then after install is complete when you boot it will initially start the XP partition and give you the option to continue XP boot or switch to Vista boot. IIRC there will be a boot.ini file in the XP volume that you can text edit to change it's behaviour (like boot XP if no selection in 5 secs, or disable the Vista option, etc).acott s..

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THanks for the detailled explanation; I'll try that.

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I installed Vista Beta on it's own partition, and for some reason it does not even know my XP 64 installation exists. No multi boot option. Boots straight into XP64 unless the Vista CD is in the HD The Vista OS apparently does not use boot.ini. so I don't know how to create a boot menu manually.Also, the worst news, FSX demo crashes when I try to run it in the Vista beta!

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