Dual booting windows XP and Vista

I’ve been thinking of installing Windows Vista, but I’m not very sure whether it will work well with my current PC and software. Windows has Vista ready checking software, and it found a few hardware and software that might not work in Vista.

After giving it much thought, I’ve decided dual booting would be the way to go. Just in case Vista screws up because there are no proper drivers and updated software that I can run it with.

Pretty much the same way I did way back many years ago. But at that time I was looking at the plethora of OS’ that was available and wanted to try out as many as of them as I could. I multi-booted my system and installed MS-DOS with Windows 3.11, Windows ME, Windows XP, BeOS and Linux (tried several flavours and still haven’t decided which one is good).

The MS-DOS/Win 3.11 was installed just for fun. But in the end I scrap it because it was not very useful even though I managed to get hold of quite a fair bit of software. Couldn’t get the modem to work with it though, hence no internet connection for it.

BeOS Company went bust, so I also unloaded it off from my PC. Not a very useful OS and besides no useful software to go with it. But I did get a kick out of installing so many OS until one IT vendor said he will faint from setting up such a complicated system.

Though many people have complained that Windows ME was a farce plaque with many glitches, mine was perfectly fine which left me wondering just what’s wrong with it.

Linux was interesting, because it got better with time. With each new improvement, it became easier to install, it has better features and more useful software. It even has a OS boot loader which prove to be very useful. It saves me the trouble of installing System Commander for making multi-booting. However, Linux is not very user friendly, and installing new software requires you to be like a software engineer. Many a times I could not install some software because the installation procedure is not automated like those in Windows. Reading the help section only come with terms like “you should rebuild your kernel” “make sure the dependency is in the library” etc hey wait! My knowledge of IT is not that deep!

Scrap it! Anyway, I couldn’t get all my hardware to work with Linux especially my USB wireless. Without the proper drivers, my PC was like maroon in an island.

Finally, I just scrap everything when I bought myself a new PC and just install XP. I still have my old PC; it is a rather slow Pentium 3 system so I just install Windows 2000 which is rather fine for it.

And now, with Vista, I better find back my dual booting skill. Checking through some website, I got some tips on dual booting. Not much different in the way I multi-booted my PC.

Steps are simple; first make room in the HDD for a separate partition. I have an 80GB hard disk but I seem to have accumulated a lot of data. I think sorting through the data and backing what is necessary is really the tough part. Especially I still haven’t updated my burner from a CDRW to a DVD±RW. Backing up my photos was a real chore. Trying to make the backup on the CD as chronologically and category correct as possible. Really make me wish I should upgrade to a DVD±RW especially now it is getting cheaper. But I think I still don’t really have that need yet, so I’ll stave off upgrading till later.

I’m still sorting through my data, deleting my Windows Media WMA format music was a good idea. I have since shifted back to MP3 which is a much more universally accepted format then Microsoft WMA version.

I think I will need another day more to sort through the data before I can re-partition my HDD. I will use Partition Magic to make a new partition for Vista. I figure I should give my old XP 20GB of space, but Vista seems to be space hungry with required minimum 15GB. I may have to give it 25GB of space that leaves about 35GB of space left for my data. I have another IDE 40GB HDD hook up to the PC using a RAID card which I will use to back up any old data. I think I should be ok

When I have completed my data sorting I think the steps for dual booting shouldn’t be too big a problem judging from the how-to website that I checked. Vista has its own boot loader so you can choose to boot into your required OS.

Now to sort and swim through the data…

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