Dual boot Vista and XP Easy?

By | March 17, 2007

I’ve been doing some reading about the problems people are having with installing Windows Vista. One that keeps rearing its ugly head is the dual boot capability with Windows XP. Don’t get me wrong most of the times it will work, but sometimes it doesn’t. I had the same problem.

I installed Vista on a seperate drive from Windows XP and thought that this would be dual boot. Silly me! As soon as I got Vista installed I could no longer boot Windows XP. It kept saying something about the kernal.dll not being found on the OS.

After some research it turns out that this happens when the Vista bootloader is trying to boot up Windows XP (or any other pre Vista OS) as windows Vista. Is it me or does that sound completely wrong. Knowing what the problem is I started looking for an idiot proof way to solve it. (Me being the idiot :))

As it turns out there is an easy utility to change the boot settings of the Vista bootloader. The program is called WindowsBootPro. First I  advice you to back up the existing settings, just in case :(. Do this by hitting the backup/restore button and selecting save.

Then its time to set Windows XP to a pre Vista OS. This will make sure it boots again. Do this following these simple steps:

  1. Hit manage OS, this will show you the bootable os versions available
  2. Either create a new one by hitting Add new operating system entry.
  3. Make sure to select Windows legacy and not the Windows Vista radio button
  4. Give the boot os a name you like. Probably ‘Windows XP’
  5. Select the drive letter that you installed the OS on, this doesn’t have to be C:
  6. Hit apply to effect the changes

Now you’re ready to boot Windows XP again. So have fun! Play a little.

Until next time…

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