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glObalist
09-19-06, 03:46 AM
Hi,

I have 2 HDs, one is divided in a C: (system) and a G: (storage) partition, the other is D: (storage) and a F: (page) file partition. That makes 4 partitions in total. Now the question is, where do I install another OS to?

The reason I'm asking this is in the past I got screwed over after I installed another Win OS to a partition that it wasn't suposed to be installed to - don't remember which partition it was but it somehow shared it's system files with my primary Win install and didn't work out. I since then learned there's a rule as to what kind of partition to use for this (extended or logical or some other?) but don't remember it now..

So, anyone knowledgeable in these matter willing to give me some advice? FYI, I'm planning to install Vista as my second OS.

rewt
09-19-06, 07:28 AM
Now the question is, where do I install another OS to?

You need unallocated disk space to create a new partition for Vista. Unallocated space is space that is not currently having files or partition structure. It won't have a drive letter, until you format it.

I would recommend around 16GB for Vista x86 partition, and store documents and other important stuff elsewhere.

If F: drive is large enough, you can move pagefile over to C: and use F: to install Vista on. (Though you should probably still format F: during Vista install process, to be sure it's fully compatible.)

There are many options..

The easiest and most worry/trouble-free would be to get another hard disk. You can get them very cheap these days.

glObalist
09-19-06, 07:40 AM
Well my 2 HDs are both >200GB each so free space is not a problem. My question was aimed more as to what kind of partition (logical or extended or whatever) is intended for dual boot. Any info on that?

rewt
09-19-06, 08:20 AM
Yeah but I didn't say free space. I said unallocated space.

Sure, you could have 200GB of free space on C: and D: combined, but if you install Vista to it you will surely hose your XP install for good.

If you intend to install it on the same hard disk as XP, it doesn't matter if you install it to logical or extended partition. You can boot from an extended partition as long as boot records point to it, which in the case of Vista, they will.

glObalist
09-19-06, 08:26 AM
If you intend to install it on the same hard disk as XP, it doesn't matter if you install it to logical or extended partition. You can boot from an extended partition as long as boot records point to it, which in the case of Vista, they will.

This is the problematic part as I'm sure I kinda messed up my primary install with a 2nd Win OS on another partition of the same disk. It was another machine however and now with two HDs on this one I don't think I will mess anything up by installing Vista on the 2nd HD. Thanks for your help :D

rewt
09-19-06, 08:36 AM
This is the problematic part as I'm sure I kinda messed up my primary install with a 2nd Win OS on another partition of the same disk.

It can happen. Especially if you go installing different versions of Windows in the wrong order.

For example, try installing Vista before XP, on two different partitions of the same hard disk. Boot up, bye bye Vista. ;)

Of course can easily be fixed most of the time with the right commands and tools.

Son Goku
09-20-06, 05:16 PM
Actually, the partition it's placed on does not have to be un-allocated, aka you don't need to create a new partition. However, it should be a different partition from your other Windows operating system. The reason is the shared folders component, and even with different directories, this folder is in common. Vista could end up over-writting your XP files, in the shared folder/problem...

Absolutely, and however you work this out, keep Vista on one partition (drive letter), and keep your XP on another...

Now, things can get a little hairy, as Vista doesn't assign drive letters the same. AKA on my hard drive (and I wiped XP out with a format); I have physically...

SCSI ID 0 (37.6 GB Seagate Cheetah off my Adaptec SCSI card 29160), divided into

first partition, primary, 1 GB, FAT32, DR-DOS 7.03 installed
extended partition, rest of drive, NTFS, Windows

XP called the 1 GB primary c: and the system drive d: Vista has changed this, and made the partition which is physically second on drive (created second in partitioning) and extended c:, to keep c: the system drive. The first primary partition is relegated to d:

Moral of the story, if you look in the disk partitioner, be sure you're assigning the right drive, as the logical drive lettering will likely be different.

Other then making sure that 2 versions of Windows are not on the same partition as each other; you should favor a partition that does not have your data on it. Having the data on a physically seperate hard drive, also has it's advantages (especially with beta testing); because if you need to reformat your system, repartition a drive, whatever; your data isn't on it. With the data safe, there's no concern "how do I get in to get my data".

If your non-data drive has 2 seperate partitions, then it isn't difficult, just put Vista on a partition that XP is not on. If however it's in one partition only, you might want to repartition to accomplish this. Partition Magic, or some such program could allow yo to do this, without reinstalling the old system...

glObalist
10-21-06, 06:25 AM
OK so I went ahead and created a K: partition in preparation to install Vista on it. My partitions look like this now:

http://www.stormclan.sk/globalist/partitions.jpg

However, when I told Partition Magic to apply the changes, it warned me that there's no "active" partition on the selected disk, and it might cause problems. I gave a go nonetheless as there is an "active" partition (C: XP system) on my second drive, but I'm not sure what the warning could mean. Guess I will see..

Jeez, why do I seem the only one who never manages to set up a dual-boot system the way everyone else does? :D

glObalist
10-21-06, 07:20 AM
Ok I installed Vista on K: and wouldn't you know it, although it restarted fine after install, it didn't create any bootloader and now after 2nd restart I'm booting straight into good old XP without an OS choice.

What's more, my partitions look like this now, ie K: VISTA RC2 has changed its name and G: has been set as "active":

http://www.stormclan.sk/globalist/partitions1.jpg

Edit: Now that I've reinstalled Vista on K:, it did create a bootloader on G: along with a "BOOT" directory (probably because it has been set as "active") but it gives me TWO options of MS Vista, the second one being corrupt and thus unbootable. The only way to boot into XP is through the BIOS quick-boot menu. I'm just about to give up as I just read this in PM help and it seems my disks are not really set up for dual boot:

"Windows NT/2000/XP must boot from a primary partition on the first drive. However, only a few Windows NT/2000/XP files must reside on that partition; the remaining files can reside on a logical partition, which can be located on the first or a subsequent drive. The Windows NT/2000/XP boot partition can be shared with another operating system. When a second OS shares a boot partition with the first OS, it is called bootstrapping."

rewt
10-21-06, 06:11 PM
Try a tool called VistaBootPro. It may be able to install the Vista bootloader for you, so you have the choice to boot from it.

The problem appears to be that both Windows are on separate hard drives. In my setup, Vista and XP are on the same physical drive, but different partitions. So in my case the bootloader screen has options to boot from either OS, without me having to switch primary boot drive in the BIOS.