How to Install Windows XP on pre-installed Vista

on Sunday, November 29, 2009

A friend of mine asked me whether Windows XP can be installed on a computer pre-installed with Windows Vista.  The answer is YES; but it is really time consuming and things can go wrong (Murphy's law) & you should be prepared for the toughest troubleshooting.  The main problem with the pre-installed PCs is that the company does not make any logical partitions.  They make the entire hard disk a single partition and then install OS over it.

Here is how we do it:

1.  Go to Computer Management under Administrative Tools in the Control Panel.

2.   Select the Disk Management under the Storage tab.
3.   Right click the existing partition C: and select "Shrink Volume".  Now the system will tell you choose values for the existing partition.  You can choose 10/20 GB or whatever you like; but never go for the default values.

4.   Now if there is a CD/DVD ROM attached, right click it and change its Drive letter by selecting "Change Drive letter and Paths" option.  You can give it any values other than D.  We are going to do this because we are trying to partition the existing hard disk into two and let us reserve D for the new partition.
5.   Now right click the un-allocated space in the drive and select "New Simple Volume" and make sure that you use D for the new drive.
6.   After having done all these, close the Computer Management and reboot the computer.
7.   When rebooting, go the BIOS setup and change the first boot drive to CD ROM.
8.   Now place the CD in the CD ROM and reboot.
9.   Now the regular piece of blue screen will come up, asking you several question.  Be careful to install Windows XP in D drive.
10.  After installing Windows XP, you will not be able to boot to Vista.  Hey, there is a solution for that.  Download VistaBootPro here.

11.  Open VistaBootPro and click on System Bootloader button.  Check the Windows Vista Bootloader and then All drives radio buttons.
12.  Now Vista Bootloader is installed and you will now only be able to boot into Vista.  Now Run VistaBootPro and click on Diagnostics and select "Run Diagnostics now".

13.  After having let the Vista Boot Pro to scan, click the "Manage BCD OS entries tab", it will show both the Windows Vista and an entry reflected as "Earlier Version of Windows".  Select the "Earlier Version of Windows" and rename it to Windows XP Professional or something you like.  Click Apply to apply the changes and reboot the computer.
14.  Now you ll have two OS options for boot up.

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