Problems encountered while dual booting Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Dual booting Windows Vista and Windows XP.

A lot of people face a lot of problems when trying to dual-boot Windows XP and Windows Vista. This is because they don’t have enough knowledge on the dual-boot process.

The dual booting process is quite easy. There are two ways. The first is to install one of the operating systems on a VM (Virtual Machine).The second is to configure a dual boot machine where only one OS is used or booted up at the same time.

But problems are encountered when trying to dual boot

  1. When you install an earlier version of Windows i.e Windows XP is installed after installing Windows Vista, you will find out that Windows Vista will no longer start. Only the previous version (Windows XP) will start.
  2. When you install Windows XP on a computer already configured for Windows XP/Windows Vista dual booting.  If this is done, you may receive an error message:  Disk read error has occurred.


I’m sure by now you’re wondering why this happens. Well, it’s because Windows Vista does not support the boot.ini file anymore, but it now uses a Program called BCD (Boot Configuration Data) to boot up. This means the new bootup procedure is incompatible with the old. 

When you install Windows XP on a computer already running Windows Vista, the XP setup procedure overwrites the contents of the MBR (Master Boot Record), boot sectors and the boot files.

This causes problems because the old configuration method is unable to locate or load anything related to windows vista. In other words, it’s almost like Vista was never there.

So don’t install Windows XP over Windows Vista. So in other to dual boot, install Windows XP first.

Also editing the BCD (Boot Configuration Data) is not as intimidating as it sounds. To change the order of operating systems presented by the boot configuration interface, open the System Properties Dialog box (System Control Panel Application | Advanced System Settings)  and click the advanced tab.

Startup and Recovery

Startup and Recovery
Startup and Recovery

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