Re-partitioning a dual boot Windows Vista and XP system

by Peter Tyrrell Tuesday, May 08, 2007 2:54 PM

If you're into adventure on the high seas, extreme blood sports, or are simply a masochist looking for your next hit of sweet, sweet pain, look no further. Have I got an activity for you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I direct your attention to this hard disk. On the C:\ partition, I give you: Windows XP. On the V:\ partition: Windows Vista.

"Hm. V:\ too small, and C:\ very big. I will shrink C:\ and allocate extra space to V:\," says I. Jauntily. I should have paid attention to the flash of green lightning and the ominous thunder-rumble that occurred when I said that. But I did not, and I stand before you now a sadder, but infinitely wiser man.

Here's what I did, minus the cursing and backtracking, minus the time spent on Google and various unhelpful Microsoft KB articles.

  1. Back up everything.
  2. Get GParted (Gnome Partition Editor) LiveCD, an open source partition manager. Burn to disc. Boot to said disc.
  3. Shrink C:\. Extend V:\. Mix, stir, let stand 3 hours.
  4. Reboot to Windows Vista install disc. Select "Repair this computer". (It repairs. Quickly.)
  5. Reboot, this time to boot manager and to installed version of Vista on V:\. Chkdsk isn't at all sure what the hee-haw you've just been doing and wants to check the disk. Let 'er rip.
  6. Log in to Vista. Ta-da. But what about XP? Yeah, it's hooped. (When you try to boot to XP, it says "\ntldr is missing." XP System Recovery Console can't find a Windows XP install, can't map the C:\ partition, can't find its own buttocks with two hands and a flashlight.)
  7. While in Vista, download VistaBootPro. It's free. Install. Run.
  8. From Manage BCD OS Entries, select Windows XP, or rather, "Earlier Version of Windows". Rename that entry to "Windows XP" while you're at it. Select "Change Boot Drive." Select C: from the dropdown. Apply Updates.
  9. Reboot to boot manager and to installed version of XP on C:\. Success!

The above has been a highly condensed version of my experience today. It worked on my machine. Your mileage may vary.


Tags: Vista

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