How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

The question I am asked most often is “How do I install a dual-boot with Windows XP on my new Windows Vista computer?” The answer is that it’s not that difficult, it’s just very time consuming, and you need to own a copy of Windows XP.

Note that you should not attempt this if you aren’t ready to troubleshoot any problems that might occur.

The first issue we encounter is that computers with pre-installed operating systems take up the entire drive. Luckily Microsoft included the Shrink volume feature in Vista, so we can easily shrink the Vista partition down to make room for XP.

Open the Computer Management panel, which you can find under Administrative tools or by right-clicking the Computer item in the start menu and choosing Manage. Find the Disk Management item in the list and select that.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Now we’ll shrink our volume down by right-clicking on the main hard drive and choosing Shrink Volume.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Now you can choose the size that you want to shrink, which really means you are choosing the size that you want your XP partition to be. Whatever you do, don’t just use the default. I chose roughly 10gb by entering 10000 into the amount.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

The next step might be confusing, because we need to change the cd-rom drive that’s invariably taking up D: at the moment, because we want to use D: for the Windows XP partition, but it’s already taken by the cd-rom drive. If you skip this step than XP will install onto the E: drive, which isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not quite as tidy.

Right-click on the cd-rom drive in the list and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Now we’ll change the CD drive to use E: by selecting that in the drop-down.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Now we can create a new partition for XP to live on and make sure that the drive letter is set the way we want. If you do not create a partition now the XP install will do so automatically, but it’s easier and cleaner to do it this way.

Right-click on the Unallocated free space area and then select New Simple Volume from the menu.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Follow through the wizard and select whatever options you’d like, making sure to use D: as the drive letter.

Now you will need to close out of disk management and reboot your computer. This is because we can’t do the next step until we reboot. (you can try, but it won’t work)

So we’ve come back from rebooting… open up Computer from the start menu and then right-click on the D: drive and select properties. Give your partition a meaningful name like “XP”. It would be wise to name the C: drive to “Vista” at this point as well.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Now you’ll want to pop your XP cd into the drive and boot off it. You may have to configure your BIOS to enable booting off the CD drive, or if your computer says something like “Hit Esc for boot menu” you might want to use that.

Once you come to the screen where you can choose the partition to install on, then choose either the unpartitioned space or the new partition you created. Whatever you do, don’t try and install onto your Vista partition! See how much cleaner it is now that we’ve labeled each partition distinctly?

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

We’ll assume XP is completely installed at this point, and you will have lost your ability to boot into Windows Vista, so we’ll need to use the VistaBootPro utility to restore the Vista boot loader.

Update: VistaBootPro is no longer free, but you can still download the free version.

During the install you’ll be forced to install the .NET 2.0 framework. Open up VistaBootPRO and then click on the System Bootloader tab. Check the “Windows Vista Bootloader” and then “All Drives” radio buttons, and then click on the Install Bootloader button.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

At this point, the Windows Vista bootloader is installed and you’ll only be able to boot into Vista, but we’ll fix that. Instead of manually doing the work, we’ll just click the Diagnostics menu item and then choose Run Diagnostics from the menu.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

This will scan your computer and then automatically fill in the XP version.. click on the “Manage OS Entries” tab and then click in the textbox for Rename OS Entry, and name it something useful like “Windows XP” or “The Windows That Works”

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Click the Apply Updates button and then reboot your computer… you should see your shiny new boot manager with both operating systems in the list!

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

If you get an error saying “unable to find ntldr” when trying to boot XP, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Find the hidden files ntldr and in the root of your Vista drive and copy them to the root of your XP drive.
  • If you can’t find the files there, you can find them in the \i386\ folder on your XP install cd

There’s more information on this forum thread, thanks to nrv1013

This is a critical piece of information: Windows XP will be installed on the D: drive, even in Windows XP… so you’ll need to keep that in mind when tweaking your system.

You can share information between the drives, but I wouldn’t recommend messing with the other operating system’s partition too much… it might get angry and bite you. Or screw up your files. What I do recommend is that you store most of your files on a third drive shared between the operating systems… you could call that partition “Data”.

I’m going to write a number of followup articles dealing with all of the issues with dual-boot systems, so subscribe to the feed for updates.

If you have issues with your dual-boot system, I’d recommend creating a new topic in our Computer Help forum, and we’ll try and help you.

If you have issues with using the shrink volume feature, check this article for some tips.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

This article aims at solving a problem faced by most computer users when trying to setup a dual boot by installing an Operating System older than the currently installed OS. When you install Windows XP after installing Windows Vista or 7 the latter’s boot menu disappears and your PC directly boots into Windows XP. But solving the problem is just a simple matter of executing a few commands.

Step 1: Install Windows XP

So you have a PC with Windows Vista or 7 and want to install Windows XP, don’t worry about anything now just go ahead and install it. Just remember to install it on a partition that DOES NOT have Windows Vista/7 installed. After installation is over you’ll find that there is no option to boot into Windows Vista/7. Don’t panic just follow the remaining steps

Step 2: Reviving the Windowx Vista or 7 boot menu

Boot your computer using the Windows Vista or 7 DVD, select the language and click “Repair your Computer” option. After it scans for your windows installation select the OS and click next. Open “Command Prompt” and type the following commands

bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer Execute the commnds in the repair mode command line

Now we’re back to the Windows Vista/7 boot menu but what happened to Windows XP . It has disappeared now 🙁 No problem we’ll add a boot entry for Windows XP in the boot menu

Step 3: Adding Windows XP to the boot menu

After Windows Vista/7 loads you’ll have to open a command line with administrative privileges. For this go to Start menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> right-click command prompt select “Run as administrator”. Type bcdedit and note the partition of

Note down the partition of

Now execute the following commands to add a Windows XP boot entry

bcdedit /create /d “Windows XP”
bcdedit /set device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
bcdedit /set path \ntldr
bcdedit /displayorder /addlast

The “partition” specified in the second command is the partition of . Don’t ever make a mistake while entering this command if you do this boot entry won’t work. After this is done restart your computer and enjoy the results. If you have any problems ask away using the comment form.

Step-by-step guides to installing Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista & XP

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

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Installing Windows might sound like a daunting task but it’s really quite easy, especially if you’re installing a more recent operating system like Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7. But no need to take your computer into the local experts for a simple reinstall — you can install Windows all by yourself!

Just find the Windows operating system below that you’re planning to install and then click on for visual, step-by-step guides explaining how to install each OS.

Install Windows 10

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest version of Windows and installation of this operating system is probably the easiest of them all.

See our Windows 8 installation guide for help. It works very similarly to installing Windows 10.

If you already have Windows 10 installed and you’re looking to reinstall it, even as a “clean” reinstall, the Reset This PC process is an easier-to-do, and equally effective, way to do this. See How to Reset Your PC in Windows 10 for a full walkthrough.

Install Windows 8

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

The very best way to install Windows 8 is with a method called a “clean install.”

With a clean install, you’ll get that “new computer” feel with Windows 8, without all the junk software. If you’re replacing a previous version of Windows, clean installing Windows 8 is most certainly what you want to do.

Here’s a complete tutorial of the Windows 8 clean install process, complete with screenshots and detailed advice along the way.

Install Windows 7

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

Windows 7 is one of the easiest-to-install Windows operating systems. You’re only asked a few important questions during the installation—most of the setup process is completely automatic.

Like with other versions of Windows, the “clean” or “custom” method of installing Windows 7 is the smartest way to go compared to an “upgrade” install or the less common “parallel” install.

This 34-step tutorial will walk you through every individual step of the process.

Install Windows Vista

Like Windows 7, the Windows Vista install process is very easy and straightforward.

In this short walkthrough from TechTarget, you’ll see how to boot from the install DVD and step through the major sections of this process.

Install Windows XP

Installing Windows XP can be a bit frustrating and time-consuming, especially when compared to the installation processes in Microsoft’s newer operating systems.

Don’t worry that you can’t do this one, however. Yes, there are lots of steps, and thank goodness Microsoft solved some of these tedious things in newer versions of Windows, but if you still need Windows XP, and you’re installing it new, or reinstalling it from scratch, this tutorial will help.

If you’re trying to solve a problem and haven’t yet given the repair install process available in Windows XP a try yet, do that first. See How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install for a complete walkthrough.

It’s rare but the older version of the operating system is still available

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Several years ago, Microsoft stopped providing security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system. Nevertheless, some retailers still offer refurbished computers equipped with Windows XP because the hardware requirements are less than those required for Windows Vista through Windows 10.

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

As of April 2014, Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

Risks of Running Windows XP

If you decide to buy a computer running Windows XP, plan for these serious security problems you’ll need to deal with:

  • Vulnerability to new bugs: Hackers are constantly searching for bugs in existing operating systems. When those bugs are exploited, companies that make the operating systems patch up (fix) those bugs. In the case of Windows XP, Microsoft won’t fix those bugs.
  • Incompatible drivers: Since most hardware manufacturers stopped supporting Windows XP drivers, you’ll need to use old drivers. Old driver software is as susceptible to new bugs as the old operating system.
  • Old Software: Most software companies also stopped supporting Windows XP, so you’ll be working with outdated software on your computer. Outdated software is at risk for hacking as well.
  • Outdated network cards: The older a network card is, the more likely it is that hackers have found problems that they can exploit and hack into your computer. This makes it especially dangerous to connect your Windows XP computer directly to the internet.

Secure Your New Windows XP Computer

If you do purchase a computer with Windows XP and you cannot upgrade to a modern operating system, follow these special security precautions:

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You can not do that.

That XP disk from the Dell computer came preinstalled is classified as an OEM licence.

That means that it is tied to the original computer it is installed on, and the XP licence dies with the failed Computer.

Also, Dell tie their disks installation to their Motherboards

If you want XP, you will have to buy it, and ead below about Drivers, etc:

First, go to your computer manufacturer’s website and check to see if your model computer has XP Drivers available for it..

If XP Drivers are not available for your Model, forget the idea.

If it has, download them and save to Flash drive or CD.

Next, buy an XP disk and Licence.

Save all your Data, as it will be lost during installation of XP.

Then follow the usual steps to do a clean install.

Once installed, reload ALL your other Programs from original Media, or download again.

Reload all Drivers and Utilities for your Motherboard.

Mick Murphy – Microsoft Partner

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Important This article is valid only when you are trying to install a 32-bit operating system. This article does not cover 64-bit operating systems. For more information about installation choices for 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

932795 Installation choices for 64-bit consumer versions of Windows Vista


This article discusses the installation choices for consumer versions of Windows Vista. This article does not include information about Windows Vista Starter, about Windows Vista Enterprise, or about versions of Windows Vista that you install by using Microsoft Volume Licensing.

The method that you use to install Windows Vista depends on the answers to the following questions:

Do you have an upgrade license of Windows Vista or a full product license?

Does the version of Windows that is installed support an upgrade to the version that you purchased?

Do you want to preserve your personal files, settings, and programs? Or do you prefer to perform a clean installation of Windows Vista?

More Information

General information about how to install Windows Vista


Upgrade to Windows VistaAn upgrade to Windows Vista preserves the currently installed personal files, settings, and programs. You can upgrade only certain versions of Windows to certain versions of Windows Vista.

Custom installation (clean installation) of Windows Vista A custom installation or clean installation of Windows Vista does not preserve the currently installed personal files, settings, and programs. Windows Vista is installed without third-party programs. You can perform a custom installation of Windows Vista by using either an upgrade license or a full product license. However, if you own an upgrade license, you must start the installation in the current version of Windows. At the installation choice menu, select Custom to perform this action.

The upgrade version of Windows Vista An upgrade version of Windows Vista is a license that lets you install Windows Vista if you already own a compliant, licensed version of Windows. You can perform either an upgrade installation or a custom installation of Windows Vista by using an upgrade license. However, you must start the Windows Vista installation in the compliant version of Windows.

32-bit operating systemsWindows comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. This article discusses upgrade options when you are running a 32-bit operating system and you are trying to install a 32-bit version of Windows Vista.

N versions of Windows Vista N versions of Windows XP and of Windows Vista do not include Windows Media Player. N versions are designed for customers in Europe. You cannot upgrade an N version of Windows. Instead, you must perform a custom installation.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)

You must have Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed before you can upgrade a Windows XP-based computer to Windows Vista. To verify that you have Windows XP SP2 installed, follow these steps:

Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.

On the General tab, verify that Service Pack 2 appears in the System area.

If Windows XP SP2 is not installed, install it before you start an upgrade to Windows Vista. To obtain Windows XP SP2, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

How to determine whether your computer is running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version of Windows XP

For more information about how to determine whether you computer is running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version of Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

827218 How to determine whether your computer is running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version of the Windows operating system

Installation choices

Your installation choices depend on the version of Windows that you have installed. This section describes the choices that are available for each version of Windows.

Upgrading is not supported for some language versions of Windows XP

Upgrading from the following language versions of Windows XP to the matching language of Windows Vista is not supported.

Windows XP with the following Language Interface Packs installed:

Introduction: How to Install Windows 7 or Vista on Your Pc If You Only Have a CD-RW Drive and Bios Not Boot From USB

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

How to install windows xp on a windows vista computer

In this instructable i show you how to. *sigh* just look at the title.

You will need:
External DVD drive
Windows 7/Vista install DVD and serial
Windows XP install CD and serial

Step 1: Install Windows XP

Install Windows XP as normal, but save time and do not care about any of the other settings, just enter serial, create account, setup wifi/wired, activate, and go on to the next step.

Step 2: Install Windows 7 or Vista From Within XP

Hook up your external DVD drive and insert your Windows 7 or vista disk, and see installer come up.

Step 3: Almost Done

Set up windows. Now you can care about all the other settings, and install your drivers.

Step 4: Done!

Ok you’re done.
Bye thank you whatever.

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For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 314458.


This article describes how you can remove the Linux operating system from your computer, and install a Windows operating system. This article also assumes that Linux is already installed on the hard disk using Linux native and Linux swap partitions, which are incompatible with the Windows operating system, and that there is no free space left on the drive.

Windows and Linux can coexist on the same computer. For additional information, refer to your Linux documentation.

More Information

To install Windows on a system that has Linux installed when you want to remove Linux, you must manually delete the partitions used by the Linux operating system. The Windows-compatible partition can be created automatically during the installation of the Windows operating system.

IMPORTANT: Before you follow the steps in this article, verify that you have a bootable disk or bootable CD-ROM for the Linux operating system, because this process completely removes the Linux operating system installed on your computer. If you intend to restore the Linux operating system at a later date, verify that you also have a good backup of all the information stored on your computer. Also, you must have a full release version of the Windows operating system you want to install.

Linux file systems use a “superblock” at the beginning of a disk partition to identify the basic size, shape, and condition of the file system.

The Linux operating system is generally installed on partition type 83 (Linux native) or 82 (Linux swap). The Linux boot manager (LILO) can be configured to start from:

The hard disk Master Boot Record (MBR).

The root folder of the Linux partition.

The Fdisk tool included with Linux can be used to delete the partitions. (There are other utilities that work just as well, such as Fdisk from MS-DOS 5.0 and later, or you can delete the partitions during the installation process.) To remove Linux from your computer and install Windows:

Remove native, swap, and boot partitions used by Linux:

Start your computer with the Linux setup floppy disk, type fdisk at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: For help using the Fdisk tool, type m at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

Type p at the command prompt, and then press ENTER to display partition information. The first item listed is hard disk 1, partition 1 information, and the second item listed is hard disk 1, partition 2 information.

Type d at the command prompt, and then press ENTER. You are then prompted for the partition number you want to delete. Type 1, and then press ENTER to delete partition number 1. Repeat this step until all the partitions have been deleted.

Type w, and then press ENTER to write this information to the partition table. Some error messages may be generated as information is written to the partition table, but they should not be significant at this point because the next step is to restart the computer and then install the new operating system.

Type q at the command prompt, and then press ENTER to quit the Fdisk tool.

Insert either a bootable floppy disk or a bootable CD-ROM for the Windows operating system on your computer, and then press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to restart your computer.

Install Windows. Follow the installation instructions for the Windows operating system you want to install on your computer. The installation process assists you with creating the appropriate partitions on your computer.

Examples of Linux Partition Tables

Single SCSI drive

Multiple SCSI drives

Single IDE drive

Multiple IDE drives

Also, Linux recognizes more than forty different partition types, such as:

FAT 16 > 32 M Primary (Type 06)

FAT 16 Extended (Type 05)

FAT 32 w/o LBA Primary (Type 0b)

FAT 32 w/LBA Primary (Type 0c)

FAT 16 w/LBA (Type 0e)

FAT 16 w/LBA Extended (Type 0f)

Note that there are other ways to remove the Linux operating system and install Windows than the one mentioned above. The preceding method is used in this article because the Linux operating system is already functioning and there is no more room on the hard disk. There are methods of changing partition sizes with software. Microsoft does not support Windows installed on partitions manipulated in this manner.

Another method of removing an operating system from the hard disk and installing a different operating system is to use an MS-DOS version 5.0 or later boot disk, a Windows 95 Startup disk, or a Windows 98 Startup disk that contains the Fdisk utility. Run the Fdisk utility. If you have multiple drives, there are 5 choices; use option 5 to select the hard disk that has the partition to be deleted. After that, or if you have only one hard disk, choose option 3 (“Delete partition or logical DOS drive”), and then choose option 4 (“Delete non-DOS partition”). You should then see the non-DOS partitions you want to delete. Typically, the Linux operating system has two non-DOS partitions, but there may be more. After you delete one partition, use the same steps to delete any other appropriate non-DOS partitions.

After the partitions are deleted, you can create partitions and install the operating system you want. You can only create one primary partition and an extended partition with multiple logical drives by using Fdisk from MS-DOS version 5.0 and later, Windows 95, and Windows 98. The maximum FAT16 primary partition size is 2 gigabytes (GB). The largest FAT16 logical drive size is 2 GB. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

105074 MS-DOS 6.2 Partitioning Questions and Answers
If you are installing Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000, the Linux partitions can be removed and new partitions created and formatted with the appropriate file system type during the installation process. Windows allows you to create more than one primary partition. The largest partition that Windows NT 4.0 allows you to create during installation is 4 GB because of the limitations of the FAT16 file system during installation. Also, the 4-GB partitions use 64-KB cluster sizes. MS-DOS 6.x and Windows 95 or Windows 98 do not recognize 64-KB cluster file systems, so this file system is usually converted to NTFS during installation. Windows 2000, unlike Windows NT 4.0, recognizes the FAT32 file system. During the installation of Windows 2000, you can create a very large FAT32 drive. The FAT32 drive can be converted to NTFS after the installation has completed if appropriate.