> I purchased a Dell laptop with Vista Home Premium on it and some of my older
> Xp software won't work on it. I would like to install XP on a separate
> partition and have a multi boot system, but am having issues.
Normally, the older OS must be installed first unless you wish to
acquire and use some 3rd-party partition and boot management utility.
(In which case you have to follow the instructions provided by whatever
3rd party solution you select.) However, this KB Article (not for the
faint of heart or technically-challenged) explains how to repair the
Vista boot process after installing WinXP:
Windows Vista no longer starts after you install an earlier version of
the Windows operating system in a dual-boot configuration
MS-MVP John Barnett's Guide is considerably more user-friendly:
First and foremost, if the specific computer model in question was
designed specifically for Vista, there may well be no WinXP-specific
device drivers available to make the computer's diverse components work
properly. If this proves to be the case , installing WinXP in a virtual
machine would be your best option, anyway. Consult the computer's
manufacturer about the availability of device drivers. Secondly, adding
another OS might void any support agreements and, sometimes, even the
warranty. Again, consult the computer's manufacturer for specifics.
> I created a
> partition on my hard drive, but when I try to install XP - it tells me I
> already have a newer version of Windows and won't do an install..
That means you're trying to install WinXP from within Vista. This, of
course, will not work; no operating system has yet been designed to
perform an in-place downgrade. Nor would it be possible to create a
dual boot configuration in this manner.
> ...If I try
> to boot from the CD and install that way it tells me it can't find a hard
> disk to install to.
In all likelihood, the Dell laptop uses an SATA controller for its mass
storage device. Remember, SATA didn't really exist (or at least wasn't
commercially available) when WinXP was initially developed. Very early
in the boot process, just after having booted from the WinXP CD, the
screen will display the words to the effect: "Setup is examining your
system." Press <F6> when this happens, and have the *manufacturer's*
WinXP-specific drivers for your SATA controller available on a floppy
disk. (Yes, it must be one a floppy disk; WinXP's installation routine
is hard-coded to accept only a floppy for this purpose.)
Two final thoughts:
1) Dual-booting is no longer necessary in a great many situations. Why
not download a Virtual Machine application, such as Microsoft's
VirtualPC 2007 (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/search.asp?
Innotek's VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org/
) and run WinXP and your
legacy applications within a virtual computer? Both are free and work
NOTE: Microsoft does not support the use of VirtualPC 2007 on Vista
Home editions, but several people have reported that it works. Your
results may vary.
2) Dell still sells computers with WinXP. Have you contacted them to
see if you can exchange Vista for WinXP?
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