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Thread: Laptop Dual Boot Help/Advice

  1. #1
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    Default Laptop Dual Boot Help/Advice

    Hi all

    I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop running Windoze Vista, it currently has a 120gb HD and 2gb RAM and a 512mb graphics card.

    I would like to upgrade the HD to 250gb and make it into a dual boot Vista/XP system.

    How easy is this to do?, is there anywhere trusted in the UK that can do this without losing all the stuff I already have running under Vista?, could I do this myself and if so what software would I need to be able to do it?

    I'm having loads of problems with compatibility with Vista (yes, I have tried compatibility mode). It's mainly with the modem drivers I use for the Pangolin SMS software, they just refuse to work correctly in Vista.

    If I can't do what I want to do above I guess i'll just have to see if I can pick up a cheap XP laptop somewhere.

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  2. #2
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    This is a bit tricky. You can make a disk-to-disk copy using for example Ghost. That will leave you with an exact copy of the old drive on the new one. The partition size will also be the same on both drives, so there will be some unallocated space on the new one.

    Now, dual booting XP and Vista is easy, if you install XP first. Since Vista has a new boot loader installing XP will overwrite Vistas boot loader and Vista will refuse to boot anymore. Fortunately you are not the first who wants to do this, so there are guides and tools for it. Here's one guide, though you can skip ahead to the XP install of it, since you already have 130GB of unallocated space.

    Oh, and another problem is if it's a SATA drive. Then you will either need to have a floppy with the drivers for the controller or slipstream them into the XP install CD.

  3. #3
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    Hmmm...

    Looks far too complicated for my simple brain to understand, that, along with my current kiss of death where technology is concerned make me think I ought to find someone who can do it for me

    Maybe it is going to be a much easier option just to look out for an old XP laptop.

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  4. #4
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    Default Dump vista?

    hi Jem
    I bought a laptop a lenovo (ibm) just b4 xmas and bought it as it was one of the very last with XP on, not that Im a lover of XP either Id still be running win 3.11 if I could for the very reasons you describe. my son runs the latest mac note book which is supposed to be dual boot....loaded xp ran it for two weeks ( not internet use) and has now removed XP because of the conflicts it caused!!!!
    So if it were me id be thinking of wiping the hd and install xp...and have done with it!
    Otherwise Rob may be help when he gets off his sick leave
    If only Bill gates would fix what was broken instaed of making the bloody software flashy and trendy makes me boil!
    Kev


    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post
    Hi all

    I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop running Windoze Vista, it currently has a 120gb HD and 2gb RAM and a 512mb graphics card.

    I would like to upgrade the HD to 250gb and make it into a dual boot Vista/XP system.

    How easy is this to do?, is there anywhere trusted in the UK that can do this without losing all the stuff I already have running under Vista?, could I do this myself and if so what software would I need to be able to do it?

    I'm having loads of problems with compatibility with Vista (yes, I have tried compatibility mode). It's mainly with the modem drivers I use for the Pangolin SMS software, they just refuse to work correctly in Vista.

    If I can't do what I want to do above I guess i'll just have to see if I can pick up a cheap XP laptop somewhere.

    Cheers

    Jem
    Move toward the light!

  5. #5
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    Thanks Kev

    I have to say i'm leaning towards just buying a second hand XP laptop. I was looking at a reconditioned IBM for jst under 200 inc V.A.T.

    I wouldn't mind but it's only so I can get the Pangolin SMS system working properly. I must add here that it's not really Pangolins fault it doesn't work as it's the modem drivers that are at fault & they just don't like Vista.

    The strange thing is that it was working at one point, I then had to do a reboot of my machine and it hasn't worked since. I've been on to MultiTech and they've spent quite a bit of time telling me how to completely uninstall the drivers, but even this doesn't work Ah well...

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  6. #6
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    As a network admin with 15 years behind the server racks. I recommend removing Vista and install XP. At least for another 2 years.
    I hired an Italian guy to do my wires. Now they look like spaghetti!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Laser View Post
    As a network admin with 15 years behind the server racks. I recommend removing Vista and install XP. At least for another 2 years.

    I second that - coming from a network engineer for the same length of time...but I'm running Vista on my laptop - and it does have some issues...

    As Tocket mentioned, Ghost, which I think is now a Norton product works very well and is fairly easy to do since you are just moving data to a new drive.

    However, I have not use Ghost for about 8 years and when I did it was primarily on desktop machines where I could simply stick in another drive. I'm sure it supports drives attached to the USB port as most laptops don't have two hard drives...(though mine does).


    Seriously, it isn't that difficult to do. In the event that nothing works, just make sure you have a backup of the data you want to keep. Store it on DVD or CD - maybe even a USB memory stick if you have one...just in case you accidentally wiped a partition.



    Phil

  8. #8
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    I've been running Vista for about a year and currently have no problems. I had some driver issues at the start but all of those issues have been resolved. But, Vista definitely does require more memory and CPU power so if you want to squeeze all that you can out of what you have XP might be a better option.

  9. #9
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    I have used Ghost recently and it does support USB drives now. You will need a sufficiently sized such to store the image on (Ghost will compress the image though, so it will not be as large as your entire partition). There are probably freeware programs that can do the same thing as Ghost, but I haven't tried any of them.

    Using Ghost is easy, as is fixing the boot loader. However, installing XP on a SATA drive is a royal pain in the arse unless you already have an install disc with the drivers slipstreamed. Or a floppy drive... but who does nowadays? I stopped using/installing them 10 years ago.

    Considering how cheap laptops are now you could get another one just for XP. If you're going to use it for laser shows you might want to look at getting a tablet PC (with XP tablet edition).

    My opinion regarding Vista vs XP is that Vista not only looks better (which I care little about, but most people seem to think is the whole point of upgrading), but is actually faster than XP. However, the latter is only true if you have sufficient memory. I don't think anyone should run Vista with less than 2GB RAM. In my opinion it's a big mistake from the computer manufacturers to ship 1GB computers with Vista installed, especially considering how cheap DDR2 memory is now. The sweet spot for memory is now 3GB (or 4GB if you're brave enough to run 64-bit Vista, 32-bit can only address up to 3.25GB).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tocket View Post
    However, installing XP on a SATA drive is a royal pain in the arse.
    That seals it then, my laptop has a SATA hard drive... Guess it's another laptop running XP then.

    Thanks for all your help guys, really appreciated

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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