Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
OK, same machine as the 'optical drive' machine...
It came with Vista. I'm no big Vista fan - I prefer XP.
I could easily just install XP on it. However, as I have done previously with a Dell Inspiron 9200, I plan to dual boot it. My thinking is that, if I can't find all the XP drivers I need in the short term, I'll at least have a working Vista machine.
Once I have all the XP drivers, I may convert it to XP only (although that was the plan with the Dell a year ago, and it's still a dual boot machine...)
Anyway... I'm planning to follow the instructions here:
My question is: the hard drive on the machine I'm planning to dual boot already has both a C: and a D: partition. Do I therefore need to follow the instructions on the second page "create free space for Windows XP"? Or can I start from page 3?
Another thought: Check D: is completely empty (you may want to move stuff off) and the right size GB where you intend XP to be and then format D: with XP install.
Disclaimer: I have never set up a dual boot so might want to wait for someone else to confirm.
Thanks lotvic. Yes, it's about 90GB, so that should be plenty - and yes, it's empty. Formatting it sounds like a good plan. You mean, when I've seleceted D: as the partition I want to install XP on during the instllation, choose to format it then?
And yes, with respect, I'll await further inputs.
Yes I meant format when you have selected D: as the XP install partition (so that it is XP that formats it - not Vista)
and yes, wait for further inputs :)
I recently had a Vista laptop to sort and suggested to the guy that I stick Windows 7 on it as a dual boot then he could still use Vista but also play with 7.My plan is that when he is comfortable with Windows 7 I will delete the Vista partition.
It was quite straight forward to do I split his 500GB Hdd in half then simply put Windows 7 on the other partition. Worked extremely well only had to hunt for a couple of drivers the only annoyance as it boots to 7 by default unless you use the keyboard arrows to point to Vista. I formatted the D partition with the Windows 7 disk just to make sure that there would be no problems with stray files etc.
I Have never dual booted with XP but I cannot see that it would be any more difficult but as you say drivers might be an issue.
Here's another tutorial, Method two and has a few more diagrams. Just check that you're using the D partition (smaller size?) when installing XP and EasyBCD will fix the Vista boot file.
One thing I've remembered is, because the machine has Vista on it, you might have to create an XP disc with sata drivers slipstreamed on to it. Link
Chronus: you're right about the annoyance - my Dell boots into W7 unless you tell it to boot to XP - you have to be there at boot time. Having done some research, it looks like you should be able to edit the boot.ini file to reverse the order - but I'm not sure I want to go there.
rdave: thanks for that. I wonder. On the Dell I dual-booted, I didn't need to slipstream SATA drivers - but perhaps it doesn't have a SATA drive? How can I find out, short of opening the case? I've looked in device manager and can find no reference to the characteristics of the hard drives (it only refers to 'array') - but there is a reference to an Intel SATA RAID controller.
The machine I'm planning to dual boot certainly has a SATA hard drive, though, as I know from looking inside..
Belarc should show ATA controllers and Standard Dual Channel Controller for Sata. I don't have a PC with IDE drives but would imagine Belarc would show Pata. Just a guess. On the older Dell was XP the original OS?
On the Visa laptop I dual booted I got the error for the Sata drivers and installation aborted. Had to repair Vista start up to try again. Thinking about it this was pre SP3 so the XP SP3 disc might already have the drivers. You'll have to find that out.
Came across this . The Word doc. for all Intel chipset drivers is good.
OK... Some last minute nerves here.
You wouldn't believe how difficult it has been to find drivers for an Abit AB9 Pro motherboard - so many dodgy sites out there, and the ones that might be legitimate mostly take you to a broken link (abitshop). However, I may have found what I was looking for: time will tell...
I'm feeling particularly wobbly following rdave's thoughts about SATA. I'd happily have a go at slipstreaming - if I could find anything that looks like an Abit AB9 Pro SATA driver. I've looked at the drivers I've downloaded, and can't immediately see anything that looks like a SATA driver.
So... I'm thinking, I'm just going to give it a try without slipstreaming the SATA drivers.
The question is: what's the worst that can happen? My assumption is that the XP installation will fail because it can't find a disk drive - so I'll just power off the machine, start again and it will boot to Vista as it does now. The attempted XP installation won't have done anything to the machine if it can't find a disk to do it to - right? I'll just be right back where I started from.
But 'assuming' is always a dangerous game. Anyone have any thoughts?
PS: I just found out, Abit went out of business... :-(
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