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Note: I have no experience with Vista, so I may miss some things.
1. Back up your data. If you haven't done this yet, do it as soon as you can, otherwise you will lose your data.
2. Get a Linux Distro (such as Ubuntu or openSUSE) and burn it to a CD.
3. Get your Windows XP CD and boot from it. After setup loads the necessary files, hit Enter, then hit F8 to accept the EULA.
4. At this point, you should see something like this. If there are any partitions, delete them, so you get this screen.
5. After that, you create three partitions. You should then get this screen. Make sure you leave some space over. Linux needs an extra partition for its swap file. The amount you leave should be equal to the amount of RAM you have installed (I wouldn't go over 2GB, though)
6. After that, go up to the partition label C: and hit Enter twice. This will format the partition and copy XP's files. After that follow the rest of the setup process, as it's pretty simple.
7. After setup is complete, go to My Computer and right-click on the D: drive. Choose Format... and choose NTFS from the second scroll box. Everything else can be left alone. (Volume Label can be left blank, or you can put in a name of your choice for the drive). This will get the drive ready to install Vista.
You may also want to disable system restore for drive D:. This can be done by right-clicking on My Computer, selecting Properties, and clicking on the System Restore tab. Click on the D: drive and hit the Settings... button. After that tick the checkbox labeled Turn off System Restore on this drive.
As I've previously stated, I have no experience with Vista. However I will try my best from what I've seen online (, skip to 4:10)
1. After installing XP, put in your Windows Vista CD and the install program should open up. Click on Install Now. After that a list of your partitions should appear. Choose Disk 0 Partition 2. Just follow the installation program after that.
I will be using Ubuntu Linux for this walk-through, although other distros aren't that much different to setup.
1. Assuming you already burnt your Ubuntu CD, place the CD into the CD drive and boot from it. Choose Install Ubuntu.
2. After the setup loads the files you will see the setup window. After choosing your language, time zone, and keyboard, the Partition Manager (GParted) should appear and you'll see something like this. Choose Specify Partitions Manually (advanced) and click Forward.
3. You should now be looking at something like this. Choose the third partition (/dev/sda6, in my example) and hit the Edit Partition button. You will see this window. Edit the parameters until you get this. Hit OK.
4. Wait for it to apply the changes then click on Free Space. Create a partition and format it as swap area for the file system (screenshot). The size of the partition should be equal to the amount of RAM installed. After the changes are applied, click Forward and follow the rest of the setup program.
Reboot and your new tri-boot machine will be ready.
Edited by MadDawg, 24 June 2009 - 04:10 PM.
A penguin broke my windows with a half-eaten apple!