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Trying to reformat into a dual boot XP and Vista configuration

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#1 AZScott


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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:28 PM

High gang, 1st computer forum post.
What I'm working on is an Emachines T-5082 (My Mom's computer). This came with Vista 32bit home. This machine currently has 2 hard drives the original 164Gb Hitachi and a Maxtor 40Gb from her previous Emachines T2542.
Ive had this configuration working fine for her under Vista for over a year and used the 2nd HD for backups and archive.
My mom hates Vista and I'm not a fan either but I hate to wipe it out completely. I do have the manufacturers recovery media but not a separate Vista disc.

What I want to achieve is to make this a dual boot machine with XP as primary OS and Vista access when desired. I have the recovery disc from the old (and dead T2542) to use for a legit XP install.

Currently the Disc's and partitions are set up as follows:
Hitachi: C:<99Gb> System (Vista), Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition // D:<8.5Gb> Primary Partition (Recovery)//X:<45.8Gb> Primary Partition (currently empty NTFS)
Maxtor: F: <38.8Gb> Active, Primary Partition - This has all the T2542 recovered files from the recovery disc

The HD's are set up as Cable select with the Hitachi in primary position. It will boot fine to Vista but will not boot to the XP system, or give me an option to try.
I unhooked the Hitachi but it still wouldn't boot up the XP - it tried but just kept going back to the boot menu (i.e. Normal, safe, safe w/dos prompt etc).
I also set the maxtor to master when the Hitachi was unplugged.
I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that when the restore disc was used to load XP it did not give me an option on loading to a different drive and Vista knows the Maxtor as F:. I tried using fixboot a& fixmbr - didn't work - still boots right to Vista.

I would like some suggestions of how I can achieve my goal with the software available to me (OS wise). I do have an XP upgrade disc but that license is in use by my primary computer.
  • Should I reformat all drives and install XP from the T2542 1st?
  • Should I abandon the Vista entirely with the software available and just deal with going from the T2542 Base?
  • Or ????
I would appreciate any help or insight you folks might have.
Thanks in advance, AZScott

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 22 May 2010 - 06:24 PM

<<I have the recovery disc from the old (and dead T2542) to use for a legit XP install.>>

I think you misunderstand. On OEM (eMachines, HP, etc.) systems...those disks belong with that particular system. If the system dies, the license dies.

Additionally...any recovery/restore CDs from a different system...contain the drivers necessary for that system, which are highly unlikely to be the same as those for a different system.

In short...you cannot achieve your objective, using disks from a different OEM system, IMO.


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