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Thread: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

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    Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    Hi All,

    Here's a techie question. Has anyone successfully installed both XP MCE 2005 and Vista Ultimate on the same PC as a dual boot, using a single hard drive that has been partitioned?

    What have the drawbacks been?
    Will it be possible to have MCE with Office 2003, and Vista operate with Office 2007?

    I have (and trust) MCE, but Vista interests me. If I can have both operating on the same unit then I have the ability to play with either.

    Thanks for the input!

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    Yes, you can have both, you would need to use a program like partition magic though to shrink your partition and create a new one (if you only have 1 partition currently).

    You need to install MCE before Vista (lucky for you )

    Also get a copy of VistaBootPro to allow a get out of jail free card should you need to repair MCE (doing a windows repair on a non-Vista install which is part of a dual boot vista setup writes a bootloader that cannot see vista)

    Whatever programs you install should be discrete to that OS. just don't go pointing your office 2007 install to the same folder that you installed office 2003 to =P
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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    shaithis - great post, thanks!

    I use a utility called gdisk to partition the drives in DOS, so I can avoid partion magic.

    'lucky for you' - is that irony? Not sure if you're slating Vista there, but this whole dual boot exercise will see if I can live with it. Never heard of VistaBootPro, but will look into it.

    Good to hear each OS will have their own Program Files folder. Makes life easier. I have Office 2003 and 2007 installed on my current PC, and switching between the two takes an age(!). I like Office 2007 in the power it has, but it sucks that almost all the new nice stuff can't be opened in earlier versions of Office, as the native file extension is .docx - a serious drawback imo.

    I want both installations to 'look' at my MP3 folder though, so I can evaluate the difference between the media experience.

    Any other ideas? - has anyone actually done this themselves?

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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    OK - my retail boxed Vista Ultimate arrived this morning...now comes weeks of realising none of my software is fully compatible with it, hence the need/desire for dual boot.

    With SATA there is no Pri Master, Secondary Slave etc, so am I right in thinking if I have 2 seperate SATA hard drives, each with an OS on it, that DOS will give me an option which one to boot into?

    I'm hoping this is right, then I can install Vista onto my new 500GB hard drive, then just place my existing 250GB hard drive with MCE on it straight into the same box, and boot into either.

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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    Quote Originally Posted by stud View Post
    OK - my retail boxed Vista Ultimate arrived this morning...now comes weeks of realising none of my software is fully compatible with it, hence the need/desire for dual boot.

    With SATA there is no Pri Master, Secondary Slave etc, so am I right in thinking if I have 2 seperate SATA hard drives, each with an OS on it, that DOS will give me an option which one to boot into?

    I'm hoping this is right, then I can install Vista onto my new 500GB hard drive, then just place my existing 250GB hard drive with MCE on it straight into the same box, and boot into either.
    not every text-mode screen is MS-DOS.

    your *BIOS* will not give you the option - it'll either boot from the drive selected in the boot drive priority order section of the BIOS config, or it'll boot from the lowest-numbered sata port

    alternatively, some BIOSes allow one-time boot drive selection (often by pressing f12 before POST is completed)

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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    I'm running this exact same dual boot setup - MCE 2005 and Vista.

    I just used partition magic, then installed Vista and used Vista BootPro to sort out the Vista bootloader settings. Simple and easy to do.

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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    s_kinton - I'm using 2 seperate SATA drives, so I guess I'll skip the Partition Magic bit.

    Looks like I need to install MCE on one drive, then attach a new drive, and install Vista onto this.

    I think that will make MCE on C:, and Vista on D:, but Vista will write something to the C: drive. Do I still need to use Vista BootPro? - do I install this onto the D: (Vista) drive?

    Bit confused, and don't want to make a mistake...

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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    Connect both drives up front. Install MCE to the first drive. Install Vista to the other one. Vista will take note of the fact that you had MCE installed and give you an option to select it when you start up. As you say - Vista will write something to the first drive: it's bootloader. That's okay and nothing to worry about (unless you remove the first drive later).

    If you do it the other way round then XP will overwrite Vista's bootloader and you don't get the option to choose Vista any more - therefore you need Vistra BootPro to restore it (or alternatively just boot off the Vista install DVD and use the built in maintenance ultility to restore Vista's bootloader - dead handy that). That's why people have said install XP first - because it's one less step to sort out later (not that it's particularly hard thanks to Vista BootPro).
    Last edited by dangel; 18-09-2007 at 12:26 PM.
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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    Hi dangel,

    I could see from other posts that installing MCE first was the smart move, then Vista. I will therefore put Vista on another drive seperate to that of MCE. Does Vista then make the drive it is installed on the main drive?

    Assuming that all goes smoothly, on restarting the machine, what will happen? - will I be presented with Vista asking me to selct eith Vista or MCE? Or will it be pre-windows loading Vista message?

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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    Quote Originally Posted by stud View Post
    Hi dangel,

    I could see from other posts that installing MCE first was the smart move, then Vista. I will therefore put Vista on another drive seperate to that of MCE. Does Vista then make the drive it is installed on the main drive?

    Assuming that all goes smoothly, on restarting the machine, what will happen? - will I be presented with Vista asking me to selct eith Vista or MCE? Or will it be pre-windows loading Vista message?
    You should see:



    Although Vista will be installed on it's own drive, it's bootloader may reside on the other (MCE) drive if that drive is the first drive in the boot order. It's not something to worry about - should you remove XP later (and it's drive) you could always start up the vista install disk and get it to 'fix' the bootloader for you. If you imagine your drives are plugged in thus:

    MCE Drive -> plugged into SATA port 0
    Vista Drive-> plugged into SATA port 1

    Then i'd expect the Vista bootloader (and the XP one) to be installed on the MCE Drive, as it's the first drive in the boot order (because it's in port zero), and also because when MCE was installed it will have marked the drive as 'active' (i.e that i can be booted). You can confirm this yourself simply by removing the cable to the MCE drive and seeing what happens

    Here's the steps for repairing Vista startup (when booting the Vista install DVD):







    Last edited by dangel; 18-09-2007 at 01:37 PM.
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    System 003: AsRock MB, APU, 8 GIG Corsair, Silverstone HTPC case, stock cooler, GT220 1gbDDR3, WD Green 3TB, Kingston 40gb SSD, MCE Remote, Panasonic 50" LCD (87BDX) via HDMI Windows 8.1.1 (32) [media centre]
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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    dangle - you are the 'Dude'

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    Re: Dual Boot - MCE and Vista Ultimate

    Quote Originally Posted by stud View Post
    dangle - you are the 'Dude'
    System 001: Maximus VII Formula, 4790k i7, RTX 2080ti FE (incoming), 16GIG Corsair Vengence DDR3 RAM CL9, Corsair HX1000, ROG SWIFT PG278Q , SSDs, Antec 1200 case, All watercooled. [main]
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    System 003: AsRock MB, APU, 8 GIG Corsair, Silverstone HTPC case, stock cooler, GT220 1gbDDR3, WD Green 3TB, Kingston 40gb SSD, MCE Remote, Panasonic 50" LCD (87BDX) via HDMI Windows 8.1.1 (32) [media centre]
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