Dual Boot Issues



I have successfully set up my computer to dual boot between Vista and XP. I
have 2 physical hard drives... C: for Vista, D: for XP. Each hard drive is
accessible from each OS. I am being careful to install Vista apps on C: and
XP apps on D:. Every once in a while a program installs on the C: drive by
default. Will that be an issue if an XP program installs on C: which is my
Vista drive?
Also... can I copy / move data files between the 2 hard drives without
corrupting the file systems? I'm assuming I have 2 distinct NTFS, one for
each OS. (or is it one for each hard drive?) If so, and I'm booted into
Vista and make changes on my D: drive (copy data to from the D: & C: drives)
might I have issues?
As I compose this post I'm now thinking that each drives NTFS will keep
track of all the data on that drive. Are there things to watch out for with
this dual boot setup when each drive is visible to each OS?
Obviously I can't install the same program in each OS on the same drive.
What else can't I do? It's taken me so long to get this setup I don't want
to corrupt my setup.

Richard Urban

When dual booting it is best if you use a boot manager program that allows
you to hide the partition/drive that you do NOT boot into. If you have an
operating system installed on drive D:, and go to install programs there,
code will invariably be written to the correct areas on drive C:

It also prevents a virus infection from jumping to the unused O/S. In the
past I have had one system wiped out because I got something that deleted
most of my .exe files on all visible drives (I had partitions C: through
I:). I was able to boot into my other operating system, which also appears
as drive C:, and go online to try to find a solution (there wasn't any).

If I had both systems visible at the same time I would have really been in



Richard Urban MVP
Microsoft Windows Shell/User

John Barnes

Each time you boot into XP you will lose the Vista Restore Points as well as
the prior versions. Anything related to Volsnap.sys. As Richard says,
hiding with a third party boot manager and encryption are the only known
ways to avoid this.

Michael Jennings

I turned off restore points for the Vista partition - neither XP nor Vista
does restore for that volume and both can see the other's partition.
I image both, rather than using the restore points. I've been told that's
way worse than imaging plus the restore points, but I'd rather not hide
Vista from XP - I want to be able to move files back and forth. It
would be possible to set up a third, data, partition which both could
see, exchange files there, hide Vista from XP, and enable restore points.

Here's a link on methods to hide Vista from XP:
People have reported success disabling the Vista drive in BIOS, also.


Yes, makes sense about programs still writing to C:. I'll have to be very
careful with programs that I have installed on each OS. I imagine I already
have some system files from programs that have overwritten previous system
files because I have installed the same program on each OS. I was getting
ready to install photoshop and premier elements on my XP drive but will
first un-install from Vista. So thanks for this heads up. I hadn't thought
about it.


Yes, I see that Vista restore points are gone each time I boot XP and back
to Vista. Until I can come up with a better solution I'll make sure I do a
manual restore point before installing hard/software in Vista.
You mention 3rd party boot manager AND encryption. Are both necessary to
stop this restore problem?


Yes, it's nice to see both drives. That's come in handy today as I get my XP
drive setup. I partitioned my newly bought hard drive into 2 almost equal
segments and plan to use the 2nd half for data. I also have NAS drive that
came in handy as I was setting up XP as Vista was completely gone for a
while and I had moved files I knew I'd need to that NAS.
Thanks all for your advice

John Barnes

No Each works fine on its own. The encryption that is available in
Ultimate is the one I see most used. BootItNG seems to be the most used
boot manager.

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