Dual boot XP Pro 32-bit & 64-bit?


B

Boone

Is it possible to create a dual install of XP Pro 32-bit and XP Pro 64-bit?

I'm trying to build a new box, and would like to go to 64-bit because the
32-bit OS won't recognize more than 4 gigs of RAM, but--there's not a lot of
software and drivers yet for the 64-bit OS. So I need to keep around a
32-bit install for those applications that won't work on the 64-bit OS.

And, if the dual-boot should work, would it work in a RAID 0 configuration?

Are there other hang-ups I haven't considered?

In case it's helpful, here's the hardware I'm looking at putting it on:

AMD Phenom 9750 2.4 GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core
MSI K9A2 CF-F motherboard
4 GB Crucial Ballistix DDR 1066
2x Hitachi Ultrastar 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA 3.0 Gb/s HDD
Adaptec 2232100-R PCI Express RAID Kit
MSI NX8800GTS 320M OC GeForce 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express X16 Video Card
2x Pioneer DVR-115 DBK Optical drive
Cooler Master Stacker 830 case - 1000W pwr supply

Sincere thanks for any advice.
 
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B

Baboon

You can dual boot the two. BTW, most of the stuff I have, including my
printer and most of my software, works one my XP 64 install. One thing I
can't get to work is my Sony camcorder, but it's from 2002.

The only thing that I would be concerned about is using RAID 0, regardless
of whether you are dual booting or not - It's a risky configuration because
it's not fault tolerant and you are at least twice as likely to have a
failure. As long as you are OK with that, you should be fine and this would
have no impact on a dual boot, since it is hardware RAID.
 
B

Boone

Kind of you to post a reply. Thank you!

I'll stay away from the RAID, thanks for the warning.

If I can keep this thread going a bit longer, I haven't attempted a
dual-boot before.

Is it as easy as putting the CD for the first OS in the drive, following the
install procedure, putting the CD for the second OS in the drive, rebooting,
and following the install procedure for the other OS?
 
S

Shenan Stanley

Boone said:
Is it possible to create a dual install of XP Pro 32-bit and XP Pro
64-bit?

I'm trying to build a new box, and would like to go to 64-bit
because the 32-bit OS won't recognize more than 4 gigs of RAM,
but--there's not a lot of software and drivers yet for the 64-bit
OS. So I need to keep around a 32-bit install for those
applications that won't work on the 64-bit OS.

And, if the dual-boot should work, would it work in a RAID 0
configuration?

Are there other hang-ups I haven't considered?

In case it's helpful, here's the hardware I'm looking at putting it
on:

AMD Phenom 9750 2.4 GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core
MSI K9A2 CF-F motherboard
4 GB Crucial Ballistix DDR 1066
2x Hitachi Ultrastar 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA 3.0 Gb/s HDD
Adaptec 2232100-R PCI Express RAID Kit
MSI NX8800GTS 320M OC GeForce 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express X16 Video Card
2x Pioneer DVR-115 DBK Optical drive
Cooler Master Stacker 830 case - 1000W pwr supply
You can - however - why not create a virtual machine instead (for the 32
bit machine)?
 
B

Baboon

First, just one thing about the RAID...
You could use RAID 1 (mirroring) because that is very fault tolerant. The
only problem is that you will only get one HDD worth of storage space, and if
the HDDs are different sizes, then your storage space will only be as big as
the smaller disk.

As far as dual boot goes, always install the older OS first, and always
install Linux after Windows. Of course, none of this applies to your case
since both OSes are XP (doesn't matter that they are different architecture).

Yes, you can just install one OS from the bootable media, then install the
second OS. I would finish setting up the first one before installing the
second one. Make sure when you install the first OS that you only use half
the disk space so that the second OS can use the other half. And be careful
when setting up the second OS that don't use the partition that you installed
the first OS on. If you don't use RAID, you should be able to install each
OS on a different physical disk if you desire.

As Shenan says, you also have the option of using a virtual machine running
in an OS, which is what people tend to do these days. The advantage of dual
booting is that all of the machine's resources go to one OS. With a virtual
solution, resources go to both the host and the guest. However, your
hardware should be plenty fast enough for that. (I do find that Vista, even
with SP1, and Windows 2008, run slowly as virtual machines, but XP and 2003
run really well.) You can use either VMWare Server, MS Virtual Server, or MS
Virtual PC as they are all free. You also would have a bit of a learning
curve using a virtual solution, whereas there is not much to learn with dual
booting.

Good luck.
 
B

Boone

Excellent information, thanks both of you guys: I appreciate it.

Shenan, your suggestion on creating a virtual machine is something I admit I
didn't know I could do. Great thanks for the idea. If it would allow a
person to essentially create a single installation on a single partition, I
might like to try it if I think I won't goof it up.

Where would you guys send me to investigate this further?
 
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B

Baboon

For your needs, MS Virtual PC should do the trick
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=04d26402-3199-48a3-afa2-2dc0b40a73b6&DisplayLang=en
Just keep in mind the concept, which is that you are building a virtual
machine out of software. You really should read the Help files, but
generally you are going to create a virtual machine, virtual hard disk, and a
virtual network card. Things like video cards, etc. are built in to the VM
so you don't need to be concerned about those. You also can dedicate the
amount of RAM desired to the VM. In your case you probably want 512 MB,
despite what the app might suggest. Just be sure to install the 64 bit
version of XP to your hardware, then you will be able to install the 64 bit
version of Virtual PC, which you will see at the bottom of the page. I see a
huge difference in the speed of the 64 bit version. You can then install
your 32 bit XP as a VM once you learn how to do it. You should have no
trouble as long as you read the help, but there is a Wizard which makes it
easy anyway.
 
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B

Boone

Thanks, guys.
--
Boone


Baboon said:
For your needs, MS Virtual PC should do the trick:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=04d26402-3199-48a3-afa2-2dc0b40a73b6&DisplayLang=en
Just keep in mind the concept, which is that you are building a virtual
machine out of software. You really should read the Help files, but
generally you are going to create a virtual machine, virtual hard disk, and a
virtual network card. Things like video cards, etc. are built in to the VM
so you don't need to be concerned about those. You also can dedicate the
amount of RAM desired to the VM. In your case you probably want 512 MB,
despite what the app might suggest. Just be sure to install the 64 bit
version of XP to your hardware, then you will be able to install the 64 bit
version of Virtual PC, which you will see at the bottom of the page. I see a
huge difference in the speed of the 64 bit version. You can then install
your 32 bit XP as a VM once you learn how to do it. You should have no
trouble as long as you read the help, but there is a Wizard which makes it
easy anyway.
 

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