Installing and uninstalling Windows Vista for dual-boot with Windows XP

Windows Vista / Windows XP
The best way to experience the Vista betas, or any operating system for that matter is to dual-boot. Dual-booting offers you next to maximum performance, whilst maintaining the best compatibility with your existing operating system to either continuing using, or to assist in the migration to the new OS.

Microsoft has made it relatively easy to dual-boot Windows Vista with your existing XP installation. Here’s a quick guide outlining the basic steps you need to undertake to get to a working Vista desktop environment.


Most people have only one hard drive, and sometimes you’re limited to only one drive on a notebook for example. This causes problems if you want to install two operating systems on the same drive. Vista offers you the choice to upgrade your existing XP installation, but this would mean you would lose the ability to restore your XP to its previous state if necessary, this poses many compatibility problems and you suffer the risk of losing crucial data.

The solution is to create a new partition. Previously, creating partitions were only possible when you had just formatted your drive, but now many software solutions are able to ‘split’ partitions in to several new partitions whilst keeping your existing files. There are many different softwares that achieve this, I personally recommend Acronis Disk Director Suite. There is also Norton PartitionMagic, which I found more complicated to use.

Split partitionNew driveFirst you need to split your existing partition. You should allocate at least 10GB of space to your new partition, as Vista requires approximately 6-7GB depending on your configuration. Commit these actions. After a few subsequent restarts, you should end up with 2 drives appearing in ‘My Computer’.

Now you can start installing Vista. For those of you with a DVD, it’s quite straight forward. If you have an ISO image of the Vista DVD I recommend to use a virtual drive software to emulate the DVD image, this is much faster than reading from a DVD, and more reliable. For virtual drive emulation, I recommend Daemon Tools. From Daemon Tools, mount the Vista DVD image and proceed to installation.

Select Custom install Select the partitionIn the install, make sure you select Custom (advanced). And then select the newly created partition, ensure it is a “Logical” drive.

And then proceed with install. It is fairly straight-forward from here. After about 40 minutes, you should be in the desktop of Windows Vista.

Next time you boot up the computer, you’ll be presented with a selection menu. Here you can choose to boot to either Vista or XP. By default, it boots to Vista after 30 seconds of inactivity, selecting “Earlier version of Windows” will boot to XP.


After playing around with Vista for a few days, you may want to remove it from your system, and reclaim the hard drive space. Microsoft has made this step very simple as well.

  1. Boot your computer in to Windows XP.
  2. Ensure you have the Vista DVD image emulated or in the DVD drive.
  3. Go to “Start” and “Run”. Type in “e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” (without quotes, and replacing e: with the drive letter of your Vista DVD).
  4. Restart the computer, and you will notice the boot selection menu is gone.
  5. Format the partition/drive where you had Vista installed.
  6. Remove two files (Boot.BAK & Bootsect.BAK) on your XP drive’s root folder (C:), these were backup files of your previous bootloader, now no longer useful.
  7. Optional: Restart to ensure it still works.
  8. Use your partition software to merge your partitions together.

And now you have returned your computer to its previous state, without Vista and without the new bootloader. If anyone has any issues, please post it in comments and I’ll try to resolve it.

461 insightful thoughts

  1. I installed vista beta 2 64bit on my partition i cant run it from 32bit xp ^^ safe to force format the partition in dos?

  2. If you can boot in 32bit XP, then remove the Vista bootloader with the instructions I provided. Then if it all works, you can format the partition in XP or DOS.

    1. Hi Long Zheng,
      I followed the steps which helped me removing the vista boot loader from XP, but actually now i am in the situation to regain the vista which was installed earlier. Is there any way to install only the vista boot loader and access my dual OS in my pc???? please help


  3. hi i can’t defragg my PC defragmenter
    tells me degragmeneter disk engine is lost.
    my PC won’t do much of anything. It is very
    very slow
    I have DSL also still slow I don’t know where
    my defragg program is located or don’t know what
    happened can you try to help me please. I have
    tried to use disk clean upetc tells me I don’t have
    any space at all I am totally confused thank you
    would like to hear some advice from someone that
    really wants to help someone get problem fixed I
    have norton interent security I also keep getting error from norton security that i do not have any space on c: but they tell me to
    get in touch with microsoft but i don’t know what
    to do with all their info I am afraid i will
    delete something i need
    thank you

  4. Donna have you tried scanning for spyware? Your computer sounds very symtom like of adaware infection which would explain the slowness.

    You should try the following software
    Spybot S&D
    Spyware Doctor

    I use these in conjunction with each other to clear my pc, they work very well.

    As for the defrag problem try reinstalling windowsover the top of your existing installation BUT make sure you run the adaware scans before you do this to make sure they do not carry over into your new installation.

  5. any idea where can i get vista driver for my soundcard cos winxp drivers not working

  6. Hi,

    Im having seriuos problems when i try to uninstall vist beta 2.

    at boot up i choose ‘earlier version of windows’ but the screen blacks out and nothing happens.

    i’m not to fond of vista and want xp back..



  7. looks like your xp caput(gone) check your local drive C: u sure u got XP?
    who knows maby you install beta over XP

  8. Hi,

    Having installed Vista Beta 2 to see what it is like I now want to go back to good old XP and get rid of everything Vista. When i installed Vista I decided to format my complete hard drive (everything important is backed up externally of course) and create 2 partitions in it and installed 1 on vista and left the other for back up purposes.

    Now, when i use my computer’s recovery CD to reinstall XP (MESH) i tried to make the drive back to one partition but somehow XP can only see 130GB of my 250GB drive!! I’ve gone back to the Vista CD and confirmed that the missing 120GB is still there but it seems to have corrupted cos whenever i try to partition or format in XP it fails.

    I’ve heard it could be to do with the new bootloader in Vista so have tried the fixmbr and fixboot commands from the XP recovery prompt but this doesn’t seem to help matters.

    I’ve also heard fdisk might be able to rectify matters but am not sure how i can get to a prompt to try this.

    Any help much appreciated,


  9. @David Hutt:

    You are suffering from the 48-bit LBA restriction found on Windows XP. I presume you installed a vanilla version of XP (non-SP), which came with a hard drive size restriction of 137GB. If you installed SP1 or SP2, this would be automatically fixed.

    It is not a problem with the partition or bootloader.

    You can read about your problem here:

  10. Can you help?
    I installed Vista, as a dualboot with XP, using Daemon Tools and I am trying to follow your instructions for uninstalling the same. However the Boot folder does not contain a file called “bootsect.exe” but does contain a several files called… bcd, boot.sdi, bootfix.bin, cdboot.efi and should I substitute one of these file names
    Thank You
    John Weedy

  11. @John Weedy: It is inside the BOOT folder of the Vista install CD. Not your hard drive.

  12. I have Vista running on Dual Boot with XP no problems. I want to reinstall XP on the partition which already has XP. I have done this once before and ended up having to reinstall Vista because the boot manager was deleted. Question: Is there a way to reinstall XP and restore the Vista Boot Manager without having to reinstall Vista? If so how? Thanks in advance.


  13. @Dan: No, it would impossible to reinstall XP again after you’ve installed Vista and keep the Vista boot manager. The XP install will overwrite your boot sectors. You’ll have to subsequently reinstall Vista because the boot manager is complete overhauled, there’s no way to ‘repair’ it.

  14. Hi,
    I accidently formatted my Vista installed drive and deleted BOOTSECT.BAK file too, but I cannot find the BOOT.BAK file and also my empty drive is still there and on booting it shows 2 option. So how do i get rid off that drive and chocie of 2 options at booting?

  15. @Chirag: You can just emulate or load the Vista DVD, and run the bootsec.exe application on the drive to remove the Vista bootloader, regardless of whether you have Vista installed or not.

  16. Your instructions worked perfectly. There is a boot folder in my XP drive directory, with subfolders Fonts and en-US. Is it now safe to remove this folder?My intentions are to re-install Vista RC1 and don’t want this to corrupt the new install.

  17. Your instructions worked perfectly. There is a boot folder in my XP drive directory, with subfolders Fonts and en-US. Is it now safe to remove this folder?My intentions are to re-install Vista RC1 and don’t want this to corrupt the new install.

    I’ve never had the “boot” folder in my XP drive. Although I’m confident it is safe to remove AFTER you have ran the bootsect.exe command, but I’m sure it won’t hurt if you left it there also.

    Just to be on the safe side, I’d leave it. It doesn’t hurt.

  18. hi…

    i have installed windows vista over windows xp(in the same partition), and now i want to re install windows xp it just dont recognize the cd….

    i have installed vista with a burned DVD, and now it doesn’t recognize the SP2 windows xp intall cd…
    please, i will very thankfull if you help me

  19. ellobo: If you mean by not recognizing, the Windows XP not autostarting when you put it in the drive, then you can manually initiate the setup by going to Computer > Double click on the CD/DVD Drive > run Setup.exe

    However if you mean doesn’t recognize as in the setup process doesn’t run. Then you should try reinstalling it at boot. Simply insert your the XP CD before your system boots, then boot from the CD.

  20. ellobo: If you mean by not recognizing, the Windows XP not autostarting when you put it in the drive, then you can manually initiate the setup by going to Computer > Double click on the CD/DVD Drive > run Setup.exe

    it doesn´t recognize it at all, when i try to do what you say… insert before the system boots, it spend a lot of time trying to recognize the cd… and nothing, it just boots again in Vista..

  21. ellobo: Well Vista shouldn’t be causing that problem. Since it hasn’t loaded the Vista bootloader yet.

    I’m sorry but I can’t really help you without taking a personal look at it. There are too many potential causes for your problem.

  22. You mentioned re-partitioning a single drive such as in a laptop, I have 4 physical SATA-2 drives in my system, All primary dynamic NTSF partitioned volumes.Dual boot XPpro and XP64bit on Boot Vol C:, D:, E:, and F: drives. Can I just install Vista on a non boot Vol such as D:, E:, or F: drives and have a tri-boot system? Or would it be better to upgrade my 64bit version of XP and keep the dual boot function?
    64 bit XP was never really that usefull so would that be the better option?



  23. @Dan Stefanko: I don’t know how well Vista handles triple-booting. I think it’d be safer to replace XP64 with Vista.

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  25. I upgraded Windows XP with Vista, but I can’t get sound. I have an onboard Soundmax soundcard an a C-media CSI8738 PCI card of which I can’t find any drivers for Vista. I have decided to rather wait until Vista is more stable and tried to uninstall Vista but with no luck. I have downloaded the bootable XP disk from Microsoft, maybe this will enable me to reinstall Windows XP. Will this work or is there something else that I must do as well?

  26. @Daniel: My Vista uninstall steps are ONLY to work with a dual-boot environment, where you have both XP and Vista. You can easily reinstall XP by booting straight into your XP CD, formatting the drive, then proceed with install.

  27. Hi, I need help as to how I should partition my drive. I really don’t want to shell out $60+ for acronis or norton, but I would like to try vista without getting rid of my system if possible. Thanks

  28. @Jwymon: There are a few free partition managers out there like that you can try out. I haven’t tried any of them before but I suspect they can split partitions as well.

  29. I used the direction above to remove Vista and it leaves a Boot Directory and also bootmgr on my C: (XP) drive. I am unable to delete this Folders or files except by reformatting and losing XP. Any suggestions

  30. @Hanspuppa: If you followed the step to remove the bootloader correctly, and it no longer shows the Vista boot loader, then you should able to remove those directories. If not, but the Vista boot loader is gone, then you can safely leave those files and folders. They don’t take up much room anyway.

  31. Hi LZ, hope you remember me. We chatted few days back in IRC. I am trying to get rid of Vista completely and typed “e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” as per your suggestion. The resulting DOS window seemed to indicate that vista boot loader is deleted. I removed the Vista DVD from the drive and rebooted, but still see the Vista boot loader.

    Any ideas?

  32. @Sri: I hope you did it in XP. Otherwise the alternative is to use the restore method from the XP installation CD. Or maybe try reinstalling Vista?

    I’ve done it numerous times on many Vista builds and has never failed.

  33. LZ: Yes, I issued that in the Run box from inside XP.

    By restore method from XP CD, do you mean this?

    “first boot from your XP cd. Start the Recovery Console. In recovery console, type Fixboot and press enter. After this command, type fixmbr to reset the master boot record. Exit the recovery console and reboot.”

  34. @Sri: Yes I do. Make sure the XP CD is SP2 (or whichever service pack you’re running), otherwise it may cause problems.

  35. LZ: Thank you. The Recovery method worked. Now, I am trying to figure out merging the partition on which Vista was there with another data partition to the left of it. Acronis Disk Director gives a simple useless message that it’s not possible and doesn’t say why or how to fix it…May be I’ll try w/ Partition Tragic. Not a big deal, any way.

  36. I have the same problem as ellobo encountered. When I ran the command and deleted all the files and formatted the vista drive, I was no longer able to boot from the XP cd to use the recovery console. I still want to run fixboot but more importantly, would like to be able to use the recovery console if ever needed. I can select boot from CD and the Windows Setup (blue) screen appears but nothing loads. The CD drive eventually stops spinning and the screen will just sit there. Are you aware of this happening?

  37. @Randomskratch, are you able to boot into XP? if you are, you don’t need the XP cd to fixboot.

  38. i have a new pc with a new hard drive, i installed Windows vista Beta 2, i would like to add my old hard drive to tha machine and create a dual boot, can i do this?

    I have added a boot option that will let me select the old drive (pointing to E:) but it continually reboots when i select that option.

    I get the safe mode | Start normally menu and it just reboots no matter what i select.

    Can i do this?
    What about if i where to now upgrade to RC1 would RC1 recognize the Windows XP install at this point?


  39. @todd: I presume your old hard drive is the one with XP. By just creating a boot option pointing to your old hard drive won’t work because you don’t have the legacy (XP) bootloader to boot XP. And because you installed Vista before you put in the XP drive, Vista didn’t keep a legacy bootloader for XP.

    You might try the “uninstall” command to try to revert the Vista bootloader back to XP bootloader. Then make sure you get your XP install working, and from that, install Vista.

    If not, then you use the recovery function on your XP CD to install the XP bootloader. From that, reinstall Vista.

  40. I had a pretty complex hard drive setup with 3 physical drives and a FAT32 partition (C:) fronting my XP partition (D:). I ran the custom install of Vista from within XP and after it rebooted I was never presented with a Bootloader screen to choose which OS to load.

    Vista changed the drive letters on all paritions and I can’t figure out how to restore XP. It appears that Vista modified the boot.ini to state that ‘Vista doesn’t use boot.ini anymore’, but left it at that. It placed the boot manager on another parition I used for game installs. Any suggestions how I can revert back to XP? I guess the problem was caused from the boot partition not being on the same parition as the initial XP install but am not sure. Thanks for any help!

  41. @DB: That’s a pretty complex setup. I’m not too sure what Vista screwed up, but have you tried using the “bootsect.exe” command to remove the Vista bootloader? I’m hoping that will solve your problem.

  42. I have installed Vista rc1 successfully on the same hard disk, partition F: while my xp sp2 on partition C:.
    The problem is upon booting I’m presented with the typical menu with previous os and Vista, selecting previous os would not boot XP. It claims
    cannot load ntldr
    I’ve done this vista installation three times now. EVery time it installs perfectly yet I cannot seem to get XP to dual boot. Help? Thanks,

  43. Long Zheng,
    I also had a dual XP32/Vista64. I booted on the install DVD (Vista 64) and used the tools to open a DOS windows then followed the bootsect.exe above and it put me right back to a clean single boot XP 32…bc

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  45. Hi, I recently installed Windows Vista and now no longer want it. I got windows vista from my friend (his cd) so I dont have a cd. Is there another way of getting rid of vista and having no traces of it left behind? Or do I really need the cd.


  46. Sorry for the double post, but I opened the zip you gave me and opened the bootsect.exe file. So a window open up for under a second and then immediatly closed. So I thought it did what it had to and restarted to see if it worked. …It didnt. Did I do it right?

  47. @John Petrello: You have to run the full command in Command Prompt. “bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force”

  48. Yes. 😛 I extracted contents of the zip you gave me (thanks again!) and made my own folder in the C Drive and ran the file. Restarted, and BAM! No more boot screen. Im currently formatting my hard drive. So thanks alot man!

  49. I installed vista and I got rid of XP

    now vista is crappy and want to go back to XP

    I tried booting from xp and formating on vista partition and it formated and copied XP files but when it restarts IT hangs on the screen wher it show how big hard drives are and devices

    i think it has something to do with vista boot loader so i went into command promt and deleted all the entries
    bcdedit /delete {current} /f
    and so on
    I also tried g:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force from booting from vista disc command promt and it didnt help
    how can i clear all boot data on the the hard drive it is a SATA2 hard drive I also tried installing XP on another HD and it does same thing

  50. I don’t think you can run the “g:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” command while you are in Vista.

    But what you can do is, boot from the XP install CD, then when its starting up blue, load the repair functionality by pressing “R”. From here, you can use “fixmbr” command to fix the boot loader back to XP.

    For more information about “fixmbr”

  51. Hello, I have a 64 bits processor and I downloaded the WinVista 64 bits, when I type the command “g:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” in my WinXP says that is not a valid application of win32, What can I do? Thanks for the help, and sorry for my bad english.

  52. Hi, I’ve installed Windows Vista RC1 and my printer would not recognize the new OS. I would like to change it back to XP. How do I boot back into XP(as it says in the uninstall steps provided in the beginning of the page). When I restart my comp, it gives me a choice of either running Vista or going into Windows XP recovery console.
    Any suggestions?
    I would appreciate your help because I’m a student and I really need that printer.
    Thank you.

  53. I’m a stupid person and I didn’t choose a different directory for Windows Vista RC1, I upgraded the version as it was prompted. Does this mean I can’t unistall Vista RC1?

  54. You’re instructions for removing the vista multiboot menu are not only right on the money (vs. other methods suggested on the web), but also lead to the recovery of my original XP OS botched during a VISTA install. I tried everything to get to XP to boot again (failed to start within the multi boot VISTA menu) and was only able to bring it back to life by running your DOS script from the VISTA DVD DOS cmd prompt option. Thanks!

  55. Hi, I need help with my vista installation.

    I have a AMD fx2 3800+ system, with a 160gig sata II hard drive. I have winxp pro.

    Anyway, I have the 32bit version dvd of vista. In windows xp, I install to a logical drive D: that is about 46gigs free. The wizard copies its files and unpacks fine. Then it proceeds to reboot.

    Upon reboot, when it tries to load the vista partition, I get a blue screen of death, something about memory error, and that I should use CHKDSK /F on the partition to make sure its fine.

    I did it already, I know the partition is good. This is a new computer I just built and I am pretty damn sure this thing is vista compatible.

    Only reason I got the 32 bit version was so driver support might be easier to find than 64 bit version.

    Please help me fix this BSOD somehow. I will check this blog often. 🙂

  56. Hello,

    You guide worked perfectly for removing my XP Pro/Vista dual boot. Thanks!
    I have a friend with somewhat of a different situation. He had XP Pro SP2 32bit and Vista 64bit in a dual boot. He formatted the partition that had vista64 and merged it back to regain the space. However he still has the bootloader screen and must manually choose XP.
    Would your method work to remove the bootloader screen from his setup since he’s already deleted the partition and was using a 64bit version of vista?


  57. I guess the only way to remove Vista considering my situation is to format my hdd and reinstall Windows XP. Or is there another less painfull solution?


  58. @Rockdog: Your best bet is to boot into XP, format the Vista partition and use the “bootsect.exe” command I stated to remove the Vista bootloader. After you can confirm everything is cleaned, then reinstall Vista.

    If on the second install, you still have the memory error, then you have hardware problems.

  59. @Simon Kurash: The best and easiest way is to format. I’ve heard of people uninstalling their Vista to XP by hacking away files and what not. But the process is painful and the end result may not be perfect, so you may have lots of compatiability problems in the future.

    You should backup your files on Vista then format.

  60. I have installed and uninstalled Vista as a dual boot successfully using these instructions for removal of the dual boot. Everything worked fine and the OS select screen disappeared. I have now reinstalled Vista again in dual boot mode but now I get three entries in the dual boot selection screen – Previous Windows (XP) and now two entries for Vista. Everything functions (although I haven’t tried the third selection). How do I delete the third selection in the OS selection box??

  61. Hi, I installed Vista RC1 on a separate drive D: setup in a dual-boot situation with Win XP SP2. Due to faulty hardware issues, i was forced to reformat my C: drive and reinstall Win XP. Having enjoyed my few short days with Vista RC1, I have every intention of reinstalling- yet now, Win XP will only recognise 1.99GB of my 80GB hard disk drive. Does this suggest the RC1 installation is blocking my access to the bulk of this drive. How should I resolve this? Many thanks. (PS: A simply format of the D: drive does nothing to resolve this- it merely formats the visible 1.99GB)

  62. @Long Zheng in reply to your reply on the 14th.

    That’s not really the final point. Yes my computer boots into XP and everything works but the fact that the XP CD will not boot on my system is what is bothering me. I format and reinstall about twice a year as a personal preference but now that the CD does not boot anymore, I am going to have to look into alternate methods.

  63. @Paul: I’ve done numerous Vista uninstalls and reinstalls, and I’ve never had the old Vista entries remain in the boot loader. If you uninstalled it and confirmed it, then it would not be possible to have returned.

    @Cropje Jnr: That doesn’t sound like a Vista problem. Sounds like something wrong with the file system or hard drive itself. Vista doesn’t have any control of the space available on the hard drive.

    @Randomskratch: I guess the best way to test is by trying to boot from Ubuntu Live CD or something similar. Otherwise Vista shouldn’t have any affect on your ability to boot from CD.

  64. I am using one drive with 2 primary partition as created by the Vista x64 setup. Leaving my 32 bit XP setup on the first partition. My XP works fine.
    But my Vista fails to load at all.
    This is the second time I have tried to install Vista, the first was Vista x86 bit. I just formatted the 32 bit installation and the boot manager remained.
    When I installed Vista x64 two installtion of Vista appeared.
    Microsoft Windows – Vistax86
    Microsoft Windows – Vistax64

    I cannot run the bootsect file from the Vistax64 disc from in XP due to “this is not a valid Win32 application” message. And the bootsect file from the Vista x86 failed to remove the bootmanager.
    I am basically at my wits end.

  65. Is there a way to “RESTORE” the VISTA Boot Manager to the boot sector…instead of removing it? I have a good installation of Vista RC1 on a partition, but can’t boot to it because the XP boot manager took over when I installed x64 to another partition.

  66. @TimByr: You must run the x64 version in an x64 OS. So try running that command whilst you’re in Vista x64, which I presume will not work. Otherwise, boot using the x64 DVD and use the Vista ‘repair’ function to run that command.

    Is there a way to “RESTORE” the VISTA Boot Manager to the boot sector…instead of removing it?

    Yep, you can run the command “bootsect.exe -nt60 c:” from the Vista DVD to install the Vista boot loader. Replace c: with the drive you boot from.

  67. hello
    i have windows xp installed on my c: drive and i downloaded the windows vista RC 1 and installed it on my e: drive partition. the installation was perfect and there were no problems there. but then i wanted to unistall vista and so i followed your instructions. i typed the command “h:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” in “run” – H being the drive letter of the image and then i restarted the computer. the boot selection menu still was there . so i started xp again and deleted the partition that vista was installed on. now, even though i have deleted vista the vista boot selection menu still exists and i dont know how to get rid of it. pleawe help me.

  68. @vishnu: If you have tried running that command in XP, and still doesn’t work, then you can boot using your XP CD and use the repair tool. When you are in the repair tool, use the “fixmbr” function to get back your XP bootloader.

  69. thanks i just downloaded a software called vistabootpro and i removed the vista bootloader from there. umm… but now i have another problem on my hands. i am not sure about which files from c: drive to delete(the boot.bak etc). is it only the 2 files that you have mentioned or is it that boot folder+boot mgr also that i have to uninstall. the problem im facing now is that when i delete normal stuff from my g: drive(normal partition), the files taht i delete just dosent appear in the recycle bin! – instead they just dissapear like theyve been permanently deleted. is this because of some remnants of the vista installation still in my computer?

  70. Hey,
    Just installed Vista RC1 Build 5600, Dual boot setup with XP. Vista is on a partition on a different hard drive to XP. It gives me an error before it gets into the boot manager “cannot read disc” or something like that. It then asks me to hit alt-ctrl-delete to restart comp.
    I have however discovered that if I leave the dvd with the RC1 ISO in my disc drive it manages to make it to the boot manager screen and it’s all good from there.
    I really don’t want to have to have a dvd in my computer everytime I want to turn it on. What can I do to bypass this step? (The same ISO DVD worked fine on another computer so I don’t think it’s corrupt. I also tried formatting the vista partition and reinstalled, but the same problem is still there)
    Thanks in advance,
    Matt H

  71. I dual boot from an existing partition where Vista resides (as well as all my non windows xp system/program stuff on it). To ‘uninstall’ without removing my partition, i boot into Windows xp, select all Vista related folders, change permissions under ‘security settings’ in properties then delete the files and folders into the recycle bin!

    Works for me but applying full-access permissions takes a while on all those files.

  72. Long,

    Great site! ThanX for sharing your knowledge. I do have a question…I have a dual boot of XP Pro SP2 and Vista RC1. I would like to add the /3GB switch to the boot.ini for Windows XP Pro now that I have 4GB of RAM but from what I understand, boot.ini is never referenced with the RC1 bootloader. How do you add/modify boot parameters that used to go in boot.ini for XP with the Vista RC1 bootloader? ThanX.

  73. ThanX for the quick reply! Very informative link…I *think* I understand what’s going on…but am not sure. According to the link:
    “One legacy entry. This entry is not a boot application, but instead uses NTLDR and Boot.ini to boot into an operating system that is older than Windows Vista. You will use this entry to boot into Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and earlier operating systems (if installed on the computer).”
    This seems to imply that the boot.ini file on my WInXP Pro drive gets processed on the WinXP bootup. Is this correct? I ask this because the /3GB switch doesn’t seem to do anything in my WinXP Pro install(it still only sees 2.5GB…should see closer to 3.5 based on the research I did online). Is there a way to verify the boot.ini is being processed?

    FYI My current boot.ini on my C: drive looks like this:

    ;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
    ;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /3GB /FASTDETECT /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /USEPMTIMER

    Did I put the /3GB switch in the correct spot? Or do I still need to do something in BCDedit like:

    bcdedit /set {466f5a88-0af2-4f76-9038-095b170dc21c} 3GB forceenable

    (I copied the format from the pae example in the link you gave me.

    ThanX for any further insight you can give me on this.

  74. I followed your guide to the letter using build 5728 and had a problem.

    I split a 15GB logical partition out of C: with Acronis Disk Director Suite 10
    I changed the drive letter of that partition to E: and the label to Vista.
    I mounted vista_5728.16387.060917-1430_x86fre_client-lrmcfre_en_dvd.iso to my virtual F: drive using D-tools.
    I installed it, it copied the some of the files, restarted and continued with the install.
    Expaned the files and finalized everything, restarted to the new boot manager.
    I have 2 real harddrives C: and G: C: is 160GB and G: is 250GB, and the logical partition I split from C:

    Heres where the problem is.

    When it went to start Vista it says Windows\System32\winload.exe is missing or corrupt. And it recommended that I put the DVD in to fix the problem.
    Eventually I made a DVD and tried to use it to fix it, and it didnt fix it.
    I looked in the place where winload.exe is, and it is there, so its not missing.

    After that I used the install rollback thing and now E: is empty and I still have Boot.BAK and BOOTSECT.BAK on C: also I have a folder called $WINDOWS.~BT there to.

    I was thinking that because I have the 2 harddrives that its messing it up or something like that. Any ideas on what I could do to get Vista running?

  75. You can safely remove the BAK files and $Windows.~BT folder.

    However, you should try reinstalling since there is nothing I know that prevents Vista from installing on a hard drive configuration like yours.

  76. Hi i have 2 HDs 4 partitions
    on C i had winXP pro
    and D i Has Vista alone

    What i did recentley
    I had formated Vista Partition… booting Compter would get me vista boot menu i chos xp and it woudl still work

    Recentley i updated my compt specs
    i Have Mobo A8N-E
    Had AMD64 3200 and Geforece 6600 256
    Now i have AMD64-2x 3800 and geforce 7600GS 512

    i had a few freezing probs so i updated my biso from 1010 to 1013 fix the gliches and frezzes but now when i load my Pc i get a message ERROR LOADING OS

    but the wired this is.. if i put a boot CD.. any at all. but DONT boot from the CD (it sais if you want to boot from cd press anykey.. i dont press anything. windows XP starts….. and everything runs ok…. besides that i think i have IRQ probs. but in windows i dont crash…? i used to get a bleu screen saing something about IRQ 11 is sharedor something…

    but my main prob it the loading… can vista be the prob sence i didnt uninstall correctley?

  77. @StiGMaT, when you get in XP, try to run the “bootsect.exe” command to remove the Vista bootloader.

    Your XP install isn’t working properly. I think the upgrade might have caused it. It sounds like a lot of things are corrupt or misconfigured. If you can, I’d recommend you to reformat your computer, since major upgrades can cause problems with existing XP installs.

  78. i did format… after flashing my bios i formated cause i got the prob i thought do to having a new bios it was normal so i did a full format. as long as i had windows in the drive (CD) the windows would start if i took my winxp CD out it wound boot anymore id get my error… even tho i formated…

  79. @StiGMaT: If you formatted and still have the same problem, then it doesn’t sound like a Windows problem. Check your BIOS settings which might have changed.

  80. I have a 40GB harddisk and am thinking to get a new one to install vista on. is it better or worse to this, in a dual boot with XP home?

  81. @Arunjit Singh: Partitions doesn’t matter if it on a different drive or on existing drives. But it is more convenient to install it on a new drive since you don’t have to split your current hard drive.

  82. You probably answered this already but gonna ask anyways.

    Just built my first rig. I have my old rig’s harddrive (160g) as a secondary, and a new 250g sata harddrive as the primary. I installed vista into the sata drive as it is new and I figured if there was a problem I could always fall back onto my old harddrive as thats where all my needed files,and programs are. This is a new rig with a new board, vid card, etc. The only thing I ported over from my old rig is the old harddrive. None of the drivers, configs etc for any of the new components were installed into the new rig. Vista was the first install I did on this rig. (probably not the smartest move but I am a noob so u live and learn…lol) Anyways now I want to remove vista from the new drive. I tried to use my old xp sp2 disc but the section where u select install was shaded out..ergo..cant select it. I decided to try to boot up from my secondary (160g) drive but when I tried it indicated windows had a problem starting up and gave me the options of starting windows in safe mode, safe mode with network..etc. None of these options proved effective. Could I just format the new 250g which has vista from the start up menu on my board?

  83. I have a 250GB HD. I partitioned 12 GB for Vista RC’s. Initially I had no problems with the 5600 release, I modified the UAC, installed the beta drivers for Nvidia and Creative without too much incident, and even deleted the 2.5 GB hibernation sys file successfully. However, I when the 5728 release came I out, I deleted the partition and installed the 5728 and that’s when the problem started, after making any one of the modifications upon reboot, the Vista OS would no longer boot. It would initially run a disk check and then reboot and reboot.

    I found your article and it worked as indicated.

    Today, I recreated the partition and installed RC2 and once again made the same edits with UAC and the hibernation file and viola upon reboot the OS was hosed. The only error I could see was a quick mention tha there was not sufficient space to recreate/restore the MBR?!
    And oddly enough the windows boot menu referenced another instance of Vista (the older 5728 release).

    My questions are the following one where to delete the old reference of Vista on the boot menu. Secondly, do I have to clean out or delete files in my Windows XP SP2 OS that is referencing Vista installs? I don’t know understand why the OS are hosing when I make modifications that were initially successful.

  84. @Rey Flores: You can try one of three things, ranked from easiest to hardest.

    1. You can boot into XP and try the bootsect.exe command, but with /nt60 to tell it to make another Vista MBR
    2. You can boot using the Vista DVD and try the repair process included on the DVD. I haven’t used it myself, but I’ve heard it works. There are fix commands on it.
    3. You can boot using the XP CD and try to use the fixmbr command in the repair process. This will revert your system back to XP boot menu though, so you’ll have to reinstall Vista.
  85. I’m missing something trivial here. I’ve downloaded Vista RC2 (the .iso file) and burned it to a DVD. I want to install it to a 2nd drive in a box running XP Pro. So, I put the DVD in the drive – what do I do next? HOw do I start the installation?

  86. I did a clean install of vista (not smart) and well the internet doesnt’ work at all period wired or wireless. its not a hardware issue because my computer detects the networks and connections it just cant connect. so i decided to reinstall xp but when i tried, it had fatal errors. out of the how many ever files there are to install, about

  87. ahh it cut me off.. to continue..
    about less than 30 files had to be skipped because it wouldn’t install so xp was never installed. however when i boot, i get the dual screen and when i choose xp, it goes blank. is there any way i can keep vista and fix the internet? if not, i’d like to wipe it clean with xp but how do i solve those errors in the install?

  88. I have a small question.

    I have a 320 GB HDD. I have allocated 50 GB in which I have installed Vista RC2. I have XP as the primary. I created 2 different partitions with the XP install disk.

    Everything is working, I don’t have any problems with drivers or the internet. I like my set up. The only thing that I want to change is when the system boots up. I want it to have XP as the default OS and I want to be able to change it to Vista if I want.

    I installed XP on the primary first and then Vista RC2 afterwards on the secondary.

    Is there an easy way to change the order?

  89. Hey Long Zheng,
    Im thinking of installing Vista RC2 as a secondary OS just to try it out. I have a laptop that came with Windows Media Centre Edition, and a 90GB hardrive. My question is this: If I create a dual booting system with vista as my secondary OS, and i want to uninstall afterwards and do everything that is required etc. Because this laptop did not come with a Media Centre full installation disk, is it possible to get the system back to normal using an XP pro CD? Because that is all I have.
    Thanks in advance!

  90. I installed vista on my primary drive “c:\” and it told me that it would put my xp pro and documents into a folder called windows.old, okay it did that and vista was working pretty well until I activated my secondary monitor. vista went on the blank and it wont display anything, so Now I want to go back to xp and since everything is there I was going to delete the vista install and the bootloader and restore everything like it was, Well cant do that vista wont delete “access denied error” is all I get while trying to delete it, I took the drive out of the system and threw it into the system I am using now and I still get the same thing. I can not reformat this drive so thats my problem. anybody got any suggestions.

  91. This one might be unique… I currently have 3 OS’s installed on a pair of 200GB SATA HD’s running RAID 0 (4 partitions in this array). The OS’s were installed in the following chronological order: WinXP Pro SP2 on C:, Vista RC1(32 bit) on L:, and XP64 on M:. When I installed XP64, the Vista boot menu disappeared and was replaced by a new boot menu giving me a choice between XP and XP64; no Vista. Is that because XP64 overwrote(?) the RC1 bootloader? My end goal is to remove Vista and install Vista64. Do I need to follow your steps, and if so, do I run from XP or XP64? Or, can I just reformat the Vista drive (L:) and install Vista64 there? Thanks in advance.

  92. @Zemy101: I have a Tablet PC Windows XP and I dual boot with Vista as well. I don’t even have a CD drive so you’ll definitely be fine uninstalling Vista as long as you dual boot and not overwrite your Media Centre.

    @indy: You basically overwrote your XP, you can’t restore XP. Your files are most likely locked by Vista. So boot into Vista, try to look at the security settings for that folder, unsecure it, then move it to another computer and take all the data out. Then you’ll need to format and reinstall XP.

    @cocoabo: I have no proof or evidence to suggest this, but I think if you just format L: you’ll be fine. Since the bootloader is already gone.

  93. Awesome man, thanks alot for the uninstallation guide.
    Thanks Thanks Thanks.

  94. Thank you Long Zheng, my download of RC1 is nearly finished.
    If all goes well, ill be running vista in no time! (infortunately by the time i heard about RC2 microsoft had already closed the download, 🙁 but no big deal i hope.)
    Yes Thanks for the uninstallation guide.

  95. @LZ: The uninstall worked perfectly! However, I have another problem during installation (Vista 64 RC1). During install, at the end of the final(?) reboot, the one before the first desktop appears where you set date/time, ect., I get a BSOD. I loaded Vista from XP64, installed the WHQL nvidia nForce4 XP64 raid drivers, disabled driver signing check at each reboot, but still nothing. I can still load XP or XP64, but Vista64 can’t finish the install. Any suggestions? Thanks.
    (P.S.-it seems like the load took longer than when I loaded Vista 32bit)

  96. @cocoabro: I haven’t had any experience with Vista 64bit. Try formatting and reinstalling. I’ve heard many cases of corrupt installs for no apparent reason. If that still fails, then its a driver problem. Maybe try an older/newer driver?

  97. Hi,

    I tried to upgrade the OS and at the last step of the installation I got a message saying that it couldnt be installed and that Windows XP was going to be restored. After it was restored 2 new folders appeared on my c: drive. The folders are $UPGRADE.~OS and $WINDOWS.~BT, and a BOOTSECT.BAK file. I dont want to install vista anymore, but i want to know if I can delete this folders and files without any problem? Is there any other files I need to delete/uninstall in order to be windows vista free?

  98. I installed vista b2 on the same partition as my xp’s. at the time i didnt know they redid the boot record and loader which takes over. decided to drop vista and reinstal a fresh xp giving me access to my older xp’s also so i did fixboot fixmbr and installed a new xp. I can access everything fine but couldnt delete the old vista windows and documents folder. I tried using ACLView and i was able to del the user folder but not the vis windows or vis program files. I dont have the option for format yet so the search will continue

  99. @OkComp: You are free to delete those folders since they are temporary files used for the Windows Vista install.

    @tim: I don’t know why you are not able to delete those folders, but I assume it’s a permission thing. Try to ‘take permission’ for those folders before deleting it.

  100. ok, i installed vista 64bit on a partition, then for gaming purposes had to install XP of course on a different partition, but it slipped my mind that XP32bit wouldn’t be able to give me the option of booting Vita 64bit. I know how to repair the bootcfg from the repair option in the XP CD. but i don’t think i found that tool in the vista RC DVD. would it have something to do with my drives all being on raid, and that i have to identify the controllers using a seperate driver when installing Vista, or did I just miss that option?

  101. I formated my Vista drive and now I have the Vista boot option when I start my computer but I don’t have Vista. Is there any way to fix this so that when I start my computer it will just load my Windows xp x64 without affecting my bootable partition?

  102. @Mo: You should be able to create a XP32 and Vista64 compatible bootloader by installing the Vista bootloader on top of the existing XP32 bootloader. You can do this safely by simply reinstalling your Vista, or by using the bootsect.exe tool on the DVD. Try /nt60 to install the Vista bootloader.

    @Mike: If you try the uninstall command in the original article, it should work for X64 as well. If not, then just use the “fixmbr” command with your X64 CD.

  103. By the way: You can use diskpart.exe from Windows Vista to shrink your partition and to create free space for the Vista partition. You can boot from the Vista DVD and enter the recovery mode. You’ll find there a chance to fire up a cmd.exe where you can start diskpart.exe. But be careful – this is a powerful tool!


  104. Hi –

    I have a strange issue with Vista Beta 2. I have no XP partition right now – was fixing a hosed system and decided to give the Beta 2 a test drive. It works ok but still too many compatibility problems to be useful for day to day, so my plan was to just install XP via cd on to a second physical HD, and use the bootloader to go between Vista and the XP disk (I used bcdedit to add a legacy OS loader to boot from the second HD) — so, when I boot I get the vista bootloader with two options, Vista or the (non-existant) XP that I was going to install on HD-B.

    Problem: System won’t boot from CD now. I’ve made sure CD is first boot device in bios, and has always worked (this is how I installed vista)… now, I get the prompt to boot from CD (press any key), but regardless of keypress’, it ends up at the vista bootloader again – it’s as the the bootloader is circumventing the CD drive. I’m wondering if removing the bootloader will destroy my ability to boot in to vista on HD-A, effectively wiping vista. Before I “created” the dual boot menu, I could boot from CD no problem… 🙁

  105. @Stephen: Beta 2 is a little outdated now, so I don’t know if the issue you’re having has been fixed or not. Although I’ve never been in your situation like that, but I feel like the bootloader shouldn’t be in conflict with your CD boot.

    However it sounds like you’re not doing anything wrong, so I highly recommend you to wipe Vista. Unless you have lots of documents on there or what not, wipe Vista, start over again, installing XP first. Then download the latest beta of Vista, like RC1, and install it after XP.

  106. Ok, I have been trying to dual boot XP and Vista all day. I have a Dell Laptop wit ha 60gb drive in it. I used GParted and Partition Magic to create a 20gb Primary Partition. I gave it drive letter V: and labeled it Vista. The first time I tried to install Vista RC2 (October Release) from within Windows XP, it went through the process, almost got to the end, then failed for some odd reason and rolled back. Second time I tried to install it, I booted from DVD and chose the V: drive. Seems to have almost installed, but when it does it’s final boot, it gets a BSOD Hardware error.

    Now, I have installed Vista RC2 on this laptop before in a single OS configuration and it does work. But I want to be able to Dual Boot it. When I try to boot in Szfe mode, it does get to the Desktop, but then an error about install not being able to complete in safe mode.

    ugh. Any ideas?

  107. @Michael: No idea about that. If it works in a single-boot environment, theres nothing that would stop it in a dual-boot environment. I think you should install from XP again, since I’ve always done that and it’s always been successful. And if you still have the ISO image, try emulating it instead of burning it.

  108. @LZ, Ok this you may be interested in. I was using the en_vista_rc2_October2006EDW_build5744_x86_check_dvd.iso (Checked Build). When I realized that, I tried the original RC2 release and it works perfect fine. Thanks for your feedback.

  109. I had some free time and decided to give Vista a whirl on a logical partition I had made long ago. Everything was good until near the end of the installation, Vista BSOD’ed. When the computer rebooted, Vista began to uninstall itself. The computer rebooted once more and I was shocked to see that Windows XP was now broken.

    The error is ntoskrnl.exe is either missing or corrupted.

    I couldn’t recall my administrator password, so I installed Windows server 2003 to get back online.

    I tried to edit boot.ini, but everything looks fine there. I tried reinstalling ntoskrnl from the original file, but that did not work either.

    Should I just give up, backup and reinstall everything?

  110. I installed vista RC2 x64 on a partition as a dual boot, And then i went into xp pro and formatted the partition with vista. The dual boot is still there, and I cannot use the bootsect.exe because the DVD won’t work on xp pro(not a valid win32. here is my boot.ini

    ;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
    ;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /FASTDETECT

    any help

  111. @Collin: If you can get your hands on an Vista x32 DVD, then that will work. But otherwise, you should just use the “fixmbr” method in the XP install CD through the repair environment.

  112. I hope you can help with this problem Long..

    I had a working two hard drive system with Vista RC2 on one and XP on the other. Everything worked. I started the upgrade process for Vista RTM(legal copy), upgrading from the Vista desktop from a DVD and at the first restart it says that both hard drives cannot be found. And stops there. What should I do?

  113. @Matt S: Do you get the option to rollback your setup? Or you can’t even pick which OS to boot from.

    It sounds like your Master Boot Record is corrupt, although I don’t know if it is the XP MBR or Vista MBR in use.

    Have you tried using the Vista DVD to boot, then seeing if you can install from that?

  114. Well, since I last posted and after switching out the HD’s on to another computer to see if it was the HD’s. I found out that they were fine, everything still worked. But, I found that even the BIOS couldnt find the HD’s.

    I thought that the RTM dvd could be the problem so I hooked everything up as it was before the problem and inserted my RC2 dvd and booted off of that and restarted and it was the weirdest thing Ive ever seen. POST completed successfully it saw both HD’s and it went right back into RTM setup.

    So forgetting the whole previous problem. It is telling me to boot off of the RTM dvd and pick repair operating system. Well in doing so the list of OS’s to repair is empty. Setup is still in the boot record being previously half way done. When I try to resume the setup it shows the boot screen and then it moves to a black screen where I am now. It just sits there. I cant get the Setup to continue. So I either have to find a way to revert to RC2 or finished the RTM upgrade.

    Thanks for any help that you can give in this new problem.

  115. I really didnt like vista so I reformatted my HD using the seagate disk. Now when I try to install XP i get a unknown disk error. Is it due to vista changing the boot.ini stuff?

  116. I just want you to know that your the man. I haven’t tried this yet but it’s the step by step install and uninstall of Vista that I’ve been looking for for weeks. Thanks.

  117. Hi. Firstly, I just want to say that this site is extremely informative. I want to give a shout out to the author for doing an awesome job.
    Secondly, forgive me for I am still a little bit of a newbie to dual booting, I would like to get rid of VISTA Build 5744. I have done a dual-boot in the past, with other OS’s, and when I wanted to get rid of the OS not used, I just formatted that partition and lost everything. I do not want that to happen again.
    I dual-boot between VISTA & WinXP Pro SP2. WinXP Pro is on 1 HD (SATA, C:) & VISTA is on another HD (IDE, I:(VISTA)), which has other partitions on it for backup purposes (G:, J:). I edited the boot file (using Advanced Settings) in VISTA to default to XP with no menu. this has been successful. The problem is that I want to format the I: drive to get rid of VISTA all together and not loose any other information from any other drive. DO I JUST FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE or DO I NEED TO CHANGE ANYTHING? I am fairly computer literate, but after reading all the posts, I am now a little confused as to what I am supposed to do.
    My PC Setup is:
    Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400 (2.2 GHz)
    1 GB RAM
    NVIDIA 7950 GT
    WD SATA 320 GB (C:)
    WD EIDE 120 GB (G:, I:, J:)

    Thank you!!!

  118. @djlasky: You’ll still need to remove the Vista bootloader with the same instructions above. And you’ll want to format your I: partition to remove Vista.

  119. @djlasky: Step 3. In XP, go to “Start” and “Run”. Type in “e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” (without quotes, and replacing e: with the drive letter of your Vista DVD).

  120. Hi. I have 2 HDD. 1st HDD is IDE with 2 partition, 1 primary and active and size 40 GB, and the second partition is logical. The second HDD is SATA with 1st partition primary and active and size 40 GB, and other 2 logical partition.

    On SATA Drive is installed XP. I installed Vista on IDE drive (after I give it and the SATA drivers. But Vista didn’t see my other system when I install it. So I need now to create manual one Boot Menu. In this moment I can boot in one or the other OS only if I swich HDD in BIOS.

    In XP the drive with XP is C and the drive with Vista is G
    In Vista the dive with Vista is C and the drive with XP is D

    I create Boot Menu in Vista and I put the drive D for starting XP as the second OS. But after select in boot menu the XP I receive one black screen and nothing else.

    And I try to put XP to start even from C (because IDE is first drive). In this case when I chose XP is one error and system return to boot menu.

    Please tell me what to add in Vista boot menu to have bought OS ???


  121. I ran steps 1 – 4. I assume that step 3 did what it was supposed to do – I had already disabled the bootloader from within Vista. I restarted the computer and when I tried to format the HD – using MS Disk Management – with Vista on it, I get the following error message: “The request cannot be completed because the volume is open or in use.”
    What do I do from here?

  122. @xmacix: That sounds really complicated. I don’t really know sorry. But I don’t know why Vista didn’t keep your old boot menu for XP.

    @djasky: You should run that command in XP. And you shouldn’t be formatting the HD, just the partition.

  123. does vista RC1 do a dual boot from an external harddisk, if i select it as the vista install drive?

  124. Just as a mote:
    If you have a PC with 2 HD’s – 1 with WinXP & 1 with VISTA – don’t disable the VISTA Bootloader (from within VISTA) because the partition table – in PartitionMagic will give you errors – that is inside XP will get corrupted until you find a way to actually delete the partition you had VISTA installed on.
    I followed all the instuctions above, but when I got to step 5, I was unable to format the partition VISTA was on. Then I forced it to format from the DOS prompt using the FORMAT command with the following switches –
    c:\FORMAT i: /FS:NTFS /V:New /Q /X – “I:” being the drive where VISTA was installed. Then I went into Disk Management & deleted the partition.
    This worked wonders. Once I actually deleted the partition, PartitionMagic’s partition table information worked normally.
    This solved my problem & I was able to get rid of VISTA.
    Thanks again to Long Zheng for all your help.

  125. I was dual booting with XP and Vista on one hard drive, with no prob until today, I played with it when it was beta and downloaded RC1 and thought it upgraded. Now I get activation code required and when I get error message code is already in use, must be something to do with the commercial release of Vista yesterday, I thought RC was good until June 07. Oh well, I am in Google under the linux Ubuntu cd live, just hoping that Ubuntu can wipe out Vista on the second partition. I installed the program on an old celeron 900 system, I added some memory (now 384 megs), seems pretty smooth, all hardware was detected. Now I just have to deal with the Vista partition thing, I tried “e:\boot\bootsect.exe/nt52 ALL /force”. I am really rusty with DOS, maybe I had spaces between the different commands that I should have not have.

  126. @Billy D: You have to enter that command in XP. And make sure your Vista RC1 DVD is in the E: drive.

  127. I have 120 GB Sata HDD on which XP SP2 installed and 160 GB Sata HDD on which Vista Ultimate (Final) installed. In this moment I can boot in XP or Vista only if I switch HDD in BIOS. The problem is that I was not able to do dual boot. On Vista, I go to Run and type “msconfig”, but can’t edit Boot tab. On XP, I open boot.ini and it says :

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    120 GB Sata HDD is attached to Sata 3 port on the motherboard and 160 GB Sata HDD is attached to Sata 1 port on the motherboard. Also, I have a 200 GB Sata HDD I use for backup and it is attached to Sata 2 port on the motherboard.

    I added these lines into the boot.ini file, but it didn’t work :

    What should I add into the boot.ini file or what should I do with bcdedit.exe in Vista ?

  128. Thank you for the informative site!

    So I installed Vista on a new hard drive last night in a new PC. I realized after install that there were just too many things I couldn’t do yet, so I decided to delete it and install XP. Here’s where the problems started.

    I reformatted the disk, but when the XP install screen comes up, it goes through the whole process of getting ready to install XP (copying files, etc), but when it reboots the first time, it starts over again. It never progresses. And I can tell that it’s not recognizing about 20GB on the 320GB drive.

    Is Vista still stuck in there somehow? I’ve done formats, even zero-fill formats from the Seagate recovery disk, but nothing can seem to solve the problem.

    I’m going to try your Recovery option with fixmbr and see if that works.

    Any other suggestions? This is REALLY frustrating…

  129. YAY! OK, nm. The Recovery console and fixmbr did the trick. Geez, I can’t believe how hard that was to figure out. Thank God for your site! 🙂 Much appreciated.

  130. Thanks for the great site!

    I’ve been dual-booting Vista RC1 on a second hard drive for several months now without problems. Last night, I shut my computer down without problems, but today I am unable to boot up my machine.

    My computer seems to be hanging slightly longer than usual on the initial screen when it says “CPU Clock Frequency: 200 MHz”. After hanging for a bit, it detects the hard drives, and continues on to say “Verifying DMI data” and then “Error loading OS”.

    As far as I know I did not change anything yesterday that might have caused this issue. I do recall installing a security update for windows, though. Is it possible that Vista has somehow messed things up? Is it possible to remove Vista safely and reset the MBR without being able to boot into any OS?

    I appreciate any suggestions you might have.

  131. @f00by: If you want to keep Vista, then boot using the Vista DVD and try repairing the MBR using the “Windows PE” tool.

    If you don’t want to keep XP, then use the XP CD and use the repair console and “fixmbr” command to restore the XP MBR.

    Either way, that should fix it.

  132. hi wondering if you had an ideas,

    am2 +3800
    1gb ram
    sata2 250
    via mx series motherboard(my main compatibility concern)

    Got two copies of vista rc2 5477 x64 and rtm
    Both have worked in my old machine, but the new one is another matter.
    Basically it goes through the whole install to the last boot, then get
    “Installation can’t continue please reinstall”, typically Microsoft error message (useless)

    Repair dos the same thing, a rollback buggers the boot sector, to the point where a repartition and format as a secondary drive on the old machine is the only way to recover the disk. xp and vista will not work from boot cd otherwise

    Tried upgrading from xp64 an xp32 and as fresh install all the same, any ideas as compatibility wizard recons all is good for vista

    any ideas would be greatly appreciated

  133. Hello, i have on my PC, windows vista home premium RTM, and now I want to install xp in some partition, what is the procedure for the inverse? install xp under vista instead of vista under xp, for me to be albe to dual boot. Thanks

  134. @rusticdude: Sounds like the installation files are corrupt. If you used a burned DVD, you need to make sure you burn at most on 2X speed. The install disc is extremely prone to errors.

    If you didn’t used a burned DVD, then you’ll just need to find a way to reinstall Vista.

    @Andrew Miller: You can install XP, then it will replace the Vista bootloader. To get back the Vista bootloader, you’ll need to fix the MBR with Vista’s install disc.

    Otherwise you can also try this tool, but I don’t know if it allows you to add the Vista bootloader.

  135. Ey umm i tried uninstalling windows Vista off my XP computer but when i put the CD image of windows vista in my dvd drive N restart my computer..when it goes to boot option i press “Earlier version of windows” …then it shows me blue screen dat says dat something caused a problem and i have to restart it again and it doesnt work….CAN ANYONE HELP??


  136. @A.B: Obviously something went with your installation/uninstallation of Windows Vista. Without any more information, I can’t help you.

  137. Worked like charm. Thank you.

    For me I already formatted the other partition, so i had to do that using DVD-ROM.

  138. I’m getting a bit desperate, I installed the business version of Vista yesterday, doing an upgrade instead of a seperate partition. I then find out that I cannot run any games or video files because my video card driver is not out for Vista, I want to get back to XP… I tried booting from the XP disk and got all the way to where you select which disk you want to place the instal on, there is no disk option to install it on though, any ideas? When I just hit enter there is an error and windows shuts down, when i try to select the disk to install it on the same thing happens, any ideas?

  139. Hi,
    I’ve install windows vista a number of times. I now have my final vista build in a partition and XP in another. I want to keep it that way but my boot shows me 6 windows vista and 1 “Previous windows system”. Is there a way to remove the older windows vista boot information and just let the windows XP and the correct windows vista information ?
    thanks in advanced.

  140. Hi, I hope you can help me, i installed a trial version of vista as a clean install on my laptop, completely erasing the previous version of windows. However I’ve decided that I no longer want Vista and want to install Xp back on it. But when i try to boot xp at startup I get a message saying that “setup cannot find a hard disk drive on the computer” and it wont allow me to install xp.

    Any ideas on how i can get around this? I do not have a system restore cd for the laptop.

  141. @Minz: Sounds like your hardware has a corrupt filesystem or you don’t have the drivers for a RAID or SATA hard drive.

    Try formatting the hard drive somehow, perhaps taking it out of the computer and putting it into another computer, and then format it.

    If that doesn’t work, I think you may have a drive that Windows does not have the drivers for to install. If so, you’ll need to load the driver (which you might find with Google), when the setup is starting. You have to press something like F9 or something when its loading setup files. Read the bottom of the screen, and it’ll tell you.

  142. I know I’ve gone wrong but could anyone please solve my problem, I started off with xp (obviously) then I partitioned off 20Gb, installed vista, then I formated my vista partition, and then increased the partition to 40Gb and reinstalled vista on this partition, now I have a boot loader with xp at the top, then two ‘microsoft vista’s with the middle one selected as default, I need to get rid of the second vista selection from my boot loader but I dont want to get rid of my working vista selection, Please help me 😀

  143. mike
    boot into xp then you can edit the boot.ini file by right clicking / my comp
    /properties /advanced /start up and recovery settings/edit.
    this will open your boot.ini in notepad there you will see all your boot entries
    1st one will be xp the next 2 will be vista you can just hi-lite the one you don’t want and delete and save.(be very careful you select and delete the right one, also before deleting anything save a copy of the original boot.ini
    in case you delete the wrong one)
    hope this helps

  144. Hey, a quick question, since you folks seem to know your OS ins and outs. I recently built a new machine, and being a fairly cheap guy, figured I’d just toss Vista RC2 on my system and pray for the best with drivers. Thankfully, after a couple days of dedicated driver hunting, my system’s running great as far as the OS goes. There are a lot of programs, though, that aren’t optimized to run with the Vista-compatible ForceWare drivers I am running for my nVidia 7950 GT. I figured there would be a few that didn’t run well, but some of the utilities I frequently use seem to be the worst-hit, so I’m thinking of putting an XP SP2 installation on this machine as well. I can seperate and format a partition no problem, and I’ve got plenty of room to spare, but is there any way to utilize the boot loader if Vista is not the most recently installed OS? Since I have a funny feeling that this is not the case, does anyone have ideas for a reliable bootstrap that I -could- use, in the event I wouldn’t have an integrated boot manager?

    Thanks in advance for any insight! =)
    -Tony K,
    Hutchinson, KS

  145. Hi, i wanna fix again my dualboot config. First XP installed on C partition. Then Vista on D partition and last of all Windows 2000 on E partition. (Dont ask why? just for testing purposes). Now i cannot load Vista. Because old boot.ini work again. But i wanna work on all 3 versions. Is there a way to fix Vista boot config not damaging other installations?

    Thanks in advance

    – Zati

  146. Thanks for the help.

    I’m not sure whether or not I mean that to be sarcastic. I have two hard drives–XP on one, Vista RC1 on the other. Basically, after I ran the bootsct.exe command, the bootloader, etc., was all taken care of…but now all my partitioning/formatting software, even the basic DOS “Format” command, refuses to work on formatting the former Vista drive–PartitionMagic labels the entire drive as “BAD” and will not have anything to do with it. From analysis of various cryptic error messages, I believe that the command I ran somehow rearranged the numbering of the hard drives sectors so that they started at 32 and went on past the actual number of sectors…I don’t know. I don’t know a lot about how hard drives work, but do you know how I can fix this?

  147. hey..i had windows XP and windows vista on my computer on two different partitions. After some time I had to re-install my windows Xp because it wasnt working properly. I did so and everything seem possible until i wanted to boot to Vista. I didnt notice that right after the re-instalation but the starting window where you can choose which windows you want (booting window) didnt appear at all. After restarting it went straight away to Windows XP. Im sure i didnt uninstall Vista because i can see the partition on which it is installed on and nothing is missing there. Please help how can I get to VIsta without having to re-installing everything.

  148. Hey there i have installed windows Vista RTM which has expired past its 20 days.
    Now when i try and install Win XP all my drive are showing as unknown?

    Any suggestions ?

  149. My problem is a little different…I unstalled Vista RC1 on a different HD….Sata to be exact. I took it out of the machine…but when I boot my computer, it asks the boot Vista or earlier version of windows…the only HD left in machine is XP…any suggestions??

  150. @Skeeter Muldoon: You need to remove the Vista bootloader by running the command with the Vista DVD in step 3.

    Go to “Start” and “Run”. Type in “e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” (without quotes, and replacing e: with the drive letter of your Vista DVD).

  151. Hello… I formated my partition C and installed Windows Vista Enterprise. Then i decided to get rid of it, so i tried to format C and install XP again and there my troubles started – It doesn’t allow me to format it! Then I installed XP to partition D: and tried to format C: trough XP, but it’s still not alowed! I also did FixBoot C: and then FIXMBR through the Repair console – still nothing! PLEASE HELP, i am desperate!

  152. Hi,

    I’ve tried making a partition on my 250Gb Sata drive (with powerquests partition magic), I tried to make a 20Gb partition after C: and wanted to call it V: for vista…

    I tried to make it a primary so I can duel boot, the problem arises that I cannot make it a primary and have had to turn this partition into a logical one as it exceeds the 1024 cylinder limit for bootable operation…

    I’m a little over my head now, so the question is, how can I load vista in this 20Gb partition, or should I be making this partition in another way…

    from all the walk throughs I’ve seen you just seem to create it and install it, but that didn’t work for me.

    Thanks for any help

  153. I have dual boot of XP Home and Vista Ultimate, both 32bit, on separate Hard Drives. and right now im trying to reformat my XP HDD and keep Vista as it is on the other HDD. In order for me to acces Windows XP restoration files i have to hit F2 at start up of my PC. However, it doesn’t want to go to restoration and skips right to bootloader menu. I’ve tried a restoration CD of XP as well, still no luck. then i wanted to try fdisk but i believe that it only works with FAT, and not NTFS.
    Any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  154. Long Zheng,

    Thanks for taking the time to write up the instructions for removing Vista Beta. It worked great and my system is now back to XP only.

  155. Hey,

    I have loaded vista in a different drive and was using the dual boot with options between XP and vista. Yesterday i have repaired XP due to some problem and now while booting i cant find any more options. XP is booting up directly.

    Please help me.. what should be done at this point ?

  156. Hello,
    I’ve got Vista OEM Upgrade coming in the mail (I’m not sure when it will get here) So, I want to go ahead & reinstall Vista RC1 on my XP machine as a dual boot. I believe if I follow your wonderfully made instructions above, it will work fine – Especially since I already have 2 partitions. I ultimately want to have a dual boot XP & Vista. Do you know if I have to install the Vista OEM coming in mail on the same partition that I have the XP OEM?

    I hope I’ve made my question clear – If not let me know.

  157. Hi,

    I was Sucessfull in installing I Installed Vista on F: drive, i thought of Uninstalling it i rank the command and Restarted the Comp delete the (Boot.BAK & Bootsect.BAK) Now i See my F: drive Contains the Win Vista DataTo Simple I am Unable to Format DIsk, Plz help me How to Format my Drive


  158. i really need hepl…………ok i install vista ™ build 6000 and after the installion it ask for the key and all the keys i tried don’t work…….my only option is close it and return to log in,enter product key or go to internet!i am stuck here i can’t go anywhere but to close or use the internet by clicking on (go online to validate that your software is genunine) please hepl me please please please please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  159. Hey LZ, I really need your help with this one. I have a laptop witch had xp on it, I had installed vista on it had some majjor driver issues and decided to go back to xp. Here’s the fun part, I boot up my computer with my Windows xp cd and after i press enter to install it states, “setup cannot continue” something because it claims there is no hard drive present, but i could still boot into vista which is the funny part. I tried using my Windows MCE at boot, and after it loads, i get BSOD.
    Recently i tried using partition magic to delete everything and leave just the unallocated space, but no luck. Please give a solution

  160. @Jeffson: I’ve heard of that problem before, XP not being able to use the Vista partition after install.

    I don’t know of a solution, but my best guess is that you need to remove the bootloader from Vista first. But be warned, if removing the bootloader does not fix it, you will NOT be able to boot back into Windows Vista unless you repair the bootloader through recovery.

  161. LZ, do you think it might be that NTFS from vista differs from the ones uned in previous versions of windows??

  162. Uninstall steps works perfectly. I had Vista 64-bit RTM on dual boot. The bootsect on the DVD doesn’t work. So, I used the with the 32-bit version and it gave a couple of errors, but did the job. Kept following the steps and I am back to Win XP. Thanks for the assistance.

  163. Hello,

    I was able to Format the Drive Insatlled Vista It Works Fine Untill I Install any Program like “Mcafee” Or any Software, in toolbar I got the message Disk Corrupt Run CHKDSK after I run CHKDSK On my Vista Drive Again same i get the same message, i installed win Vista 5 times now, I love the the way it looks but Doesnot Work Fine, I have Four Drives C, D,E F C=Runs Win XP and F= Runs Win Vista, Tried installing the Programs On D and E Same Again Disk is Corrupt, On win XP every thing Works Fine, Why only on Vista I face this, Plz Reply

  164. Hi Long Zheng,

    Hope you can help, I purchased a Vista upgrade CD and have used it to Dual boot my PC, XP remaining on Drive C, and Vista on Drive D. In the not to distant future when I have Vista set-up, it’s stable and I’ve got everything working I hope to be able to remove the XP installation on Drive C leaving just Vista.

    Is this possible? Is the boot sector part of the C Drive?

    If I do succesfully remove XP on Drive C, will Vista always be seen as installed on Drive D?

    Thanks for your help

  165. I have a triple boot setup. Vista is on a partitioned hard drive (C:) XP is on D: and I have Ubuntu Linux as the default OS. If I select vista in Grub it comes up with XP. I have EasyBCD and I could go into XP and set it up so vista loads on startup.

    Is there a way I can get rid of Vista from C: without messing up my system? I think all my boot files are on C:.


    sorry if someone had something similar I looked at the comments for some time but I then got restless!

  166. I’ve been doing a little learn as I go trying to dual boot XP and Vista. I formatted my harddrive and divded it up into 20gb for XP and 50 for vista. My XP is a full install and Vista is a upgrade. Im kinda confused at this point if I need to install XP on both paritions then upgrade one or if I can install XP on the smaller parition then install vista on the bigger and dual boot then?

    Great information by the way, I’ve learned alot reading through all the posts!

  167. Hello,

    I Installed Vista Enterprice and I have a problem with my modem and network controllers.

    What to do.

    Also please suggest me how to install XP since I didnt made a dual boot and installed Vista.


  168. For all of you who try to install and get the “no hard drives found” error: I just had to disable SATA in bios and it fixed that problem. Now if only we can figure out how to access Vista’s boot manager (w/o recovery discs) so it doesn’t go directly into XP. 🙂

  169. Brian I have the same exact problem where it loads into windows xp if I dont have the windows vista disc in the computer. I can’t find any solution that is working anywhere. Let me know if you figure it out. Thanks. Zati seemed to have same problem and never got a response either.

    [email protected]

  170. Hey, I have installed Windows Vista on my computer but i installed it on a different drive to XP, if i follow the above steps is it just a matter of deleting the folders as i dont want to partition the drive as i have data and important files in it.

  171. I copied this from “Uninstall” at the top of the page

    1. Boot your computer in to Windows XP.
    2. Ensure you have the Vista DVD image emulated or in the DVD drive.
    3. Go to “Start” and “Run”. Type in “e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” (without quotes, and replacing e: with the drive letter of your Vista DVD).
    4. Restart the computer, and you will notice the boot selection menu is gone.

    My question is – I have a triple boot: W2000 on c:\ drive, XP x64 bit on i:\ drive and Vista on m:\ drive… Will the above instructions work from the c:\ in W2000?
    I am just trying to uninstall Vista as I would like to change the partition setup and then reinstall Vista. I would like to avoid using the XP x64 bit as it is not a permanent installation anyway and I want to know if I can rely on W2000 if I need to do this again in the future.

    Many Thanks.

  172. Ahh.. found it!

    According to Microsoft at:

    “Removing Windows Vista from a dual-boot configuration
    If you want to remove Windows Vista from a dual-boot environment that includes an earlier version of Windows, follow these steps.

    Note You can follow these steps in the earlier version of Windows or in Windows Vista. If you follow these steps in Windows Vista, run the commands from a command-prompt that has elevated user rights. To do this, click Start, click Accessories, right-click the command-prompt shortcut, and then click Run as Administrator.
    1. Use Bootsect.exe to restore the Ntldr.exe program. To do this, type the following command: Drive:\Boot\ Bootsect.exe –NT52 All”

    …etc., etc.

    basically what Long Zheng was saying all along..!

  173. Hi, i followed the advice in this thread to install a dual boot copy of vista however now my laptop wont boot, i used acronis disk director to partition my primary 60gb hard drive to have a 9gb partition with which to install vista, however when i commited and it rebooted it got to around 7% before restarting.

    Now the laptop starts up, gets to “mouse initialising” and then resets. Ive got my sp2 disk, but it runs for a while then that reboots, ive managed to get to the recovery console and use “fixboot” and “fixmbr” but that hasnt worked, i only get about 20 seconds in there before it resets and when i go to reinstall windows it doesnt have the option to repair, only reinstall over current installation, and that reboots if i leave it too long.

    Im completely out of ideas, any help would be greatly appreciated.


  174. also chkdsk gets to ~25% before restarting and if i try Bootcfg /Rebuild it tells me theres a problem and i need to run chkdsk

  175. Mike, I re-installed Vista Home Basic last night as a fresh install on it’s own drive with any software on a completely different drive (apart from chipset drivers, graphics card drivers, etc) and it comes to 11.3Gb already…

  176. ok, but ive got a more serious problem in that i cant even boot up my computer, let alone install vista, i really need some help as to how to fix the partition table, boot up table or whatevers likely to have gone wrong in making the partition, the partitioning process never even finished as windows disc only detects one drive

  177. I have the same problem as another lady and that is that once I installed vista I lost my Printer. I really need it for school. I do not want to uninstall vista because I do like some of the things on there and your directions to get my xp back are confusing because I do not get anything when I restart my pc,( not to mention I am not computer friendly so I have no idea what you are talking about.:-) ) any help would be nice,
    thanks Athena

  178. My laptop came with Vista and I would like to add XP because of some compatibility issues, namely AutoCAD 2006. What is the easiest way to create a dual boot from within Vista? Because of my computer being a new HP there are no recovery CD’s and I don’t want to screw up my brand new computer.

  179. i have vista but it isnt running some of my programs so i want to reinstall xp. but it wont let me do this, says somthing about the current version of windoews is newer. i am trying to dual boot but i am not sure if it will work. should i format the primary partition with vista on it 1st or will this cause problems in start up.

  180. Go to “Start” and “Run”. Type in “e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” (without quotes, and replacing e: with the drive letter of your Vista DVD).

    Hello, i am a little confused about this step. Is this sure that this will erase the boot loader of vista and my system will boot correctly with the XP partition? Does it matter in which partition i have XP and in which i have Vista? I think in the bootloader i have the second option to load XP, not the first. So my question is, if i execute the above command, am i in danger of been able to boot only in Vista and not XP that i want?

  181. Thank you so much… ever since I installed vista I hated it… it skrewed up my linux partitions and it really ticked me off… these are the best instructions anywhere…

    but I recommend that link you have for the file, move it to the instructions so it is easier to find for the people who google and get this…

    thank you!

  182. Hello, i have another problem actually.

    I had 2 partitions, C and F, C for windows and F for vista, after i finsihed using vista i forgot all about the vista boot issues and i just formatted F and merged it with C.. now all i have is C drive with XP, the problem is i still have the vista boot!!! Anyway of removing that now?

    or do i have to recreate F, install vista again and then remove it with the above method?

    Thank You

  183. Hi, im a bit of a newbie at dual booting but could you please tell me if i can still access all of my files after installing windows vista. e.g. i have the program nero currently installed on windows media center 2005. Will i still be able to run this program using vista?

  184. Dual Boot DOS and Vista?

    I have several dual boot machines running DOS (for old legacy systems) and Windows XP professional SP2+. To create these I take a new system, use fdisk to create a primary DOS bootable partition (Drive C) and 3 extended DOS partitions (Drives D,E and F), then I boot the Windows XP Professional CD to install Windows XP professional on the rest of the drive (makes it Drive I, with G and H for the CD/DVD drives). The very nice thing about this type of dual boot is that I can ‘see’ all my DOS drives under Windows XP. When I boot, I get Windows Boot menu choice of Windows XP professional or MS-DOS.

    Can I do the exact same thing with VISTA? Will it set-up the same way?

    Thank You

    Please email me at: [email protected]

  185. I just bought a new computer with Windows Vista on it. How do i get rid of Vista and Install Windows XP? Can anyone please help me out. Thanks!

  186. I actually bought a compaq presario Intel® Celeron® D processor 356, 512MB DDR2 memory, DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, 120GB hard drive with windows vista on it. I have been using it for school purposes only and would like to transfer vista to windows xp. Most of the comments on here talk about computers that already had xp on it, but i just bought mine with vista and would like to take that off and go to xp. Is there any simple way to do that if i have a windows xp installation cd?

  187. Hi I was told by somoene I could install vista on the same partition as windows xp and just alter the pathway to show as /windowz for vista and /windows for xp, would there be any complications from the program files and my documents etc from being on the same folder or can the OS tell them apart

  188. Hi, I have my Vista DVD corrupted. My notebook reads it as empty. So I can’t follow the directions (Go to “Start” and “Run”. Type in “e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force etc.)
    Can I uninstall Vista anyway?

  189. Hi, I’m testing out a Notebook with Vista (Business) on it, for work, however I’m finding that I can’t read some www sites (mainly those with Flash/Macromedia images/videos, and also those with videos from sites like youtube.

    I’ve tried to update Flash Player 9 (installed by default) but still no good. Do I need to re-install it, or is there a patch, or solution?


  190. Hi all, i install VISTA to a different partition, now i format the partition

    now I want to reinstal win XP, but i can’t instal, i see all partitions, but XP don’t start : error:

    ” To install win XP an the partition you selected setup must write some startup files to the following disk 114471 MB……To continue installing Win XP, return to the partition selection screen and create Win XP partition compatibile.”

    – i format the partition – but problem persist

    pls help me. – [email protected]

  191. Hi.

    What if after a few days playing around with vista I decide to keep vista and remove xp completely? How easy/difficult is this? Will I be able to get the whole drive back into one partition? Will all my files which are on the xp partition be able to be used in vista?
    Sorry if these are silly questions but I am a n00b.

  192. hello! i have installed vista (Xp is installed before..) i have test vista for a couple of weeks now and i want to uninstall it.. but it is on drive d: and i have many programs and games on that hard drive that dont want to lose.. how do i delete vista without format the partion???

  193. Hey, I have two primary partitions on a single 250GB drive, xp and Vista Premium. I have sorted out the boot loader using EasyBCD and that’s fine however each time i boot into either OS it runs Chkdsk and finds missing files and faulty indexes. Is there a way to stop this?

    P.S. Also in XP my Vista Partition is there but not accessible at all!

  194. Hi,
    Thanks for your information put in this Portal, its working absolutely fine.
    Infact i formated my d: before running that command but still worked. Now there is no boot menu; it will directly take me to WindowsXP.

    Thanks once again….

  195. hey! for starters, its nice to see you helping people and all (just working on the flattery there :\)

    i’ve removed the boot menu thing, but the problem with me is that i installed vista on a 200gb HDD that i use for music and documents etc. Hence, i absolutely cannot just “format” it and lose all of the stuff i have on that hard drive.

    after removing the boot menu i tried to delete the vista folders manually, but i can’t seem to delete them – i keep getting the “cannot delete: randomfilename access denied” error.

    so my question is if there’s still anyway i can delete the folders hence saving the contents of my hard drive?

    can i create another mini-partition (lets say 4gb – named G:) within the 200gb harddrive (F:), transfer the folders to that partition and subsequently format it? and once that’s done, merge G: back with F:?

  196. hi i how can i delete windows vista from my USB HDD?now i have two versions of vista on two hdd.

  197. Hey man this was very helpful to me thanks for putting it up! I have one question though. On the bootscreen, you know where it says earlier versions of windows and windows vista? well i installed vista numerous times and when im in the bootscreen, it says: earlier versions of windows, windows vista, windows vista, windows vista. how do i remove these extra “Windows Vistas”?

  198. I tried to upgrade XP to Vista on my C drive and got it up and running but with lots of problems. Then MS reps told me to try a clean install on a separate drive. So now I have a working version of Vista on H drive and a gunked up and unused version on C drive. I want to get rid of the bad version but can’t just format C drive because some boot files appear to still be there. How do I uninstall the bad version of Vista that is on C drive?

  199. Hello,

    I’m ordering a Dell XPS 410 with Vista Premium already installed to it, once i get a 2nd partition from PartitionMagic, is there a possible way to install windows XP AFTER Vista was previously installed by Dell?

    Or do i have to uninstall Windows Vista, than install windows XP (SP2), split the hard drive than reinstall Vista?

    The reason i am asking if i can install XP after Vista is that, i don’t know whether or not Dell will give me the Vista Premium CD/DVD

  200. ok i think i really made a mistake!! i am buying a computer (compaq presario sr2168hm, with a amd sempron) it came with windows vista and i cant stand it! so i thought i could reformat and install winxp. witch i do have installed now but i cant seem to get any drivers to work! i have a pci soft modem that i cant seem to find driver software to download it, basicly i have a working computer with xp but cant get software for pci, bus, and video drivers for. i need some advise as i do not have a win vista cd until i pay off the computer.

  201. I installed vista business edition, on my system but the drivers for my motherboard i am not finding anywhere, well i thought vista will have drivers for previous motherboards but not so, i tried searching on Intel site but they don,t have drivers Vista compatible for Intel D845 GVSR.
    Guide me please what to do.

  202. I recently downloaded Vista Ultimate decided to give it a try on my home desktop. I installed it alongside Windows XP, but when i get to the boot menu asking me to choose between Erlier version of Windows and Windows Vista, i am not able to select or press anything, which means i can only boot into Vista after the timer runs out. whats going on!?

  203. nevermind, lazy me new i had to switch to non-usb keyboard but could not be assed getting up till i had to 😛 problem solved.

  204. sir can i get complete help in intalling vista my config of my system is fin e but i need the instruction to install vita

  205. I installed Vista beta as a dual boot with Xp, but when I try to use the recovery, XP ask for the adminstrative password. I never set a password. I’m not able to get pass this part and I am the owner/adminstrator. What can I do to start again in XP again?

  206. I just bought a new machine that has Windows Vista on it. I need to replace Vista with Windows XP Pro or do a duel boot. The only cd I have is Windows XP without service packs. Does anyone have any recommendations that I should follow to be successful?

  207. Hi I downloaded my Vista fra torentts, used deamon tools, made virtual CD and installed my vista, after time, I wanted to get rid of vista so I tryed to go in vista but it doesn’t wont… so jeg delete everything I coud, but Vista its still here, I have my XP on C: and Vista on D:
    Pls Pls Pls help me, I realy want just my XP


  208. and I tryed to format D: but it is saying that I have to swich the programs in D: before I can format, there is just Vista in D:

  209. This solution works perfectly for me. Thank you so much. that boot loader was really annoying. you are some sort of genius for this. I have been looking for days on how to remove vista AND its boot loader.

  210. That’s great.It works very well! Thank you very much!Keep up the good work.

  211. hi,

    I need a solution for reinstalling XP. I have installed Vista ultimate 32bit. Since, the sound card on my laptop and a lot of other things are not working and constantly crashing; i am trying to go back to XP.
    when i try to do a clean installation from a bootable xp sp2 cd. it starts up, but when i press continue, it says “hard drive not found, please make sure hard drive is powered up”.. what does that mean?? hard drive is always powered on a laptop!!
    i am literally starting to hate vista!!

    any solutions?? i do not care about the recovery of my old softwares or any data…… right now, i just want to get rid of this vista.

  212. Ok, 1 have already 2 partitions, with doble-boot.
    Both with XP Pro.
    Upgrading 1 of them, will cause problems with the other boot?
    Thanks in advance.

  213. hi, stupid question….

    if i install vista, do i need to install 64 bit drivers or 32???

    im going crazy, btw ur boot info was very useful and worked great…

  214. actually it was real stupid… since i have win vista 32 i need the 32bit drivers…. sorry for wasting ur time…. (which i hopefully didnt)

    take care….

    mac rocks

  215. I have just bought an Asus Notebook with Vista pre-installed. It is incompatable with so much stuff that i need to be able to use for uni, and my notebook only has 512MB RAM so it’s slower than a turtle moving uphill. Can someone tell me how i can uninstall it? I will install XP after..

  216. I have bought a toshiba sattelite p100 434. it has vista home premium installed and i want to get rid of it and install windows xp. i am not a computer expert so simple instructions would be appreciated. I’m so glad I found this forum – any help please?

  217. I’ve a windows(vista RC1) directory in a partition that’s not the c: partition where the windows (XP) directory that i’m running is. I need to delete all those files now in the old Windows Vista directory when I’m on XP plataform, but XP keeps saying access denied and to make sure the file in not in use bla bla bla… Any help ???

  218. hi, i recently installed window vista as a trial version, stupid I know. Anyways how do I uninstall it and download xp? I load the XP CD, it start loading but it didn’t go through. It simply said, “Error..loading operating system”.. Can anyone tell me how to fix this??

  219. i know this sounds nerdy, but i am trying to play world of warcraft.
    every time i play it the screen goes blank and it lags to much.
    when i didnt have vista this wasnt a problem.
    what shud i do
    please help

  220. I had xp and made a idf partition. When i tried to instal vista on the partition, it didnt work so I just put it on the same one with xp.(not upgrading) Then, my files werent destroyed but were put in a folder called old windows. Now i tried to uninstall vista. first i did a restore but it was restores only starting when i got vist, no more windows. So can I do a windows restore? Also, I would like to jsut take off vista. How do I do it?

  221. Hey thanks for the help man, the bootsect thing helped, really hope Vista gets better, currently I dont like it but I reckon in the next year or 2 most people will be using it 😀 (be it gamers, web developers etc etc).

    I formatted the harddrive without knowing that the boot loader thing would do that, I read on a other article that if you did the boot fix thing it would format the harddrive but I think they were wrong has mine harddrive (Vista was on a different harddrive altogether but on the same machine) and I had stuff on there that I couldnt backup (need to get myself a external 400GB harddrive :D.

    If this doesnt make much sense it because I have been up allnight learning Dreamweaver CS3 :D, still have a long way to get, once again many thanks!

  222. I have a client who installed the Vista upgrade and had so many problems that she wants it gone. She did an upgrade over XP, not a dual boot. She is bringing me her machine this afternoon. Based on what I have read here, I thought the following scenario might work: Boot the machine to an Ubuntu CD, then delete the Windows directory. (If Ubuntu will not delete because of NTFS, then attach the drive to my xp machine as slave and delete Windows directory there.) Boot to XP cd and run fixboot. Then reboot to cd and run clean install. Even though all drivers and programs must be reinstalled,the advantage is that all other folders will still be there, including all data (she says that all her data is backed up, but who knows?) This should save a lot of data transfer time.

    Does anyone see any flaws in this method?

    Thanks in advance.

  223. Hi
    I’ve read a lot on this forum about people wanting to go back to xp from vista in one form or another. I have the same problem but have yet found an answer. I have bought a new machine and installed vista. Realised it was crap and now want to use xp. I have both vista and xp install discs. I have tried to format by going to control panel, system and maintenance, administrative tools, computer management then under storage on the left panel i go into disk management. I have then tried to format by right clicking the c: but the format option is greyed out, (basically not an option). I have tried inserting the xp install disc and running it but it comes up with compatibility issues error as newer version is regonised and i’ve tried running the xp install disc on boot up but it just boots vista. I tried to partition the hard drive, which i succeeded doing but have no idea how to install xp to this other partition. My plan here was to install xp to this partition then make it the primary drive then i might have the option to format the other drive with vista on it. This is driving me crazy!! I really am not sure what to do and some step by step instructions would be great. Thanks.

  224. My previous post about deleting the windows directory did not work. Linux mounted the NTFS as a read-only drive, and WinXP did not have the permissions to delete the directory.

    Veronica, if you try this method it will work. First, you must enter your computer BIOS setup. Usually, this is done by hitting the delete key when the bios boot screen appears. (depending on the motherboard mfgr, sometimes the f2 or f10) Look through the various screens looking for something about boot order, then set your CD drive to boot first. That is why you cannot boot to the cd. After the setup runs, hit R to repair. Eventually, you will be asked to choose a windows installation to log on to. Hit 1, then enter. You will then need to enter your administrative password. It may be blank in an upgrade. Then type fixboot then enter. You can also type fixmbr then enter. Probably not necessary, but it couldn’t hurt.

    Now reboot again. This time, after setup runs, pick install. Follow directions to delete existing partitions, then begin the install. That’s all it takes. You may need to enter the BIOS again if it boots to cd, and set the hard drive as first boot device.

    Good luck

  225. Hi tommyb

    Thankyou so much. I don’t have an administrator password so can not get passed this point. I have even tried setting a password on my account but it doesn’t work. Any ideas?

  226. Hi. I am tryin to unistall vista from dual booting with xp…i cannot fin the “boot.bak” or the “bootsect.bak” all i can find is “boot.bkk” and “bootsect.bkk”… please help

  227. Veronica,
    You said that you bought a new machine and installed Vista. Did the new machine have XP installed? If so, maybe the mfgr set an administrator password during setup. They should include in documentation, or know in tech support. If they did not, did you try to just hit enter when asked for password?

    The password you set on your account is your user password, not the administrator password. To change the administrator password, you must log in as administrator, which you can’t do if you don’t know the password. Catch-22.

    Microsoft says that when you cannot log on to the administrator account, even with the correct password, you have a different problem. Go to and pick your version of xp and you can download 6 floppies that you can boot to which fixes that login problem. But you still need that password. (although it CAN be blank, in which case, just hitting enter should work)

  228. Hi,

    I partitioned my 160Gb hardrive and install Vista on that new partition. I was running Xp sp2 before and i wanted to try Vista to make sure everything worked fine and it did and i want to maintain Vista and get rid of XP. What is your advice? I have the dual boot now popping up when i turn the computer on.

    Many thanks

  229. Hi,

    I had a 250Gb SATA HDD with XP Pro installed. I then bought a new 250Gb SATA HDD and formatted it and installed Vista Ultimate OS. Installation was fine and I updated the neccessary drivers, installed a load of software, and tranfered all my media from the XP drive to the new Vista drive.

    A dual booting system was created which I thought would be pretty handy untill everything was sorted with my new Vista drive.

    However, I did not realise that Vista had put boot files on the XP drive, and I formatted the XP drive thinking it would just revert to a single Vista boot, leaving me with my nice new Vista OS and use that drive as extra storage.

    NOT THE CASE. I rebooted and got the dreaded ‘BOOTMGR not found’

    I decided to install Vista on the old drive (that I had just formatted) as well as there was nothing else I could do. Everything installed OK again but now it just boots to that drive.

    I want it to boot to the original Vista Drive with everything sorted on it but don’t know how?

    Can anyone help??

  230. Hi LZ, I have a laptop with Vista Basic installed. When I try to downgrade to XP, I reboot from my XP cd, but when try to Repair the system show me that the dont detect Hard Disk and I can not to continue with the procedure. Could you tell me, what can I do? Thanks.

  231. Need help now!
    I have been trying to get vista on my computer.
    The first time I put in the CD, it was acting sluggish and did not react when I selected something. I did a Alt-Ctrl-Del command and stopped the installation. When I retried, it said that the $WINDOWS.~BT folder could not be created because it already existed. I tried deleting it myself manually and I got an error saying that another program was using it.
    Please help!!!

  232. JoshF
    You won’t have the security rights to the folder. What you’ll need to do is take ownership of it. If you have XP pro, then follw this…

    Pretty much the same thing in Vista, if you right click the folder, go to Properties. Select Security, choose Advanced. Select the Owner tab, then click Edit.
    You can choose the Owner here an replace entried on subcontainers/child entries.

    you can then delete it.

  233. JorgeF

    If you have a Sata HDD, vista may need the drivers for it to work. Check with the manufacturer of your PC or the motherboard.


    Works like peace of cake!

    Thanx for great intstructions!

    Ive Googled few “how to…” and this one was easiest and best option.


  235. I recently installed Vista but went to XP. My problem is while I used Vista, I have purchased another hard drive. Formated under Vista and saved files using Vista but they are typical movie and music files. When I went to XP, I no longer can access the harddrive. The drive letter is not there and sees that under manage that the hard drive is empty. Any way I can recover the files? Last thing I want to do is format it.

  236. can I install Vista to one patition c:\….I have a new HP pravilion a1700n it came with Vista,new Nvidia 7300…,Vista gave me problems so I f-disk the HD with my Win98 CD,used NSTB or what ever its called(not fat32)installed Vista and now my PC is messed up,some games that used to work dont.I just think Vista sucks,memory hog and I’m sure I will be dipping deeper into my pocket because my PC did’nt come with a Floppy drive nor can you intall one(no wires for it)and I cant replace the HD because the HD has different plugins for the HD.I have a reason why I dont like PC’s anymore,its getting to the point where “THEY”dont want us to repair our own PC’s but have to spend money to have one repaired….Hmmmm….sounds just like our cars of today..come on…400 hundred bucks for a plastic regulator for my air filter(installed)…to pass inspection,the thing weighted 2 oz

  237. my compaq presario came preinstalled with vista and i hate it, i booted with my xp disk and formated the main partition (i previosly formated the other one wile runnin vista)then created a partition, and now none of my onboard drivers are installed and how do i install them when they didnot give me a disk for my motherboard. they only work with vista, is there anyway to change this without reinstalling vista or buying sound cards ect..?

  238. I recently tried to install Vista on one of my disk drives as a second OS and after going through the whole process of transferring files and expanding them it wouldn’t load after that first restart. It just left the screen black, It still responded to certain commands, for example the three finger salute would restart the computer but it never did anything, so I tried to install it again to the same drive and still no luck. Finally I installed it on another partition of the same platter that XP is installed on (two physical drives, the drive partitions). It worked but now I am trying to remove only the two failed installs both from my computer and from my boot manager. How do I do this? I have tried going into CMD and using the nt52 /E: (the drive the two failed are on) /force and it told me that it was successful but it still didn’t remove the entries from the boot manager. Any help would be great, thanks.

  239. I recently installed vista as a upgrade on my laptop, I did not like it, so I tranfered my files to my partitioned space and reformatted the harddrive in dos mode, using to vista cd. I have been trying to reinstall xp, even if I change the setting to boot from the cd it will not, instead I get the message bootmgr missing. It will only but from the vista cd, if I go into dos mode in the middle of the installation , it prevents me from load windows xp?

    please can you help?

  240. Missing: XP Boot Option (last seen on-foot near the river. reward* if found) [*Reward can be of both tangible and intangible properties.] says:

    Help, and thanks in advance for your time.
    Also, if you could email this to me that would be even more helpful.

    Well, i had Xp on a partition on one drive. and then i installed vista on another partition on the same drive.
    then i bought new ram (which needed new mobo) and a harddrive.

    Vista got the blue screen of death while to my surprise Xp still booted up when choosing it via the boot menu.

    Well, after reinstalling Vista, I lost my xp boot option, which makes sense i guess, but I am sorry!!

    I’ve heard to put in Xp cd and choose repair, after booting, but it asks for a password and i dont recall having one. who knows though i share this computer with novice users, perhaps they are good candidates for Reciepents of Blame…

    Anyway, can I get back my xp by another means? Do i have to reinstall everything now?

    and whats the order for a stable dual booting environment.

    Thanks for allowing the public to ask you questions. This is what the internet means to me.

  241. Father bought grandson what I presume is a fake iPOD, I can detect the device on my computer, and find it as drive E:/. I was told that overseas, they use a different format, so I formatted the drive as a FAT32. I was advised that I should use NTSF, but not sure how to do this. Once this is done, I know that iTunes, will not sync with this….Is there a way to get the music downloaded from my harddrive to this external “iPod”????

  242. Hi LZ,

    I have a newly Dell laptop with “preinstalled” Vista Basic. Then I successfully dual booted it with XP pro (as secondary os). But now I decided to remove the primary OS vista (drive C) and want to keep the XP . Could you please let me know the step-by-step procedures for this? I have read a lot of forum regarding uninstallation of Vista but it shows that all this comments were pointing only removing of vista as secondary os from dual boot.

    How about in this case?? Appreciate your help..

  243. Help me!
    I installed Vista Ultimate and my Phillips DVDR1660P1 ATA Device (MY DVD DRIVE) isnt working! Vista gave me no warning of this! All CD’s apear to be blank and DVD’s aren’t read. I need help to revert my computer back to XP Media Centre.
    Any help?

  244. I have a problem, but first I would like to say thank you fro the tutorial.

    I had a little problems with the installation, but when it finished and had the boot menu and chose Vista it would always give me tons of errors during startup. So I went into Disk Director Suite and deleted the partition and added space back to my original C drive. I still have the boot menu because I forgot to type “e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” and now when I do it, with my drive letter, it says it doesnt exist…

    Any way I can fix this?

  245. i went through all that is posted here and discover no solution address my situation. i just bought a hp laptop for a client of mine with vista supplied which i installed but the client could not make use of it because of the technicalities and othe problems. now he wants me to put xp instead of vista and that has been impossible to achieve. could anyone here give me a practiceable solutio as to how i can install xp over this vista. it is urgent and would really appreciate it

  246. initially i had xp on c:drive
    i dual booted with vista 64 bit on g:drive..

    anyhow i got my xp corrupted…
    i tried to repair it but didnt worked out..
    now i reinstalled fresh xp on c:drive without formatting the drive
    (leaving the file system same)

    now when i started up.. boot menu shows two(2) win-xp proff
    out of which the new one works and the second one doesnt…

    and NO OPTION FOR VISTA (which i had earlier installed in g:drive)
    shows up…ANYMORE!!!

    now i hav made up my mind to replace once and for all with my vista ult x64

    i want to replace those 2 XPs( one works and the other doesnt) with
    vista ult x64 in c:drive and

    free up g:drive(which now contains leftover files of vista)

    (& NOT from g:drive for I want to free up g:drive for backing up my game files)


    I DO HAV VISTA BOOTABLE DVD……..thanx……….

    [email protected]

  247. son downloaded vista off internet onto his laptop ,it worked for 10minutes ,he then deleted exe explorer and wants to go back to his xp he had before download !
    but now the laptop turns on and just goes to a black screen and not booting up !HELP

  248. My boss purchased a new computer for me that was supposed to be built with XP as the operating system (which we all still use) but came with VISTA on it instead. So, he then purchased a licensed copy of XP for me and said “take off Vista and replace it with XP.” I am not a computer person at all. How do I do this? I have been told that at some point we will all go to VISTA, but they want me to use XP currently.

  249. Hi,
    I had installed XP and tried to install vista from a setup which was stored on my laptop as an iso image. I didnt knew that after rebooting it will need the setup files again and wont pick it from the hard disk. So when it got rebooted, the installation failed. I tried getting into XP but couldn’t make for long time. Then finally, I got into XP and I just formatted that partition and then merged that as one block. Now there are two issues with my laptop.
    1. There is still dual booting that appears and everytime I restart the laptop it shows 3 seconds wait that too on Vista installation and if I dont change it then it gives me an error that is of course, so how to remove this.

    2. While the system is running, often the system gets stopped and a blue screen occurs saying different errors different times.

    Please let me know what to do.

  250. hi there. can you boot windows xp and windows vista on just ONE hard drive? plz reply asap. thanks guys!

  251. i have vista and dont like it.
    i have a windows xp disk
    could you show me step by step how to install
    windows xp over vista.
    thank you very much, peter engeland

  252. Hi recently installed Microsoft office 2007 on a 60 day trial. Decide to uninstall it after a couple of weeks and now find that I cannot get into word or excel. Get a message saying that the “patch package” could not be opened. Can you help??

  253. Hi i have purchased a notebook laptop and it had windows vista already installed in it. I have a logitech webcam that cannot install because its not up to date with vista. I always have this problem with Vista and i am happy to have XP how do i uninstall it safetly? please get back to me by my email [email protected] asap PLEASE!!!

  254. Hi,i have installed Vista ultimate but I want to remove it.But I put my XP installation CD and it didn’t boot.It goes directly to bootmanager.Please help me!!!

  255. hi,
    i need your help please.
    i tried to get rid of vista by typing this on the run program located on start option. the typed e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force but this error comes up
    d:\boot refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. Check to make sure that the disk is properly inserted, or that you are connected to the Internet or your network, and then try again. If it still cannot be located, the information might have been moved to a different location.
    what do i do?

  256. hii…i have dual boot sysytem…xp n vista….however my xp is stop working now…..aftr dis problem…i tried to format my system through xp cd…..when i tryng to format my system thorugh xp cd….after some minute a message is coming like….system failure… acpi mode somthng like that….wht to do…plzzzz help me outttt

  257. I have two h/d one 20gv with XP on it and one 120gb with vista on it

    I got sick of vista so I formatted the 120gb one and then used Norton ghost to copy my drive over to 120gb one so I could run xp from the larger h/d

    when I restarted it still came up with the option for vista but obv didnt log into it as it wasnt there, when I used ghost it asked if I wanted to use a MBR which I said yes but still nothin, I can still log into xp but I am lost on what to do to get it workin on the 120gb h/d without formatting both and installing xp again

    I dont have the vista disk anymore

  258. I almost ruined my dual boot situation. I have Vista installed on a newer model SATA drive, and XP on a really old IDE hard drive (I had Vista first, intalled XP on an old drive I had laying around). The old hard drive is too slow. The problem I had began when I tried to install XP on a newer IDE hard drive. After the first restart, there was an operating system load error. I took out my new XP drive, put in my old one. Same error, it would not boot from either drive. I then took out the Vista drive and the dual boot screen came on even though the Vista drive was out of the system. I booted in XP, and then shut down. After putting Vista drive back in, I had my successful dual boot back! Now I am really freaked out about trying to install XP on another drive. If I take out the Vista drive before installing XP (and completing installation of course), will the dual boot be preserved? Or will I have to start over on both drives?

  259. My labtop came with Windows Vista. I bought a seperate Windows XP, can you please give me the steps to install the Windows XP.

  260. I want to uninstall vista and install xp.sp2, but it wouldn’t allow me.
    When sp2 reaches where it is supposed to detect hard drives, it tell me there is no hard drive.. I have used the vista cd to format the drive but the same error message comes up…what do i do..Thanks a mill.

  261. I have the same problem as vanido, by d/loading the 32 bit that won’t screw up my PC because the Proccessor is 64bit will it Long.
    I tried doing it in Vista but no luck.
    Cheer’s @gRo

    Hello, I have a 64 bits processor and I downloaded the WinVista 64 bits, when I type the command “g:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force” in my WinXP says that is not a valid application of win32, What can I do? Thanks for the help, and sorry for my bad english.
    Long Zheng Sep 19th, 2006 at 10:53 am

    @Vanido: Try downloading this 32-bit version. Otherwise try running the command from within Vista 64bit.

  262. to remove the remaining “BOOT” folder and “bootmgr” file, change the NTFS permissions on the relevant folder and files.

    to do this make sure to take ownership of the file and folder to the relevant account you will be using.

    if you still can’t delete add your account to the permissions with Full Control privileges.

    that should work. also don’t forget to delete the “$recycle.bin” folder from all partitions.

    hope this helps.

  263. Hi All,

    I have a newly Dell laptop with “preinstalled” Vista Basic. Then I successfully dual booted it with XP pro (as secondary os). But now I decided to remove the primary OS vista (drive C) and want to keep the XP . Could you please let me know the step-by-step procedures for this? I have read a lot of forum regarding uninstallation of Vista but it shows that all this comments were pointing only removing of vista as secondary os from dual boot.

    How about in this case?? Your positive suggestion on this is very much appreciated…Hope I can get answer from all of you guys!! (since LZ is not giving reply here :-(( )

  264. My son installed vista on the computer without making a dual-boot, is it possible to remove the vista, because I am receiving a message telling me to activate the key, and if not the computer will shut down!!!!

    By the way I have a system cd and a recovery cd for the computer (ACER SPHIRE 620), how can I use them to retrieve the XP again.. can you help me please.

  265. A simple naive question:

    1. I want to get to a dual boot, XP Media Center 2005 (current environment) and Vista, preserving as much as possible of my XP environment in Vista.
    2. I want to preserve the XP settings and apps in Vista without having to reload all the device drivers, apps and user settings and docs–that argues for performing a Vista upgrade, but
    3. If I upgrade from XP to Vista I lose XP because the Vista upgrade process doesn’t seem to allow an upgrade to Vista to a new partition, just an upgrade over the top of XP (and customer keeps the old XP but doesn’t “transfer” XP apps, drivers and settings to Vista), so
    4. If I want to preserve the old XP as much as possible so I can still run XP apps that won’t run under Vista (and revert back to XP in case Vista screws up),
    it appears that I should perform an upgrade to Vista (it’ll have to be on the same partition as XP is now–no option), install XP again under a new partition and run steps to dual boot to both, followed by installing whatever apps and device drivers I need for XP to work. Is this right?
    5. Is there anyway to restore XP stuff before the Vista upgrade back to the newly installed XP environment and have it work or will all SIDs and such be completely screwed up?
    6. Is there another way to achieve this?


  266. I have XP SP2 and Vista installed in a dual-boot configuration. Orginally, my XP partition was FAT32 and I used convert.exe to convert it to NTFS. My other partitions were already NTFS.

    convert c: /fs:ntfs

    I did that from Windows XP.

    On restarting the PC I’ve lost the boot menu, and XP loads by default.

    Can I fix the bootloader without having to reinstall Vista? Why do you think the problem occurred at all?

    Appreciate the help.

    P.S. It would be really helpful if you could drop me a mail when you reply. Thanks.

  267. how to install winddows xp on a machine pre loaded with vista . i ahve hard disk partitions made already .

  268. Hi

    When i try to install windows xp, it doesnt work, how can i uninstall windows vista home basic?

    Ive trie lots of thing that people say is ease, its crap!

    PLEASE HELP MEEEE!!!!!!!!!

  269. i bought a gateway laptop model mt3423…last july i had vista 32 bit i didnt like it(vista) so i tried to install xp which i bought from local market but it did not instal saying it cannot install nvdia graphics …now again i install vista i got with my laptop now the problem is the PnP driver is not found and when i swith off the laptop the screen blurs…
    can i install Xp in MT3423 if yes how
    how can i solve the problem of vista
    help me

    email me at:[email protected]

  270. Hi there thanks for the very informative guide.

    I ran the command and it removed the bootloader perfectly and then i tried to format the partition, but i cannot as the Disk Manager says the drive is in use?
    I hav tried in cmd and told it to force it to remove all handles and STILL it says the disk is in use. I hate vista it gets its slimy claws into everything how do i get rid of this sucks (damn that sounds like what u would say to a virus, hey wait vista is a damn virus)… 😛

    Thanks in advance.

  271. Hi there, i had partitioned my hard drive into two and installed XP on one And Vista on the other one. i recently got a black screen on windows Xp Partition and i had to run a windows recovery. so now that the XP is working i lost the option at the boot screen where it lets you choose the operating system. and here is what it shows in the boot file

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    i still have two partitions C: and E:
    i don’t have the vista cd other wise i would have just renitalled it.can some one please help me
    thank you

  272. Hi, i want to uninstall vista. I have removed the boot menu just like you said but when i go to format my drive it says it cant. I’ve tried formatting it in cmdprompt, the my computer window and computer management. They all say its in use,

  273. Hi LZ – been reading through your posting here, and I have a query regarding Vista plus 2x XPs running on my system:

    I have 2 Standard IDE hard-drives (1 at 80Gb, 1 at 200Gb), where I have configured when using XP that D: is a Full XP, F: is a streamlined XP (for audio projects), C: is my XP-apps drive, and G: is where I want to put Vista.
    Additional drives for extra bits & pieces (torrents, etc) are E:, H:, and I:. I have J: & K: as DVD drives. Now I have installed Vista on G: (according to XP), I boot up and get the famous ‘\Windows\system32\winload.exe’ missing error. I’ve tried to ‘Repair the computer’ using the Vista DVD and trying the System Repair(option 1), but to no joy. Also… to throw more spanners in the works… C:/D:/F:/G: are all on the 200Gb hard drive and I have used the correct SiL 0680 PCI U/Ata drivers so that XP / Vista sees the 200Gb drive (will not work off my Asrock P4V88 board, as will only support 137Gb) – I’ve checked the BCDEDIT option, to make sure that the drive is configured correctly – however, XP sees the Vista drive as G:, while Vista see’s it as K: (my j: in XP is seen as F:!), and also changes all the other drive letters (although this might not be a big issue at the moment). Should I do a clean sweep of my system, and have Primary & Logical drives in order (ie on the 80Gb have C:FULL-XP & D:VISTA, while 200Gb have E:STREAMLINE-XP, F:APPS,G:LIBRARY1, & H:LIBRARY2)? Will this help out, as I think it has something to do with the labelling and order of the partitions? Something to ponder over, eh? The bootloader still lets me into both my XPs BTW, so all is still good, and I could re-label the drives in XP (since G: can be ‘blanked-Vista ready’, and i have libraries), I could swap the drive letters to follow correct order?

  274. Hi again LZ – something else I noticed in your ‘uninstall’ method above: When you boot into XP and run the bootsect.exe program from the DVD/mounted image of Vista, all bar the ‘active-XP’ drive are corrected. The way around this is to actually boot from the DVD at startup, ‘repair your computer’, choose ‘command prompt’ and then do the :\boot\bootsect.exe /nb52 ALL /force command – this in turn removed the Vista boot selector, and left me with my original XP boot selector menu prior to installing Vista – just thought I’d let you know – will be trying another reinstall on my 80Gb drive later, to see what happens (to see if Vista can boot from the connection directly from mobo, instead of via PCI IDE card)

  275. Dear I followed your istruction and I can go directly to xp but failed to format the vista drive
    I tried to delet folder old window and window on the drive ans still it was rejected
    can you help

  276. hey i tried following this step:
    Format the partition/drive where you had Vista installed.
    but wenever i do tht it sais it can’t be formatted and tht i should stop all programs using my (D:) where vista is installed…but i also have games installed on the D: drive but i use them on xp if u get wat i mean so do i have to uninstall them as well

  277. Hello

    I got some issues with my dual boot. You see I got XP installed on my c: hard drive. I then dumb as I was installed Vista on my data hard drive were I keep pictures, music etc. Then I desided to remove Vista so that I could remove XP and then formate c: to install Vista instead.
    This is probably not easy to solve without format the disc which I DONT want.
    Some guy told me to boot with the XP in the DVD drive and then when the meny comes up chose repair. I did and it wanted me to chose which windows installation I wanted to log into, I chosed nr:2 disc D: which Vista is installed. It then wanted me to type the password. Since I havnt chosed and password in the Vista installation I just wrote ‘administrator’ which I think is the default. It didnt work. It this would work the guy told me to write ‘fixmbr’ which will make it possible to manually remove Vista when logged into XP.

    I really, really need help with this.
    So if anyone will help me I will be reeeaally thankful!


  278. **********************************************************************
    **************************** IMPORTANT *******************************



    attrib -r -a -s -h
    ren c:\boot\bcd.old
    bootrec /rebuildbcd
    bootrec /fixboot
    bootrec /mbr

    DONE, just reboot now


  279. i have upgraaded xp to vista to play halo 2 but my system doesent have the dtuff needed to play it so i want xp back but when i do the start windows from disk thing b4 windows start it wont work the disk keeps running then stoping and makeing noises but wont work 9i cant install area 51 or freelancer cuzz it does the same thing halo 2 disk works and dvd its just my other games and music cds also when i put the xp disk in when im loged in it does not respond how do i fix this b4 i brake my comp

  280. When successfully uninstalled Vista boot loader you need also to remove c:\Boot folder and c:\bootmgr file. To do this you must go to XP Safe mode and take ownership first. Right click for instance on bootmgr, Security, Advanced, Owner, select Administrator, Ok, Ok and then just check that Administrator has Full rights and delete it.

  281. Amazing..and i tot i need few hours to uninstall vista on a dual took me only 1 minute..

    -insert disc
    -run cmd prompt

    can’t be any simpler than that..thanks long zheng…

  282. Hi, I installed Vista Business 64bit dualbooting with XP Professional SP2. When I try to run the command e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force it just says that it is not a valid Win32 application. Ireally need to get rid of Vista and reclaim my harddisk space as for starters I never liked it and secondly because it has corrupted and will not boot.

  283. Hi, I installed Vista Business 64bit dualbooting with XP Professional SP2. When I try to run the command e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force it just says that it is not a valid Win32 application. I really need to get rid of Vista and reclaim my harddisk space as for starters I never liked it and secondly because it has corrupted and will not boot.

  284. I recently bought a computer that came with windows vista. My computer is cheap and is incredibly slow. I have an older computer that came with XP and have a back up disk for it. My question is how can I uninstall vista and then install XP on my new computer so it doesn’t freeze up every time I try running messenger and explorer at the same time. Any help would be appreciated.

  285. hi,
    my new toshiba came with windows vista installed but i don;t like it because i can’t put any thing onto the laptop. i have windows xp but when i put the disc in the option to install it is not there. i want to remove vista completely but the help box says you can’t do that, could you please explain in laymans terms how to remove it. i’m not computer minded.

  286. Hi,

    heres my problem,

    I have 3 sata hd, 2 of the then are in raid, and had xp on them, the third one, is an older 200gb drive.

    a friend of mine requiered an hd for a while, so i’ve lend him the 3rd drive, he installed vista on it, when he returned it to me, i installed it on my computer, and booted up the machine. I forgot to verify the boot order, and that caused that vista boot loader appeared, when i looked at the screen it was too late, and it was trying to boot to vista, wich crashed at once (im not that surprised), i rebooted and changed the boot order, however now i get the NTDLR is missing message!
    I tried to boot from the vista hd, and selectiong “older version…” but from there i also get an error, a missing file from system32 something…

    now my choice solution is to format the vista partition so it wont bother me again, and to reinstall windows xp, however xp instalation does not recognizes the drive where vista is barricated!

    question – how do i get rid of vista, without any OS working? i do not have a vista dvd, the only thing i can think of is getting one, and use that to get ride of vista, then use the xp disk to install it.

    if there is any other way, like a bootable cd with a smaller program that can reorganize the partitions?

  287. Well…I have a problem also,

    I have XP Pro installed on the large chunk of my first hard drive. I installed Vista Ultimate on a partition of that same drive but I also accidentally installed it on my second hard drive as well. Now when I boot up my computer there are 3 OS options for me to load, 2 Vista Ultimates and 1 XP Pro. How do I get rid of the unwanted Vista Ultimate and will it be easy to tell I am getting rid of the right one? If you could e-mail me it might be easier at [email protected].

    Thanks ahead of time.

  288. my vista not workin now and its asking for a administrator password when i start my computer please help

  289. Hi

    I was running xp pro 32. Installed a new hdd and tried to instll Vista Ultimate 64 bit. I could not run the install from in xp, so i booted from the vista dvd and installed to the new hdd. I want to multi boot xp and vista, but my xp is not showing in vista’s bootloader at all. How can I get this system to see my xp and multiboot


  290. Alright, here we go, i DLed the RC1 .iso, then mounted it, installed it, the works, now, shortly after that i deleted the CD and cleared out everything that had to do with vista (did not know about this) not there is nothing about vista on my system, no partitions on my HD–nothing. yet every time i boot, it asked me if i want vista or “an earlier version” now, when i choose vista it gives me an error and tells me to go back and choose another option. i have tried everything to get rid of this, except partition my HD and reinstall XP which im not willing to do because of all my info that i have saved, please help.

  291. Zach j – Dl the rc1 again, mount the image, then use the command supplied to remove the vista boot loader

  292. I would, but i cannot find a place to DL it since the actual thing has been out so long, MS isnt offering it and i dont think any1 else is.

  293. My Compaq Presario model # C712NR Labtop came with Windows Vista Home Premium. I bought a separate “Windows XP Professional” CD. Can someone please give me the steps to uninstall Vista completely and then install the Windows XP Prof? Your help is immensely appreciated.

  294. hi L Z,
    Please help me, I got Acer 5633 laptop with vista home basic installed(No seperate CD)Hard drive is partitioned into two C and D and I have already backed-up the C on DVDs and I like to switch to XP I got XP CD with me but every time I try install the compatibility prevents the installation. kinldly help me how to install XP and remove Vista. Iam a new user with less knowledge about software.

  295. manny and knowmore
    the easyest way is to simply backup your data, boot from your xp cd, select the partition where vista is, format it and install windows xp there
    zack j – any vista should do the trick, no need to find rc1
    try btmon isohunt mininova….

  296. hey everyone having problems with vista bootleader i got a program for you

    google: vistabootpro 3.3.0′






    you mother could even use it

  297. hey guys, I managed to get both vista and xp running together using the method above.

    I was also silly enough to install them on the same partition.

    vista = c:\windows
    xp = C:\winxp

    I’m now running xp only and want to delete the old vista install but booting to dos etc gives me the access denies error when trying to delete the folder.

    any suggestions?

  298. @matt

    Please check your hard disk for bad sector, because Windows Vista is a
    very much critical bug and also can destroy a new PC that use dual-boot.
    So format all drive that you have tried ever to install Windows Vista and
    XP. My new Samsung 160GB hard drive crashed for Windows Vista.

  299. I dual booted XP and Vista, XP on the original partition which i shrank using Partition Magic and Vista on the new partition, to start with it worked fine giving me the choice of booting to “Vista” or an “Earlier Version of Windows”. This was fine for about 6 or 7 start ups but i never selected to boot to Vista as i had only installed it to have a mess with it when i had time. After about 6 or 7 start ups it stopped giving me the option of booting to Vista or an Earlier Version of Windows and just boots straight to XP, the only way i can get the PC to boot to Vista now is to boot to the Vista DVD and install as a repair, then the same thing happens again. I also installed a second SATA hard drive for a friend and installed Vista on it, XP works fine on SATA 1 with second hard drive installed, Vista works fine on SATA 2 with SATA 1 disconnected but when both hard drives are connected the PC automatically boots to XP without giving the option of booting to Vista. Can you please give me any advice that you can on these problems as i have never had any trouble with doing the same things with XP and 2000, thanks Russ

  300. I got a new computer that had Vista preloaded. I installed XP on a separate partition, but forgot about the Vista install. The computer automatically boots into XP now, and when I go into the boot menu manually via F8 it just offers all the XP options like Safe Mode but not Vista, which leads me to believe it isn’t using the Vista bootloader at all. Safe to just wipe the Vista partition?

  301. @Russ Gittins – on your computer friend, connect both drives, and go to bios, and change the boot order, so it boots from the sata 2 hdd, please note that some bios require that you change the priority hdd order, and only then can a certain hdd be selected on the boot order menu.

    on your own computer the case is trickier, somehow the vista boot menu is being damaged, how i cant tell for sure, you may want to try a bootloader from a third party

    @kujie – by installing xp you’ve deleted the boot loader, thats why you dont have that option, you can just wip that partition

  302. @matt – has far has i can tell is not possible to do from xp, vista locks the files, if it where a file or tow from vista, you could, in vista take ownership of the files and them delete them from hj, i dont think you can delete the whole vista OS from there, there are some programs that say they can do it (ERDCommander according to other forums) or you can boot from a linux os dvd, aparently linux ignores all the permitions from other OS’s.

    i’ve also found this in a another forum:

    Boot from Vista DVD and Click on Repair Option.
    after the scanning pocess select Command Prompt
    Now U have two option
    1) Go to Vista Drive and use these commands
    RD /s Program FIles
    RD /s Documents and Settings
    RD /s Windows

    2) type regedit and open registry editor
    now click on File menu and then click on Load or Export (any choice)
    the open dialog box will be apeared go to the partition and select folder then press Shift+Delete

    not sure it works, since i’ve never tried any of the above (never did that “single partition” thing that you did =P )

  303. thankyou, option 2 did the trick, did’t get rid of all program files as xp uses some of them too, took a few directories out that are vista ones. again thankyou for the help

  304. I need some help; I have two hard discs. There are three partitions and two operative sysetems (Xpsp2 and Vista ultimate) on one of them and on the other there are just some data, but no partitions. What is the problem: when I took the other HD and put it in other computer (with XP SP2) it’s not recognized by XP. I ran partition magic and saw that it is marked as dinamic disc (without of mark e:,f: or other).
    When I put that disc in my computer I can see the other disc in Explorer and I can use it. After short introduction in my problem, I am asking for some solution: what will happen once I uninstall Vista, reinstall XP, erase partition with Vista on it (that is the first disc). Will I be able to see that other disc or all the data will be lost (ofcourse, I will make backup of data before that). Thank you for your time and help!

  305. @didda

    lets see if i get this right!
    you have two hd,
    HD1 has two partions, vista and xp2 installed
    HD2 has one partion, and data

    when booting vista you can acess all the partitions and harddrives

    when booting windows xp sp2 you dont have access to HD2.

    is this it?

    Are both HD IDE? or SATA? or one of each?(or any other option like scsi!)
    Has xp requested any driver?
    On windows xp, press “my computer” with secondary mouse button and go to “manage”. on the “computer management” select “storage”, and then “Disk management”, is HD2 visible here?

    i cant help if i cant understand whats going on there

  306. i’m trying to remove windows vista. when it gives me the option to select Earlier version of windows; it asks for a password. i type in my password and it says its incorrect. how do i get past this

  307. @ Luis F

    Thank you for your quick reply. Please, read carefully the first part. I think we didn’t understand each other very well. HD 1 and HD 2 are SATA. HD 1 has three (not two) partitions Xp-vista-data. HD 2 has only data on it. As I was saying: once I get HD 2 out of my computer and I put it in my friend’s CPU (which doesn’t have Vista, but only XP sp2) I can’t get access to the data that is on HD2. I don’t have any kind of problems once that HD is in my computer. Only when I put HD2 in the other one, the computer doesn’t recognize it. HD2 is visible in Disc management, but it doesn’t have the mark of volume or kind (FAT or NTFS), nor is it visible in explorer. It only says: DISC 2, size 305.242.8 MB. What is interesting is that it is marked as dynamic disc (not as others – Basic disc). Dynamic discs are used only by Vista (or other OS which are in dual-boot like XP with Vista). In the end there’s the question: will I be able to read the data after I erase Vista from HD1, leaving only XP. Or will I must formate HD2 from dynamic into basic, and lose all the data on it. Thank you once again!

  308. @ dida

    Its possible that vista locked down the partition from HD2, if thats the case it should only be vible from a vista OS, and not from any XP, im not sure how that happens, but it has happened to me, and to some other persons i know of.

    now, by uninstalling vista you mean “formating the vista partition” then no, if indeed the partion from HD2 is locked down by vista, you wont be able to access it from xp, you’ll have to creat a new partition and format it for use (you can use the “computer managemente in windows xp”)

    not sure if there’s any other way, or if it’s really worth locking for, u still have vista installed, you can back the data up, then remove vista. It’s the easyest, no brainer, no headaches way!

    @jason ross

    where exactly is a password required?

    are VISTA and XP in the same HD? if they’re not, you can acess xp by selecting his HD in boot menu (usually F8 at startup, before OS loading) bypassing VISTAS’s bootloader. thogh if its XP logon screen that you cant get through, then this wont help, neither will anything i can think of, well, reinstalling windows (frist xp, then vista, by the above instructions) and LEAVE ALL PASSWORDS BLANK will solve you’r problem

  309. @ Luis F

    I was hopping that someone would have a solution, so I wouldn’t have to do the backup of 200 GB of data. I have a long-term experience with computers, but everytime something can surprise you. Microsoft Vista is doing things I never knew of because I didn’t use it.
    Let this be an advice for others, if they want to experiment, that they do it on the computer on which there aren’t any important data. Anyways, thank you for your support and time!
    Salutations form Croatia

  310. @didda

    sorry i couldent help, but thats a good valid advice!
    though keeping data and OS’s “core” files on separated partitions usually does the trick, that way you can format any os, without having to backup most of your data. keep that in mind when you organize your hard drive for that next deep fomarting!
    oh and keep in mind that vista can aply security settings on other partitions other than OS root partition.

  311. I purchased a new Laptop (Compaq) which has VISTA installed already. I want to install Microsoft XP. Is it possible to have both, or can I just remove VISTA.

  312. Lifesaver !!
    I deleted the boot directory of my dual boot XP and Vista while in XP to get rid of Vista and didnt know it was needed for the boot loader. When I had to reboot it would not come up.
    So I booted with my Vista DVD – clicked “Repair computer” – ran the “command prompt” – went to the DVD drive e: and ran
    e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force – and viola – all traces of the Vista bootloader are now gone and XP is new again.
    Thanks a lot – saved me many hours of trying to get my data off or trying to reinstall Vista …

  313. @Maria Testa

    Yes you can have both, however you do have a problem. you have vista already installed, if you had xp installed, you could just follow the guide on top to have both OS’s on your laptop. The reason the guide has for that order (frist install xp, then vista) is – Vista recognizes the presence of xp, xp does not recognise vista’s presence, by installing XP in the same harddrive has VISTA (even in diferente partitions) xp overwrites the bootsector information and “puff”, there goes vista!
    however you may try this

    divide the harddrive in 3 partitions (use a partition manager)
    on partition one keep vista
    on partition two place all data
    on partition three install xp
    (this isnt quite mandotory, but i do recomend it, also, make sure you have full access to all files on partition 2)

    now once you’ve done this, you’ll have xp booting up, whitout vista bootloader, and have no acess to vista, from xp you’ll have acess to the data partition, but cant really do much to vista files.
    in this point, booting from vista os’s dvd, and reparing the OS, SHOULD replace the boot order information, and place vista bootloader, wich recognises windows XP, from here on, you should have the option “boot from: vista, older OS” on bootup

  314. I have HP TX1000 TabletPC, I have Vista already installed I did not get the Vista DVD for my HP, any way I have Windows XP pro and I need to install it next to the vista that already installed… I tried to Google how to dual boot them and nothing worked, I went through the process of shrinking my current Vista Partition and that worked and left it unpartitioned space so when i put my WinXP cd and reboot from it I would get to use the Unpartitioned space..,what happen is when i boot the WinXP it only detect the Vista partition and i can’t install the XP on that partition because it gonna wipe off my Vista Installation and I don’t have Vista DVD to reinstall it next to XP… Well this is my story guys, I’m really in a need for your help cause i have some of my school programs still not compatible with vista and I need to be able to use it…

    Thanks lot in advance…

  315. @ I need help dual booting Vista and XP
    (very unusual (nick)name…=P)

    you cant access that partition cause you’ve made it in vista, and vista aplied security settings preventing other os’s from intereacting with it, the easiest way ot of that is to remove that partion inside vista, you can use the program or the “computer mangement” aplication.
    then when you boot from xp you’ll see unpartitioned space on the harddrive, you’ll be able to use the unpartioned space to creat a new partion in wich you can install xp

    note – by installing windows xp after vista xp will delete vista’s boot menu, so you’ll have to repair vista in order to have a dual boot system
    for that you’ll need a vista dvd, if you dont have one from you’r system you can download one

  316. Help, I just got a new pc with vista. Came with only the tower, mouse and keyboard. Problem is, I installed XP on same partition. I wanted to get rid of XP but can’t find out how. I prefer to use XP but after install, everything worked fine except some hardware issues. Went to add hardware to see what wasn’t working and it was multimedia controllers and few pci things. I noticed my dialup modem wasn’t working either. I don’t want to re-format partition either as I don’t have a disc for vista. But if I can fix the hardware issues with XP then I’d gladly re-format partition. Any help? Thanks…

  317. @ Lasco

    not sure i’ve understood….you want to delete XP or fix it?

    if you want to see what r those things you’re xp doesnt has drivers for you can try a small aplication “Unknown Device Identifier” (google it) it will tell you the manufacter and chips so you can go and find those ilusive drivers

    to delete xp, download a vista DVD, use the repair option, then from vista delet xp directories (you can tell wich ones are from xp by being allowed to delete then, unlike the system files from vista)

  318. my laptop has integerated repair disk with vista, so when i installed XP over vista the laptop booted in XP giving no option for vista, i tried sevral tweaking in boot.ini but vista didn’t start. finally i gave up and repaired vista from the available drive. the laptop repaired vista but boot for xp was lost. what should i do now to get back xp.

  319. @ GD
    im guessing you have them both in the same partition? on diferent partitions vista should have recognized xp after the repair option, on the same one they just delete each other boot info, not much help here, but i cant remember anything you can do

  320. I have deleted the Boot.BAK & Bootsect.BAK before running the command which you have mentioned, so I can’t get rid of the formatted vista as its boot screen still exist. Please tell me the solution

  321. I was wondering how i can get rid of this old instal of vista beta. I installed it from a downloaded file i dont believe i ever had a CD/DVD that contained the vist install. How can i get rid of the dual boot? I installed the vista beta on a second HDD i had so my E: drive is the install of vista. Im not so much worried about getting the beta uninstalle das i can always just re- format theat drive but i do want my XP install to perform normally without the option to boot to that second HDD.
    When i type: e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force It dosnt find anything as i dont have a dvd or exe or iso or anything of the sort.

  322. I was wondering how i can get rid of this old install of vista beta. I installed it from a downloaded file i dont believe i ever had a CD/DVD that contained the vista install. How can i get rid of the dual boot? I installed the vista beta on a second HDD i had so my E: drive is the install of vista. Im not so much worried about getting the beta uninstalled as i can always just re- format that drive but i do want my XP install to perform normally without the option to boot to that second HDD.
    When i type: e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force It dosnt find anything as i dont have a dvd or exe or iso or anything of the sort.

  323. How to dual boot XP if you have the XP installation cd with Vista already been installed and you don’t have Vista installation DVD…

  324. My computer has only one partition. But, I installed the vista ultimate in the same partition with XP for dual boot. When I run computer, I get only Vista and I could not choose XP. It appeared only Vista. So, how can I enter to window XP? And I want to remove Vista. How can I remove?

  325. I have brought a new laptop compaq presario v6608AU with vista preloaded & have vista restore partition as drive D. I have tried to load win xp by making more partition by vista shink volume feature. Now I am not getting the drivers for win xp & also not able to restore my pc with vista partition as it says partion not found. Forst I ahve changed the drive letter of restore partition from D to E & even of I have changed the drive letter to D again can not restore.

    Please help if you can tell me how to restore vista & to get xp driver. Thanks

  326. Hi there.
    i have vista installed and i wish to install XP with it.What would you recommend?I have a 160gb hdd without any partitions, only one drive. Is a seperate partition required to install the other OS? What should i do?

  327. just installed xp on a vista to dual boot but the wireless internet connection is not functioning in the xp partition. PLEASE HELP!

  328. Hi, I installed it with no problems. I was looking for a guide that can explain this installation, and this one was the best I found…

    Thank you very much.

    Alfredo, from Peru

  329. I have a new computer with vista home premium on the hard drive. I took the hard drive out of my old computer and it has vista home basic on it. I want to install the 2nd hard drive also and have never done anything like this before. I don’t know if it would be best to partition the drive(s) or run it as a dual-boot system…I have never opened up a computer before so is this something I can do on my own or would I have to call a professional? I know I sound very naive…but when it comes to this I am! Any help on what to do and how to do it would be VERY much appreciated!!

  330. I have a My Book Wester Digital 1TB external HD. I want to install vista on it. Via toshiba satellite laptop. The hard drive has firewire, usb, and Esata. I have a card which use’s Esata and it installs somewhat. when it restarts it wont load off of the haddrive, and i don’t understand why… It loads the vista animation screen then i get the blue screen of death and computer restarts. and i tried repair and it dose not find anything.

    any help will be helpful thank you.

    (sorry if it confuses you)

  331. Have a bit different scenario here. Had xp and vista in C and H respectively. Recently installed fedora on top of that.

    My question is, if I remove vista in the aforesaid manner am I going to absolutely refresh my boot sector? Or the grub loader will work fine as it is working now and the choice between xp and vista is going to be removed? Please Help.

    Thanks in advance.

  332. I’ve got a question. I want to remove Vista from my Mac. I used Boot Camp to partition the hard drive for Vista. I do not want Vista anymore and want to remove it. How do I follow your steps given above if my second partition is not XP, but rather Leopard?

  333. Thank you for the above information in regards to removing vista from my second hdd. I had a funny feeling I would have to format. As for removing the bootloader, I downloaded a small program called EasyBCD from the NEOSmart Technologies website. Once installed, you can then change the naming of the bootloader, adding and removing entries and it has an option where you can quickly change o/s’s by a click of a button. The main feature is if you want to revert back to XP. Time to do some formatting. Cheers 🙂

  334. hi,
    i used vista Home basic. however even with 1 gb ram, the blue screen appears… ( i use it for programs such as CAD, Photoshop edits, And 3DsMax). i installed ubuntu. then installed win2k. however before installing win2k, i formatted the ubuntu partition. and installed win2k. this however caused vista to not function. and win2k became the only OS. i then installed vista again on another partition… this caused the boot loader to appear and now shows 2 Vista OS’s. i dont know how to remove it. its the same version, installed from the same DVD.

    Do you have any idea what to do (Without formatting the entire HD)

  335. Do a search on Google for EasyBCD from the NeoSmart website and you should be able to change the bootloader from the Vista environment without formatting.

    A small download and it is quite safe to use.

    Cheers. 🙂

  336. hiiiiiii……….
    i have one laptop in which vista original packag……..but now i want to install winxp in that system instead of vista….i mean dual boot…….

  337. here’s my case

    Acer Aspire 4520
    Windows XP Pro

    The HD was already in 2 partitions. After a few months, Microsoft said that it did not recognise the serial key. Basically i got cheated by the seller. So i got a new Windows XP Pro SP2 and did a clean install.

    However, I accidentally installed it in D Drive. The actual Windows XP Pro that came with the laptop was installed in C drive. So now, in the boot menu, i have 2 choices of the same version of OS (Windows XP Pro).

    So how do I get rid of the old Windows XP, I just need one?


  338. please could you tell me when i open my highgrade vista laptop message says boot ngr is missing please could you solve the problem please

  339. My computer is running extremely slow (Hasn’t always been the case). Need Help!!!

    Computer: Toshiba A75-206 Laptop

    OS: Windows XP Home Edition

    Problem: I installed Vista and didn’t like it (plus my computer wasn’t compatiable), so I uninstalled it. I Reinstalled XP from CD and SP 2. However, I believe I used the wrong Service Pack. I downloaded Service Pack 2 for IT professionals (which was really large). It was the only one I could get to download at the time. Now my computer is running like a snail in a marathon.

    Question: How can I determined which Service Pack is actually on my computer? Can I completely uninstalled Service Pack 2 (and ALL component) and install the correct version? Finally, How can I check to make sure all components of Vista were removed from my hard drive?

    Thanks in advance.

  340. I found my answer to how to remove vista on a dual boot system on your site it worked . thank you I feel sorry for people who buy new computers with vista on them.

  341. Hi
    I have a PC with ConRoe 1333-D667 M/B , Intel Core2 Duo and 2 Gb of ram.
    It has Vista 32 HomeBasic but today I tryed to install XP in a new partition.
    After the XP installation rebboted the system I couldn’t anymore get past the POST screen at start!!
    The loading stops there and doesn’t even get in the BIOS.
    Anyone out there can help me out? i am desperate.
    I have tryed to remove and place back the battery on the motherboard but after that it does the same and now i don’t have even the “Press F2 to enter BIOS” option.
    please,please helpme out if u can

  342. Hello,

    How to remove vista on second harddrive without formatting the whole drive.
    I just can’t, because there is to many files on it i need.
    Also in xp safe mode i cannot get the administrator rights.
    please help, thanks in advance.

  343. Hi Long, You have a great source of info here. My setup is a litle different again (how many times have you heard that). I have a PC with windows Xp Pro on it, installed on “C:”. I bought a second drive and installed it “D:” On this second drive I installed Vista Ultimate with dual boot capability. I am now familiar with Vista and wish to remove the dual boot capability and remove the old C: So I can use the old drive as a backup drive in another machine.
    I removed the old C: which by the way is now D: as it was renamed during the vista install. This caused my machine is fail to boot. Using the Vista DVD I asked windows to fix startup errors but this did not work. It told me I didn’t have a bootable drive.
    Do you have a suggestion or solution I might try. Thank you in advance. Regards Gavin

  344. Greetings. I have a unique setup that I would like to add Vista to. I am running XP on 2 partitions on a secondary hard drive. I boot with the primary drive (C) which has a Win98 partition (for legacy software). I would like to replace it with a Vista drive (primary) such that there would be a boot menu with the 2 partitions on the secondary drive for the 2 XP partitions I have on it. I’ve tried installing Vista on the new C drive, but it doesn’t recognize the secondary drive as having any Windows OSs on it. Does the multiboot feature only work within one drive?
    Any help would be appreciated.

  345. Hi Zang,
    I installed vista on my laptop, and i want to remove it and go back to my old OS windows xp. I have both operating systems in two different partitions. Help me remove vista from my laptop. Your help would be appreciated.
    Thank you,

  346. Hi Long Zheng,
    I am sorry for miss-spelling your name. do i have to copy the whole matter i have on my laptop into an extra hard drive to prevent loss of my info….i dont want to lose any.
    thank you.

  347. had XP earlier ..installed this on other HDD….but now not getting option to run XP ….

    CAN RUN ONLY VISTA>.(runs automatically)

    WHAT TO DO…plz help….

    i have heard dere is some vista loader thing to do or wht…

    plz tell how to get the option list at the time of boot….to chose

    XP or vista…plz HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  348. i have installed vista and xp on my i can use only vista.i want to have both.plz tell me what to do?

  349. My pC name PHILIPS FREEVENTS LRPC7500
    I have installed XP home edition in a pc which came up with vista home premium.
    by making a new partition by DIskmanagement, XP is installed in D drive which is a new partition

    the problem is Now I don’t get dual boot options at the startup

    I didn’t get Vista DVD when I bought my computer I only had a sticker which had the product key and model number.

    I can access my vista files by going through my computer, but now I want to get rid of xp, can somebody help?

  350. ok guys my problem is that when i do the 3rd step that is the boot section and it gives me the error that it is not a valid install

    shld i log in to vista to remove?

    or wat to do that it recognises?

  351. Hi. I’ve got three PCs and one has Vista Ultimate on it. I really don’t want Vista as it just doesn’t work. A lot of my anti-virus features don’t work because of it. The major problem is Office 2007. I still have one more PC to put it on and that will make it installed on 3 PCs. Can I remove the OS and still have my programs without any messups (and remove dual-boot) on the D drive? I’ve installed some applications and a game in the C drive (Windows XP) and they run fine using Vista on the D drive.

    So basically, I would like Vista off, but not the programs that I installed with it.

    Thanks a lot.

    Andrew Taylor

  352. I had windows Vista Ultimate installed on a partition E with a size of 135GB, and two other partition having C windows 98 and d having windows XP SP3, there are lot of data in partiton E . I have removed Windows Vista boot loader and re-install Windows XP on partiton C & D merging both.
    and now the part E is Part D
    My problem is I am Unable to remove Windows and Programe Files Folder of WIndows Vista from Windows XP

    Please help?

  353. I believe Vista locks the Program Files and Windows folders when they are installed to keep them from being corrupted. By merging the E partition with your D partition you kept the Vista files that you cannot now remove, at least not normally. You will have to reformat the partition to get rid of those locked files. Maybe someone else has a better solution. Maybe, unless you want to do some extreme data management to get it where you can reformat the D partition without losing it, you should just live with Vista files.

  354. i formatted the drive in which i had vista.. now of course it shows vista in the boot menu.. how do i complete my uninstall process n get rid of vista option in the boot menu?

  355. Run a GOOD backup program to save all your data. After all, data is usable by new program installs. I recommend Acronis with options as to the files you want to save.
    Reformat your harddrive and start over from scratch. When you get all the original programs installed you can recover the data from the backup after reinstalling Acronis. You may have to do it file by file, but that ‘s all I can recommend.

  356. Hello Zheng
    I installed Vista on a pc which already had Windows XP.
    The Selection Screen also appeared.
    But after some time, there were boot problems, viz.:-
    HDD was not being detected, etc.

    Hence, I booted my pc with the Vista CD in my CD-ROM drive, and selected the REPAIR ‘Boot’ OPTION.
    After that vista started alright, but there was no boot screen at all.

    I used ‘Easy BCD’ to ADD the Windows XP for dual-booting. But this software said that ‘NTDETECT’, ‘ntldr’ and ‘boot.ini’ files were missing.
    Probably, Vista Repair Tool did that.
    So, I copied these files to my ‘C:’ drive and again used Easy BCD for adding XP. Now the selection screen does appear with options for loading either Vista or XP.
    However, when I select vista, it boots smoothly; but if I select XP, nothing happens–except a blue screen. Possibly, some other files have also been removed by the Vista Repair Tool.

    KINDLY ADVISE, asap.
    Thanks & Regards

  357. Hi –used this to remove vista on xp vista set up. vista added to xp install. e:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force
    is it possible to undo the vista boot removal. All that was done was the above comand

  358. I replaced an older computer with a new one running Vista SP1. I took the hard drive out of the old one and installed it in the new. I was lucky and the old HDD is working fine in the primary 1 slot (with the new HDD in primary zero slot), and I lost no data.

    I noticed that you mentioned using a second drive instead of partitioning – do I understand this correctly? Could I then load my old xp home SP2 on this second drive and then formulate the boot options?

    Thank you

  359. hi….i have installed vista while already having vista in my laptop (i wanted to overlap the OS, but instead i have a dual boot with two vistas) now i tried to delete the files manually and screwed up the old vista…how do i remove the previous vista and format the drive having previous vista….(i tried formatiing the drive itself but it is unable to format )

    please help

  360. ok my computer has 3 hard drives 130G 139G an a 66G w/4G RAM ok…so i have windoes vista home but i want to have ultimate…and i want to keep home…can i install it on my other hard drive with 139G? if so how…i dont want to mess with any of my windows files or anything like that i want it to install quick and painless…simple you could say…email me with info at [email protected] or answer me here…

  361. Pingback: Undo dual boot
  362. I’ve got Linux and XPx64 running dual boots.

    I’m trying to install a program called EasyBCD, which requires the Vista boot files.

    Can I simply use the Boot folder inside the Vista install CD? Or do I have to install Vista?

  363. Hi, I have Acer 4520 AMD ,I have just installed vista every thing is fine except their are some problem with video driver,as whenever I tried to watch movie on it after some time screen go black and my computer restart ……please help

  364. Thanks so much for this help. When I searched for this information I got some of the most complex, convoluted instructions that were even complicated for an IT person like myself. This was clear, concise, simple and worked 100% in a flash! Thanks!

  365. Hi,
    I had XP and vista on my pc then i removed vista from my D drive becoz it was taking a long time to start the pc and i had to hardboot it always.But still it is taking a long time to start the pc have i done anything wrong plz suggest me something.


  366. Hi. I have Vista first installed(OEM). Naw I have dual boot Vista and Windows 7. I want to remove Vista. Can I get problems with your solution? Tnx.

  367. Hi, I have xp pro installed on my pc. I am wanting to install vista home premium. I put the disk in and I get an error message that says DLL D:\sources\wdscore.dll is not a valid windows image….then I click ok on the error window which brings up another error window that says autorun.dll could not be loaded or is corrupt. error code [0xc1]. please help me to get past this so that I can install vista once again. I have also tried to boot install vista I entered the product key and it all goes good until it says extracting files and then it won’t go any further. Any help would be greatful

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  369. is there no way you can hust uninstall vista from the second dual boot without having to go the long winded way. I have vista installed as a dual boot as my USB capture was not supported by Win 7, no it is, but i have other stuff also on the boot where vista sits, like my sql database folders etc.

  370. hi my problem is yesterday i installed xp sp3 professional in c: but after that my previously installed windows server 2003 x64 not booting before i was having xp sp2 installed in c drive and after windows server 2003 x64 in f: but now when i fresh installed xp sp3 profe in c:
    server 2003 x64 is not loading at boot

  371. Hi admin,
    As a technical assistant of a company, this week I have to reinstall Windows XP3 for all computers 3 offices with just 2 days. I intend to use a Ghost file in order to save time. Can you give me some advices ?


  372. i had installed 2xp in separate drive to make my system dual is on C and another is on d.but right now i dont need to have dual when i am trying to delete the partition d from the xp installed in c, it says windows can not foramt this partition. can any one plz help me by telling how to format that partition and free up 6 gb in that drive???????

  373. Hey, i tried to run ubuntu, a linux distribution, and it would do the reboot loop. So, to try and fix this problem i am going to dual boot with ubuntu and vista and see if it would run in that fashion. If this were to work would i be able to uninstall vista without the vista disk? Also, how would i be able to download the SATA drivers for HP Pavillion DV9000 series as a re-assurance?

  374. I was very happy to discover this site. I wanted to thank you
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