How can I make windows play nice with itself?
November 25, 2008 9:44 AM   Subscribe

How can I dual boot XP and Vista on my Vaio when all I have is the factory recovery Vista disc and a "XP downgrade" disc?

I want to dual boot XP and Vista on my Vaio laptop. I have the following:

- the Vista recovery discs that I made when I first got the laptop
- An XP "downgrade" disc that I got from Sony

The problem is that both sets of discs go through the Sony recovery console before actually installing the operating system, restoring the system to the factory default setting. There's no chance to stop the process once it gets going, and there's no partitioning options to speak of. Both discs format the entire drive and install the system in one big partition.

I don't own another legit copy of either operating system, and the laptop has enough quirky drivers that it's not really practical to install anythign other than the factory system anyway. Is there any way for me to dual boot both systems?

I know my way around computers and can use tools like nlite, vlite, grub, whatever is needed. Im just not sure where to start.
posted by T.D. Strange to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would skip dual-boot and use a virtualization solution if at all possible as it's much, much more convenient. Virtual PC 2007 is free from Microsoft (I think). You might be able to install your recovery CD into that or use a standards windows CD and the XP key.
posted by GuyZero at 10:15 AM on November 25, 2008


No. They both use the same key and you will fail activation. You only have one license for one OS.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:19 AM on November 25, 2008


Seconding downloading MS Virtual PC 2007 (it is free). Keep Vista as your host OS and make an XP machine (or two or three) for virtual. Dual booting is really not needed in most instances unless you want to play games that take full advantage of any upgraded sound or graphics your Vaio has.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:26 PM on November 25, 2008


No. Virtualization won't work as the virtual hardware won't match what the OEM discs are expecting. It's probably cheapest & easiest to buy a new copy of XP pro with no OEM hooks attached.
posted by chairface at 3:41 PM on November 25, 2008


No. Virtualization won't work as the virtual hardware won't match what the OEM discs are expecting

Maybe, maybe not. I *just* made several XP VMs on my new Dell laptop running factory installed Vista. Guess what I used to install XP? That's right, the "downgrade" Dell branded OEM XP media. Worked with no issues.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:44 PM on November 25, 2008


I wonder if doing an XP install, then using one of the real pc -> image solutions might work.
1.) Install XP use VMWare converter to make a virtual machine
2.) Store that on another disk or partition (probably disk if the recovery disks reset everything)
3.) Recovery disk to Vista, etc etc
4.) Profit?
posted by syntheticfaith at 5:16 AM on November 26, 2008


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