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Published on 08.17.07 by Brent Trahan

How to Dual Boot Windows Vista

Learn how to dual boot Windows Vista with Windows XP or any previous version of Windows.


Many people want to use Windows Vista but they still need Windows XP because software or devices don’t work in Windows Vista yet.

This guide shows you how to dual boot your computer with Windows Vista and any previous version of Windows. This enables you to install and run multiple versions of Windows on the same computer.


Before you go any further with this guide, here are a few things that are assumed to be done on your computer:

  • You must have a copy of the Windows Vista DVD.
  • A previous version of Windows has already been installed.
  • Your computer must have an empty partition or hard drive that doesn’t have an OS installed on it that is at least 40GB.

Dual Boot Windows Vista

  1. Place the Windows Vista DVD in your computer’s DVD drive and restart the computer.
  2. Press any key on your keyboard to boot up using the Windows Vista DVD.


    Hint: Some computers might make you press F9 or another function key and select the DVD drive from a list as the drive to boot from instead of automatically detecting the bootable DVD.

  3. Select your language and then press Next.


  4. Click Install Now.


  5. Enter your Product Key and then press Next.


    Hint: Don’t have a product key? No problem. This guide shows you how to install any version of Windows Vista on your computer legally without a product key and use it for up to 120 days.

  6. Accept the license agreement by checking off I accept the license terms and then click Next.


  7. Since you’re dual booting Windows Vista you can’t perform an upgrade. Select Custom Install.


  8. Here’s the important step. Select the hard drive or partition you want to install Windows Vista on. You can’t install Windows Vista on the same partition as any previous version of Windows if you want to dual boot.


    Once you’ve selected what partition or hard drive to install Windows Vista on click Next.

  9. Windows Vista will begin the installation.


Since this is a clean install of Windows Vista from now on you can follow the rest of the steps on installing Windows Vista on my clean install guide.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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