Dual-booting all versions of Windows and Linux
Install Dual-Boot of Windows Vista + Win2k (2000) on Windows Vista computer (Vista installed first)
Last reviewed: June 2011
This guide shows how to correctly and safely create a natural dual-boot of Windows Vista and Windows 2000 (2K) on a computer with Windows Vista already installed. You can then run either of those two Windows by selecting one from a Windows menu during bootup. No data loss will occur and a third-party boot utility is not used.
In this procedure you need to shrink the Windows Vista drive to make room for Windows 2K unless you install 2K on a second hard disk. Using a second disk simplifies the procedure but it's not necessary. The example shown here uses a single hard disk.
32 and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista were used in testing. The operating system added was Windows 2000 Professional SP4. The computers used were (1) a 32-bit Dell Optiplex with Pentium 4 (2.26GHz), 2.0 GB RAM, 160 GB ATA hard disk, and (2) AMD Athlon 64-bit (2.4GHz), 2.0 GB RAM, 1 TB SATA hard disk.
Following these instructions correctly should always succeed. However, any change to your computer should not even be considered unless your have a rescue plan. This guide also contains that rescue plan - just in case!
This procedure is suitable for experienced computer users.
Important Installation Notes
Full Installation CD/DVDs. The Windows you are adding cannot be installed from Recovery or Repair CDs or DVDs provided by some OEMs. You need the full installation or setup version to install a Windows.
EasyBCD. The highly-acclaimed EasyBCD is a free editing utility that allows any user to easily edit the Windows 8, 7 or Vista boot menu (the BCD or Boot Configuration Data). Some settings, not used here, are very advanced. EasyBCD works in Windows 8, 7 and Vista, but also in Windows XP if you first install Microsoft's .NET 2.0 Framework.
Hidden Active Partition. Many Vista users will have a small Primary disk partition(s) that's marked active and is hidden (but is visible under Disk Management in Vista). This must be counted if you want to create a new Primary.
127 GB Partition Limitation in Windows 2K. Windows 2K setup files must be installed on the hard disk within 127 GB from the start of the disk. This physical limitation cannot be avoided. To play safe, all of the 2K partition should be within 127 GB from the start of the disk.
Shrinking a Windows 8, 7 or Vista drive. You should use Shrink in Windows' Disk Management to resize the Windows partition. You can read Shrink the Windows 8. 7 or Vista Partition for instructions on completing this task successfully. Use the free GParted Live CD to gain disk space only if you must - read the page Use GParted to Resize the Windows 8, 7 or Vista Partition to learn how.
Formatting. All partitions should be created before you start installing any operating system (OS). The partition should be Formatted when installing that OS to ensure compatible file system versions. Avoid formatting Windows partitions with GParted or any other third-party partitioning utility.
Details: Install Windows 2000 when Windows Vista is installed first
Installing other operating systems on your Vista computer may invalidate your warrantee.
It's important to follow the instructions exactly as stated and you should start with a properly working Windows.
Make your preparations
Make free space and create new partitions
This part is best completed BEFORE you start installing any other operating system.
The single 160 GB disk usually used in testing initially had: System Reserved (100 MB, Primary, Hidden, NTFS), Vista (150 GB, Primary, NTFS). The Vista drive was shrunk leaving about 30 GB Unallocated space at the end of the disk (to the right). After repartitioning it had: System Reserved (100 MB, Primary, Hidden, NTFS), Vista (110 GB, Primary, NTFS), 2K (5 GB, Primary, NTFS), Data (35 GB, Logical, NTFS).
Always note the size of each partition and also label each (this guide uses vsta and w_2K).
Next Install Windows 2000 in this Windows Vista Dual-Boot
The link below shows how to install Windows 2K in this dual-boot and how to use EasyBCD 2.1 with it.
The Windows Vista boot menu will then boot Windows Vista or Windows 2000 when selected.
Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.
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