some risky operations so it’s important
that you have some sort of back up
strategy in place before you start.
As a minimum, back up your
important documents to a Flash drive.
Obstacle 1: Installing XP
Before we get started, there are a
few basic tasks you will need to perform:
• Partition Utility — This utility is
needed to mark your Vista boot
partition hidden and inactive.
This is crucial to the successful
installation of XP as a second
partition over Vista. The Spotmau
Powersuite 2008 software can
also be used to back up your
www.spotmau.com for pricing.
• Microsoft XP with SP2 — You
will need a legal, bootable
copy of Microsoft XP with SP2.
If you have a copy of XP but
no SP2, all is not lost. There
is a program called nLite,
however, which makes it easy
to add SP2 or other drivers to
your XP install. You will still
need a legal copy of Microsoft
XP and a SP2 disk, though. The
program can be found at
• Vista Boot Pro — Vista Boot Pro
is a Vista boot manager. It
makes it simple to edit or add
new boot entries to Vista. This
program can be found at
In addition to the above programs,
you need to test your XP boot CD/DVD
to make sure your drive controller is
supported by the XP installer. Some Intel-based SATA drivers are not supported.
In particular, the HP dv9000t laptops will
not support the base XP installer. You
can do a test by booting from the XP
install CD; if you make it to the partition
screen, you’re okay. If you get a screen
that tells you there are no drives present,
you will have to make some changes to
your XP install.
If you do need to make changes,
take a look at the nLite program I
mentioned earlier. I was able to create
■ FIGURE 1
■ FIGURE 2
■ FIGURE 3
an XP boot installer that combined my
XP, SP2, and SATA drivers in order to
install XP on my HP dv9000t laptop.
Okay, you have all the prerequisites
and are ready to start the install. At this
point, I will only warn you one last time
...BACK UP! BACK UP! BACK UP! With
that said, let’s get started.
Step 1: Reclaim Disk Space
In order to install XP, we need to
make some room for it. In my case,
I used the included disks and started
from scratch. When you get a new PC,
it has what is referred to as bloatware.
Bloatware consists mostly of
introductory or demo software. Some
systems will include as much as 20 GB
of this stuff. If you are starting from a
fresh install, you will need to go through
each of the applications and decide
what you want to discard. Once
decided, use the “Programs and
Features” in the control panel to
remove the applications you don’t
want. A good place to start is to
remove expired trial software.
The next step is to clean the main
drive. In most cases, this will be the C
drive. From the start menu, choose the
Tools/Disk Cleanup option to begin this
operation. Make sure you select “Files
from all users on this computer” and click
Continue on any security prompts, then
select the drive you want to clean. After
the computer scans the drive, you will be
prompted for a list of selections. Here, I
made sure I added the hibernation files.
This almost always removes 1-2
gigabytes. Note that it will also remove
the hibernate option from Vista. I will
show you how to get it back later.
Step 2: Resize Vista Partition
Open up the Disk manager
located at “Control Panel-Administrative Tools-Computer
Management.” You will see something
that looks similar to Figure 1. I have
removed some of the side panels to
make the form easier to follow.
Our goal here is to free up enough
space so that we have room to install a
copy of XP. You have already removed
some of the unwanted applications
and cleaned the disk. This should have
freed up some space so we can resize
the partition. Vista has a resize feature