Question about Dual Booting \ Multiple OS choices in WinXP Pro 64x

Discussion in 'Windows 64 Bit' started by DavienC, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. DavienC

    DavienC Guest

    Is it possible to install Windows XP Professional 64x and Windows XP
    Professional 32bit on the same machine (perhaps by using 2 HDs instead of
    one) in order to be able to select between the 2 operating Systems at Start
    Up like you currently can with pretty much any version of Windows ?

    I hope it is, I would like to be able to keep my 32-bit system for all of my
    older applications, get a few more drives and use Windows 64-bit for
    Recording Studio Applications alone such as Sonar 5 Producer Edition which
    supports 64x and other Audio tools that will benefit from the increased power.

    I am currently debating wether or not to install the trial because of this,
    I'm not sure if I really feel like making an Image of my current system
    incase I decide 64x isn't for me or for when my trial is up and I don't have
    money to purchase it just yet.

    Hopefully somone may answer. Thanks !
    DavienC, Oct 28, 2005
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  2. DavienC

    John Barnes Guest

    Almost everyone here does it. Yes, you can dual boot.
    John Barnes, Oct 28, 2005
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  3. If your hardware can support it, go for it. I've been dual booting for the
    past coupla weeks, and the biggest surprise has been how well 64 bit works.
    I installed the trial with the intention of testing it here and there, but
    now I work 90% of the time in it; only use 32 bit when I need to print to
    our color copier. I think you'll find that you'll be able to do much more in
    64 bit than you imagine, and it runs very well.
    Dennis Gordon, Oct 28, 2005
  4. DavienC

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Davien.

    Sure. As the others said, many of us have been dual-booting the two
    versions of WinXP since x64 first became available.

    And you sure don't need 2 HDs. What you need in any Windows dual-boot
    system is multiple VOLUMES. We often say "drives" or "partitions", but
    those terms are not quite correct. A volume can be a primary partition or
    it can be a logical drive in an extended partition - on any HD in your
    computer. Windows doesn't care how many HDs or how many volumes you have,
    so long as you put each Windows installation into a separate volume.

    Just remember the Golden Rule of dual-booting: always install the newest
    version of Windows LAST. Each version of WinNT4/2K/XP/2K3 includes the 3
    "system files" NTLDR, and Boot.ini, but each version of those
    NT* files is bigger than the one before. That's because each one knows how
    to handle earlier versions of Windows, but can't know about whatever
    versions may come later. Those 3 system files must always go into the
    Active (bootable) primary partition on the HD designated in the BIOS as the
    current boot device. This partition (typically C:, but not always) becomes
    the "System Partition". Each reboot starts in this partition with these
    three files, then branches to whichever volume holds the \Windows folder for
    the Windows version you choose from the opening menu. So, even if you
    decide to install WinXP x64 into E:, for example, the boot will start in C:
    and then branch to E:\Windows to load WinXP x64. If you later decide not to
    keep x64, just reformat E: - or delete E:\Windows - and also delete from
    C:\boot.ini the line under [operating systems] that points to that option.

    It sounds like you've been dual-booting other Windows versions, so you
    probably already know all this, but...just in case. ;<)

    R. C. White, Oct 28, 2005
  5. Not all of us, John. ;) (well, OK, I do still have a 32-bit partition on
    this machine, but I don't use it and it's only there now for Vista upgrade
    scenario testing. )

    I've reached the point where there really isn't much of anything I can't do
    in x64 except for disk imaging. Sadly, we're at least a version away from an
    x64 solution there.
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 28, 2005
  6. DavienC

    John Barnes Guest

    I'm up to about 90% myself. Is the 9.0 version of Acronis 64-bit
    compatible? Looks like they added some of the later Drive Image abilities,
    like individual file recovery, which is what I use most often.
    John Barnes, Oct 28, 2005
  7. no, we're told it will be v10 before they have 64bit. I'm still on v8, since
    there wasn't anything compelling for me in v9.
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 28, 2005
  8. Ah, that may not be entirely correct - you say: "Windows doesn't care how
    many HDs or how many volumes. . .", but Windows will not support more than
    four primary partitions - and the BIOS won't boot more than the same four
    partitions, if I'm not mistaken.

    Linux - on the other hand - do not care, but is still limited by the BIOS in
    this respect.

    Regards, Tony. . .

    Tony Sperling, Oct 28, 2005
  9. DavienC

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Tony.
    That's 4 ON EACH HD. So a computer with 4 HDs could have up to 16 primary
    partitions, and Windows could use them all. Or one partition on each HD
    could be an extended partition holding multiple logical drives, each of
    which would be assigned a "drive" letter. Except for the single System
    Partition, each installation of Windows doesn't care whether it is using a
    primary partition or a logical drive, and it doesn't care whether that
    volume is on the first HD or the third.
    No need to change the boot device in the BIOS if you are using the native
    dual-boot system built into all the NT-based Windows versions
    (WinNT4/2K/2K3/XP...). They will all use the same System Partition
    (typically C:).

    I know nothing of Linux and very little about third-party boot managers.

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP

    R. C. White, Oct 29, 2005
  10. I am not dual booting with XP x86 either. I chose to just keep the old P4
    box and work "side-by-side". I am, however, multibooting with other x64
    operating systems such as Vista x64 (three builds).
    Colin Barnhorst, Oct 29, 2005
  11. I've still got the old 32-bit box around. But it's a virtual machine server
    only now. :)

    As for Vista -- I've loaded several times, and each time decided it just
    wasn't solid enough, yet. I'm expecting to move full time to it in Beta2.
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 30, 2005
  12. I will wait for the RC. Or I may even wait until rtm and step up to new
    hardware at the same time. The movement into 64-bits will see a lot of
    interesting new hardware by this time next year, especially consumer mobos
    with support for large memory and very dense memory sticks. Maybe even
    quad-cores, though that still may only be available for workstations and
    servers. 2006 is going to be a creative year. It should be fun.
    Colin Barnhorst, Oct 31, 2005
  13. DavienC

    Mercury Guest


    I just wish the "consumer" AMD / NVIDIA mobos would get beyond the current
    4GB physical / whatever other limit is restricting the max installable RAM.
    I would like an Opteron system, but I don't need 2 physical CPU's - 2 cores
    is great (IE X2).

    Does anyone know of any news on this front? I don't want to splashout
    $k000's on a new system only to be motherboard limited to 4GB. I want to
    reduce the # of computers, noise, and overall power consumption (& UPS load)
    current multiple systems require. Virtual Server needs GB's.

    They say Vanderpool & Pacifica will be out soon - the first before xmas and
    the latter early next year... correct?

    Procrastinate, or get on with it?

    Mercury, Oct 31, 2005
  14. DavienC

    Rob Stow Guest

    Rob Stow, Oct 31, 2005
  15. DavienC

    Rob Stow Guest

    It's not the motherboards that is the limiting factor - it is the
    type of RAM.

    Plain-vanilla DDR is ill-suited to more than 3 DIMM slots - there
    are still lots of people running into problems when they try to
    add a DIMM to that fourth slot. It is also ill-suited to large
    DIMMS - with 1 GB being the current limit.

    Perhaps things will change when the move to socket M2 comes along
    next year and we start to see boards with DDR2 slots. However,
    so far every P4 and Xeon DDR2 motherboard I've read about is
    similar to the DDR boards:
    - a cap at 4 DIMM slots for non Registered DIMMs
    - DIMMs sizes capped at 1 GB for non-Reg DIMMs
    - a requirement for Registered DIMMs if there are more than 4
    slots or for DIMMs larger than 1 GB.

    (Registered DIMMs are almost always also ECC.)

    If you want more than 4 GB with an AMD64 chip *now*, you need a
    socket 940 motherboard, an Opteron so you get a memory controller
    that can handle registered DIMMs, and some registered DIMMs.

    However, single s940 boards never really caught on so the variety
    for you to choose from is small, dated, and most of them are
    server boards with no AGP or PCIe slots. I doubt many of them
    support the dual-core CPUs.

    MSI makes a board you might be interested in: the K8N Master
    Far2. That is a dualie board close to the low end of the dualie
    price range (about $300 US). Nothing says you have to put two
    CPUs on it. It has six DIMM sockets - but *all* of them are
    attached to the first CPU. Hence you could have theoretically
    have a single dual-core Opteron with 12 GB of PC3200 ECC Reg.
    And Asus makes a dualie board that sells for a even less.

    Rob Stow, Oct 31, 2005
  16. Yup. Imagine a quad core with built in support for virtualization on a
    standard ATX mobo with support for a LOT of RAM. Yum.
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 31, 2005
  17. Physical space becomes an issue here. There's just so much you can squeeze
    onto an ATX mobo. Any real change will take the next generation of RAM
    density before we see much.

    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 31, 2005
  18. DavienC

    Mercury Guest

    Thanks for the answers - largely what I expected. Market wise, my
    requirements must be a slim percentage and with the near nill availability /
    usability of 2GB RAM sticks there isn't much RAM wise.

    The system specs I have been looking at includes 1GB ECC RAM sticks anyway -
    the price difference is marginal and performance drop is probably minimal

    I'll price up a dual core single CPU opteron system and see how that goes...

    Mercury, Oct 31, 2005
  19. DavienC

    Mercury Guest

    :) I found this:

    Abit nforce4 sli max 8gb ram ==> 2gb sticks.

    It has a heat pipe for the northbridge and I was intending on an Antec P180
    case with upside down mobo mounting...

    This is only just being released, so there are few details and Abit has
    always been a bit (excuse the pun) of an overclockers make. Stability is
    important for me. The specs leave out ECC Ram as well.

    Mercury, Nov 1, 2005
  20. those 2GB, registered, ECC RAM modules are expensive. Way too expensive, for
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Nov 1, 2005
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