Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP Pro


I have a Windows 2003 Server installed on a laptop for test purporses and it runs super fast and everything is okay. Can I also install windows XP pro on the same computer? Dual boot?
Thank you.
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you need to partition your drive with partition magic or a similar program then you can install onto the second partition
I might be wrong, but can jsufee install XP pro to a different directory? Will the boot.ini then reflect both os's without the need to use partition magic or similar.

Also as a side note...

Depending on why you are testing things and what your needs are, you might also look into virtual PC or VMware - both let you host one OS inside another.

For example, I run XP Pro at home for my day to day tasks. When I have the need to test out some server stuff, I just boot up Virtual PC and those servers appear on my XP machines as if I was 'remoting' into them.

The advantage being that I can switch back and forth as both are running concurently.

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i have never heard of being able to install to a different directory they have to be 2 complete clean installs

Virtual PC or Serv is a good option but pricey
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Per Microsotft:

One OS Per Partition

Before installing Windows XP and an earlier version on the same machine, you must prepare your hard disk with different partitions.

When you install Windows on a new or reformatted hard disk, the Setup program typically does not partition your hard disk automatically. To create multiple partitions, choose Advanced Options during Setup and follow the instructions to create and name multiple partitions. You can also create partitions using Fdisk.

If you have already installed Windows, and you have only one partition, you must reformat and partition your hard drive before you can multiboot.

You can divide your hard disk into multiple partitions, and each partition can function as a separate logical drive. For example, logical drives C: and D: can both exist on the same hard disk, but function as separate disks. You should install each operating system on a different partition. Then install applications on the same partition as the operating system with which you run them. If an application is used with two different operating systems, install copies on both partitions. Placing each operating system in a separate partition ensures that it will not overwrite crucial files used by the other OS.

A basic disk can contain up to four partitions. Each partition can be formatted for use by a file system, such as FAT32 or NTFS.
ok - again I'm not sure it works between versions of an OS anyhow - I do know you can install XP multiple times on a given partition - installing to a different directory - theres not to many uses for it, but I've done it at times when my system got somewhat corrupt, but I didn't want to wipe it clean for one reason or another (back in my poor days when I had only one system and only one drive)

Yes it is possible to do it, but you can run into problems... Regardless of what you name the "Windows" directory there are some common directories between all modern Windows OSes that you cannot control the how they are named.

Documents and Settings
Program Files

Problems can crop up say if you install Office in the XP OS, and then do it again in the 2003 OS.  The files will already exist in the program files directory, and certain DLLs etc may not register correctly.

Therefore, although it will work, you can cause more problems then its worth.  Proper way to do it is to break the disk into separate partitions.

If you dont want to lose your existing 2003 install, then get a Utility like Partition Magic where you can shrink your 2003 partition and create a new partion for XP

That makes sense - I hadn't run into that when I did it on mine since I was essentiallly migrating from one copy of windows to a new one - and hadn't needed to swich.

Very good points Bill!

So Partitions or a Virtual Machine are really the only way to go.
jsufeeAuthor Commented:
Thank you!!!
Both of you said very good point. Both of you answered my question.
bill will get the points and fruhj will also get 20 points since the Virtual Machine idea is awsome as well! :)
I thought I share this with you as well.
I heard some good reviews about MS Virtual PC but it doesn't support USB! However, VmWare does support USB in the virtual pc so I think it makes the better choice.
jsufeeAuthor Commented:
Thanks again... I wanted Bill to have the accepted answer and fruhj the assisted answer but they were revered! Anyway, both of you got very well deserved 40 points.
Thank you.
jsufeeAuthor Commented:
One last question:
I heard Virtual PC, as well as WMware, require a lot of memory.... will 230MB do?
Yeah that's bugged me about virtual PC - no support for USB printers nor USB drives.

I think VM ware is really stepping up to the challenge of competing against Microsoft.

That said, Many people who work with MS technologies have access to VPC for what is essentially free.
No I don't think you'd get very far with 230MB.

I think most people running VPC have 1 gig or more on their machines - as each VPC you run requires a fair chunk of memory.

My PC has 2 gig ram - that way I can run my OS and a few 512MB VPC's without trouble, or my OS and a single VPC with 1Gig.

Storage wise, you need enough hard drive space to store a HD Image file - typically between 5-10 gig.
I've heard from a few MS employees that if you're running a laptop - you can improve VPC performance by having the VPC image on an external HD.

So yeah, even if you get vmware or VPC for free, you still have to have some good hardware to make it work - should still be much cheaper than having a second PC...
isnt that what i said in the first post?
Yep you were the first person to mention partitioning, I was the first to mention Virtual PC's

Don't feel bad though - it was only a 40 point question - and the points were split! So I got 80 points out of it

if you can answer this question, I will give you 40 points:

- Jack
haha Jack, your a crazy crazy man! points are all your my friend or you could split them between all the answers!!
Rahul BansalCommented:
Hi jsufee

I'd also advocate installing Windows XP on a different partition. But after you've installed windows XP, you would have to follow certain steps to keep both your operating systems working.

When you try to start Windows Server 2003 in a dual-boot configuration with Microsoft Windows XP, you may receive the following error message:

Windows Server 2003 could not start because the following files were missing or corrupted:
Windows\System32\Config\System Ntldr MISSING
You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows setup from original floppies or boot from CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at first screen to repair

When you install Windows XP after Windows server 2003, Windows XP does not detect the additional startup features of Windows Server 2003. As a result, it replaces the shared Windows boot files (Ntldr and

To resolve this problem, replace the Windows Server 2003 Ntldr and files: 1. Start to the Recovery Console, type fixboot at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

If the Recovery Console does not appear, use one of the following methods to start the computer so that you can gain access to the file system of the boot partition: • Specify another operating system on the Boot menu.  
• Start from the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM, and then at the Windows Setup screen, press R to use the Recovery Console to repair the Windows installation.  
• Use a Windows NT 4.0 boot disk that also contains the Windows Server 2003 boot files.  
• If your boot partition is a basic disk that is formatted with the FAT file system, use an MS-DOS boot disk.  
2. Copy the Ntldr file and the file from the I386 folder on the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM to the root folder of your boot drive (this is typically drive C).

If you are using MS-DOS to perform this file replacement, you may have to use the attrib command to remove the System attribute, the Read-only attribute, and the Hidden attribute from the files. To do so, type the following command lines at the MS-DOS command prompt, and then press ENTER after each line: • attrib -r -s -h  
• attrib ntldr -r -s -h

Feel free to post suggestions or queries further related to the topic.

jsufeeAuthor Commented:
I came back to post this probem and ask for a fix.
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Windows Server 2003

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