Windows Vista & How To Successfully Do A Partitioned Install?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    This is a big question here and I would greatly appreciate very
    specific instructions on how to accomplish this task...

    The Situation

    I run Windows XP on my desktop. It has two drives. My OS sits
    on my C drive (dual raptor drives raid-0 setup) and most of my
    programs reside on my D drive.

    I don't want to wipe out my computer to do a fresh install of
    Windows Vista. I'd like to do a dual-boot option and install Vista
    on my C drive, alongside XP, with the option to boot into either
    at setup.


    The Questions


    1. What program does the best job of creating a new partition
    so that I can install a secondary OS on the same drive as my
    primary OS with the option to boot into either one?

    Now the tough questions....

    2. How do I do the partition? Can I partition the drive without
    having to format it?

    If the answer to #2 is yes, and I install a partition program
    and format the drive....

    3. I am about to install VISTA on my system. It must be done
    by booting the computer with the VISTA DVD. During the install,
    will the 2nd partition be recognized so that I can specifically
    install Vista to the 2nd partition of my hard drive?

    Once Vista is installed....

    4. Most of my programs are already installed on the first
    partitioned XP drive (C) and my D drive. Can I reinstall those
    programs in VISTA to the SAME directories they already reside
    in and be able to use the same programs on either operating
    system? The idea here is to reinstall merely so that they are
    entered and recognized by the Vista registery.


    These are my first batch of questions and I am certain more
    will follow.

    Please give very specific instructions to anything I may have
    to do here as when it comes to complicated computer installs
    I tend not to do it right the first time.

    Many thanks in advance
     
  2. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    Ron, you will not want to put vista on your RAID array at all, that is just asking for major trouble. Your option is to get a partition program and make a new partition from your d drive (make a new E drive in there) but unless you know how to use some linux boot/partition discs, I would not recommend that route.

    For the price of a good windows partition program, you might as well just buy an 80gb-250gb ide (not sata, IDE will be a lot simpler for this) and install a fresh new drive in the system and just have Vista on it's own drive.

    So, Install new drive, boot up your computer in XP and make sure it sees the drive and gave it a drive letter. Remember the drive letter, put in your Vista DVD and reboot the PC..when vista comes up it will ask you were you want to install it and just tell it the new drive/drive letter. Once installed you reboot you will see an option to boot into xp or Vista.

    As always, make sure you back up your XP stuff, just in case...
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    First, are you certain I can't risk creating a partition on the RAID
    and installing Vista on my C drive? I'll manage the risk if its minor.

    I tried using Partion Magic to install VISTA on my D drive
    instead. Problem is, the software will only set up for XP install on
    the first drive, which is C.

    Now, I could just partition drive D using Partition Magic,
    boot up my computer with the VISTA DVD and install to the new
    partitioned area. My question is, once completed, will I get an
    option to boot to either OS?
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    First, the risk is MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR. Because the the way Vista handles the RAID driver situation, you are headed into very quick (LOSE ALL DATA) kind of problems if you contemplate doing this. And that's not a "could happen" that's my Gamenight Guarantee it WILL happen.

    So, don't think about that option at all [​IMG] Too many people on the beta forums have griped about that for a while.

    MS Strongly recommends NOT having Vista on the same drive as XP. And yes, it will put in a "boot loader" that will allow you to choose to boot back to Windows XP, so that's not a problem. But don't at all think about making room for it on your main drive if it is a RAID array.

    And if you boot to this RAID array (which apparently you do) I would normally advise strongly against installing Vista anywhere, as it will re-write the boot sector on your RAID array. While that normally is not an issue.. if it becomes one, the first system will be catastrophic: loss of all data. RAID-0 offers you no data protection, so that is what happens in the end if you have an issue with a driver negotation difference.

    So, take that to heart [​IMG]
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Chris & Dennis,

    Greatly appreciate this advice.

    Promise -- no install on the raid drives.

    I did partition the D drive with PARTITION MAGIC and then
    booted with the VISTA DVD. Install began, but it could not
    find any of my hard drives. In fact, VISTA asked me to load
    in my drivers CD so that it could access my hard drive.

    Any idea what may be going on?
     
  6. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Ron-

    Vista must not identify your SATA controller. This is actually fairly normal. If your first drive (which is two drives in a RAID configuration) is setup off of a RAID controller, Vista won't have the driver for that.. and it may cause other channels to also report "RAID-Standalone" for those drives, which Vista also doesn't understand (thus why my big warning above)

    Do you have the chipset of your motherboard? We can probably sort this out [​IMG]
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Chris,

    Appreciate the help on the motherboard issue. I may take you
    up on that.

    The reason I went with raid is because the 10,000rpm raptors max
    out at 75GB and I decided to pair them up to increase drive space
    and overall speed. At the time my computer was being built I was
    advised that it was a GOOD idea but that if one drive ever failed, I
    was up the creek without a paddle.

    Let me ask you a question...

    I will eventually be able to set up Vista on my raid drives, yes?

    I would hope the final product would permit me to do this.

    I also look forward to being able to UPGRADE my XP to VISTA rather
    than doing a fresh install. Perhaps RC1 will be enabled to do this.

    Finally, see my question in post #5 about Vista not recognizing my
    drives if you have the answer to it. I'd still ike to try and partition
    and install Vista to my D drive if that is possible.
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Ron-

    Ok, all I have for you is answers you won't like [​IMG]

    (1) No. Microsoft has told all of it's partners in TechNet/MSDN/Beta people etc. that they will not offer an upgrade edition of Vista. Microsoft's official note to us reads:

    "Because of significant differences between XP and Vista, we do not have plans to offer an upgrade edition, and at this point we do not plan on recommending an in-place upgrade from XP. While an upgrade option may be available, we strongly recommend against such an installation"

    [​IMG]

    In other words: no. MS does not intend at any point for Vista to be installed over the top of XP, and because it uses entirely different drivers, as they informed us at the TechTour, the install-over-the-top method may never work successfully as you want.

    In response to your question in post #5, that's why I asked what motherboard you have. If we can figure out what chipset your drives are running on, you will need to manually feed a Vista driver to your Vista installation. As you boot the Vista DVD, you can still insert new drivers (F6) to recognize mass storage devices. We would need to find out what controller you have, where you can get the driver, and put it on a floppy, etc. so that you can restart your installation.
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Chris,

    I am unsure of what motherboard I have. I will check my
    invoice when I get back to the office later this afternoon.
    Hopefully that information is listed.

    Getting back to my other question, when the final version
    of VISTA is released, will it have the necessary drivers to
    support a RAID setup?
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    If you can't find it easily, try Belarc Advisor (http://www.belarc.com/) it's free and will give us all of that information instantly [​IMG]

    Windows Vista should have -most- RAID drivers, etc. built into it, so by the time it releases (around 1Q of '07) it should be included.
     
  11. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Ron, I don't have my copy of Vista yet, but I'm going to pull an old IDE HDD out of my garage and put it in, just for the Vista beta. I'm not using my motherboard's IDE socket right now, so when I get done with the beta, I can just take it back out.

    Can you do that - and put Vista on "E" - or even "F"?

    Glenn

    PS - I'll be RAID'ing VISTA when it comes out too.
     
  12. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Glen-

    I currently have Vista on my Y: Drive. It will install on any full partition it can make primary.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Chris,

    I partitioned my "D" drive but upon install, Vista would not
    recognize any of my hard drives. Wonder if this has to do
    with my RAID setup on my C drives.

    By the way, what does "unallocated" hard drive space mean?
    I partitioned my D drive then decided to unpartition it. The
    end result was that I lost a huge amount of hard drive space
    and when looking at drive properties there was mention of space
    being "unallocated"

    Fortunately I had the D drive backed up. I simply reinstalled
    the backed-up image and I got my full drive space back.
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    When you removed the D: partition, you freed up that amount of space on your hard drive (disk array), thus making it "unallocated" (but now available to be allocated to a new partition, and accessible for use to save data to that partition).

    BTW, to be safe, you should probably just buy an external USB hard drive, and use that to load up Vista (and tell your PC to boot up the USB hard drive first, most current BIOS should allow you to boot up from a USB hard drive).
     
  15. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    Ron, It would not 'see' your C drive most likely because it did not have drivers for your RAID card installed. Without those drivers it does not see anything attached to a SATA drive, only IDE. If you bring up device manager in Vista, you will probably see a question mark next to the RAID controller.

    What you might find intereseting..if you bring up Vista and see what drive it's installed on, it wil probably say C: drive, but when you bring up your XP it will show that it's installed in E or whatever partiton letter you gave your new partition.

    As to the unallocated space, that just means it was harddrive space out there, but was not assigned to anything. Had you wanted you could have merged it into the previous partition, or made it into another partition.
     

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