Join Date: Dec 2005
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What you can do to avoid having to lose XP/reformat is to dual boot XP/Vista by creating a new partition. A partition is the formatting of the hard drive so that windows knows how much space, where files are, etc. Creating two partitions would be the same to windows as two hard drives.
What you will need is a program called BootItNG.
It costs $35 for the full program, but you dont need what you have to pay for so you can use the trial.
What this is, is a disk managment program that you burn onto a disk and boot from. It has lots of tools and it perfect for what you need.
From that site, you'll get a zip file. Extract that zip and run "makedisk.exe" with a blank CD-R in your disk drive. This might take a while, and you wont use any of the other files in that zip once the disk is done burning.
When it completes restart and boot from the CD. It will prompt you asking if you want to install, push no and precede to the disk manager environment.
Click on disk manager and take a moment to look at everything. Click on your hard drive and then "resize", this will take the free space on your current partition and detatch however much you want.
With your hard drive i would recommend cutting XP off at around 90GB and alloting the rest to vista.
Once you click "ok" or whatever it will begin realloting free space, this takes a while so go do something productive
When it's done go back to the disk manager and click "new partition". Create it as big as you have free space and you will see two partitions in the disk manager window.
Now you have two partitons and you're ready to install vista.
click exit on the "desktop" of bootit and pop in the Vista DVD when it reboots.
When it comes up go through all the windows and stuff and select "custom" as your install choice. Click on the partition as big as your free space allowed and let 'er go.
Vista will create a boot manager for you and it will display a list between "previous version of windows" and "windows vista" before booting for 30seconds.
You can tweak this boot menu with a program called VistaBootPRO
Hope i expained everything
EDIT: selecting upgrade kills XP. It saves the windows directory/documents and settings folder but you cannot use it again.