Dual Boot Insanity

If you’ve had the misfortune to dual boot XP and 2000, you’re aware of the dogmatic ritual. You also remember praying to a merciful deity to allow the O/S that had the problems to be XP. What if it’s not? I had ‘opportunity’ to be building a dual boot on an OEM product with drivers not native to any NT O/S. 2000 was a DC, requiring those drivers which demanded SP4. That’s a lot of rebooting that seriously racks up time, which was not well spent. The POP3 service in Exchange fell asleep and never woke.

The easiest way to fix it is to rebuild 2000, which means rebuilding XP. Or does it? I decided to give XP’s ‘Repair’ option a go. My 2000 DC was rebuilt, Exchange was working and the time came to start on XP. Popped in my CD, rebooted and began the repair. It was almost identical to the original installation, including asking me for a product key. The whole process took roughly 30 minutes, restored itself into Boot.ini accurately, respected the 2000 installation and kept all of the domain information and applications installed. This very much goes against the cardinal rule of older first with Windows dual boot but if you, like me, are ready to jump out of a window with desire for home, give it a shot.

Microsoft’s way