Geeks With Blogs
Prabhu Kumar a tech twaddler..
Hi there, I have been struggling with my laptop for about a day now, trying to get it to dual boot with vista and xp. And I am happy to say that it is working now! My laptop came pre-installed with Vista home edition and I wanted to install xp on it because I knew that some of the programs I use will not work on Vista.

The Mistake
I inserted my xp cd and restarted my machine to boot from the cd and the first speed bump came along real quick. As soon as the first screen came up I got the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). So I switched to my desktop and threw few searches at google and I found the problem. My BIOS settings had the SATA mode set to AHCI and xp does not have the drivers for AHCI. So I changed the mode to IDE (note: There was no compatibility mode listed) and tried to boot again from the cd. It worked. The setup came up as usual and I continued with the installation. All worked perfectly. To re-instate the vista bootloader, I used EasyBCD ver 1.7.2. Added the vista bootloader entry and rebooted. I was happy to see the boot option listed, asking me to boot into Vista or Windows XP. I selected Vista and boom! The BSOD and my machine kept restarting. I sat for a while and something struck me, I had changed the SATA mode to IDE. So I went back to BIOS and changed the mode to AHCI. Tried to boot into vista and it worked. After that I tried to boot back to XP and BSOD again! Now this was frustrating. I had to change the SATA mode everytime depending on whether I wanted Vista or xp to boot. Obviously this wasn't acceptable. Installing XP with the SATA mode set to IDE was my first mistake.

More Searches
Well, now that I had installed xp in IDE mode, I tried to find a solution to install the AHCI drivers into xp without actually re-installing the whole OS again. And this is where I spent the most time without any use. You had to find the appropriate AHCI driver for your hardware (In my case I got it form the Intel website, the AHCI driver I was looking for was Intel(r) ICH9M /M - E Family - 2929). You had to put the driver in the Windows folder, make some registry changes and thats it, it was supposed to work, only thing it didn't. I still got the blue screen of death. I tried some other variations of the same method, modifying the .inf file etc etc but none worked for me.

The last resort
Now that all efforts to install the driver without re-installing the OS had failed, I had to create a custom XP image with the AHCI driver put into it. I used the nLite program to create XP's bootable ISO image. Burned it into a CD and it worked perfect. You can follow the instructions for using nLite at:

Used EasyBCD to restore Vista's bootloader and now I can boot into both Vista and xp.

Next Task: Finding the right drivers for xp.
Posted on Saturday, April 11, 2009 3:12 PM | Back to top

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