Install Ubuntu 7.10 and XP Professional on Dell Inspiron 531 with Vista Home Basic

Asked by 2006.gbm on 2007-09-05

Is it possible install Ubuntu 7.10 and XP Professional on a Dell Inspiron 531 machine with Windows Vista installed?

The problem is that I need install XP Professional to use a Delphi 7.0 Win 32 IDE and the software developed for years because this IDE doesn´t work on Vista.
When I installed XP on Vista, the boot lost Vista, then I had to reinstall Vista with an start image in a partition.
When I installed Ubuntu the grub took XP but didn't take Vista.

I think a solution is install Ubuntu first, then XP and then Vista.

Is it possible buy other hard disk and install XP and Ubuntu in that?


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peter b
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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said : #1

You want XP AND Vista AND Ubuntu? Well, you might be able to boot with two versions of windows but windows is not very smart about dual booting. I don't have a clue how to get both XP and vista to coexist on the same box. I'd suggest checking a windows forum for that.

However, you can easily dual boot XP OR Vista and Ubuntu. But don't install Ubuntu first. Windows doesn't understand the concept of sharing so if you install Ubuntu first, XP or Vista will overwrite the master boot record and only allow windows to boot. I've heard vista is supposed to allow dual booting but i've never tried.

You can install Ubuntu (and maybe XP too) on a different hard drive but getting two versions of windows to exist on the same system will still be the hard part. Someone here may be able to help you with that but this is a Linux forum. Getting the boot loader to recognize these options may also be a bit of trick.

Any reason why you can't just use XP and dump vista? That would make things a lot easier.

Fran SL (fransanlag) said : #2

I'll try to help with my experience:
I had XP and installed Vista just to try (in one hour I decided to erase it), but the Vista remained and couldn't be configurated again.
Afterwards I installed Ubuntu and the GRUB recognized the Vista loader, so in the first menu, when I chose Windows it took me to the Vista loader where I chose XP.
Now I want to fix it and let Ubuntu be the first OS. To fix it I did next:
 - Backup of my important files.
 - Boot with my CD of XP and start the repair console (choosing 'R' option).
 - Select my XP partition.
 - Write my admin password.
 - Use the command FIXBOOT.
 - Afterwards the command FIXMBR.
 - EXIT.

It repairs the MBR and now my computer starts with XP without menus. Now I'll install Ubuntu and will use the GRUB without Vista loader.

So I think the best order of installation is: XP, Vista and Ubuntu, just to make GRUB prevail.

It's my first intervention in Launchpad. I don't know if I'd be of help, but I hope so.


Best peter b (b1pete) said : #3


I just acquired an Acer laptop with vista installed on a large -about 50GB partition- on the 120GB HD. I needed xp pro installed also for various reasons. Jim is right -don't install ubuntu first.

I accomplished the task at hand by using a HD/partition manager that is totally independent of the OS. The mgr/utility that I'm using is BootitNG and can be found at

This utility can do much more than manage HD/partitions; in a past post I recommended it to Jim also for backup/restore partitions (images) that he had some problems with. If you decide to use it I'd recommend first and foremost to get v familiar with its power -it is a very sharp 'sword' so to speak, if used correctly it does miracles (I shrank vista partition first to 30GB without any problems then I created a 30GB pri partition for xp which was formatted with NTFS under vista and finally installed xp on the newly crated NTFS pri part). Please, please, ==> Before installing xp please take a look at the FAQ on the site for a step by step howto install xp on its own partition without disturbing vista. It works great -I have vista and xp installed and use them without any problem.

Now, ubuntu -it is the easiest to install having the above working already. Please use the alternate CD, it gives you full control of creating/formatting the partitions needed and allows you to choose where you'd like grub installed. Choose the / partition where ubuntu is installed NEVER MBR (youl overwrite the good work done with windows as mentioned before). That's all, all three OS's will work and live happily on the same HD on different partitions. That's the way I have the newly acquired Acer configured. Hope this helps. If you have any qustions just ask.

peter b

Lazarus is a free IDE for Pascal, this may work reasonably well.

2006.gbm (2006-gbm) said : #5

OK Thanks because of the GROUP collaboration.

kaweist (kaweist) said : #6

 i got a dell inspiron 7000. ive seen where i can down load to a cd but cna i get a floppy disk for this as well