If you're into adventure on the high seas, extreme blood sports, or are simply a masochist looking for your next hit of sweet, sweet pain, look no further. Have I got an activity for you.
Ladies and gentlemen, I direct your attention to this hard disk. On the C:\ partition, I give you: Windows XP. On the V:\ partition: Windows Vista.
"Hm. V:\ too small, and C:\ very big. I will shrink C:\ and allocate extra space to V:\," says I. Jauntily. I should have paid attention to the flash of green lightning and the ominous thunder-rumble that occurred when I said that. But I did not, and I stand before you now a sadder, but infinitely wiser man.
Here's what I did, minus the cursing and backtracking, minus the time spent on Google and various unhelpful Microsoft KB articles.
- Back up everything.
- Get GParted (Gnome Partition Editor) LiveCD, an open source partition manager. Burn to disc. Boot to said disc.
- Shrink C:\. Extend V:\. Mix, stir, let stand 3 hours.
- Reboot to Windows Vista install disc. Select "Repair this computer". (It repairs. Quickly.)
- Reboot, this time to boot manager and to installed version of Vista on V:\. Chkdsk isn't at all sure what the hee-haw you've just been doing and wants to check the disk. Let 'er rip.
- Log in to Vista. Ta-da. But what about XP? Yeah, it's hooped. (When you try to boot to XP, it says "\ntldr is missing." XP System Recovery Console can't find a Windows XP install, can't map the C:\ partition, can't find its own buttocks with two hands and a flashlight.)
- While in Vista, download VistaBootPro. It's free. Install. Run.
- From Manage BCD OS Entries, select Windows XP, or rather, "Earlier Version of Windows". Rename that entry to "Windows XP" while you're at it. Select "Change Boot Drive." Select C: from the dropdown. Apply Updates.
- Reboot to boot manager and to installed version of XP on C:\. Success!
The above has been a highly condensed version of my experience today. It worked on my machine. Your mileage may vary.