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I would like to install Windows Server 2003 on my desktop machine which already has Windows XP SP2 installed . I don't want to overwrite XP but I want to have an option to select XP or Windows Server 2003 while booting.

I am not sure how to go about this and am afraid if I insert the Windows Server 2003 CD and start installing directly, it may overwrite XP.

My HD is 350GB with 8 partitions, and I have 2GB RAM.

What should I do?

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why don't you use a virtual machine? depending on the usage, it may require more RAM. i don't think you'll need server 2003 for gaming, so virtualization should be fine. VirtualBox is free. –  Molly7244 Feb 13 '10 at 17:18
    
Install it into a different partition. Within XP, rename the partition you are going to use so you can identify it, insert the 2003 cd, boot from it and follow the instructions, when you are selecting where to install, choose the partition you named (you can choose to format it or not) and you are done. The installer normally creates the boot menu for 2003 server or XP. (Keep your XP install CD handy just in case something goes wrong). –  LaughingMan Feb 13 '10 at 18:16
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@LaughingMan, I would suggest posting your comment as an answer it could be quite useful. –  heavyd Feb 13 '10 at 18:34
    
@heavyd, added my comment as answer as some other info. –  LaughingMan Feb 14 '10 at 18:37
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2 Answers

As i said in comments, you should install 2003 in another partition and to do that follow the next instructions:

From within XP put a name on the partition you want to install ("2003", "server", etc) something you can remember. Also you may want to leave that partition empty (don't mind the System Volume Information folder).

Now, boot the 2003 install CD and follow the instructions to install, when prompted to select a drive/partition, you will see the partitions and their names, select the one you named previously. It will later ask you to format it of leave as it is (your choice here) and proceed with the install.

After the install is finished, during boot, you will get the boot menu showing your XP install and your new 2003 install. You can then change the default OS boot from within XP or 2003.

Note: I have done this several times without incidents (no data loss, etc)

Note 2: Be aware that after installing 2003, the 2003 system drive letter may or may not be C: (I've had mixed results) but the system is completely usable and i hadn't found any issues with it even when my 2003 was installed under the G: drive.

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Laughing Man is correct, you could use a partitioning tool such as Acronis Disk Director to split the partition if required, this also allows you to name partitions. Install Server 2003 onto the other partition and choose the OS to boot to on Boot up.

Another option is to install to a seperate HDD and use the select boot device menu at startup to choose which drive (and hence OS) you wish to boot with. This would mean your XP Drive would be safe. Just a thought you could install a removable HDD caddy into the machine and just swap the drive caddys in and out when you are planning to run a different OS.

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