Change the Default Boot Partition in Windows Vista

With the release of Windows Vista, many users have been dual booting between Windows XP and Windows Vista. Unfortunately, the process of changing the boot operating system is not entirely intuitive. Windows Vista has a little known, but very useful tool, that allows the user to select which operating system to load when dual (or triple) booting.  (See this article for help in partitioning a hard drive)

The first step is to launch Computer. Click Start and then type Computer and hit enter. Vista will automatically launch the Vista version of “My Computer.” At the top of computer, select System Properties. This will bring up the basic information about your computer.
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On the left panel, select Advanced System Settings.
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If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

In the System Properties dialog, click the Advanced tab in the center.
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In the Startup and Recovery section click Settings
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In the top of the Startup and Recovery dialog, in the “System startup” you can change the Default operating system to whatever operating system you want. In this dialog you can also change the amount of time you would like to wait before launching the default operating system. Windows Vista defaults to 30 seconds which is probably more than enough time.
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Feel free to reduce this to a more manageable time like 8 seconds and click OK.
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Got a question? Post it on our Windows Vista Forums!