I have the dual boot problem. Sometimes it works for a few times booting Mint 8, then when I select XP, it starts to load and then a slight flash across the screen, then goes back to the selection screen (Grub?). I have tried it a few times....at first I thought it might be caused by the upgrades changing the grub screen to green, but it does the same thing on the plain screen. I can fix it with "Super Grub Disk" but it is not permanent, and reverts to wiping out the XP boot. I am not a DOS...... or command line computer user. I am using a $300 (Walmart) Compaq C60-419WM laptop. (New)80 GB HD with three partitions. XP is 20GB FAT32. Mint is 12GB and the rest is a storage partition (in the middle) either Mint or XP can use. I have been carrying around a "Super Grub Disk" to use for rescue, but it is a hassle. If I don't boot Mint..... The XP boot works OK.... But once I boot Mint... There is a good chance the XP boot will not work.
This was not a easy computer to downgrade from Vista. I believe HP and MS conspired to make it as difficult as possible....... As HP doesn't have drivers. It can be done, but it takes some scrounging for drivers. As for "7" I am not thrilled with it.... it is better than "VISTA" but has absolutely no advantage over XP that I can see for average users. It is not just the fact you have to fork over $100+ for "7", but you are stuck with buying new printers (If you are like me and have OLD printers) because Cannon doesn't have drivers for VISTA or 7. There are many things I like about Mint..... Such as: It will play most video types without having to look for codecs. The boot thing is a big pain in the butt.