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I could solve it by myself. The cause was:
When installing to a 3rd primary partition, WinXP had put its boot files to the 1st one, so:
- it was actually booting from it with FreeDOS assigned key,
- but was unable to boot from its own partition,
- and it was masking FreeDOS boot files,
- at the same time, this is why the 1st partition was visible for XP but not for Vista.

I could fix it without reinstalling XP by moving its boot files to the correct partition.
Now all works as expected :-)

I think it could be possible to avoid that by marking the future XP partition as the boot/active one (and maybe hiding the previous ones) *before* installing XP...

I think this issue is tricky enough to justify an item in the FAQ. Hope it helps...

Thanks, Best regards.
Patrick Brunet