Boot to other OS drive

By Soundguy585
Dec 8, 2009
  1. Hello, I have been trying to find a solution to this and so far I have not found an answer.
    I have a dual boot system in which i have Windows XP Pro and Windows XP Pro X64 on separate hard drives.
    I would like to create a shortcut to restart and boot to the other os so I can do this unattended. I need to do this from time to time, because I have some different programs on each of the drives. I found that It can be done in Vista using a batch file with bcdedit.exe. As far as I know, Xp does not have such a program.
    If anyone has any ideas on how to achieve this, I would be very grateful. I have been trying for quite awhile and cannot figure out how to do it. Thank you in advance.
  2. pcaceit

    pcaceit TS Rookie Posts: 315

  3. Soundguy585

    Soundguy585 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Thank you Pcaceit for your speedy response. I have already seen that website. For that to work, I need bcdedit.exe and that is only found on Vista and later OS's. One of the operating systems on my pc must have Vista, which I don't have on my computer. Thanks. :wave:
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Step back from the problem you state and consider...

    It sounds like you just need the ability to modify your boot.ini file: You sometimes want to default boot into one OS and sometimes the other.

    If you are currently configured for XP dual boot, i'll assume you can currently manually change
    > the default OS and
    > time to display list of operating systems
    by rt click My Computer->Properties->Advanced->Startup Recovery Settings

    So you can currently
    > Click/Modify Startup default options
    > Then restart unattended
  5. scuzzo

    scuzzo TS Rookie Posts: 50

    LookinAround that is a genius answer. I can't believe I didn't think of it.
  6. Soundguy585

    Soundguy585 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Yes, that is a way to do it. Good thinking. The only thing is, if i understand correctly, I would have to modify or switch the default operating system each time i need to do this. I thought there would be a way to do the same thing maybe using a batch file to make the changes for that time only, reboot, and revert back to the default start up order for normal boot. That is what I could do if I was using Vista and bcdedit.exe.
    I guess what I'm trying to do is to automate the process at the click of the mouse, leave the computer and come back ready to work. Maybe I'm just lazy, but I guess I'm one of those people who like to complicate a simple task. Nonetheless, i do thank you for helping me figure this out. :rolleyes:
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Yes! i also think it could be done (or at least try doing it) with a batch file. But i'm suggesting you first
    > Confirm it works as you want by changing the values (safely) via the Windows interface and mouse clicks
    > And THEN you know you have the 2 boot.ini versions you want to use
    > So then you can simply try a batch file to rename copies of the two boot.ini files to the one you want active for next boot!
  8. Soundguy585

    Soundguy585 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Thank you, "lookinAround" for giving me input on my question. I was able to get some help from you and another forum to create 2 boot.ini files and creating a batch file to copy the alternate version to the boot.ini and restarting the computer with that configuration. It works just fine and does what I set out to do. Thanks to all who contributed. :approve:.
  9. dhanushka83

    dhanushka83 TS Rookie Posts: 20

    I dont Know About method to Switch between OS s without Shutdown
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