Dual Hard Drives - Shortcut to safely remove dual boot

By Poppa Bear
Oct 19, 2008
  1. If you're running an IDE hard-drive and upgrade your PC by adding a SATA hard-drive, you may want to load a fresh installation of Windows onto the SATA and then copy all your files from the old OS to the new.

    I did this with the intention of formatting the IDE once all the files were copied. However, when I formatted the IDE, I wiped out all the boot files which were on the IDE, and the SATA would not boot.

    In a previous thread entitled "Dual Hard Drives", pcaceit kindly helped by showing me how to copy the boot files from the IDE onto the SATA, and run various "fixmbr and fixboot" commands under XP CD Recovery Console. Once this was done, he suggested I delete the IDE partition to remove it's active status, then re-create it and format it. I did all this and it worked fine.

    Then quite by accident I discovered a much quicker and easier way to do it. Once you have transferred all your files from the IDE to the SATA OS, simply delete the IDE partition. Windows XP then automatically creates new boot files in the SATA OS.

    If you only format the IDE partition as opposed to deleting it, it still retains it's active status and the PC will still try to boot from it, but there are no boot files as they were lost when it was formatted.

    I tried this on two PCs and it worked fine on both. One had an ASUS P5LD2 SE mobo and the other had an Intel D915GEV mobo. I can't guarantee this will work on all mobos, but it does seem to be a generic XP response.

    Hope this may help anyone who has lost their boot up to their newly installed XP installation on a new SATA.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes in all my posts on these subjects, I always state to remove the partition(s) and continue Windows setup

    Unless of course one of the partitions is a recovery partition
    You wouldn't want to delete that ;)
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