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Dual XP on seperate hard drives

By way2tall
Nov 8, 2004
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  1. Hello all!

    I am wondering if anyone can help with this question...

    I would like to install Windows XP onto two hard drives in the same computer but also have a seperate user log on to each of the hard drives.
    Basically, I want to have one hard drive for my mom's log on and the other hard drive for my dad's log on.
    Can this be done?? and how would I go about doing this??
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    Welcome to TechSpot

    Yes, that can be done. Once the first XP is in place, boot from your XP-CD and install XP again on the second HD. For Microsoft this will look like a re-install (as far as I know), so you won't have any issues with (re-)registering, as it is the same PC.
    The second install will insert an extra entry in your boot.ini file on the first HD, thus causing a Start-menu to show up when you switch the PC on. With Notepad you can change the entry-names, such as "Win-XP for Mom" and "Win-XP for Dad".
    They will have 30 seconds to make up their mind which XP to start.
    The disadvantage of doing this is, that you will have to install all other programs, such as Office, a second time as well. If you don't mind that, they will never be able to mess up the other's XP, once both are installed.
  3. way2tall

    way2tall TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks realblackstuff

    I will give it a try and see what happens.
    You mentioned something with notepad about changing the entry names, how would I go about doing that??
    What about antivirus programs, will I only need to install it into the first drive or into both drives??

    Thanks again for your help.
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    Look in the root-directory of the first HD for "boot.ini". Double-click it, Notepad should automatically open it.
    You may have to change your Explorer settings to show you system-files, before you see it. Change it back after the change!

    Like I said, you need to install EVERY program on EVERY XP-installation.
  5. ranger_cole

    ranger_cole TS Rookie

    I am doing something similar with 2 hd on the same pc, both bootable, and both with xp pro sp 2. I am using nicklock http://www.nicklock.com to switch back and forth on bootup. You can even remove the key and pc will not boot. Turn the key to the left and one hd boots or turn key all the way to the right and the other hd boots. You can even see both c: and d: hds. Or you can make the hd that is not the master not be seen by windows or other users. I am doing this to see how new windows updates/ new programs will effect my pc.
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