Optional dual boot in W2K from 2 drives


Is this question understandable

Poll closed Mar 2, 2005.
  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Maybe

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By peterd1
Feb 25, 2005
  1. I am running W2K prof booting from one hard drive.
    How can i set up to allow me to boot from either of my TWO 60GB hard disks?
    I also wish to mirror to backup from main disc to other as the system is making is making lot of noise.
    Can any one advise how to do this without loosing data and progs?
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Install another W2K into any partition of the second HD. It will automatically add its boot-info to the one which is located on the C-drive, and activate the boot-menu.
    As to mirroring, instead use a program like Acronis True Image, to make, eehh.., an image of that partition. Store this on the other disk for safe-keeping. I use the older Drive Image 2002, a version from before it got all ballsed up by Symantec. Drive Image (and Acronis) compress the backup-image, something that Norton Ghost does not do AFAIK, so the backup-images take up less space than the original.
    Using DI, a backup ao restore takes less than 10 minutes.
  3. peterd1

    peterd1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your reply Mr Guiness :)
    1.Will the boot menu give an option from which disc to boot?
    Even if one of them has gone down?
    When installing W2K will it ask which disc to install to? as i do not wish to ruin the current set up.

    2. I have Norton Ghost but have never used it. Should I? will it allow me to boot from either disc and mirror the contents of the first disc to the second?
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    You can edit the text of the (normally read-only) boot.ini file to reflect the location where it starts from.
    This is what mine looks like (2x W2K on partitions 1 + 4 of Disk 1, images kept on Disk 2):
    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINNT="F-Main Windows 2000 Pro" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="C-Basic Windows 2000 Pro" /fastdetect
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Recovery Console" /cmdcons

    If the first disk goes down your system is also down, because the boot-info is on the C-disk. Replace that disk, restore the image (with DI, using a DI-bootfloppy) and off you go. Worry about rescue later. If the second disk goes, you still have your first.

    Installation goes anywhere you like. You will be asked during setup.
    I've never used Ghost, even though I have had it lying around for a while (a friend gave me System Works 2002, which I used only for about 1 day). Personally I just don't trust Norton anymore since he went with Symantec.

    If you want mirroring, you will have to set up some RAID configuration. Mirroring does NOT work on normal disks, UNLESS you turn the mirrored (slave)disk into master. Too complicated.
  5. peterd1

    peterd1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply
    Here is my boot.ini

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

    Can I just edit it and add what you have or do i have install from CD to second disc? mY configuration is the same as yours with C: and F: as the second drive.

    I have raid but it has never been installed by the manufacturer. I am little afraid to attempt it as i do not wish to mess up my system.
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    No, the second/third/fourth etc. installation will each add their own line to the boot.ini file. The only editing you should do is renaming the text between the double quotes "Windows..." so you know which option is for what. And maybe shorten the timeout to 10 or 15 seconds.
  7. peterd1

    peterd1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your great help.
  8. peterd1

    peterd1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Guiness
    I wish I had listened to you....
    I have used Norton Ghost. It has corrupted my sytem.
    When I boot it hangs unless I use F8 and go into
    one of the windows options.
    I dare not install SP4 for W2K until I have backed up.
    Can you suggest what to do?
    I have external Maxtor USB drive and tried to use Dantz Restrospec.
    It back up bu for the last 300 Kb when it hangs.
    HELP please
  9. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    I'm afraid I don't have any answers or suggestions where Norton Ghost is concerned.
    Perhaps someone else?

    One thing you could try, take the HD out, put it in another PC as slave and try to copy the important data off that buggered HD. Then format and start from scratch.
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