Problems getting Internet access whilst using multiple OS's on one PC

  1. Situation:

    A custom built, hand-me-down, PC (albeit a good few years old now) comprising of:

    One IDE Drive (one partition) with Windows XP Home - original installation.
    One SATA Drive (four partitions) with Windows Vista Home Edition and XP Pro (the other two partitions are currently spare) - new OS installations.

    Nvidia NF7-S V2.0 Motherboard - BIOS 'now' up-to-date with all relevant drivers.

    2-Wire BT Broadband Business Hub.

    Problem (bearing in mind I have little knowledge of using multiple volumes and/or Networking do's and don't's etc. etc - hence the post):

    XP Home (on IDE drive) will connect to the internet (as it always has done) via the Ethernet Cable connected to the Router, but it does not recognise the Gateways USB cable option (yellow exclamation mark in Device Manager - and it won't/can't install a driver from any location - Router Installation CD, Windows/systems32, Windows up-date etc).

    XP Pro (on one of the new partitions on the SATA drive) will connect to the internet, but ONLY via the USB cable when connected to the Router - it's the opposite to the above problem when booting from that partition i.e. it does not recognise the Gateways Ethernet connection (this time, it's a yellow exclamation mark against the Ethernet Controller AND the SM Bus Controller - again, neither will find/install a driver from any location).

    Vista (on the other SATA drive partition works perfectly, regardless of how it's connected to the same router i.e. USB cable or Ethernet - there are no yellow exclamation marks in Device Manager and all hardware and associated drivers are fine and detailed correctly???

    Is it simply an XP thing when using multiple volumes and/or partitions with the same router, as the problem obviously isn't present when booting from the Vista installation or do I need to set certain parameters (somewhere) for all OS's to independently recognise all assocaited drivers, regardless of connection type?

    It's not a major problem, as I can access the intenet regardless of which OS I use, but it's a little annoying knowing that I have to use one connection method over another if I boot an XP installation...

    Thanks in advance for any feedback or walk through tips that might help.

    Oh, and by the way, as strange as it probably sounds, yes, I would like to have XP Home, XP Professional and Vista Home Premium all on the same PC.
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    You could just use virtual machines for the other two operating systems -- assuming the hardware can handle the load of a VM (it should if you have Vista running) and you don't need to leverage massive resources for 3D or gaming on the VMs.

    Your just tripling the complexities by running 3 host OS' in my honest opinion. While I agree they should all work, you'd only need to tackle one OS if you ran the rest as guests.

    Out of idle curiosity why do you need separate XP home and professional versions, as well as Vista anyway?
  3. Virtual Madness

    Virtual Madness TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Hi Leeky,

    Thanks for the reply – very much appreciate it!

    In answer to your question, I guess the reasons I’d like to have more than one OS would be:

    At least one back-up OS (XP Pro in this case) on the SATA drive in the event of the IDE drive failing with XP Home on it (the original installation that was on the PC before I added the SATA drive). At least then I’d have a snapshot of all of my customized programmes, files and settings (as long as I keep it up to date i.e. program installations and/or changes being done on both OS’s and frequent copying of my documents/favourites etc. etc. from the main OS to the back-up OS).

    The only reason Vista is coming into the equation is because I’ve only just obtained it for use on the second partition on the SATA drive i.e. over the years, I’ve heard a lot of bad press about Vista and that many people seem to actually prefer XP for various reasons. So, my intentions were to try and get used to Vista (whilst using XP as I normally do) or get fed up with it (which seems to be the general consensus) and then just leave it as another back-up/dormant OS on one of the partitions (albeit an unused OS).

    Windows 7 isn’t applicable at the moment – I don’t have it and don’t really intend on up-grading to it in the near future - but I’m sure I will in the end – I tend to be a few years behind everyone else :)

    What’s really interesting about your reply though is the whole Virtual Machine Host and Guests suggestion – I’m going to make myself look pretty stupid here I’m sure, but I didn’t even realize this was something you experienced techy guys do!?! In principle, in sounds like a much better idea than what I’m trying to do, but I’ve got no idea of where to start….It’ll probably, and inadvertently, solve my Router issue with the internet connections as well :)

    I’ve had a quick read (before writing this) of the Wikipedia article on VM’s and it all looks really good – the only thing is though, I’m not too sure of where or how to start the process of implementing it all, rather than as you say, tripling the complexities by running 3 host OS'

    Don’t suppose you can point me in the right direction of how to make a start? Preferably without incurring any costs and via reputable links that will do the job?

    Cheers Leeky and best regards,
    Virtual Madness

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