Two HDDs -- boot both?

By cjmwid
Jul 24, 2011
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  1. Hello i have 2 hdds me main one with Win XP SP3 and my 2ed one thats blank(was going to wut xp or win7 idk??) my question is can i boot my 2ed one and run a minecraft server on it then boot my main and use it for normal usage??? while still having the 2ed running the server??

    i dont know if i should have them both win XP SP3 or main XP and 2ed 7??

    please help me idk wat im doing....


    P.S. i tryed to Explain as best as i could post if u need anymore information and wat information it is that you need
  2. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +45


    I think now might be a good time to research "virtual machines"........

    I'm no expert with this virtual machine stuff, if you want someone wise to talk about it, look up a forum member by the name of Leeky, he probably can assist you better than I can. If Leeky can't be reached, I know of several others around here who can help you.

    Who knows maybe virtual machine isn't the way to go here, maybe that two drive inside one computer thing may work, I've never heard of it, but who knows.

    Good luck :)
  3. cjmwid

    cjmwid TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok thanks i will look into it XD

    EDIT: i will try the VM and see wat works
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,433   +143

    I think you're using the wrong approach, just use two computers. If you can't, I have no idea if a virtual machine would work.
  5. LifeSteala

    LifeSteala TS Rookie

    Virtual machines is the way to go. I run 3 on my computer. One runs game servers, one allows me to do testing and the other for work related stuff.

    Good Luck, oh and I too use VirtualBox!
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Whilst it is possible to boot off either HDD, not many boot loaders can do that well, the reason being that normally your PC will boot off the drive that is top of the boot order in the bios. So in effect, you are asking the boot loader to swap the order of drives as defined in the bios - every time.

    The situation gets worse if the two drives you refer to are on different channels - as one being IDE the other being SATA for instance.

    Just for a laugh, I include this link to the main boot loaders and a quick glance at that will probably put you off the whole idea.

    I have tried GAG in the past, which works fine and is easy to use, but does not cope (or did not then) with different channels as I remarked above.

    As other posters have said, Virtual box is a fairly good solution to this, where the second (virtual) OS can occupy the whole of the second drive if you so desire. The main need is a lot of memory and a fast CPU, as well as very common and well-supported hardware.

    Alas, a second reading of your original post makes me suspect that you are thinking you can run both OS at the same time
    That is not possible with dual booting and I am not too sure it would work in virtual box either. The act of running a server or several inside the same box rather depends upon the host operating system being designed for that (such as VMware) as far as I understand it.

    However LifeSteala says he runs a game server in Virtual box, which means his host OS is probably Windows, although it could also be Linux or a Mac.
  7. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    Guys, how are VMs going to help out this guy with his issue? Why would you run a game server such as Minecraft on a VM?
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Because you can't otherwise run 2 operating systems at the same time on the same hardware. A VM will let him do this.
  9. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    Yes... however, I dont think it's necessary, in my opinion.

    A regular desktop PC can run a Minecraft server just fine without a VM... and in fact installing and running a VM may make it more difficult if the user doesnt know how to adjust his network settings with a VM, depending on the VM software he is using. Running a VM puts extra stress on the PC rather than just running the Minecraft server app, which is extra, as well as unnecessary, stress put on the PC. You can run the server alongside the Minecraft game. I've done this on my personal PC for almost 6 months, and have recently dedicated a lower end PC to run the server 24/7, because I do not prefer to have my PC on 24/7, personal issues with that.

    OP should just install minecraft_server.exe from and run as is. Unnecessary problems, he is creating for himself. Unless there are other concerns or issues with this that he has not informed us of.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    VM = isolation and if the game server goes public, that's very desirable.

    you might like to see this reference
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    I agree with Jobeard on this, a VM running as a guest on your main OS is a much better solution. Its also a damn sight safer in my honest opinion.

    I wouldn't mix personal information and data on a system acting as a game server, or otherwise connected directly to the internet. Another option is a budget build, or secondhand server or PC to do the job as a separate computer.
  12. HiDDeNMisT

    HiDDeNMisT TS Booster Posts: 220   +14

    Y can't he just dual boot from 1 HDD and leave the other as storage??
  13. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    The OP was asking if he could run 2 OS's from 2 separate disks using the same hard, at the same time.

    I'm guessing dual boot isn't a viable option as the OP intends to run the gameserver, and use his usual OS at the same time to play his game.
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    Sole issue is when the single system resources get exhausted - -
    you can only upgrate so far and then you need a distributed (ie multiple system) solution.
  15. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,267   +101

    In this aspect yes, I completely agree. Sorry, I must have been talking from a more performance orientated perspective.

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