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Windows XP/Windows XP Pro Dual Boot/Dual Drive Question

By drinkinbat
Oct 20, 2005
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  1. Hello everyone, I am new here so please bare with me, and thanks ahead for any and all help.

    I’m more of a hardware guy so this may seem like a stupid question to some. Is it possible to set up a dual boot system by installing an existing hard drive with a working OS (Windows XP) into another system with a working OS (Windows XP Pro)? I basically want to combine two systems into one with separate drives and OS’s without having to reinstall and upgrade the OS’s. Obviously, the “moved” drive and OS will have to be reregistered as with any drastic upgrade, but can I just plug the “moved” drive into the existing system and make it a dual boot: Windows XP Pro and Windows XP. (There are certain benefits to having these two different OS’s separate as some may know, plus I have both operating systems and drives tweaked just the way I like). Please let me know if this is possible and any info on how would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    Simple answer: NO.

    Both are 'Master' booting disks, and both are (probably) the C-drive.
    The registry of the 'moved' HD will be pointing to the wrong harddisk.
    The only way it could work, is when you install a 4-pole switch between the power-cable from the PSU, with the output going (switched ) to one OR the other HD.
    You'd need to power off to switch HDs.
    Both HDs can then be Master, on the same IDE-cable.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    boot manager will do it

    You could have a boot manager which will switch hard drives at boot time. There are several free ones on the web. My personal (easiest to use) favourite is GAG booter. Can boot from a floppy (if you have one) or can be installed to the hard drive on channel 1 master.

    The other drive can be made to be still visible as drive D: or whatever, or hidden as you desire.
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