Can I dual boot XP Home??

By vegasgmc ยท 5 replies
Mar 15, 2006
  1. Can I edit the Boot.ini file or do I need a third party program. I put a new hard drive in my uncles eMachine and used the restore disks to install the OS. The old drive is set up as a slave ,with the OS and data still on it, but he wants to boot into it too. Ive only used XP Pro and Im not to familar with Home version. Thanks
  2. W35T0N

    W35T0N TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Dual Boot

    most new motherboards support HDD BOOT SPRITE in the bios which will give you an option of which drive to boot from otherwise as far as i am aware you will need to use 3rd party software as microsoft do not support any dual boot on seperate drives
  3. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,377

    Thanks. I added a second entry in the boot.ini file and it worked. I didnt think the home version would do that.
  4. wlknaack

    wlknaack TS Rookie Posts: 143

    As I understand what you did: You moved the original HDD from the primary position to the secondary position in the primary IDE controller, installed the new HDD in the primary position, and then installed WinXP on the new HDD. Is this correct? Was your original HDD assigned C:? What drive letter assignments do the two HDD's have now?

    The reason I ask is that if the new drive is C: and the old drive is now D:, then you have the registry in the OS on D: full of pointers pointing to C:, which is going to cause problems.

    WinXP does support dual boot on different drives. By leaving the original C: in its original position and adding the new drive to the secondary position, once the installation was complete, on reboot, I believe the new drive would have been given the drive letter D:, been recognized as bootable, and its boot manager (loader) would have taken control of the dual-boot and would have stored the dual boot information in the boot sector of the system drive, C:, and the OS choice screen would appear on your next reboot.

    Another way, if there is trouble having the installation CD distinguish between the the C: drive and the new drive (you don't want to end up installing over the original drive), is to remove the old C:, install the new drive in the primary position, install WinXP and shut the computer off using the power switch (do not reboot after the installation is complete). Move the new drive to the secondary position, reinstall the old C: to the primary position and reboot. WinXP will recognize the new drive as bootable, assigns it drive letter D: and stores the dual boot information in the boot sector of the C: drive.

    In either method the registry of each bootable OS will have the pointers directed at the correct drive letter. For dual boot, I think it would be better to have both drives set to cable select (although I am not clear regarding this matter; perhaps another member can clarify this).
  5. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,377

    I installed the new drive as the master and the original as the slave. I then unplugged the power connector of the old drive and installed the OS on the new drive. I then connected the old drive and booted up. The new drive is C, optical drives are D and E and the old C drive is now F. It now dual boots and so far there havent been any problems. Thanks
  6. wlknaack

    wlknaack TS Rookie Posts: 143

    I am glad you have not had any problems so far. Unfortunately, my initial observation still stands. The F: drive has been C: in its prior life and the registry keys will have program values which will look for C:, but the drive is F:. You do have a new C: drive on the system, so it will be interesting to see what unfolds. Could some program file path looking for its .exe file end up looking in the new C: drive, and determine "path not found?" Could you please keep us informed in this thread, should things unwarranted start to happen? I wish you luck.
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