Dual Boot XP Single Drive

By deeps1987 ยท 9 replies
Jul 12, 2008
  1. hey guys,
    Right, i have dual booted XP Professional from a single drive before with the following procedure for quiet some time now (3/4 years)

    1:Format Drive, Create partition (50:50)
    2:Install XP on one partition
    3:Make a image of XP partition with Acronis True Image
    4:Restore the image on the second partition

    I have always ended up with dual boot XP on a single drive (after editing the boot.ini)
    When i went into the first partition, which i named 'General Use' it was C: drive
    and when i booted into the second partition named 'Gaming Only' it was C: drive
    (While I'm running on a partition, the other partition shows up as D: drive, but once i restart and select that partition, it shows up as C: drive and the other partition becomes D: drive)
    This was all good and well and just what i wanted

    Last week my motherboard died and i got a free upgrade (under warranty)
    Anyway, my old hard drive images were useless because of the different drivers installed during XP, so i decided to start fresh, formatted the hard drive, went through the usual procedure but this time, when i boot into the second partition (Gaming Only) it said it was D: drive and i got a windows error message.
    No matter what i try, it comes up with D: drive, which isn't what i want.

    When i restore the image with Acronis, i set it as Active (i have a choice of Active, Primary, Logic/al [cant quiet remember the last one])
    Could this have anything to do with it?

    Any Suggestions?
    Thanks in advance
    (Hope that all made sense, it is rather confusing)
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You can use Drive Management by going to Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk management to change the second drive to any ID other than C:
    The first boot must be on C:, or whatever the first avaiable drive is other than C: and the second boot can be any other drive other than C: but it cannot be C:, and it cannot be any other drive with the same ID as that on which the first boot is installed. The boot drive ID cannot be changed.
  3. deeps1987

    deeps1987 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 109

    But the thing is i want both partitions to be C: drive, once i boot into them, like they were before i got my new motherboard.
    You can manually change the boot drive ID via Regedit, [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices] but i don't recommend it, i have tried it and it made me unable to boot lol

    thanks for the reply though
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Simply not possible. Your memory has perhaps slipped. Your second partition could not have been C: Simple as that. It won't work, and never has been known to work with WXP.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Did you actually use the same method of creating partition 1, installing XP, then cloning it ? An actual installation into the second partition is likely to produce the result you now see. If that is what happened, you should have forced the first install to be invisible with a partition manager before installing the second.
  6. deeps1987

    deeps1987 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 109

    It is possible, a week ago i had my system running dual boot XP running from one drive with both partitions C: drive depending on which partition i booted into.
    It was only possible using Acronis True Image to create and restore the image though.
    However it doesn't seem to work now, but i assure you it does work.
  7. deeps1987

    deeps1987 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 109

    Nope, i did the same routine i usually do,
    install XP, Create image, Restore image on second partition.
    hmm, i might try making the other partition invisible, thanks for the tip :)
    any partition managers you recommend?
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Not likely to be a dual boot in the way described... with both drives as C:
  9. deeps1987

    deeps1987 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 109

    I built my friend a pc 3 weeks ago now, he has dual boot XP with both drives being C: drive once booted into each.
    How can i prove it to you? Ill take screen shots and pictures if need be, any other methods you'd like me to use to?
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I believe you can do as you say. After all, anyone who dual boots Win98, 2K, XP at any time has found each OS installs as C:.... The problems begin when it is XP installed twice, without hiding the first version from the second. Possibly an update to Acronis has changed the situation to save people from themselves.....

    I think a partition manager can do what you want, but you will no longer be able to see each copy of XP from the other - but who cares?

    The following link - caution, I have never used it - seems to offer partition management of the type you need.


    P.S. hiding the 1st partition may work, but may be something you need to do at each boot - i.e. you need to do partition hiding dynamically. The free boot manager GAG booter can do this.

    here is a link to everything one could need about partitioning, resizing, multi-booting.

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