1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Duel Booting. Different OS's. 2 Hard Drives

By Red268 ยท 11 replies
Feb 16, 2006
  1. Hi all,
    Can anyone help me out here. I have a Windows XP computer and I kept the hard drive from my old Windows 95 computer. I want to be able to to use the Windows 95 hard drive, but dont want to be takeing things apart inside my computer. Plugging in the old hard drive, I can just about manage, but thats about it. So, anyone know how I can use the 95 hard drive .... I dont really want to have the 95 hard drvie being the one that loads up first when i turn on my computer. Maybe there is a way of choosing which one to boot? or switching to the 95 one when I have started up my comouter normally?

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +6

    Only the "first" hard drive is used for booting the computer. Drives are enumerated in the order of primary master, primary slave, secondary master, secondary slave. So if you make sure your current HD is the primary master, then there's no problem.

    Booting Windows 95 is an issue though, since DOS (and thus Win95) will not boot unless it is on the first hard drive in the system.

    Some advanced boot managers can swap the hard drive IDs and make the secondary drive look as if it is the first one.
  3. Red268

    Red268 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Any ideas where I could get such a boot manager?
  4. Red268

    Red268 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I got a boot manager. But when it tries to boot up windows 95, it starts to, but then it says. Windows protection error. You need to restart yur PC .... any ideas?
  5. ru_ready

    ru_ready TS Rookie Posts: 22


    let me ask you a question here, did this win 95 drive come out of an old pc? and you want to use it to boot in a "newer" pc?

    if this is what you are trying to do, it cant be done unless you reformat the drive to operate on your new pc's MOBO and the such.

    i am thinkning what you are wanting to do is, stick in the hard drive and use it as a SLAVE drive

    1. check the jumpers on your old drive and set them to slave, NOT master
    2. install the drive into comp
    3. turn it on and the XP should find the new drive and assign a new drive letter... and poof done


    post back to let me know whats going on and if you need more help
  6. Red268

    Red268 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What you have just said is exactly ewhat I have done. So you are obviously thinking on the same lines as me. Unfortunatly you are right .... I wanted to put this HD from an old computer in to my new computer so that I could boot it up as if using my old computer. How would I go about formatting it to work with my new MOBO .... would it still have windows 95 on it?

  7. ru_ready

    ru_ready TS Rookie Posts: 22


    1st question, why would you want to still run win95?

    ok here is what i would do (or suggest)

    you will need alll the cd's (or floppies) for win 95, now back in 95 they used to install a DOS operating system first then use (boot) to win95 drivers etc. there are a couple varibles.

    if you have a booting (self install version) of win95, you will need to master the the old drive. hook it up.

    before you do this thou, in XP R-click my comp and explore the comp, then where you see the (slave) = old drive, right click on it and go to the option format this drive to fat 32... now your prob might come down to fat 32 and win 95 have no cross becuase win 95 was fat 16 - i have never tried to go win 95 in so long that is why i asked why would you want to?

    in the process of formatting the drive you will loose all the data thats on it. reason i say to format in XP is its easier to do then getting boot disks and doing a hard F-disk if you havent do it before it can be overwhelming.

    so i ask again... why 95? are you wanting to use-play old programs games that are 95 only? you can set these to run on XP as 95-98 etc.

    post back
  8. Red268

    Red268 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I want to use an old game that you can't run on XP .... I have tried everything, DosBox and many more things, but it doesnt work. I onyl say 95 because that is what is already on it. The game in question needs Dos (It claims it can run in windows 95 but we never managed to get it to) so maybe if I can borrow a windows 98 disk off of someone, that would be the better option?
  9. ru_ready

    ru_ready TS Rookie Posts: 22

    ok... now we are making headway.....

    what is the name of the game? and why wont it run in XP>?

    yes you could reformat to 98....

    but have you tried this? have you installed the game on the xp machine,
    then go to start/run / CMD ?

    then typing in the game you want to run/open in dos?

    or is the exe icon not working in xp?

    install the game then explore comp to find it.....

    can you right clickl on the program icon in program files and go to properties and click on operate as 95 etc? it is right click properties then compatibilty

    try that and see what happens... post back
  10. ru_ready

    ru_ready TS Rookie Posts: 22


    one other thing just came to mind.... would it be easier to get a free old 386 - 486 P1 laptop and just use this for the game?

    you can try this www.craigslist.org and make a new post in the wanted - comp - or free section in your area and see what is offered.....

    might be easier and faster
  11. Red268

    Red268 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was offered a free PC before, and would ahve taken it, but didnt have space at the time.

    Using the compatibility changing doesnt help unfortunatly. It looks like I will use this drive as storage until I can borrow a 98 CD off of someone. But then I should be able to boot up in 98 yes?

    Thanks for your help and advice. Much appreciated!
  12. ru_ready

    ru_ready TS Rookie Posts: 22

    yes you will be able to boot to any OS you install on the drive, as long as when you want to use that OS you will need to open the case and swap the jumpers from slave to master, unless you run a multi-boot process from one drive, do a google search on it and read about dual booting - multi booting

Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...