Multiple OS's on separate hard drives, boot selections?

By Annorax
Jan 16, 2005
  1. Hello, my current hard drive setup is the following:

    300gig with Windows XP: The main hard drive
    80gig with Windows 2000: A slave drive, was once my primary drive
    20gig with Windows XP: another slave, was once my primary a while ago

    Both slaves have the OS intact. How can I allow myself to choose to boot either Windows XP (from the 300) or 2000 (from the 80)? Thanks for any help.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Edit the C:\boot.ini file by adding the bold line.
    Change the timeout from 0 to 10 (seconds) or however many seconds you want to see the menu.
    If the directory is "Windows", change \WINNT accordingly

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="C-drive Windows XP" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINNT="X-drive Windows 2000 Pro" /fastdetect

    The numbers behind multi and disk are normally (0)
    rdisk(0) is master HD on primary IDE, (rdisk always starts at (0))
    rdisk(1) is slave HD on primary IDE
    rdisk(2) is master HD on sec. IDE
    rdisk(3) is slave HD on sec. IDE

    partition(1) is first partition of that disk, (partition always starts at (1))
    partition(2) = second, etc.
  3. Annorax

    Annorax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply.

    I heard that messing with boot.ini can cause many problems if done wrong. So adding this would give me the option to run either 2000 or XP? Just by adding that line, if it doesn't work would I still be able to start my main OS, XP on the 300?

    Edit: Well I just tried it, and it worked fine, except 2000 on the 80gig doesn't detect my new 300gig master. Is that normal?

    And also, these 2 hard drives are on a controller card, both on the same channel. My 20gig is connected to a motherboard IDE channel. How would I add that to the boot menu to?
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    The first controller is the parameter multi(0)
    the second would be multi(1) etc.

    I assume that the first controller is the mobo-controller, and the second would be the PCI-controller. But it could be the other way around.
    the disk(0) never changes.
    See here for more info:

    One more thing, with W2K also being in a primary active partition, W2K is probably a C-drive. It would not recognize another C-drive (with XP) I think, but this is technically beyond my knowledge.
    You could always try to change that W2K primary partition into an extended partition, using Partition Magic, but I am not sure of the impact this may have on your system.
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...