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Possible to dual boot off 2 sata harddrives?

By Bluemouse ยท 5 replies
Feb 3, 2007
  1. Hey all,

    I want to install windows vista on a second Sata hdd, and would like to have a dual boot option or something with it and my current/normal windows xp.

    Is there any way to easily/conveniently do this with 2 harddrives? I dont really want to partition my current HDD any more, and i don't really trust windows vista yet to be anywhere near my data. I would prefer to not have to rip out my drive and put the other one in to get it to work.

    Thanks :)
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Sure it is possible to dual boot XP and Vista on separate drives. You might need to be careful about what version of Vista you are using - I hear tell the upgrade actually removes any rights you previously had to run XP, so dual-boot from an upgrade version is theoretically not possible (but I know there are work-arounds - for the expert - try this link http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=5932)
  3. Bluemouse

    Bluemouse TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 195

    Yep, i found that already :) Thanks

    How would I set it up so I can boot off the second one? Do i modify the boot.ini in XP? Or is there even a boot.ini in vista lol? I guess I would modify the boot.ini on my primary drive (that being the xp). What would it look like if I added the second one on a (0) partition on the 2nd drive? And how do I set which drive is primary with SATA?

    Cheers :)
  4. Bluemouse

    Bluemouse TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 195

    What I would like to do is install Vista on a second SATA HDD without my current XP in (for safety, ill just unplug it). I don't really trust vista not to screw up my current drive, so I figure it will be easier just to unplug it for the time being. Then, I would like to be able to just plug my XP drive back in and change the boot.ini file or something using the WINDOWS XP Boot loader, and not have it be replaced by the Vista boot loader. I dont want to have to screw around with the boot managers when I want to uninstall Vista (which will more than likely be the case in the near future).

    Is there any way to do this?

    1) Install Vista on a clean drive without my XP drive plugged in
    2) Plug back in XP
    3) Use a boot loader without replacing the XP one at all?

    Thanks :D
  5. rauckman

    rauckman TS Rookie

    I did it two days ago with Vista Ultimate OEM version -it is almost automatic:
    Install drive - do not format or set up
    Boot Vista from DVD
    follow directions on screen
    used advanced harddrive option to format new drive and install Vista on it.
    Boot sequence is automatically modified to dual boot choice
    with Vista default.

    Easiest OS installation I have ever done, on first boot it found my LAN and inserted itself. All I had to do was set the workgroup
  6. Bluemouse

    Bluemouse TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 195

    Yea, but that modifies the boot manager to use the Vista one instead of the XP one.Then if I want to go back to only XP, I have to do a bunch of stuff to get the XP boot manager working again, which is what I want to avoid.

    Isn't there any way to get it to use the XP loader?
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