Seeking Dual Boot Advice

By kenterm
Jul 17, 2007
  1. I have scanned many forums about the use of Dual Boot and as usual I find as many horror stories as there are success stories. So I figured I would ask the experts up front and see if I can avoid some of the problems.

    Here is the situation. I run a small home business primarily on two networked workstations. I use Xp Sp2, fully updated, ZASS [firewall, virus and spyware], Sucunia, quality Registry cleaners, daily backups, etc. It is a well maintained system. However, regardless of how clean you keep a system, bad installs/uninstalls over the years take a toll on performance. The latest grief centers on the explorer.exe and iexplorer.exe processes sucking up 80% of the CPU even when WE and IE7 have not even been opened. No one seems to have an answer to this either. So it is time to upgrade the hardware and a clean copy of Xp. I do not want to go to Vista until next year.

    I am building a new system and want to use dual boot as a tool to convert over to a new clean version of Xp in an orderly manner. I want to replicate the functionality I have developed over the years onto the new system and it will take time as many programs have been installed.

    My current system uses a hard drive divided into two partitions. The primary C drive contains windows and programs and the D drive contains data and additional programs. The file system is FAT32. I want to install this drive in the new system, let the OS reconfigure to the new hardware and boot from it to continue to run as usual.

    There will also be a new SATA drive which I will use to install a clean copy of Xp. This will be my second boot drive. My intent in doing this is so that I am not rushed into converting all of my applications over to the new drive and still be able to run my business as usual. Dual boot is ideal to do this.

    So my loaded question is “What should I watch out for?” and what suggestions could you make?

    I have not used SATA before but I believe the Bios must be informed to boot from it first or the Boot.ini file needs to be changed. Will this conflict with my ability to boot from my ATA drive from my current system?

    I know the answer to this posting may be lengthy so does anyone know of a good article I can use as a guideline?

    Thanks in advance for any help that can be offered.
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