Where I work, I need to donate a computer that I have in order to have a computer that works better than what I have available. In doing so, they must clean the HD and install their OS and Software for which they have licenses for. What I would like to do is install a second HD that I will be able to use the computer with the OS and Software that I have purchased. Is it possible to run one OS and programs from one HD and then have the option to reboot to another OS and software. Is that possible?
There is another option. We all know that company IT people does not like others to mess up with their settings. What you can do is to unplug the hard drive that has company OS, and install your OS and apps on the other hard drive. When it is done, turn off the computer, plug the other hard drive back in, and turn the computer. Usually during boot, you can hit Fn key to select which drive you want to boot from. For example, my Asus board I hit F8 to select which drive I want to boot.
Dual boot will change the MBR and give you the option to select which OS you want. When you remove your drive, this option will still be there. It is something that IT don't like and most likely they will reinstall everything again.
With my option you can work with your OS, and IT won't get mad. Who knows when you will need their help later on.
Added +1 ^ was not there when I started to type - end added.
Yes and sinple.
(1) disconnect the "Company" and connect up the 2nd HDD
(2) Install Your operating system and programs.
(3) Power off and reconnect the Company HDD.
While in post, hit key to give you boot menu and select which operating system to use. Note this does not change boot priority. If you have boot prority set to company HDD, just let it boot normally. If need to change, then reboot, hit key and boot to "Your" hard drive. Check manual on key to bring up boot menu, On mine it is F12.
One big advantage is - NO SOFTWARE boot manager. The only thing is that say company HDD is C: and Your HDD is D: the Drive letters will switch, you can still access both drives from either operating system. Just can not run programs that are installed in operating system that is not in the "active" operating system.
This is the way I have my current backup computer configured. Two pairs of raid0 HDD, one with Vista and one with XP (Had a 3r which was the Win 7 RC which I removed).