Dual Boot XP+Vista on Seperate SATA HDD's, possible? How?

I think the subject says the question pretty well but I'll describe it a little better here:

I have XP installed on just one SATA hard drive. I have a brand new different SATA hard drive that I want to install and put vista on. Then I want to make it so that when my computer turns on it asks me which OS i want to load. So basically my current XP hard disk needs to say the primary master but I'm going to install another drive, likely to be secondary master but i can change that based on what you tell me here...but I want it to be able to load vista from that.

I do not want to repartition my current drive because I have tried it using two different utilities and nearly corrupted all my data doing so. I want to throw vista on this new hard disk for now until i figure out all the quirks of driver problems with it etc and then I'll just make it my primary and use that drive as storage.

Your help is appreciated.

THX

P.S. the few things I'm really looking for is:

1) what kind of boot manager is capable of doing this when there are separate physical drives and not just separate partitions

2) what steps should I take when installing vista to ensure that the installation will complete properly on a drive that is not the primary
8 answers Last reply
More about dual boot vista seperate sata possible
  1. When installing Vista it has to be installed to its own partition so when you select the new sata drive it will use the boot manger built into Vista to do what you want.

    There is a really nifty free program I would get called VistaBootPRO 3.1 which allows you to control the boot configuration and edit the Boot Configuration Data store (BCD).

    You cannot edit the boot.ini file once you install Vista like you could with WinXP.

    http://www.vistabootpro.org/
  2. Quote:

    You cannot edit the boot.ini file once you install Vista like you could with WinXP.

    http://www.vistabootpro.org/


    can you tell me what that matters? Sorry if that's a dumb question. But thanks for the rest of the comments i really appreciate it!
  3. You have to use the program I suggested to modify the boot.ini file or the Vista BCD program to edit your dual boot setup because Vista uses a different way to boot.

    If you try and edit the boot.ini with notepad it will not work once you install vista. You have to edit it within Vista or VistaBootPRO while in XP or Vista

    In xp, you used to be able to right click my computer>System Properties>Advanced>Startup>System Startup to edit the boot.ini file or go to c:\ to edit with notepad.

    Simply put, only use VistaBootPro or the Vista editor to alter your start up menu or it will not boot properly.

    VistaBootPro has a great forum with a FAQ on this.
  4. Few things:

    First of all.. primary and secondary only applies to IDE. On SATA each drive is a solo master (only 1 device per channel, not 2 like IDE).

    Once you install Vista on the new drive, the boot manager will automatically make an entry for "Previous Version of Windows" or something close that will let you boot into XP. Start the install of Vista from within XP, and do a clean install, and you are all set.

    You won't have to fuss with the boot manager at all.

    I am running XP and Vista (not RC1- Business Final) dual booted right now with no issues.
  5. Quote:
    Few things:

    First of all.. primary and secondary only applies to IDE. On SATA each drive is a solo master (only 1 device per channel, not 2 like IDE).

    Once you install Vista on the new drive, the boot manager will automatically make an entry for "Previous Version of Windows" or something close that will let you boot into XP. Start the install of Vista from within XP, and do a clean install, and you are all set.

    You won't have to fuss with the boot manager at all.

    I am running XP and Vista (not RC1- Business Final) dual booted right now with no issues.


    thank you very much, i'll give it a shot this week.
  6. shadowduck

    Have you tried to un-install vista yet or did the first install work like a charm.

    I was just trying to get him prepared in case something went wrong he would be able to get out of it without pulling his hair out wondering why he could not access the boot.ini file.

    Cheers
  7. Quote:
    shadowduck

    Have you tried to un-install vista yet or did the first install work like a charm.

    I was just trying to get him prepared in case something went wrong he would be able to get out of it without pulling his hair out wondering why he could not access the boot.ini file.

    Cheers


    Ahh first install worked like a charm.
  8. shadowduck

    My brother had problems with his installation and could not do anything to get back into XP until we found VistaBootPRO to edit his bootloader menu.

    It really is a lifesaver if everything turns to shit not to mention it makes it really easy to uninstall Vista with the BCD editor and one click features for noobies.

    I consider myself a noobie with Vista as there are major changes from WinXP
Ask a new question

Read More

SATA Hard Drives Windows Vista