Installing win xp on an external hard disk

Hello there
I have this problem. I have win vista installed at the computer's internal hard drive. I would like to install win xp on an external hard disk without modifying anything at all at the internal hard disk where Win Vista is installed. What is more, I do not want to mess up with the internal hard disk's boot sector. Is there a straight forward approach to get this done?
I thought I could install win xp in the external hard disk by simply loading the win xp's installation cd in the cd tray and booting from the cd. Then I would choose the external hard disk as the target unit to install Win XP. Nonetheless, I think this approach has the inconvenience that would modify the boot sector in the internal hard disk. Since I do not want to mess up with this boot sector, is there anyway, to avoid modifying it so that the changes do not affect my current configuration but just my external hard disk?
Thanks in advance
3 answers Last reply
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  1. I don't think you'd 'mess up' your boot sector by the method you described.
    If something does occur, you can always fix the boot sector w/ the Win7 installation or repair disk (there are numerous threads explaining how to do this).
    There really is no other way to have a dual boot and not effect the boot sector on one of the disks.
  2. Thanks arges86
    Then if it works like you described, how could I install win xp in the external drive to create a boot sector on the external hard disk but leaving intact the internal hard disk where Win Vista is installed?

    If that were possible, How could I choose at start up time which hard disk I want to use every time I start up my computer to boot the computer from its boot sector?
  3. in your BIOS, you can select which disk is the default hard drive
    this will be the one with the boot sector on it.
    in the BIOS make sure that removable devices are detected.
    Some BIOS call it 'Boot from USB' or something like that.

    This article can maybe help if you have questions on what to do

    but i got to be honest, it seems an unnecessary step to try to move the boot sector to an external drive. The likely hood of damaging your current one is low, and its usually an easy fix (i messed mine up installing and uninstalling Ubuntu from a drive & it was all fixed in an hr. or so)
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