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Vista/Vista Dual Boot file sharing.

Last response: in Storage
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March 29, 2008 8:34:56 PM

Hey folks,

Ok, here is my quandry. I just picked up a new Seagate 320gb HD to compliment my wearing WD 80 GB had. NOw I would like to make my Seagate the main drive and use the WD 80 as just suplimentary storage. My issue is, what is the best way to transfer files between the 2 since the WD has the operating system on it now.

Ideally I want to wipe the WD and leave it blank and thus install the OS on the Seagate. I have alot of music and such to transfer over (40 gigs or more) and so what I really would like to do is just transfer the whole lot to the Seagate with the OS on there. My thought was to Dual Boot the HD's both with Vista and do the transfer that way. Unfortunetly I've never Dual Booted a system before and don't really know whether or not access to to the other HD is possible through windows once another OS is on there.

SO to sum up and make it more simple: 1.) Install Vista again on the Seagate 320.

2.) Boot from either or and have acess to the other HD within windows

3.) Transfer all files from the WD 80 to the Seagate

4.) Wipe the WD and use it for storage

Is it possible to do it like this? Or is there a better way such as Partinioning the Seagate, transfering the files, intalling the OS after the fact, and then moving the files that way and then deleting the partition?

Any input would be helpful as I really dont feel like burning 10-15 DVDs

Thanks
March 29, 2008 9:46:09 PM

did you buy the Seagate boxed. If you did then you have all that you need. If not then go to seagates site and get their tools disk. There is a version of Acronis migrate software. It will allow you to migrate you wd 80 to your seagate with or without partitioning. When you are done just switch the cables.

Now here is the important part. You will need your original Vista DVD. When you boot vista will tell you that something is wrong and insert the system disk. It will then correct all versions of vista that it finds. The reason for this is that vista uses a special file BCD that tells it what to boot. After it is done then you will get a boot menu saying both versions are recovered (I hate the title recovered) You will be able to boot from either disk. You can change the default boot disk by
1. right click on computer in start menu and select properties
2. select advanced when the window opens
3. second window opens with advanced tab.
4. select start up recovery and pick the default boot disk.

If you want to see what is in BCD then go to accessories and right click on command and run as admin. enter bcdedit and you will see that things have changed from XP's boot.ini. screwing with BCD is not easy and there is a long knowledge base article about it, the URL of which is in the vista help file. So far I have elected to leave manual edits alone and stuck to the first procedure that I detailed above.

When you are done and sure then you can format your 80 if you wish. I chose to leave the OS there as a back up and just deleate programs and un-needed files. So I have a vista pre-sp1 and one post-sp1 :-)

oh here is what you would see

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6001]
Copyright (c) 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {bootmgr}
device unknown
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
displayorder {c41c0774-d9e1-11dc-b7a8-efdf3af27c44}
{current}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {c41c0774-d9e1-11dc-b7a8-efdf3af27c44}
device partition=F:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate (recovered)
osdevice partition=F:
systemroot \Windows

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {current}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate (recovered)
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {7263175d-f9d5-11dc-98f7-806e6f6e6963}

C:\Windows\system32>
a b G Storage
March 29, 2008 9:57:49 PM

^Well said.
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a c 353 G Storage
March 29, 2008 11:18:29 PM

Azimuth40 -Great way.

I only offer this as an alturnative.
Unplug your orignal drive. Plug in your new drive and reinstall vista. You can partition your new drive if desired. Reconnect your old drive. Boot to your new drive (selected in BIOS) and simply transfer all your data files to the new drive. Your old drive should be D or E.

Reformat your old drive, after you have verified all is OK.

As stated Azmiuth40 method is better, only advantage to the way I discribed is that you have a "Clean" installation.
March 30, 2008 2:09:28 AM

Thanks a bunch guys for the input. Unfortunetly, I became impatient and threw caution ot the wind and just Dual booted with 2 versions of the same Vista.

It did work like a charm, but it is ALOT of work to re-upgrade everything, whereas azimuth40's idea would have saved me ALOT of headache. Unfortunetly, it was an OEM HD (hey for 77 bucks Canadian, I'm good with that) and thus no software came.

And, yes I agree RetiredCHief, it is an advantage to having a clean install as well, as my PC was somewhat cluttered.

Thanks again folks, much appreciated.
March 30, 2008 3:31:59 AM

I kind of figured that you did when I saw that you were off line right after you wrote the first message. It all worked out for you though

Since I do commercial programming I had way too much software to be thinking of clean installs of anything. It would have taken me a week to reinstall everything. If you are just copying data that is one thing but you can't just copy programs as registry migrations never ever completly work. Seagate's software works like a charm, outside of restoring a image backup which is risky on different size disks.

Glad that you survived it.

It worked so well, I will be doing it again to my other programming system next week.
!