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Dual-Boot on 2 Hard Drives

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May 12, 2009 12:33:43 PM

I installed windows 7 on the larger hard drive,then installed windows XP on another drive,same computer,both drives are in sata ports 1 and 2,I have the bios set to AHCI,I had no problems with the install,but now it only boots the XP,it doesn't give me the option to what OS I want to boot from,and when Im up and running in XP,I can see the other drive using explore with everything I installed on it,but now I cant boot back up into windows 7,I tried to set a dual boot to be able to use both operating systems,what did I do wrong,thanks

More about : dual boot hard drives

May 12, 2009 4:50:39 PM

That's because it derives the list from whichever hard drive you have it set to boot from, if you didn't install the other OS with both hard drives installed, they each have their own initialization file, boot.ini i believe.
May 12, 2009 6:18:14 PM

so your saying to take one out,do the install until its completely done and it boots,then add the other HDD,do another install on that one with the other OS and everything should run fine after that,does this sound right?thanks
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May 12, 2009 7:20:01 PM

I thought that the only way to get a prompt asking you which OS do you want to boot is if you had two OS's on one drive. Otherwise it will just boot the drive that you have set on your bios under boot priority.
May 13, 2009 6:09:01 PM

I did this on a computer we bought for work. It came pre-loaded with Vista but we wanted XP so we bought a 2nd hard drive, unplugged the Vista HDD and installed XP on the new HDD. As far as each install of the OS is concerned it was installed on C:. When we plugged the Vista HDD back in the computer still boots to XP by default but if we want Vista we press the F12key (or whatever the boot menu is for your bios) and choose the 2nd HDD. Make sure to hide the other OS's HDD from each install under "Computer Management" so the OS or you can't inadvertently affect the other OS. This worked fantastic for our uses since we want X 99% of the time and if we need vista it's a press of a button on boot.
May 14, 2009 11:38:08 AM

thanks,I'll try that
September 1, 2009 12:19:21 PM

darkwingz24 said:
I did this on a computer we bought for work. It came pre-loaded with Vista but we wanted XP so we bought a 2nd hard drive, unplugged the Vista HDD and installed XP on the new HDD. As far as each install of the OS is concerned it was installed on C:. When we plugged the Vista HDD back in the computer still boots to XP by default but if we want Vista we press the F12key (or whatever the boot menu is for your bios) and choose the 2nd HDD. Make sure to hide the other OS's HDD from each install under "Computer Management" so the OS or you can't inadvertently affect the other OS. This worked fantastic for our uses since we want X 99% of the time and if we need vista it's a press of a button on boot.


I don't quite understand what you meant by "Make sure to hide the other OS's HDD from each install under "Computer Management" so the OS or you can't inadvertently affect the other OS." How and when to do you need to hide the other drive once it is configured the way you explained? As long as you select which HD to boot to, why does it matter?
October 29, 2011 2:23:22 AM

It will not matter at all. What everyhard drive/OS you have selected in the BIOS will boot. I have been doing this for years while learning a new OS so I can still use my old one while working throgh the porcess. It works very well with two hard dives. I have had no isues.
November 12, 2011 6:34:39 PM

It works great for me as well, I have XP on one drive and Windows 7 on the other - you choose the order of the hard drive/OS in the bios boot setup section, which is F2 on my computer, and from then on you enter the boot menu, F11 in my case, and choose which drive you want to boot to. If you use XP more than W7 then make XP your default boot in the setup.
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