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How to manage boot from multiple HDD in same with PC each with seperate OS

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November 27, 2009 2:15:14 PM

Hi all, I'm new to this sort of thing so please cut me a little slack if my questions seem really stupid or if someone has already answered it (and stupid me just didn't see it). I have a Biostar Mobo that has both SATA andd IDE connections. I also have two HDD, one 650GB SATA and my older 160Gb IDE drive. I want the option of two HDD (each with different a OS) and be able select the system I want to boot from. How can I do this? I have been told that it can be done by changing the Boot settings in BIOS, but I has also been told that this will damage my Mobo/PC. Is this true, and can anyone tell me hao to do it? I considered fabricating a switch system to interrupt the power from one drive while switching it to the other, but again, I'm told that this can scramble either one or both HDD because they data transfer ribbon remains connected.

Again, thanks for any help you may be able to give.

Not really a Geek!
a b G Storage
November 27, 2009 2:59:46 PM

Install the tow OS, after this, in the last OS that you installed do this:

start, run, msconfig, boot tab, and in this tab you can add the other OS in the other HDD. Select one as default and the time (30s). This time is the time that the PC show the option of dual boot, i mean, your two OS.
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November 27, 2009 3:48:59 PM

saint19 said:
Install the tow OS, after this, in the last OS that you installed do this:

start, run, msconfig, boot tab, and in this tab you can add the other OS in the other HDD. Select one as default and the time (30s). This time is the time that the PC show the option of dual boot, i mean, your two OS.



Thank you saint19 for your very prompt reply. You mention the tow OS, I'm not sure what this means but if it's a second OS on the same HDD, then this isn't what I want. I want to use two separate HDD's with different OS but with the option of using just one OR the other at a time. The catch is, they are both in the same PC and even though both have OS installed, my PC will only boot from one unless I open the case and unplug one HDD or go into the BIOS (which as I mentioned, I'm told this can cause problems, don't know why, but that's what I'm told. Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks again, Yeah, I know, I'm really not much of a Geek but I am working on it!! LOL
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a b G Storage
November 27, 2009 3:55:09 PM

^We are talking the same language, with two OS, i mean that are in diferent HDD, for example, win xp in one 640GB and win vista in the other one.
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a c 353 G Storage
November 27, 2009 8:01:11 PM

If your BIOS allows you to select Boot drive during Post (ie Hit F12 during post for gigabyte boards), I would recomment the following method. I used this method for XP, Vista, and Win 7 RC

(1) connect 1st HDD (leave 2nd HDD disconnected). Install 1st operating system - Does Not matter which one first. After operating system is installed, Pwr down and disconnect this drive.

(2) connect 2nd HDD and install 2nd operating sytem. Once it is installed, Pwr Down.

(3) connect the 1st HDD - DONE. When You turn on, just hit Key (ie F12) and select which operating system to boot to

NO Software BOOT manager that can mess up both drives.
I named my drives for the operating system installed.

NOTE - for a triple boot, just use the same method.
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a b G Storage
November 27, 2009 8:21:34 PM

^Isn't true. Vista boot pro can manage your OS in all HDD.
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a c 353 G Storage
November 27, 2009 11:00:09 PM

^ Did not say it couldn't.
My way gets rid of the requirement of a software boot manager.
It's cleaner, and clobbering one drive may cause problems on the other drives when a software program is involved.
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November 29, 2009 12:10:21 AM

Thanks guys, actually I think both of you have great suggestions! I am, in fact presently using the method described by RetiredChief, but I have been told that this can cause problems somehow (although I can't see how)! Also, saint19, I guess what threw me off in your reply was a simple spelling error (tow instead of two, which I should have recognized). Make perfect sense now, Thak you both! PS, can I nominate both of you for best answer?

Not really a Geek, and it shows!
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a b G Storage
November 29, 2009 12:19:15 AM

^No, you can't nominate both answer, read the answer again an select the best for you.
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!