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Dual boot with hot swap caddy

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January 30, 2011 10:24:33 PM

Hello,This is very convoluted, so I hope to explain this correctly. I wish to install 2 separate hard drives on my new build, each with their own operating system on one computer. Hard Drive #1 shall operate from a hot swap caddy and be a Linux system; Hard Drive #2 shall be Windows and mounted internally. If Drive #1 (hot swap caddy w/Linux) is listed as the first boot option, and Hard Drive #2 (internal mount with Windows) as second boot sequence will it operate? MORE IMPORTANT>>> If Drive #1 (Hot Swap Caddy) is removed from the computer, will the boot sequence “skip” the Hot Swap caddy and load from the next in sequence (the internal Hard Drive loaded with Windows).
a c 289 G Storage
January 31, 2011 12:15:00 PM

This is something I do frequently. It kind of depends on your motherboard and BIOS.

In my case, every time the BIOS detects a change in available drives from the last time that it was started, it resets the boot order. This used to be a problem for me, until I realized that it always picked the drive attached to the lowest-numbered SATA port.

What I suggest you try is connect the caddy to the lowest-numbered SATA port, the internal drive to the second port, and set your boot order to DVD-caddy-internal. Then boot and make sure that it works.

Shutdown, remove the caddy, and see if it boots from the internal drive. If that's good, shutdown, replace the caddy, and see if it boots from the caddy. If these steps all work, your BIOS behaves like mine. If the steps do not work, we can try something else.

What kind of motherboard do you have?
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January 31, 2011 3:00:27 PM

Motherboard...ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO. The caddy is an IDE LINUX hard drive that will be connected to the IDE port on the MoBo, with the internal HD, (Windows 7) connected to the SATA port on the MoBo. I wish to establish the boot order, #1 CD(SATA) #2 IDE connected LINUX HD, #3 internal SATA Windows 7 HDD.
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a c 289 G Storage
January 31, 2011 3:09:49 PM

I suspect that the boot order will change when you remove the caddy. The CD should stay first, but the Win7 HDD will move up. However, when you put the caddy back in, if it's on a lower-numbered port, it will boot. Easiest way to be sure is to try it.
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January 31, 2011 3:31:06 PM

Just to connfirm...If the boot option is as stated, WHEN the IDE drive is plugged into the caddy, it WILL boot before the SATA drive, but if the IDE caddy is NOT occupied, the SATA will boot. Sould the CD be connected to MoBo SATA port #1 with the Internal HDD connected to SATA port #2...or does it make a difference which ports are being utilized?
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January 31, 2011 4:15:43 PM

also, if the IDE caddy is using a XP HDD(which I am using in old machine) should the SATA configuration be set to to IDE or ACHI?
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a c 289 G Storage
January 31, 2011 4:42:29 PM

evilears (just how is it that your ears are evil, anyway?)

Keep in mind that I am giving an educated guess here. My best guesses are that
1) Yes to your first post above. The port order does matter when the BIOS is guessing a new boot order after the boot disk it defaulted to last time is removed.

2) To the second, the SATA overall configuration should be set to AHCI, but the port into which you plug your XP drive should be set to IDE. It's simple (with thanks to tecmo34) to switch a Win7 installation that was done under IDE to AHCI. It's trickier to do that with XP. I did, I had fun, but I had to do three or four restores of my system drive before it worked. You do have full image backups of your system drive, dont you? ;) 
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January 31, 2011 5:05:09 PM

So much that they are pointy at the top...so much tasty evil stuff when I was young and frisky! I really appreciated you input on this. One more emphasis..***the XP/Linux HDD shall be utilizing the IDE connector on the Motherboard and NOT a SATA port*** All OS will be fresh installs.
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a c 289 G Storage
January 31, 2011 5:45:30 PM

Ohh, I totally missed that. I thought that you meant the other HDD was an SATA drive built in IDE mode! Wrong, wrong, wrong - it is an IDE drive with a 40-pin cable, right?

That one I haven't tried. Ignore everything I wrote about setting one SATA port to IDE mode; you can't connect an EIDE drive to an SATA port. Just try the experiments I outlined in my first post and see what happens.

(uses compressed gas can to clear out dust from between ears)
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January 31, 2011 5:53:50 PM

Yep...40 pins and all. I am trying to take advantage of both my old legacy equipment and ASUS 40 pin connector. I guess we are in the "try it and see if it works mode". One would not suspect anything bad could happen...

Just shake head violently from side to side to remove evil dust particles
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