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Dual Boot / Dual HDD question

Last response: in Systems
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September 24, 2009 3:34:37 PM

I've posted this on the Windows Vista forum, but haven't seen a response since I posted it two days ago. I figured there may be someone here who has an answer, and considering my rig was just built this year the topic would also fit in without any problems. Other than that, I just copy/pasted what I put in the other topic.


So I'm thinking of scrapping my older, pre-built Dell and transferring everything I can over to my self-built machine. While I already have Vista installed, and understand it will make things a bit more complicated, I have a few questions before I try anything and possibly ruin things altogether. Now, the HDD in my built PC is SATA, while the older drive (which would boot XP) is IDE.

1. Probably the most important--all I have is the original DELL restore disc, which of course has the Windows drivers/installation on it. If I were to take the old drive, would I even be able to instal XP via the DELL disc?

2. Most guides I've looked into are for a single HDD partitioned to use XP, is there a better guide for using two separate, different types of drives?

I'll probaby have more questions later, as it's late and I'm starting to get drowsy. Thanks in advance for any help!
September 27, 2009 12:04:51 AM

I would say you are mixing a lot of things together Vista ,xp IDE Sata, not to mentin Dell
1 Is that disc a restore disc or a full xp installation disc ? I am not sure but I think that disc is for Dell pc's only so it may not work on non Dell pc's

2 If it was me I would use the IDE HDD and make the jumpers cable select and go into bios to switch back and forth from HD0 to HD1 that way I can keep things separate I am not sure how Sata cable works since I have not used them so far
September 27, 2009 4:15:55 PM

Unfortunately, it is a restore disc. I figured this could pose problems, but was thinking it could possibly be avoided if I just used someone elses XP disc, and the original serial number from the DELL.

Another question, and I'm not sure whether this would work (and pretty much doubt it), would it be possible to just take the HDD out of the old DELL, and simply install it into the new PC and have XP present? I know that each serial is supposed to be tied to your Motherboard, but since Vista is already installed, would XP load from the old HDD? Again, I kind of doubt this but someone might have answers so I can understand why a bit better.
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September 27, 2009 11:06:14 PM

alpha_noj said:
Unfortunately, it is a restore disc. I figured this could pose problems, but was thinking it could possibly be avoided if I just used someone elses XP disc, and the original serial number from the DELL.

Another question, and I'm not sure whether this would work (and pretty much doubt it), would it be possible to just take the HDD out of the old DELL, and simply install it into the new PC and have XP present? I know that each serial is supposed to be tied to your Motherboard, but since Vista is already installed, would XP load from the old HDD? Again, I kind of doubt this but someone might have answers so I can understand why a bit better.


You are right about being able to just use someone elses install disc and your OEM key code BUT..........if you dual boot with both HDDs activated you WILL loose all your restore points on the Vista HDD thanks to XP.

I use several HDDs and OP/SYSs in my PC but unplug the power cable to all but the one I intend to use. You could wire up a 4pdt switch to control which HDD you want to run as well.

I W/C ( home built ) and leave the side panel off so its no big deal to me to just plug power into the HDD I intend to use.

A response to your question about just plugging in the HDD and seeing what happens? Honestly it does work SOMETIMES!!!!! You may need to uninstall some drivers before you try that thou...like chipset, GPU and consideration if your mixing an INtel with AMD powered or visa versa PCs.

Good luck
September 29, 2009 6:03:21 PM

Thanks for the responses! I may still go this route, but I'm also considering just picking up a cheap 80gig drive (only ~$35 from Newegg) and seeing if any of my college friends can get me a new XP disc and key for cheap/free. I'm also thinking of upgrading my Vista to Windows 7 using my college e-mail (I don't get free OS's, but I'm able to upgrade) for only $30, which seems good.
!