2 different hdd and 2 different os

ive read alot of threads about this, and not quite 100% on what to do...

what i want to do is have one hdd with xp, and another with win7. i have xp installed already, and am going to upgrade to win7, but i was thinking to instal xp on the new drive and then upgrade to win7, student prices...

can i simply just disconnect my xp hdd, connect the new hdd, install xp again upgrade to win7, and if i want to use the other hdd, (xp) i can just go back and forth by unplugging and plugging in the other one???

doing it that way will bypass the issues i heard of or workarounds, like win7 or xp, deleting the restore points and so on, i also heard of hdd not even booting... its for a music computer, and just want the simplest way of doing this...

or is jus disconnecting the xp hdd, and installing xp again, upgrade to win7, turn off machine, connect both hdd's, and pick wich one i want to boot from in boot screen, the same as just disconnecting either hdd and plugging in the one i want the same...

any issues doing this either way??? thanks for the help...
11 answers Last reply
More about tomshardware
  1. Quote:
    can i simply just disconnect my xp hdd, connect the new hdd, install xp again upgrade to win7
    Yes. This is the best way as none of the drives requires the other one to be available to boot the OS.

    and if i want to use the other hdd, (xp) i can just go back and forth by unplugging and plugging in the other one???
    Is your PC so old that it doesn't allow selecting a boot drive at POST by using a function key? I have 2 hard disks in an old system and I can use a function key to select the second hard disk when I want to boot from it.
  2. the pc isnt old, it will allow the boot screen from my mobo... i just didnt want one of the hdd to read or mess up the other one by having them both in... if i use the xp hdd when i want, then if i want to use the win7 hdd, can i just keep swapping them with no problem?

    or is there a way to have them both in, and to have them not read each other, or cause conflicts with each other? as i dont need to see the data if both drives are in, i dont need to see the other drives data...
  3. You can swap them whenever you want to. I have dual OS on 2 systems and the disks are permanently connected because I always keep my PC cases closed. I just don't access the other drive unless I need to and so far it never caused issues. I run XP on one drive and Windows 7 or Vista on the other one.
  4. (1) as stated, disconnect your old HDD with windows XP on it.
    (2) connect your New Hdd and install Windows 7 on it.
    ... (A) when you do a xp to Windows 7 using an upgrade disk it will do a "Clean" install anyway.
    ..(B) Method using an upgrade windows 7 Disk:
    You need to select "custom" for the install and do a clean install DO NOT INSERT KEY at this time.
    Once the clean install is completed, you can let windows do it's update thing and load the needed drivers.
    Everthing looks good, then just need two steps:
    Edit the registry to change MediaBootInstall from a 1 to a 0.
    Then run a cmd prompt (w/admin privliage) and do a rearm
    Then Activate and insert the LAPTOP key.
    Rer, use method 2: http://www.winsupersite.com/article/windows-7/clean-install-windows-7-with-upgrade-media

    Then you can daul boot, while in post use the Key (F12 on mine) to select which disk to boot.
    When all is fine and you want to ditch XP you can delete it and just use that drive as a storage drive.
  5. ok, yea i wont ditch xp, i just want to upgrade software, that cant be done on xp, so from time to time, i just want to swap out hdd, or do the from the boot screen pick wich one i want...

    i just didnt know if i use the hdd with win 7 on it, and have only that one plugged in, and want to switch back to the hdd with xp on it, if it was easier and less conflictive to just unplug one, put it away, and plug the other one in... i just read lots of bs happening with the dual boot
  6. Dual boot and 2 disks with a separate OS on each like you're doing is very different.
  7. Using the method I discribed it should be no problem leaving both drives attached after installing Win 7 on 2nd HDD. On on system I had XP, Vista and Windows 7 Pre release installed. Where people get in trouble is when they leave the old HDD connected and install a SOFTWARE boot manager. My method, no software boot manager is install. If you boot Win 7 you can still access the XP disk (Can not run programs from the XP disk). Boot to XP you can run XP and the programs, will be able to see and use the Win 7 disk - but in this case you would not be able to run program from Win 7.
    The short. The drive you boot to can run programs installed on that operating system. The other hard drive can be accessed fro reads and writes.
    Which ever Hard drive you boot to will be the "C" drive. Ie boot to win 7 - that hard drive is C drive and XP will be X drive (X can be d, e,ect). Boot to XP and NOW XP disk will become C-drive and Win7 will become X drive.
  8. RetiredChief, that was a very good explanation.
  9. ^ Thank's
  10. kool...thnx guys whats the deal with the registy hack? im going to get the dl version and the backup disc from ms, cant i just bypass this hack if everything works, and is activated? or its geared towards something else???
  11. The best I can say is to check the registry which is relatively easy.
    Type Regedit in start menu
    At top expand edit then select find
    Type in the box MediaBootInstall
    Look at the value if it is 0 then jou are fine just Exit
    If it is a 1 you will not be able to activate so dubleclick the entry and in the box enter a 0.
    and exit
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Connection Windows XP Storage