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Make Dual Boot XP by Cloning Drive? Or Conflicts?

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 22, 2012 2:59:11 AM

Hi,

Can I pull a single Win XP Pro SP3 drive put of a PC. Hardware clone the drive (external SATA disk duplicator). Then pop both drives back into the same PC- and automatically be presented with the choices expected for a working dual boot system?

Or would there some sort of C: drive Volume ID problem or conflict that would not self-resolve?

Cloning seems easier than twice installing and updating and updating and updating (as per http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306559 ).

I suppose a workaround might be to only keep one drive at a time physically connected.

Thanks. (Have been much more familiar with Mac file systems/volumes/boot etc. than Windows - so far.)

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August 22, 2012 7:59:36 PM

No, you cannot clone a Windows installation to a second drive because Windows has the full path to system components saved hundreds of times in the Registry.
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August 23, 2012 1:30:19 PM

You might not get a dual/mutliboot menu presented from the boot loader, but you may be able to use your bios's boot device option at startup. Some boards show a F12-Boot device or something similar on screen just before loading windows. This isn't a true multiboot if that's what you want to call it, but I don't see why that wouldn't work. It's basically the same as going into the bios and changing your boot device.
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August 25, 2012 4:35:28 AM

Thanks for the info. I can see why it's not as straightforward.
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August 26, 2012 1:20:57 AM

Best answer selected by 123post.
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