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Two OS's on Two Hard Drives.

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September 25, 2012 4:50:03 AM

So I found another thread on the topic but it said something I didn't quite understand. Essentially it said it was possible to run two operating systems on two separate hard drives so long as the older operating system was set as the primary drive. Why would it matter which OS was set to primary?

My issue however is that I have a 60gb SSD with Windows 7 64 bit, and my secondary hard drive is a 500gb 7200 rpm disk drive that I want to run with windows XP 32 bit.

The SSD/windows 7 drive will be for gaming and secure things such as banking and online purchases, and the HD/windows XP will be for internet use, things that could potentially compromise the security of the system.

My motherboard is the Asus M3A79-T Deluxe.

A few questions:
1)Can a virus or malware transfer between the two operating systems/drives through the ram or some other means?

2)Can I easily swap back and forth between the two OS's? Will I have to enter the motherboard BIOS to change boot priority in order to change which OS/Drive I am going to use?

3)Is it possible to run both OS's at the same time and swap back and forth between them in a similar way to ALT-TAB? Is it possible to run both OS's at the same time with dual monitors, one OS for each?

4)Is there anything I'm not asking that would be pertinent to my intended goal of segregating all the internet shenanigans from the more trustworthy aspects of my PC usage?


Advice is appreciated, please let me know?! :D 

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a b G Storage
September 25, 2012 5:47:36 AM

1. Viruses and such can go to any hdd connected because you can transfer files freely between any connected hdd.

Since that is the primary reason I will tell you how to resolve this. You can run virtual pc or virtualbox and install xp on there. I use virtualbox since virtual pc doesn't support windows 8. Everything of the virtual os is kept in a "hdd" file and cannot go out. It will run as if it were a program so you can move the window around, put it in full screen, and there are different mouse modes. You won't get full performance but that shouldn't be necessary for internet browsing.

But truthfully as long as you don't go on sites you shouldn't be on, you don't even need antivirus.
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September 28, 2012 12:41:42 AM

Even though these are two separate operating systems on two different hard drives a virus can transfer itself to the other drive?

So then by using my old XP OS to surf the web and win 7 to game on and use for online purchases or running my ebay/paypal I am essentially gaining no added security?

edit- There has got to be a way to prevent the two hard drives from sharing, right?
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