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Can you use 2 hard drives with same operating system

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July 16, 2011 2:18:05 PM

I have a question that some one my be able to answer for me . I have a computer that I built , it has a 2.93 GHz processor with 2 GB of ram . I'm trying to run 2 hard drives on the same computer , What I did was put the first hard drive in the computer and installed Win XP sp 3 and it fully installed and everything is running correct , then i disconnected that hard drive and inserted the second hard drive and did the exact same thing , loaded Win XP sp 3 and it also installed correct and everything is running fine . Now I hooked up both hard drives and started windows it loaded up just fine , it also shows both hard drives in my computer local disk ( C ) and local disk ( D ) ,, Now what i am trying to do is be able to choose witch hard disk to run when I start up windows , there is no option to choose witch hard disk to start , it loads Win XP from local disk ( C ) . This may seem a little odd but the reason for wanting to do this is - I have important files and business files and other stuff I need and its on hard drive ( C ) and i have 2 grandkids that like to use my computer to get e-mail play games and so on , But I want to make sure they don't delete anything off hard drive ( C ) or play around on that drive . If I can choose witch hard disk to start when windows starts then I don't have to worry about them messing something up on my hard drive . And if they do something wrong on drive ( D ) it won't hurt anything. Please help if you can ! Thanks in advance for any help . It also may be easier to e-mail me on how to do this . My E-mail address is WEmbreysr@verizon.net Thanks again Wayne

More about : hard drives operating system

a b B Homebuilt system
July 16, 2011 5:08:54 PM

It will normally prompt you during bootup asking which one you want to use. Maybe thats just when you have 2 OS on the same drive. I think there will probably be an option to do this in the BIOS though.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 16, 2011 5:31:45 PM

Very cumbersome method but it should work :
Assume C: is a partition from Hard Disk 1 (HD1) , D: is the partition from Hard Disk 2 (HD2).
When you want to load C: drive OS, during boot enter the bios . There in boot device priority select HD1 ABOVE HD2. Reboot . It will load the OS from C:
When you want to load D: drive OS, during boot enter the bios . There in boot device priority select HD2 ABOVE HD1. Reboot . It will load the OS from D:

Alternate method would include, setting up of dual boot. It will require you to install the OS in some other partition.
When you will boot, it will give the option to select the OS. Have one for yourself another for kids.

Best method :
Another method would be to create dual account on single installation of Windows XP. One for yourself and other for the kids.
Set your account type as Administrator. Set a password.
For the kids set up another account with limited priviledges. They will be able to play games, access net, but will not be able to access or modify your documents.


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a b B Homebuilt system
July 16, 2011 6:34:31 PM

+1 seperate user account for the kids was my recommendation as well,
easiest by a long chalk
Moto
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July 19, 2011 5:28:13 AM

z_4 said:
Very cumbersome method but it should work :
Assume C: is a partition from Hard Disk 1 (HD1) , D: is the partition from Hard Disk 2 (HD2).
When you want to load C: drive OS, during boot enter the bios . There in boot device priority select HD1 ABOVE HD2. Reboot . It will load the OS from C:
When you want to load D: drive OS, during boot enter the bios . There in boot device priority select HD2 ABOVE HD1. Reboot . It will load the OS from D:

Alternate method would include, setting up of dual boot. It will require you to install the OS in some other partition.
When you will boot, it will give the option to select the OS. Have one for yourself another for kids.

Best method :
Another method would be to create dual account on single installation of Windows XP. One for yourself and other for the kids.
Set your account type as Administrator. Set a password.
For the kids set up another account with limited priviledges. They will be able to play games, access net, but will not be able to access or modify your documents.


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July 19, 2011 5:30:22 AM

There is no option in my bios , for HD2 ,, Only options are : Disabled , Floppy , Hard Disk , CD Rom , Zip , USB-FDD , USB-ZIP , USB-CDROM USB-HDD and Legancy Lan
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2011 6:49:07 AM

FreeBSD is an operating system, not software, and I still stand by the 'seperate account for kids' advice :) 
Moto
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July 19, 2011 1:16:04 PM

Simple solution is to modify your boot.ini in primary drive (which is C) and add your other drive with some different name in it.

So during boot Windows can ask you to chose which hard-disk and partition to boot from.

Look at this link for help (http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000492.htm) else do let me know if there is some problem.

you might have to play with some parameters there in boot.ini to find correct information for your other Drive (D:) . While playing make sure that you don't touch the "default" entry and the first entry after [operating systems] line.

You can copy that line after [operating systems] line; paste it below it and try changing rdisk(0) to rdisk(1) and change name which is in quotes " ".

Then at boot time try selecting 2nd entry with changed name and when it boot; keep in mind that your previous C drive can become D drive in other windows and vice versa.

I hope this will help
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July 19, 2011 1:18:17 PM

You can first try using EasyBCD mentioned by mouse24.
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July 20, 2011 8:30:45 AM

Thanks for the help ... I think I will try the Easy BCD and see what happens
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 20, 2011 12:41:24 PM

WEmbreysr said:
Thanks for the help ... I think I will try the Easy BCD and see what happens

Doesn't your system allow you to use a function key, e.g., F8 or F12, to select the boot device at POST?
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July 21, 2011 12:54:37 AM

Yes , But both hard drives has the same operating system WinXp , SP3 so there is only 1 to choose from . And when i pick Win XP it automatically loads the one from drive ( C ) , No option to load drive ( D )
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2011 1:19:13 AM

WEmbreysr said:
Yes , But both hard drives has the same operating system WinXp , SP3 so there is only 1 to choose from . And when i pick Win XP it automatically loads the one from drive ( C ) , No option to load drive ( D )

What system or motherboard do you have? Most systems that are less than 5-6 years old allow selecting a boot device at POST by pressing a function key. Asus motherboards display a boot device list by pressing F8 and Gigabyte motherboards display it when pressing F12.
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July 21, 2011 2:50:25 AM

Gigabyte .. GA-G41M-ES2L .... I tryed the F12 boot ,, But the only options were :

Floppy , LS120 , Hard Disk , CD Rom , Zip , USB-FDD , USB-ZIP , USB-CDROM USB-HDD and Legancy Lan
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July 21, 2011 3:37:49 AM

Best answer selected by WEmbreysr.
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July 21, 2011 3:47:11 AM

Thanks GhislainG , I went back and tried this again only this time I entered on Hard Disk because I saw a + sign next to it , and boom there it was ,, it gave me the choice of which hard disk I wanted to boot. ..... Thanks again to all for helping .
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February 4, 2013 7:38:06 AM

I've just done the same thing with XP on two separate hard Drives.

When you start booting up keep pressing the F11 key. You will be presented with all the hard drives, from which you can select which one to use. It also shows details of Floppy Drives & CD drives etc.

Once you have chosen the selected disk will boot up. Its a bit of a pain, but works.

The reason I'm doing it is because my original Didsk Drive is almost full & I'm transferring files to the larger one, before I format the Samller drive as a Spare.

Trevor
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