Two OS On One XP Computer

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.

I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my company/MS
HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's data
drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on. I
don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than I can
afford right now.

He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from C: or
D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw it
done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over time.

Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional dual
boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially dormant. Or
it would seem to be.

Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
9 answers Last reply
More about computer
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Doug Glass wrote:

    > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    >
    > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my company/MS
    > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's data
    > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on. I
    > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than I can
    > afford right now.
    >
    > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from C: or
    > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw it
    > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over time.
    >
    > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional dual
    > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially dormant. Or
    > it would seem to be.
    >
    > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
    >

    Yes it is a traditional dual boot system. And no, I don't see any
    complications. Should work fine.

    --
    Rock
    MS MVP Windows - Shell/User
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    I probably said that wrong. Dual boot systems I've setup in the past had a
    menu that allowed a choice at startup. The system I'm proposing will have no
    menu and no additional partitioning on either drive. But i get what you're
    saying.

    Thanks Rock...I appreciate your reply.

    "Rock" wrote:

    > Doug Glass wrote:
    >
    > > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    > >
    > > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my company/MS
    > > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's data
    > > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    > > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on. I
    > > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than I can
    > > afford right now.
    > >
    > > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from C: or
    > > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw it
    > > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over time.
    > >
    > > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional dual
    > > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially dormant. Or
    > > it would seem to be.
    > >
    > > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
    > >
    >
    > Yes it is a traditional dual boot system. And no, I don't see any
    > complications. Should work fine.
    >
    > --
    > Rock
    > MS MVP Windows - Shell/User
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Just remember that she will have access to both disc drive's no matter which
    drive is the boot drive.


    "Doug Glass" wrote:

    > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    >
    > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my company/MS
    > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's data
    > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on. I
    > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than I can
    > afford right now.
    >
    > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from C: or
    > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw it
    > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over time.
    >
    > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional dual
    > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially dormant. Or
    > it would seem to be.
    >
    > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
    >
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    I'm not sure what you have against menus, but that begs the question -- how
    do you propose your daughter will access this other hard drive and OS if
    there isn't some sort of menu choice?

    A standard dual boot system would have a menu and a default choice, so that
    it would boot into the normal configuration unless the user decided to
    choose otherwise.

    You set up the computer so that you could change the boot sequence in the
    bios when need be, but depending on your daughter's expertise with
    computers, that may cause other problems. If you think she won't be able to
    handle letting the computer boot to a default most of the time, and choosing
    a different option if/when disaster strikes, then having her fiddling with
    the bios may be a bad idea.

    Otherwise, I suppose you could have the second hard drive installed but not
    physically connected, and then if the first hard drive goes bad, you explain
    on the phone how to open the case and disconnect the original drive and then
    connect the second drive. But that's a bit more complicated, and it doesn't
    give access to that first drive at all unless you also want to explain on
    the phone how to set the jumpers so the original drive is now the secondary.

    Also, I wonder what it is you want to accomplish with this second drive and
    OS. If it's merely for her to have the computer up and running, I suppose it
    would serve that purpose, but you'd have to have not only the OS installed,
    but also all of the programs she uses. And she'd probably need access to
    things like her documents and her email. Depending on what sort of problem
    she has in the first place, that "up and running" might not last very long.
    For instance, if she's been infested with viruses and/or spyware, she's
    going to have them back rather quickly once she starts accessing her files
    on the main drive. And depending on what virus/spyware we're talking about,
    that second drive, if you're going the route of changing the boot sequence
    via the bios, may already be infected.

    And if it's a hardware issue, booting to a different hard drive isn't going
    to make any difference at all. It may give you a hint, diagnostic-wise, but
    it's not going to make a repair over the phone any easier.

    There are a couple of other options that may work better. For instance, you
    could drill into her head the need for making backups, and buy backup
    software and have her make complete backups on a regular basis, so she could
    always go to a time when the computer was working. She'd still need to do
    separate backups of current files, because those may not exist if she has to
    go back very far to get the computer running correctly. This all assumes
    that she will make the backups and that she knows enough about computers to
    restore it if necessary.

    Or go find a friendly and competent computer shop and see if they'll set up
    some sort of service plan where she can bring the computer in at regular
    intervals for cleaning and service and repairs.


    "Doug Glass" <DougGlass@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:B718CF2D-3CA5-4841-BC6C-D54D2D8E8DFA@microsoft.com...
    >I probably said that wrong. Dual boot systems I've setup in the past had a
    > menu that allowed a choice at startup. The system I'm proposing will have
    > no
    > menu and no additional partitioning on either drive. But i get what
    > you're
    > saying.
    >
    > Thanks Rock...I appreciate your reply.
    >
    > "Rock" wrote:
    >
    >> Doug Glass wrote:
    >>
    >> > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    >> >
    >> > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my
    >> > company/MS
    >> > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's
    >> > data
    >> > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    >> > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on.
    >> > I
    >> > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than
    >> > I can
    >> > afford right now.
    >> >
    >> > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from
    >> > C: or
    >> > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw
    >> > it
    >> > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over
    >> > time.
    >> >
    >> > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional
    >> > dual
    >> > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially
    >> > dormant. Or
    >> > it would seem to be.
    >> >
    >> > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
    >> >
    >>
    >> Yes it is a traditional dual boot system. And no, I don't see any
    >> complications. Should work fine.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Rock
    >> MS MVP Windows - Shell/User
    >>
    >>
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Hi, Doug.

    There are several third-party boot managers that will let us choose which
    operating system to boot each time. We also can go into CMOS to change the
    boot sequence for each reboot. Heck, my new EPoX mobo even lets me select a
    one-time boot-from drive if I press Esc while it is detecting drives. So,
    yes, any of those systems will work. But why do you want to do it that way?

    As you probably know, the default WinXP boot sequence starts with the System
    Partition (typically C:), then reads C:\NTLDR, C:\NTDETECT.COM and
    C:\Boot.ini to find and load WinXP from wherever it is installed. WinXP can
    be on C:, or on any partition or logical drive on any HD in the computer.
    There can be 2 or 20 copies of WinNT/2K/XP (mix or match) plus a single copy
    of Win9x/ME, if we like, so long as we have enough drive letters to hold
    them. At each boot, you can choose any one of them and all the others will
    be "essentially dormant", as you say (no matter which dual-boot method you
    use).

    To fully install two separate copies of WinXP on the two HDs, just boot from
    the first WinXP CD-ROM and install it on C:. Then boot from the second CD
    and install the second copy on D: (the system files will still go into C:\),
    furnishing the second Product Key when asked. You will be required to
    activate each of them, but there should be no problem activating over the
    Internet.

    One practical problem is that each of the two WinXP's will have its own
    Registry. So every piece of hardware and its driver and every application
    will have to be installed twice. And you will want to use Disk Management
    to assign matching drive letters for each installation - for your daughter's
    benefit; the computer won't be confused by changing drive letters, but she
    will. Some apps (such as MS Office) will let the two installations share
    executable files and data, so that your daughter can boot into C: in the
    morning and start on an Excel spreadsheet or Word document, then boot into
    D: in the afternoon and finish that same project. Others (like Outlook
    Express, darn it!) give some grief in trying to switch back and forth. (OE
    handles email just fine, but newsgroup files must be handled with kid
    gloves.)

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX
    rc@corridor.net
    Microsoft Windows MVP

    "Doug Glass" <DougGlass@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:AD91873A-AE5C-4738-96AF-B73E294B7441@microsoft.com...
    > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    >
    > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my
    > company/MS
    > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's data
    > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on. I
    > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than I
    > can
    > afford right now.
    >
    > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from C:
    > or
    > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw it
    > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over
    > time.
    >
    > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional
    > dual
    > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially dormant.
    > Or
    > it would seem to be.
    >
    > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    I have absolutely nothing against menus...who said I did? I didn't. The
    switch would be as I described in the original post. Go into setup and make
    HDD1 (the "data" drive) the first hard drive polled and bingo...that OS boots.

    This is a emergency setup since she is so far from me. In normal operation
    Iwanted no menus, just maintain the look and feel as if only one drive had an
    OS on it. She knows how to change the boot sequence. In fact she did it on
    my buddy's PC.

    I sinple wanted to know what people thought of my elected process... I've
    setup menus many, many time. Just not this time for reason I believe are
    valid.

    I do appreciate your comments though

    "D.Currie" wrote:

    > I'm not sure what you have against menus, but that begs the question -- how
    > do you propose your daughter will access this other hard drive and OS if
    > there isn't some sort of menu choice?
    >
    > A standard dual boot system would have a menu and a default choice, so that
    > it would boot into the normal configuration unless the user decided to
    > choose otherwise.
    >
    > You set up the computer so that you could change the boot sequence in the
    > bios when need be, but depending on your daughter's expertise with
    > computers, that may cause other problems. If you think she won't be able to
    > handle letting the computer boot to a default most of the time, and choosing
    > a different option if/when disaster strikes, then having her fiddling with
    > the bios may be a bad idea.
    >
    > Otherwise, I suppose you could have the second hard drive installed but not
    > physically connected, and then if the first hard drive goes bad, you explain
    > on the phone how to open the case and disconnect the original drive and then
    > connect the second drive. But that's a bit more complicated, and it doesn't
    > give access to that first drive at all unless you also want to explain on
    > the phone how to set the jumpers so the original drive is now the secondary.
    >
    > Also, I wonder what it is you want to accomplish with this second drive and
    > OS. If it's merely for her to have the computer up and running, I suppose it
    > would serve that purpose, but you'd have to have not only the OS installed,
    > but also all of the programs she uses. And she'd probably need access to
    > things like her documents and her email. Depending on what sort of problem
    > she has in the first place, that "up and running" might not last very long.
    > For instance, if she's been infested with viruses and/or spyware, she's
    > going to have them back rather quickly once she starts accessing her files
    > on the main drive. And depending on what virus/spyware we're talking about,
    > that second drive, if you're going the route of changing the boot sequence
    > via the bios, may already be infected.
    >
    > And if it's a hardware issue, booting to a different hard drive isn't going
    > to make any difference at all. It may give you a hint, diagnostic-wise, but
    > it's not going to make a repair over the phone any easier.
    >
    > There are a couple of other options that may work better. For instance, you
    > could drill into her head the need for making backups, and buy backup
    > software and have her make complete backups on a regular basis, so she could
    > always go to a time when the computer was working. She'd still need to do
    > separate backups of current files, because those may not exist if she has to
    > go back very far to get the computer running correctly. This all assumes
    > that she will make the backups and that she knows enough about computers to
    > restore it if necessary.
    >
    > Or go find a friendly and competent computer shop and see if they'll set up
    > some sort of service plan where she can bring the computer in at regular
    > intervals for cleaning and service and repairs.
    >
    >
    > "Doug Glass" <DougGlass@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    > news:B718CF2D-3CA5-4841-BC6C-D54D2D8E8DFA@microsoft.com...
    > >I probably said that wrong. Dual boot systems I've setup in the past had a
    > > menu that allowed a choice at startup. The system I'm proposing will have
    > > no
    > > menu and no additional partitioning on either drive. But i get what
    > > you're
    > > saying.
    > >
    > > Thanks Rock...I appreciate your reply.
    > >
    > > "Rock" wrote:
    > >
    > >> Doug Glass wrote:
    > >>
    > >> > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    > >> >
    > >> > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my
    > >> > company/MS
    > >> > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's
    > >> > data
    > >> > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    > >> > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on.
    > >> > I
    > >> > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than
    > >> > I can
    > >> > afford right now.
    > >> >
    > >> > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from
    > >> > C: or
    > >> > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw
    > >> > it
    > >> > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over
    > >> > time.
    > >> >
    > >> > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional
    > >> > dual
    > >> > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially
    > >> > dormant. Or
    > >> > it would seem to be.
    > >> >
    > >> > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
    > >> >
    > >>
    > >> Yes it is a traditional dual boot system. And no, I don't see any
    > >> complications. Should work fine.
    > >>
    > >> --
    > >> Rock
    > >> MS MVP Windows - Shell/User
    > >>
    > >>
    >
    >
    >
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Right....and her data on both drives is available to her. Btw...she 28 and
    is very much at home with technology. She know the various "system" folders
    are not to be touched.

    Keep in mind, this is an emergency type solution. If there is never a
    problem with her HDD0 XP installation, she'll never change the boot sequence.

    Thanks for your coments very much.


    "tfw48079" wrote:

    > Just remember that she will have access to both disc drive's no matter which
    > drive is the boot drive.
    >
    >
    > "Doug Glass" wrote:
    >
    > > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    > >
    > > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my company/MS
    > > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's data
    > > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    > > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on. I
    > > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than I can
    > > afford right now.
    > >
    > > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from C: or
    > > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw it
    > > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over time.
    > >
    > > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional dual
    > > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially dormant. Or
    > > it would seem to be.
    > >
    > > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
    > >
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Yep...install everything twice. Not a problem. Being retired has it's
    advantages when it comes to time and hobbies. :+)

    That being the case, my original assumption of each drive being a
    self-supporting stand alone system seems to be correct given all the
    responses. Which is exactly what I want to accomplish. Through the boot
    sequence change, my goal was to emulate taking one hard drive out of the box
    and putting the new one in. I think I've accomplished just that.

    Thanks for you comments and suggestions....thanks to all of you.

    "R. C. White" wrote:

    > Hi, Doug.
    >
    > There are several third-party boot managers that will let us choose which
    > operating system to boot each time. We also can go into CMOS to change the
    > boot sequence for each reboot. Heck, my new EPoX mobo even lets me select a
    > one-time boot-from drive if I press Esc while it is detecting drives. So,
    > yes, any of those systems will work. But why do you want to do it that way?
    >
    > As you probably know, the default WinXP boot sequence starts with the System
    > Partition (typically C:), then reads C:\NTLDR, C:\NTDETECT.COM and
    > C:\Boot.ini to find and load WinXP from wherever it is installed. WinXP can
    > be on C:, or on any partition or logical drive on any HD in the computer.
    > There can be 2 or 20 copies of WinNT/2K/XP (mix or match) plus a single copy
    > of Win9x/ME, if we like, so long as we have enough drive letters to hold
    > them. At each boot, you can choose any one of them and all the others will
    > be "essentially dormant", as you say (no matter which dual-boot method you
    > use).
    >
    > To fully install two separate copies of WinXP on the two HDs, just boot from
    > the first WinXP CD-ROM and install it on C:. Then boot from the second CD
    > and install the second copy on D: (the system files will still go into C:\),
    > furnishing the second Product Key when asked. You will be required to
    > activate each of them, but there should be no problem activating over the
    > Internet.
    >
    > One practical problem is that each of the two WinXP's will have its own
    > Registry. So every piece of hardware and its driver and every application
    > will have to be installed twice. And you will want to use Disk Management
    > to assign matching drive letters for each installation - for your daughter's
    > benefit; the computer won't be confused by changing drive letters, but she
    > will. Some apps (such as MS Office) will let the two installations share
    > executable files and data, so that your daughter can boot into C: in the
    > morning and start on an Excel spreadsheet or Word document, then boot into
    > D: in the afternoon and finish that same project. Others (like Outlook
    > Express, darn it!) give some grief in trying to switch back and forth. (OE
    > handles email just fine, but newsgroup files must be handled with kid
    > gloves.)
    >
    > RC
    > --
    > R. C. White, CPA
    > San Marcos, TX
    > rc@corridor.net
    > Microsoft Windows MVP
    >
    > "Doug Glass" <DougGlass@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    > news:AD91873A-AE5C-4738-96AF-B73E294B7441@microsoft.com...
    > > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    > >
    > > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my
    > > company/MS
    > > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's data
    > > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    > > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on. I
    > > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than I
    > > can
    > > afford right now.
    > >
    > > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from C:
    > > or
    > > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw it
    > > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over
    > > time.
    > >
    > > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional
    > > dual
    > > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially dormant.
    > > Or
    > > it would seem to be.
    > >
    > > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
    >
    >
    >
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    You shouldn't have any problems. But I'm curious if you would actually
    require a second copy of XP (ie a second license)? It's being installed on
    the same computer and there is no way you could be using both at the same
    time. Any of the MS license police care to speak up? :)

    Another option would be to use an imaging tool (such as Acronis True Image
    [only $50] or Symantec's Ghost) to backup the OS to CD(s) or a second hard
    drive. She could then restore it whenever she wishes. I know with Ghost it
    would not be very complicated to automate most/all of the tasks (I'm not
    sure about Acronis' but I would think it'd be just as capable).


    "Doug Glass" <DougGlass@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:AD91873A-AE5C-4738-96AF-B73E294B7441@microsoft.com...
    > Guys, I have an interesting opportunity I'd appreciate comments on.
    >
    > I have aquired a second (also very legal) copy of XP Home thru my
    company/MS
    > HUP. What I'd like to do is install it on my daughter's computer's data
    > drive D:. She's soon to be living several hundred miles from me so any
    > problem with the computer's OS will necessitate a long trip to work on. I
    > don't want to build a backup computer becasue it's cost is greater than I
    can
    > afford right now.
    >
    > He's my idea: A full install of XP on both drives and then boot from C:
    or
    > D: based on setup's boot sequence at startup. I know it'll work; I saw it
    > done on a buddy's computer but I never learned how it worked out over
    time.
    >
    > Anybody see any complications? Keep in mind, this is not a traditional
    dual
    > boot system. While one OS is running, the other is essentially dormant.
    Or
    > it would seem to be.
    >
    > Thanks guys...any comments are greatly appreciated.
    >
Ask a new question

Read More

Computers Windows XP