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2 Hard Drives, 2 OS, one computer?

by jamorama / June 26, 2008 2:43 PM PDT

First of all, I want to know that can u use an old hard drive (my dad's extremely cheap computer's 40 gb hard drive) in a new computer while also using a new hard drive with Vista(2 totally seperate OS on 2 seperate hard drives, one computer.)

Basically this is what I want:

Install my dad's old hard drive and use it with its Windows XP
~I would want to know if you would be able to keep the old files and programs...

Install a new hard drive and use it with windows vista

If this can be done, please tell me how. Thanks!

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by Jimmy Greystone / June 26, 2008 3:54 PM PDT

No, you can't use an old copy of XP on a new system. There are license issues almost for certain, and also likely driver issues. You could probably install Linux on the second drive if you want, but that would be about it.

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Yes, ....
by Kees Bakker / June 26, 2008 5:49 PM PDT

you can have a multi-boot system, so you can choose to boot in either Vista or XP if you turn on the machine.

But it might very well be that it needs a new install of Windows XP (and applications) on your machine, because the old install is tailored to the old machine. And you certainly need separate licenses for all software, so if you've got, say, MS Office on both OS-es, that's 2 licenses. That's no different from having it on 2 separate machines.


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Urgent request: Two HDDs on one PC.
by singhalong / August 25, 2011 6:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes, ....

Dear Kees,

I have two hard drives - SATA (160GB) and IDE (old 40GB). I have installed my same copy of Windows XP sp2 on both drives, separately.

When I connected both to my PC, it automatically booted via SATA and showed the other as additional disks E and F (or G and H - I don't clearly remember).

So, I could not run the programs installed on the IDE though I could use it's space for storage.

<div>Please let me know how I can use both together on the same PC, to avail of different programs/software on both, without going into the bios every time I start my computer.
1. Is there a way to have an option provided automatically on start-up, so I can chose which disk to work with?
2. Could I switch from one to the other, without restarting my PC?

With thanks,

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dual boot
by squirtlewa / June 26, 2008 11:58 PM PDT

Strictly speaking you don't need two diff HDDs for a dual-boot system. They just need separate partitions.

If you install Vista on the new drive, you could copy your docs over from the old one. Lots faster than restoring from your backups.

If the copy of XP is from a ready-made computer, then dropping the HDD from it into a different computer will not result in a working system. Additionally the system restore disks you have from it won't work either in all likelihood. It's because to keep OS costs down, they make the license restrict you to the original computer. Even if you just replace the mainboard, they make you buy a new OS. I guess it's to help poor Billy G with his house payments. Silly

As far as how to do it --> (1)install one OS to one drive/partition. (2) Install another OS to the other drive/partition.
(3) Configure a boot manager that will select which OS to start up. I'm using Acronis multiboot manager that comes with Disk Director Suite (v 10). Other solutions exist.

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2 Hard Drives, 2 OS, one computer?
by adantrix / October 10, 2011 8:59 PM PDT

hi jamorama

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You Posted To A Thread That's 3 Years Old?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 11, 2011 12:55 AM PDT

And since the original poster hasn't been here since 2008, I doubt they will see your response.. Checking dates on the posts we find in a search is a good way to avoid such issues.

Hope this helps.


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by wuyiL / February 21, 2016 3:32 PM PST

I have no idea how to deal with this.

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This thread is now closed. 7 years old now.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2016 4:27 PM PST

Please start a new discussion if need be.

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