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Adding a second SATA hard drive with 2nd OS

by yjulaidan / December 3, 2009 2:34 PM PST

My computer has a IDE main drive with Windows vista Home premium Edition and I was wondering if I can install another Hard Drive through the SATA connector in the mother board with Windows server 2003 and later choose the booting disk when turning on the system. I know that this can be done if one OS is vista and the other is XP, but would windows server 2003 act like XP and cause no issues?

As of the installation method, I'm pretty aware of how to do it, but I have to locate the SATA connecter on the mother board if I have one!! I a HP a6330f Desktop that I bought in 2008 so I think the board is new enough to have a SATA port. Any idea where it is or how to know if I have one?

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Not recommended
by Willy / December 3, 2009 7:45 PM PST

You want to know about your system, then read the manual. If none, then visit the maker's support website and locate your model# and check the specs. If anything at least open the system case and manually locate a SATA port.

As for dual OSes on a system, yes that's possible. BUT! you need to "install the OS" on that system NOT bring it over on a HD to it. Of course, you can just do it and find out via your results. Sad Take one step at a time to reduce any hang-ups or issues and proceed. Because you want server OS to be running, that's not looking for a good match.

tada -----Willy Happy

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You can, but
by Steven Haninger / December 4, 2009 7:38 PM PST

Win 2003 server doesn't have native SATA support. You'll need to check with your MB manufacturer for a driver. I prefer separate drives for multi-OS use and have always performed such installations with only one HD attached to the system at a time. There can still be some negative consequences however. If you can find the SATA driver, you have at least two ways to do the installation. The preferred method would be to pre-install the driver during setup. Windows has generally needed to do this from a floppy drive but I don't know about 2003 server. You might be able to configure your SATA ports to emulate IDE and install the OS that way. You won't get the enhanced performance, however. Switching the BIOS to enhanced mode then might cause 2003 to not boot and allow the driver installation. I have done it this way, however. If you have a spare IDE drive, you can install the OS on this. Once up and running, you can enable SATA in the BIOS and reboot. The OS will detect the hardware and allow a driver installation. From here, you attach an SATA drive and clone 2003 to it from the IDE drive. Remove the IDE drive and see if your OS boots from the SATA drive. Then, reattach your Vista IDE drive and test to see if both will boot by altering the BIOS boot order. I've had success with this method using XP. It's a few extra steps but has worked for me.

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Little more clarification to the issue
by yjulaidan / December 5, 2009 12:05 PM PST
In reply to: You can, but

Thanks for the help, but let me clarify bit more...

I have a motherboard that allows for both SATA and PATA hard drive connections. Also I already have a SATA HD with Vista home premium on it. Now I need Windows server 2003 for training purposes....and I don't want to mess with my current drive by partitioning it....

If I'm going to buy another SATA HD and install windows server 2003 on it and not use the SATA capabilites, then it is cheaper for me to buy a used or refurbished IDE HD with PATA connection and install win server on it. The probelm is that I never tried it before and not sure if using SATA and IDE hard drives together in the same PC for the purpose of having a dual OS boot will work or maybe cause problems....

I will really appreciate any feedback on this...thanks

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