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Dual Boot 2 hard drives Vista & XP

by The ancient one / October 15, 2007 10:00 AM PDT

I have checked out various threads on this subject at CNET and I can follow most of what has been said. I have an e-machine that came with Vista. I have since purchased a new hard drive with the thought that I would interchange hard drives using XP on one and Vista on the other. But now, I have decided that I would like to have both drives in at the same time and use the dual booting feature. The main drive would be Vista and the slave drive would be for XP. I know how to install the new hard drive, so that is not a problem. Where I am uncertain is what happens down the road, so to speak. When I insert the CD for XP and it asks where I want it to be installed, I gather I should indicate the secondary drive. But what I haven't found out is what happens after this. That is, when I reboot my computer, just what comes up on the screen and at what point do I need to indicate which OS I want to be using. And even more importantly, how do I switch back and forth between the two systems. Also, as a side issue, is there anyway to password protect the dual booting so that only someone with the password can access the XP operating system.

The Ancient One

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by PKsteven / October 15, 2007 12:36 PM PDT

When you set up XP, it will go to a screen and what it will come to is showing you what you have already. It will list your drives\OS and ask which one you would like to use. So you know the one you are installing has no OS, that would be the one you want to format and install to. You can do a quick format, that is fine and of course it will NTFS format. Then it will install to that drive.

Typically when you reboot, you will get a black screen asking which OS you would like to boot to, it's pretty straight forward. There is nothing different except you choosing which OS to load. You use the up\down arrow keys and hit enter. If you don't, eventually it boots to the first listed OS which should be Vista. Not too bad huh?

Of course there can always be problems but that comes with the territory , plus you are attempting this on an Emachines OEM.

Don't forget, if it won't boot from CD, you may have to set it in your bios and set it back after install.

Password the dual booting? You would have to do that in bios once again. Also, this will vary between manufacturer as to IF and how it's set up. Also, be warned, you pass protect in bios, if you lose\forget password, most often you have to remove the Cmos battery or use jumpers to reset.


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Good luck with that.
by BrianZachary / October 15, 2007 3:24 PM PDT

You may not be able to install XP onto a machine that already has Vista on it. We tried that before but it wouldn't let us install XP since it was an older OS. If you read threads from different forums, many people have gone through a few steps needed to downgrade from Vista to XP. I've heard there is a way to dual boot them, but don't know the steps for that.

We did manage to get XP installed onto our Vista machine, but had to remove Vista to do it, no dual boot. We didn't want Vista anyway, so that wasn't a problem. I'm just letting you know, that you may have to do a lot more than just inserting the XP disc in to get it to install on a Vista machine, so don't be surprised if it doesn't work.

Of course, this all has to do with just one hard drive. Since you have 2 hard drives, you should be able to install XP onto the second hard drive, but I've never tried that. Let us know what happens.

You don't really have to use password protection in the BIOS for XP. Just setup your user account with a password. Then no one will be able to login to your account without your password and they wouldn't be able to get into XP any other way.

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Yes, you can fairly easily dual boot by adding XP AFTER ...
by Edward ODaniel / October 16, 2007 4:23 AM PDT

the pre-installed Vista.

Here is a link that explains in great detail EXACTLY what you have to do. It is a little more complicated than adding Windows 2000 on a computer that already had Windows XP because Vista no longer uses the Boot.ini but by following the directions it isn't too much more difficult.

As far as your question about Also, as a side issue, is there anyway to password protect the dual booting so that only someone with the password can access the XP operating system. -- that is the purpose of assigning user accounts and mandatory passwords for each account (INCLUDING the default Administrator account).

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Thanks for all the input
by The ancient one / October 17, 2007 9:39 AM PDT

I probably won't get around to doing this for a few days, since I seem to spend what free time that I have using this computer. If I don't have any problems, I doubt if you will hear from me on this subject.

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Dual Boot 2 HD's Vista 64 & XP Pro
by fastphoto / October 18, 2007 8:32 PM PDT

To solve my problem, I loaded Vista 64 on PM (0) drive and rebooted to install XP Pro on PS (1) drive, selecting the PS drive as the boot drive. The install went without a hitch. On occasions I receive the "Black Screen" to select the OS. The reason for the duel booting is that Windows Home Server will not backup on the Vista 64 OS but will on the XP Pro OS. I just put the XP system to sleep and the next morning both of my OS's and data are backed up and ready for restore if needed.

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Does fastphoto = The ancient one?
by BrianZachary / October 19, 2007 4:03 AM PDT

That is very confusing.

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Dual Boot- I am almost an ancient one just 75
by fastphoto / October 19, 2007 4:48 AM PDT

Yes it is! I am sorry that I confused you. My bios primary master boot drive with Vista 64 and my bios secondary master drive is XP Pro. During boot up I select the drive with the operating system OS I want to use. Either Drive becomes the Windows C: drive on booting depending upon the drive selected for boot-up. When I finish work in Vista 64, I reboot to XP and let it hibernate. WHS will only work with 32 bit systems The Windows Home Server then makes a backup of ALL the drives (2 IDE and 1 SATA) on the XP Computer and as a results have a backup of my Vista 64 System.



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Dual Booting
by ghardyjr1 / October 19, 2007 10:29 AM PDT

I have a Machine Right Now set up to Triple Boot. I am using one of the Cables from one of the CD-ROM Drives for the Third Hard Drive. I have them all set for Master. What I Did was unplug the Cable going to the Other Hard Drive During the Installation. That way your Machine will only see the Hard Drive you want to install XP on. Then Plug it all back in and when you Start, You will see Boot Options at the Start up. Mine I believe is the F11 Key. I have Windows XP PRO, Fedora Core 6 and Ubuntu all on one Machine on 3 Seperate Hard Drives. The Computer Runs Great on all 3 Systems. Good Luck

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Sounds good but
by The ancient one / October 19, 2007 10:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Dual Booting

I am a little confused about having 3 master drives. I did not know that this was possible. On the computer that I am currently using I have 3 internal hard drives, but 2 of them are slaves. When you say you unpluged the Cable going to the Other Hard Drive During the Installation, I didn't think doing this while the computer was actually running was a good thing. I could see doing this just before booting the computer up. So again, more confusion.

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U can even quad boot.
by Halcy0n / July 29, 2008 8:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Sounds good but

In theory its even possible to have a quad-boot (or 4 possible OS, operating systems). This has to do with the fact that u can have up 2 4 primary partitions on any one Hard Drive. I would also assum its possible to boot even more, if using more hard drives and installing a boot loader that permits to jump hard drives. As for the installation for XP on a vista computer, there are many forums out there that help you do this. I even read through one where u CAN install XP onto the same hard disk as Vista, by using the shrink feature, and than simply installing, and finally moving over the XP boot loader to the C;\. Id love to tell you more, but i dont want to rewrite it all, just check out this link

Hope this helps, most likely doesnt, since it doesnt have much to do with ur problem.....

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Partition, partition, partition
by KanineLupus / October 19, 2007 11:15 AM PDT

As a more preferable option, I would suggest partitioning one of the HDD's for dual booting, and keeping the other purely for storage. It will make life much easier down the track if you chose to move your files to a new PC if you upgrade down the track. Have a look at Partion Magic for that one.

As one who is dual booting on both PC and Notebook, the process is dead easy. On inserting the MS disc, you then chose which partition (or in your current case, the drive) to install on. For less headaches dowbn the track you are always better to format the drive prior to installing the OS any how. After selecting the drive/partition, the OS will install cleanly, and without conflicts Happy

As to your last question, short of third-party protection, NO. It is the same as if I booted up a PC using a Linux Live disc still has access to the other account files. From what I understand, the account protection is OS dependent. Have a look at some thing along the lines of TrueCrypt (a free aplication) to keep prying eyes out of those files you don't want others to access

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Actually, KanineLupus...
by BrianZachary / October 19, 2007 2:16 PM PDT

KanineLupus said:
"As a more preferable option, I would suggest partitioning one of the HDD's for dual booting, and keeping the other purely for storage. It will make life much easier down the track if you chose to move your files to a new PC if you upgrade down the track. Have a look at Partion Magic for that one."

Actually, it does make more sense to put each OS on its own hard drive. That way, if something goes wrong with one of them and you need to format the hard drive, you won't have to worry about deleting the other OS's and will still have those to use. Partitioning for restore files is great but even that can get damaged.

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Only partly correct
by KanineLupus / October 19, 2007 7:29 PM PDT

Yes putting OS's on seperate HDD's does have the advantage of protection against hardware failure, but if you buy a decent harddrive that shouldn't even be a concern. But as to formatting, there is no reason you can't format the offending partion in the case of an OS/system failure - with absolutely no effect to the other installed operating systems.

The other benefit in keeping a HDD for storage-only is that you can better protect your files so that in the case of a virus hitting your system it is far easier to provent the loss of crucial files... has saved my own bacon more than once over the years. You can also use TrueCrypt to password and/or encrypt the entire slave drive... extra peace of mind in the case of theft or hacking.

All-in-all the the pro's outweigh the cons

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by The ancient one / October 19, 2007 11:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Only partly correct

I will be using an external hard drive for storage along with a 4gb SanDisck thumbdrive or whatever they are called.

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Dual Booting
by fastphoto / October 19, 2007 11:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Only partly correct

As I have three hard drives and have all my files on the non-OS drive, I have different programs loaded on different drivex because some programs as not compatible to the OS. Also all my drives on this computer and all of my other computers are backed up nightly on my WHS. Also when each major project is finished I do a manual backup to the WHS. For me, the pros of having each OS on its own drive are more important than the cons. To each his/her own choice is what makes the world go round and round and round!


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