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How to use TWO hard drive in one PC?

by jaeanni / December 14, 2008 2:59 AM PST

I have a New Acer AX3200 with Vista Home Premium but I would like to connect my old hard drive which has XP Media Center and all my softwares installed with the Acer. Will there be any problems because the drives have two OS installed in them? Can someone PLEASE help me on a step to step process on how to go about with having my old drive installed in my new PC? Thanks.

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Re: 2 hard drives in one PC.
by Kees Bakker / December 14, 2008 3:07 AM PST

Yes, you can have 2 hard drives in one PC.
Yes, you can have 2 different OS'es in one PC.

- you can run only one OS at the same time (to switch: shut down and reboot)
- you can't use programs installed in OS 1 when using OS 2 (so you can't use your XP programs while using Vista and you can't use your Vista programs while using XP)

You use Virtual PC. But that can be done on one hard disk just as well. And it needs a fresh install of the OS and all applications on that virtual machine. But than you can easily switch between the 2 OS'es.

So what you want is not possible. So no step-by-step.
Even a step-by-step on just installing the old drive and using it as storage isn't possible without knowing details like SATA and ATA of your machines.


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Re: 2 hard drives in one PC.
by jaeanni / December 14, 2008 8:25 AM PST

I only want to run one OS which is the one on my new PC, but I want my old programs from my old hard drive. Can I run my old programs from my old hard drive when connecting that hard drive to my new PC without booting the OS on that hard drive??

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Possibly, but unlikely
by Jimmy Greystone / December 14, 2008 9:26 AM PST

Possibly, but unlikely given the way about 99% of all Windows programs work. You will have to reinstall the apps on the new system. Of course there's no harm in giving it a try before you format the drive. You may get lucky, though I would be sure to fish out the installation media just in case.

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by Jimmy Greystone / December 14, 2008 3:49 AM PST

Also, you can't just slap a drive with an existing OS into a new system and expect it to work. Not only will it likely fail for a number of technical reasons, it is a violation of the Windows user license. Retail copies of XP Home and Pro can have their license transferred to a new system, but XP MCE was only sold OEM.

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Just put it . . .
by Coryphaeus / December 14, 2008 10:05 PM PST

into an external USB2 case.

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