General discussion

WinXP/WinXP Dual Boot With Protected Drives

Is there a way to create a dual boot XP system where I have XP and XP operating systems, but when I am booted from drive C XP OS, I am locked out from the opposite XP OS drive (Drive D). And the opposite would be true when booted off the Drive D XP OS. I am trying to prevent software applications from accidentally being installed on the wrong drive.

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Not an expert,

but I doubt it.

Logic says to me that Dual Boot needs both disks to be accessible, otherwise dual boot would fail. It's not that the dual boot option would not display properly at Startup. I suspect that option is taken from the boot.ini file from the XP install on the C drive. But if you then select the other XP, the one installed on the 2nd drive, then if it is locked in some way you would not be able to access it.

However, may be others here will know differently.

I'm not sure why this would be a problem though. All Installation processes I know of always default to the C drive and only the user can change that.

In any dual boot, whichever OS you select at Startup, that OS will consider the drive it is installed on as the C Drive. So, Drives 1 and 2, XP on drive 1 will treat drive 1 as the C drive, and XP on drive 2 will treat drive 2 as the C drive.

So whichever XP you are booted into, any software install will default to the C drive.


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Using the supported methods? No.

You could entertain BootMagic (google what that was, did and was replaced by) but all this is usually unsupportable at the end of the day. That is, you feel like you're on your own.

Here I've moved on to Windows 7 Pro and a bootable USB Ubuntu when the need arises. I have found no reason to boot XP in 7 Pro's virtual PC or Virtual Box for over a year. Maybe those days are gone.

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I believe you can...

Using Microsoft KB Article 926185 as a reference, you can prevent Windows from accessing a particular volume by drive letter. (The focus of the article is resolving System Restore issues when dual-booting XP and Vista, but Method #1 accomplishes the same goal.) I believe that boot.ini and the associated files are loaded before the system registry, which would mean the change would not affect the dual-boot configuration or your ability to use either installation of XP. However, I am not positive of that, and a mistake could result in neither OS being bootable/usable until repaired, so you may want to await confirmation/rebuttal from others before proceeding.


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