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Windows 7: two hard drives, two OS


24 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 prof. 64 bit
 
 
two hard drives, two OS

Hi, I have windows 7 installed on a 500 gig HD. I would like to add another hard drive and install windows xp on it. How would I set up this to work when I boot up so I could have a choice of which OS to boot to. Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Apr 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Disconnect the Windows 7 drive before installing XP, then reconnect once XP is installed on the other drive. Then use the bios boot menu pop up (should be F8 if the board in your specs) to choose which one to boot from. Saves the hassles of bootloaders, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello Bruce.



If Windows 7 is installed and running in AHCI mode you will need to slip SATA drivers into the XP installation media to successfully install XP to the system; be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.


SATA Drivers - Slipstream into Windows XP CD
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24 Apr 2011   #4

32bit: XP, Win7 H.P. / 64bit: 2008R2, Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Several flavors of Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stormy13 View Post
Disconnect the Windows 7 drive before installing XP, then reconnect once XP is installed on the other drive. Then use the bios boot menu pop up (should be F8 if the board in your specs) to choose which one to boot from. Saves the hassles of bootloaders, etc.
+1 doing this. This computer I'm using has four physical hard drives (three are multi-boot) - my mobo BIOS uses F12 to select the boot device (different from the "boot order" setting in the BIOS).

For your application stormy13 has the solution I support.

Regards,
GEW
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24 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 prof. 64 bit
 
 

Where is the best place to dowload Sata drivers. I have a usb floppy and can insert after pressing F6.
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24 Apr 2011   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BruceMyers48 View Post
Where is the best place to dowload Sata drivers. I have a usb floppy and can insert after pressing F6.
This depends on your motherboard brand and model. The WinXP SATA drivers for the controller chip on that board would be available from the manufacturer's site, if they're not already imbedded in the WinXP (+SP3?) installation CD you have.

The BIOS setup decides which is the "boot drive" (i.e. hard disk #1), and the "active partition" on that drive is what gets booted to.

In common WinXP/Windows 7 configurations (where WinXP was previously installed and Windows 7 then gets added as a second bootable OS, perhaps on a second partition or even on a second drive/partition), the WinXP partition is "active". The Windows 7 installer plants a "boot manager" onto the WinXP partition (because it was the "active partition" booted to by the BIOS), which presents a menu to you to then choose which OS you really want to boot to... either Windows 7 (by default, unless you change it to WinXP by default) or WinXP.

This boot manager approach is an alternative to the BIOS-facilitated boot drive choice, and is commonly used. Many people (including myself) have further substituted the use of a very nice and intuitive substitute boot manager named "EasyBCD" instead of Windows 7's, but the concept is the same.

In your case, you've already got Windows 7 installed first, and you now want to install WinXP on a second drive. After doing what was previously suggested, namely temporarily disconnecting your Windows 7 drive so you can connect your new WinXP drive and install WinXP to it (as temporary hard disk #1, making it the "active partition" on that drive), you can then reconnect your original Windows 7 drive (obviously you'll now have two drives, and two SATA cables going to two SATA connectors on the motherboard). You can use the BIOS-facilitated suggestion to decide which drive gets booted to, each time you boot.


If you don't want to use the BIOS-facilitated way of choosing the boot drive as was suggested, you can use the EasyBCD method... installing its boot manager functionality onto the Windows 7 drive.

So you'd make the Windows 7 drive "hard disk #1" and its own 100MB system reserved partition would appear as the "active partition" if you were to look at it with the highly recommended Paritition Wizard product. You can download and install [free] Partition Wizard Home Edition v5.2 (which runs under both WinXP and Windows 7) along with the standalone bootable CD (burned from ISO file, downloaded from here).

EasyBCD would be installed in the Windows 7 environment, and you'd configure it to add the WinXP partition on the second drive as a second bootable OS.

Now, when you boot, the BIOS will always go to the Windows 7 drive and initiate EasyBCD's boot manager menu. You can set either Windows 7 or WinXP to be the default cursor selection position so that you only need to press ENTER or let 30-seconds go by after which auto-boot to the default OS will occur, but you can always just move the cursor and boot to whichever OS you want from the menu.

This EasyBCD (or original Windows 7-provided) boot manager method to multiple OS booting is very common, and is an alternative to using the BIOS-facilitated method.

The boot manager method has the clear advantage of supporting multiple bootable OS's on a single drive (if that's how you've installed things), which the BIOS method does not support (since it requires only one bootable "active partition" per hard drive).


I recommend that you investigate Partition Wizard (both for use under Windows 7/WinXP as well as standalone boot CD), as well as EasyBCD.

These are both highly regarded 3rd-party free products and make multi-boot multi-drive multi-partition environments very easy to understand, manage, and modify.
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24 Apr 2011   #7

Windows 7 prof. 64 bit
 
 

I went into the bios and set the Windows 7 drive #1 and the xp drive #2 but it goes right by the xp and boots into Windows 7. So I guess I will have to down load the boot manager while in 7 to make this work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2011   #8

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BruceMyers48 View Post
I went into the bios and set the Windows 7 drive #1 and the xp drive #2 but it goes right by the xp and boots into Windows 7. So I guess I will have to down load the boot manager while in 7 to make this work.
The BIOS will boot to whatever drive you have set as hard drive #1, and then to the "active partition" on that drive (if you have more than one partition on the drive).

Since you've said above that you have set Windows 7 to drive #1 in the BIOS, that's why it went to that drive to boot... to Windows 7's 100MB "system reserved" partition where the real Windows 7 boot manager lives on that drive (since its 100MB "system reserved" partition is actually marked as the "active partition" on that drive). There was no consideration at all of WinXP, because you'd marked is as hard drive #2, with Windows 7's drive as hard drive #1.

If you want to boot (using the BIOS technique) to WinXP then when in the BIOS you need to change the WinXP drive to be hard disk #1 and the Windows 7 drive to be hard disk #2. Then you'll be directed by the BIOS to the "active partition" on the WinXP drive (i.e. hard disk #1), i.e. its own boot partition on that drive, "C" to WinXP, where WinXP got installed.

Using a boot manager technique (either Windows 7's own, or the much friendlier EasyBCD method) you never have to deal with BIOS issues and changing hard disk order, etc. You can still have two OS's (or more) installed, but they can either be on different partitions of one drive or arbtrary parititions on multiple drives... providing maximum flexibility for you to decide how you want to install things.

Personally, I have never used the BIOS method. I have always used a boot manager method. I find it friendlier, easier to deal with and understand and modify, and still 100% reliable and convenient. It's just a menu-based list of possible OS's that you can boot to, with one pre-selected as the "default". What could be easier?
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25 Apr 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

After you have Windows 7 installed on one drive and XP on the other, download and install Easybcd 2.0 or greater. With Easybcd you select XP as the second OS. When you reboot, you should see the option of which OS to boot into.

Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #10

Vista Ultimate X64/ Windows 7 Dual-boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BruceMyers48 View Post
I went into the bios and set the Windows 7 drive #1 and the xp drive #2 but it goes right by the xp and boots into Windows 7. So I guess I will have to down load the boot manager while in 7 to make this work.
This means the Windows 7 HDD was not disconnected for the XP install...
You either have to use a bootloader now or start over.
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 two hard drives, two OS




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