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Windows 7: Two Hard Drives already Loaded XP/Win7-Install into one Computer?

10 Apr 2012   #1

 
 
Two Hard Drives already Loaded XP/Win7-Install into one Computer?

Hi, I have a new computer that runs Windows7 64 bit. I have an older computer hard drive that has XP.

I needed something from the old hard drive and hooked it up with the cables from the Windows 7 hard drive and it booted up and ran. I've since gone back to using the Windows 7 hard drive.

How do I proceed to add that second hard drive running XP to the new computer so I can have the option of running either OS? I've read through some posts, but they all presume you are installing the OS to new clean hard drives, not have them already installed.

Is it as simple as hooking the XP drive into the computer as a second drive and booting it up? Do I need to change some external setting on the hard drive to have it recognized as a slave?

Will Windows 7 automatically change the boot to recognize the second OS and allow a choice at startup?

Thank you so much for your advice in advance. I'm a little knowledgeable but there are a lot of gaps in that knowledge. Cheers

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Apr 2012   #2

openSUSE 13.1 64bit
 
 

One way of doing it would be to set you preferred OS as the priority HD at boot, then if you wanted the other OS, boot into bios and select it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 home premium x64
 
 

Pressing F8 during post brings up the choose boot device menu, if you wanted ever to boot to safe mode etc; you would have to press F8 again after the chosen drive started to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Apr 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

If the XP drive is an IDE drive you may have to change the drive select jumper. It will depend on whether it is a master or slave, and if there is another device already on that IDE cable. If its SATA there is no jumper to change. Keep in mind that if the hardware on the original PC it was installed on, is different from whats in the new PC it may not even boot up to XP. Especially if the motherboard chip-set is different. Activation will likely fail too. Depending on what version of XP it is, OEM or Retail, you may not legally be able to move it from one PC to the other. OEM versions are locked to the first PC they are activated on. If you just want the drive for extra storage I would just save any files you want to keep to other media and then formate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

As stated plug in the second HD to a second port on mobo. Set Windows 7 HD as first HD to boot in BIOS setup.

Then boot the other HD when needed using the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key:
Asus - F8
HP/Compaq - Esc
Sony - F2
Acer - F12
Gateway - F10
eMachnes - F10
Toshiba - F12
Dell - F12
IBM/Lenovo - the blue Thinkvantage button
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #6

 
 
Thanks Folks

As I stated, I have already hooked up the old Hard Drive on it's own to the new computer by just swapping over the cables and it worked, so I must presume it will work again.

As the computer is a hand built one, I don't know which key will bring up the boot menu, so I will give that a try before I install the old Hard drive into the system.

Cheers!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

I was trying to help you with the best way to boot separate HD's on the same machine.

If you don't have a BIOS Boot Menu key (most do) to use then you can set Windows 7 first to boot, install EasyBCD to add XP to a Dual boot menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #8

7 Ultimate x64/7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by woolysmissus View Post
As I stated, I have already hooked up the old Hard Drive on it's own to the new computer by just swapping over the cables and it worked, so I must presume it will work again.

As the computer is a hand built one, I don't know which key will bring up the boot menu, so I will give that a try before I install the old Hard drive into the system.

Cheers!
On some motherboards, the delete key boots it into BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Two Hard Drives already Loaded XP/Win7-Install into one Computer?





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