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Windows 7: Dual booting, two hds vs partition?

23 May 2009   #1
alt

XP
 
 
Dual booting, two hds vs partition?

What would be the easiest way to do a dual boot? Would it be:

1)Use a second hard drive, one with XP one with Windows 7? If I did this would I be able to plug the XP drive in and see it as my D:\ drive? What if I went and switched it back in the bios to the XP hard would I see windows 7 stuff in D:\? I’d like to do this since I have two hard drives one that is brand new.

2) Just partition my current hard drive and dual boot. If I did this would I be able to switch back and forth and see files on both boots? Also what about if I added my other new hard drive would both see it easily?

I don’t know much about dual boots so please fill me in and answer my questions.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 May 2009   #2
noyb

XP MCE .... XP Pro 64 .... W7 U x64
 
 

I put my W7 in a separate HDD ....
Didn't want to take a chance and break a perfectly good XP system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2009   #3
alt

XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by noyb View Post
I put my W7 in a separate HDD ....
Didn't want to take a chance and break a perfectly good XP system.
Are you able to go into bios and switch back and fourth, As in as access files from each when the other one is what you boot from off say making the primary C:\ and the other boot D:\?

Or do you just remove one and add the other one at a time?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 May 2009   #4
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I would dual boot with one HD. Put your 2 OS on one drive.

I do not need to access my data on another OS since I have my data on another partition of my HD but you can see the data if you so choose.

Whatever OS you are in will show "C" as the system disk.

You will have a choice on every restart to boot XP or W7. You can set whatever you want as default. I know I didn't answer all your questions but maybe one or two.

Good luck. If you have a specific question let us know. There are also great tutorials here you can use to do almost anything you would want.

Talk to you later.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2009   #5
noyb

XP MCE .... XP Pro 64 .... W7 U x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alt View Post
...do you just remove one and add the other one at a time?
This might be a safe way to do it .. that's how I make my installs .. to be safe.

I have a HP computer ... I can tap the Esc key at boot up ...
and enter a boot loader .. that lets me choose which HDD I want to boot from.

These discs are subject to change .. disc 3 is currently W7-7127x86


Attached Thumbnails
Dual booting, two hds vs partition?-4996.gif  
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23 May 2009   #6
alt

XP
 
 

Well I'm sorry I'm still not totally clear. If I do winXP on one and win7 on another hard drive, can the other one be plugged in and read as another drive letter, it doesnt have to be D as long as it shows up, I just used that to be simple. I wnat to be able to access files from each one on the other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2009   #7
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You should be able to do what you are proposing. I just worry that you will not be able to run programs from one OS to the other. You will be able to access files though. It may be more simple to back up your files and duplicate them on each OS.

See this tutorial

Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2009   #8
chuckr

XP_Pro, W7_7201, W7RC.vhd, SciLinux5.3, Fedora12, Fedora9_2x, OpenSolaris_09-06
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alt View Post
What would be the easiest way to do a dual boot? Would it be:

1)Use a second hard drive, one with XP one with Windows 7? If I did this would I be able to plug the XP drive in and see it as my D:\ drive? What if I went and switched it back in the bios to the XP hard would I see windows 7 stuff in D:\? Iíd like to do this since I have two hard drives one that is brand new.

2) Just partition my current hard drive and dual boot. If I did this would I be able to switch back and forth and see files on both boots? Also what about if I added my other new hard drive would both see it easily?

I donít know much about dual boots so please fill me in and answer my questions.
You're not very clear as to exactly what you have for 2 HDDs.
Normally, when people talk about having 2 HDDs, they're both in the same
physical case (ie, the desktop computer). One does not normally plug one
in and unplug the other one...

It 'sounds like' you have at least one USB plugin HDD. If this is correct,
Win 7 will not install to USB or 1394 (Firewire) drives. I tried it anyway,
with a new USB HDD - didn't work...

You keep referring to 'plug one in' and the 'BIOS" selecting which drive,
so it sounds like you're referring to an "External" HDD, like USB or Firewire.
That won't work. Both drives have to be "bolted into" the computer chassis.

There is still another (I believe 'little-known') way to install Windows 7,
into a "virtual hard disk" or, a -BIG- file with a '.vhd' extension. This is what I
wound up doing with my first install, since he would not install to my new
external USB drive. (I just did a second install last night into another partition
(or volume) on the same single HDD in my Gateway chassis.)
It boots and runs just like any other 'full install', yet is all 'contained' within
the one big file...

The reason for the second install was mostly to play-around with Win 7.
The first went into a 20 GB Win7.vhd file which is filling-up with programs and
data, 2 GB left. So I made another 'install' into a 30 GB on another volume on
the same single HDD.

More info is here (where I first read about it):
Boot Windows 7 from VHD - an amazing concept - MSFN Forums

He also refers to a fine tutorial with pics, here on this board (Thanks Brink), at:
Virtual Hard Drive VHD File - Create and Start with at Boot

>---> NOTE that this technique is NOT meant for the super-novice !!! <---<
Running "Diskpart" at the Administrator's Command-prompt is a very easy
way to 'screw-up' your entire current running system, irreparably, with one little mistake!!!

Be sure to 'understand' the procedures before attempting, though.
And, also be aware that, like a 'regular' normal install, it will modify your (main drive, C: 's )
MBR and Boot Sector, so it can load the new-style Windows Boot Manager, using the "BCD store"
method of booting...
(This isn't spoken much of, on the various boards.)

It sounds like we need more information from you, regarding "plugging-in"
the other hard drive, whatever that is...
Do you have only one HDD 'bolted-into' your chassis?
Is it 'partitioned' into more than one volume?

Good Luck,
ChuckR
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2009   #9
alt

XP
 
 

I have two INTERNAL hard drives. I mean unplug and unplug the SATA cable.

I guess I should have been more clear. I know how to do most things I just am very unfamiliar with dual boot. This is a selfmade computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2009   #10
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I'll just recommend you put two OSs on one HD and use the Windows 7 boot loader. You only need to use some third party software or the install disk to make that partition. You can then use the other HD for your data and there you are. (you will not WANT to use XP after using Windows 7 anyway so make that one small) Good luck to you.
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