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Windows 7: Desire to keep WinXP on Mirror RAID with Win7 on separate HDD


11 Nov 2011   #1

Windows XP SP3
 
 
Desire to keep WinXP on Mirror RAID with Win7 on separate HDD

Simplest thing to do is to just load Windows 7 and get it over with...but am just smart or stupid enough to consider alternatives...

I have a pretty stable WinXP install but have run into games that require 7 (and DirectX 10).

Question:

Can I install Windows 7 on a non-raid HDD (already on my machine) while keeping WinXP on the 250 GB mirror thus avoiding application reload AND potential for issues with the RAID array?

My initial thought is to unplug the mirrored drives and install Windows 7 to the single drive. Replug the mirrored HDDs (same ports). Edit the Boot sequence to allow choice of XP or 7.

How badly would this go?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Not well with Windows 7, which doesn't much like RAID.

A lot depends on the controllers which will need to provide both RAID for XP and SATA/AHCI for Windows 7.

You can try booting Windows 7 to see if it sees the target HD, then try install.

If this fails, unplug the RAID while taking careful note of its settings, try install of Windows 7 to target HD with nothing else plugged in at all. The SATA controller should be in AHCI mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2011   #3

Windows XP SP3
 
 

I've been doing some prep work b4 trying this out.

One issue: Assume I can load Windows 7 on the standalone HDD (maybe having to be done with RAID HDDs disconnected or not). How does the system know - when I plug the RAID drives in to offer a boot choice of Windows 7 or WXP?

I found BCDEdit which apparently allows you to edit the boot loader for Windows 7. However, boot.ini (for WinXP) in the root of my C:\ drive cannot be used to reference or otherwise initiate the start up of Windows 7 (so I've read).

I haven't checked yet but would this then "simply" require a bios change in the order in which it looked for OS? Point it at Drive 1 (Windows 7 location), then the RAID (Drive 0). I haven't looked at BCDEdit enough yet to know if it would offer the choice I want but it seems that it would.

Any thoughts or comments welcome. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 Nov 2011   #4

Windows XP SP3
 
 

Follow up:

I checked my BIOS out. I think I would have a SATA/AHCI issue as my Ob Chip SATA Type choices are:
-Native IDE
-RAID - [this is the setting]
-AHCI

On Chip SATA Port 4/5 Type (the 5th and 6th SATA ports) choices are:
-IDE
-As SATA Type [this is the setting]

In the HDD Boot Priority I have:
-SCSI-0 RAID 1
-SCSI-1 WD 500 HDD (the standalone)
-USB HDD (FD happened to be plugged in)
-Bootable add in cards

So it appears I could have the Boot priority go to the single HDD looking for the boot instructions - it just isn't labeled as a SATA. Don't know if Windows 7 will like that or not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

All SATA settings are fine in BIOS
you have:
-SCSI-0 RAID 1
-SCSI-1 WD 500 HDD (the standalone)

Change that to:
-SCSI-1 WD 500 HDD (the standalone)
-SCSI-0 RAID 1

Or even better:
-DVD drive
-SCSI-1 WD 500 HDD (the standalone)
-SCSI-0 RAID 1


now:
-disconnect raidset (remove cables). off course first power off and disconnect power
start from installation DVD and install Windows 7 on WD 500 disk.
Does it install and installation is fine? Now shutdown and disconnect power and reconnect the removed cables.
Reboot. Does it see the raid sets?
Post back the results. only thing to do later is add winxp to bootmenu
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

There is no need to interlock the HD's using a Windows Boot Menu when you have separate HD's. You can have a much cleaner Dual Boot via the BIOS that leaves them independent to come and go as you please.

Just unplug existing OS when you install the new one, after install plug back in, set the preferred OS to boot first in BIOS setup, when needed trigger the other OS HD to boot using one-time BIOS Boot Menu.

This avoids complicated surgery later to remove one OS HD which has placed its boot files on the other as can happen with a Windows Boot menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Off course that's the easiest way gregrocker. But:

-one disk with "boot manager" and windows 7 (that's why I adviced him to disconnect the other drive)
-other disk with winxp bootmanager and working as before

This is what you advice. and that's what I want him to do as well.
but later: adding winxp to Windows 7 bootmenu only adds an entry in bootmenu which starts winxp on the other disk. Disconnecting windows7 disk .... winxp will start without problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

This is true, as well.

XP will only hold the System boot files if Windows 7 is installed last and places its boot files on the XP partition to autoconfigure a Dual Boot, as it does if XP HD remains plugged in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #9

Windows XP SP3
 
 

kaktussoft: your outline of steps was how I was going to try to proceed (my concerns about AHCI aside - the standalone drive works fine now).

Thank you and gregrocker for the advice. Will report on outcome...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #10

Windows XP SP3
 
 

I should have clarified intent a bit more:

Once past the Windows 7 install (with the RAID disconnected) and having a reasonably operating system, I intended to leave Drive 1 (with Windows 7) as the first bootable device, then modify its boot manager/loader to allow for boot to WinXP on Drive 0 (BCDEdit seems to readily allow for this). My plan is to use Windows 7 for some gaming purposes (at the moment) and I will likely keep using XP for bulk of PC use.

Thank you both.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Desire to keep WinXP on Mirror RAID with Win7 on separate HDD




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