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Windows 7: Windows 7 on separate HDD


26 Oct 2009   #1

Windows XP
 
 
Windows 7 on separate HDD

I am currently using Windows XP on Drive C:. I have a clean, secondary drive, that I am hoping to install Windows 7 on. During bootup I can interrupt the BIOS and select which one I would like to use.

From information I've read on this forum, I believe that it is best to disconnect my C: drive before installing Windows 7. At least that seemed to be a successful way of doing it.

Question: During the install doesn't Windows 7 look to see a valid version of Windows XP before proceeding? Of course, with the C: drive disconnected it won't see that. Or should I start digging through a box downstairs for an OEM CD?

Thanks.

Jim

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64
 
 

I am assuming you purchased an Upgrade version of 7? Also those recomendations are made to folks to prevent an accidental overwrite of their main drive (XP for you) in the process. If you feel you are careful than leave it connected and install to the appropiate other drive

Also...it is necessary for Windows 7 (if you have an upgrade) to detect the older OS. There is a workaround posted to remedy a possible problem with validation that might occur

EDIT
I apologize but I meant that it is not necessary for Windows 7 to detect the older OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I clean installed Win 7 upgrade to a second internal disk a couple of days ago, without incident. I was able to activate immediately. I did NOT disconnect my C drive when I did this. The recommendations to disconnect your primary drive are only a precaution in case you make a mistake and choose the wrong partition for the new install. If a drive is disconnected, you can't install to it. Some people report they were able to install to a second drive with the old drive disconnected--which implies Windows does not check for a previous install. You can disconnect and try it. If you can't activate, you may have to re-install with your original drive connected. Rather than chance that, I personally would just make damn sure I chose the right partition for the install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Oct 2009   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
I clean installed Win 7 upgrade to a second internal disk a couple of days ago, without incident. I was able to activate immediately. I did NOT disconnect my C drive when I did this. The recommendations to disconnect your primary drive are only a precaution in case you make a mistake and choose the wrong partition for the new install. If a drive is disconnected, you can't install to it. Some people report they were able to install to a second drive with the old drive disconnected--which implies Windows does not check for a previous install. You can disconnect and try it. If you can't activate, you may have to re-install with your original drive disconnected. Rather than chance that, I personally would just make damn sure I chose the right partition for the install.
Thanks for further clarification...the activation part was a mistype from me...

It has been corrected
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #5

Windows XP
 
 

Thanks to you both for the information. It made things much clearer. I'll just leave the C: drive connected.

I mistakenly thought people were disconnecting the C: drive so that Windows 7 didn't write some support file to it which would require it always be present.

My master plan, after a while, is to eliminated Windows XP drive completely.

I appreciate the help.

Jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You may be thinking of that 100 MB or 200 MB partition that Windows 7 sometimes writes to the beginning of the drive. It is used for Bit Locker (encryption), but I think it may have some support/recovery purpose as well. I knew I didn't want it on my drive, so I took steps to prevent its installation. It isn't a big deal, one way or another, and occupies very little space. So I wouldn't worry about it. I'm not sure if disconnecting your original drive will prevent its installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #7

Windows XP
 
 

What steps did you take to prevent its installation?

I don't mind the 100MB, I just don't want the day to come when I disconnect the Windows XP drive and have Windows 7 fail to start because it can't find that file.

Thanks again for the info

Jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I am not positive it is created with Windows Home Premium--it may be reserved for Professional and Ultimate. But I didn't want to chance having it, so I took measures to avoid it in case it is installed on Home Premium. Here is the info I was operating on: I found differing opinions on whether it could be removed after the fact using Disk Management in Computer Management. Supposedly, the partition is installed ONLY if the OS is installed on a hard disk with one partition or unallocated space. So avoid those 2 conditions---eg, make your partitions before you install if you intend to have only a single partition. Which is what I did. But I can't confirm the partition would have been installed if I had not taken precautions. So, you have to decide whether or not you want it. I didn't. If it isn't installed in some cases, it must not be critical. I seem to recall that if the partition is NOT made, then the files it would have contained are nonetheless placed in a folder somewhere on C. Do your own due diligence and make your own decision.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

By keeping both your XP and target HDD connected, you will create a dual boot of both. You can start the Upgrade from the XP desktop and do a custom clean install to the target HDD, or boot from the disk and do a Custom install after being able to delete, create and format any partitions.

If you decide you want to remove XP from the dual boot, then mark the Windows 7 drive active in Disk Management console, unplug XP drive cable and plug it into the Windows 7 drive (or change the boot order in BIOS), and run startup repair so Windows 7 can reclaim the boot back onto its drive. You may have to run Startup Repair more than once.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #10

Windows XP
 
 

Thanks again for the information.

ignatzatsonic - I didn't quite get your discussion about partitions. Especially the part where you said "Supposedly, the partition is installed ONLY if the OS is installed on a hard disk with one partition or unallocated space". Did you mean on the second, clean, drive it has to have some partition created by me first?

gregrocker - Your solution seems simple enough. But the part about running Startup Repair more than once makes me think things could go wrong.

I think you both understand that I'm trying to avoid any "untangling" problems down the road. I assumed that with one OS on each HDD it would be a simple unplug process. Maybe that's another reason that some people disconnect the C: drive altogether. I wonder if the C: drive was disconnected if Windows 7 ask for a OEM CD?

I appreciate the input.

Jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 on separate HDD




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