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Windows 7: two hard drives one computer windows 7 and old windows XP

17 Jun 2012   #1

window7 64
two hard drives one computer windows 7 and old windows XP

Would like to take hard drive from my old computer that over heats and is dieing and add it to my new computer with all new parts and faster. Would like to tell it which one to boot to when turning on and be able to go from one system to the other by way of key board without turning everything on and off if possible. If this can be done please give me the complete steps to take and what I may need. Do not want to format and lose programs or data on either hard drive no good then.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

Welcome aboard cameramandd :)

If there are two hard drives in a computer, and two consists of two different OSs, the best practice is to set one of the HDDs as the first boot device in BIOS (preferably that one containing windows 7) so that it boots up normally at the power on.

Now, use teh BIOS boot menu key (usually F12 for Dell) to select the other OS to load. After power on, when the motherboard splash screen will be shown. tap and hold the boot menu key, it will list up all teh possible drives to load from.

But, if all the installations are done in one computer and you are trying to put them in another, they may refuse to work, due to incompatibility of drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #3
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Hello cameramandd Welcome to SF!

First off once you move the drive from machine to machine the present Windows installation on the drive will be invalidated. The second concern will be the need for a clean install to start off fresh with the new set of hardwares seen on the newer machine.

I'll be facing a similar problem soon enough once a replacement board not being the exact same make and model goes into the old Vista build here. The OS drive will need to be wiped clean in order to see a new copy of the previous version go along with the new board's chipset and other drivers in order to see that case put to use again.

You will first want to back up any personal files from the drive since the present Windows installation on it will need to go. Depending on which version of Windows you have on the drive itself you could try a repair install but risk running into too many problems due to the large scale hardware changes that would be seen.

Once you have a clean install of the other version of Windows on and of course activated the management of how to select between which drive will be booted into is easy enough. The designated F key to bring up the boot device menu allows you to select the drive or device to boot from for a one time session without need to change the boot order in the bios setup.

For a little 3rd party help that will depend on which version of Windows will be on the drive itself. Read through the guide for setting up a dual boot with 7 and XP if XP will be run noting Option Two for installing XP after 7. Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

For setting up a dual boot of Vista with 7 review the guide for that seen at Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and Vista
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 two hard drives one computer windows 7 and old windows XP

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