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Windows 7: how do I create a select boot for 2 hard drives

01 Sep 2010   #1
wilfj

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 
how do I create a select boot for 2 hard drives

I have windows 7 on one drive C: and XP on D: How do I create a boot select at startup? Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Sep 2010   #2
gregrocker

 

Since you have two HD's just set the preferred one to boot first in BIOS setup, then if you want to boot the other tap the one-time Boot Menu key which is F12 on Dell.

This is the cleanest method of booting two OS's because the HD's remain independent and are free to come and go as you please. A Windows-managed Dual Boot menu interlocks them and makes them harder to remove.
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02 Sep 2010   #3
wilfj

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 

thanks for the info but just two complex for me.

My Compaq at start up, will show me the boot files by just holding the ESC key. Easy and nothing added. I have 2 hard drives Win7 and the other XP .
I just seem to recall in Win98 we would create an Autoexec file for selecting the hard drive at start up. I think that's what I had in mind. Thanks again
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02 Sep 2010   #4
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
every computer I've ever used has some sort of boot menu -- even if you have to go into the BIOS setup to set the default boot drive.

As others have pointed out this is definitely the best way since it preserves the TOTAL independance of the disks.

If you install a software application such as GRUB or EasyBoot etc then it's very difficult to remove one of the OS'es if you want to.

Modern computers also allow you to boot from USB devices as well -- so using the built in hardware boot menu or BIOS setup IMO is definitely the best option.

Cheers
jimbo
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02 Sep 2010   #5
wilfj

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 

thanks for your reply and I'll stay with the Bios selection meno which the ESC key will open and allow the drive selection to be made. Works quite well, I do find that I'm back to XP over 7 easy to find things.....
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04 Jan 2011   #6
Larryz4

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I have a related question, I have a new HP HPE410f PC with Win 7 Premium installed on the 1TB Drive, and I want to add another 2TB HDD and install Win 7 Pro on that one. When I am ready to install the OS on the 2nd drive, do I just set it as the primary boot path drive? Do I need to format the new HDD before installing Win 7 Pro?
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05 Jan 2011   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Larryz4
I'm curious why you'd want to do this - but to answer your question:
I would not install the 2nd Windows 7 OS while the disk with the other OS is connected. I would pull the sata cable on the disk containing the 1st OS then do an ordinary install with only the 2nd drive connected. when the 2nd OS is up & running connect the 1st drive and select boot order in BIOS. Then at boot you can select which W7 you want to boot. What you want to end up with is 2 independently bootable disks.
If the new install is to an unallocated drive then I understand you will get the 100MB system reserved partition.
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05 Jan 2011   #8
gregrocker

 

Initialize the HD in Disk Mgmt before install. Then unplug the first drive, plug it's cable into new HD or set it to boot in BIOS after DVD drive, Boot DVD to Custom install.

After install, plug back in other HD, set preferred HD as first HD to boot in BIOS setup, boot the other HD using HP ESC key for one-time BIOS Boot menu.

If you don't like this cleaner method of Dual Booting which keeps the HD"s independent to come and go as you please, you can interlock them using EasyBCD 2.0 to get a Windows-managed Dual Boot menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2011   #9
Larryz4

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Larryz4
I'm curious why you'd want to do this - but to answer your question:
I would not install the 2nd Windows 7 OS while the disk with the other OS is connected. I would pull the sata cable on the disk containing the 1st OS then do an ordinary install with only the 2nd drive connected. when the 2nd OS is up & running connect the 1st drive and select boot order in BIOS. Then at boot you can select which W7 you want to boot. What you want to end up with is 2 independently bootable disks.
If the new install is to an unallocated drive then I understand you will get the 100MB system reserved partition.
I guess it seems strange as to why I would do this, but I finally got Premium where I want it and deleted all the bloatware that I didn't want, but I want to run AutoCad r14, and there is no XP environment on Premium, so I got Pro to run AutoCad and other XP programs that I can't in Premium. I had the 2TB drive sitting here, so I thought this would be a good way to utilize it and get what I need at the same time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2011   #10
Larryz4

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thank you Gregrocker and mjf for the steps required. I like the method you have suggested and I will do exactly that. And yes, Gregrocker, I want to use the clean method like this so that should I want to discontinue using either version it's just a matter of cables and a simple BIOS change. Thanks again!
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 how do I create a select boot for 2 hard drives




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