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Windows 7: Help with not having to swap drives to dual boot Windows 7 and XP

09 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Windows XP Pro
Help with not having to swap drives to dual boot Windows 7 and XP


I am in need of some advice for options. Currently I have win7 installed on a Raid0 array, working wonderfully. On a separate drive I have winXP installed, working just fine. All the drives are located in removable trays that allow me to physically change between booting to XP or Win7. I would like to simply forgo this weekly hard drive swap and just be able to do a dual boot, but I am worried that this might cause more headaches since my current setup is working. I also would like to be able to keep the drives hidden from eachother like the are now. I have read through so many posts here my head is about to implode. What do you suggest?



My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


Set the preferred OS/HD as first to boot in BIOS setup, then boot the other one using the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key which for Dell is F12. This keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please whereas a Windows-managed Dual Boot interlocks them.

If you want to hide one OS from the other, remove the other one's drive letter in Disk Management of the OS you're currently booted into.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Windows XP Pro

Thanks for the help, I will try that tonight. I just hope having one as a raid and the other as a single drive doesnt throw a wrench in the works.

Hopefully with both of them being independent, the drive letter wont change by itself (or be changed by xp or 7) because they are both C right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64

You should be fine. I use that method to select my Linux disk, if I want to boot up into that. My 4 Windows installations are on my RAID 0 array, and my 2 Linux ones are on a single disk. Although all disks are set as RAID in the BIOS, all my OSes boot up without any problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Help with not having to swap drives to dual boot Windows 7 and XP

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