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Installing and booting XP Pro on a second HD (not a partition)

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#1 Eric RBA

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 11:46 AM

I just installed a second hard drive (250GB 7200RPM SATA Seagate Barracuda) in my machine and I'd like to know if and how I can install Vista and then be able to boot to either OS from startup. I'm running XP Media Center 2005 currently. It's an HP Pavilion with an Athlon 64 X2 2.4GHz, 320GB HD, 2GB RAM. I am likely going to upgrade to 4GB of RAM though.

I intend to install Vista Pro, so I'd like to know the if's and how's to this. Please let me know if there's anything else about my PC you need to know. I'm not sure what type of mobo it is, though I could probably check if that's necessary.



Edited by garmanma, 26 February 2009 - 06:37 PM.
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#2 hamluis



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Posted 23 February 2009 - 05:06 PM

Simple answer...Yes :thumbsup:.

You properly attach the second hard drive to the motherboard...I don't believe you can boot any form of Windows from an external drive (although some say it can be done). You make sure the jumpers are set correctly and that the drive is properly recognized in the BIOS.

You change the first boot option in the BIOS to the optical drive you intend to install from.

Save settings (F10) in the BIOS, system reboots.

I usually insert my XP CD between the reboot and the necessity to hit DELETE to enter the BIOS...as long as the CD is in the drive before the hard drive listing appears onscreen, I can get the "boot to CD" prompt onscreen.

To install either XP, Vista, or Windows 7...just follow the onscreen prompts to format/partition/install.

It might be wise to ensure that you already have at least the NIC drivers for the operating system you are installing, so that activation can be facilitated.

When the install is done...the next time that you boot you will see a screen reflecting boot options for the two different installs of operating systems, with the most recent one probably selected as the default to boot into.

I haven't used Vista (not likely to now, with Windows 7 on the horizon), but we have a Vista forum.


#3 usasma


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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:53 AM

Yes you can do this. Vista should detect the XP installation and add it as an option during bootup.
FWIW - it's likely that the system will boot from the XP drive before starting to load the bootloader. Should you decide at a later time to remove/reformat the drive that contains XP it "may" break the boot loader. Not a great problem, but it'll require some work to repair (keep your Vista installation disk handy).
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