SysChat is a free online computer support community. Ask questions, share resources, contribute knowledge and discuss technology. Join our growing community to access all features. Register Now!

SysChat » Software Support » Operating Systems » dual boot with 2 separate hard drives

Operating Systems

Support help troubleshooting and discussions on Operating Systems.

LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 06:05 PM
partick partick is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1
partick is on a distinguished road

Question dual boot with 2 separate hard drives

I have a new computer with 2 hard drives and xp pro installed on one drive I want to put vista on the other. Is there any way I can do this without linking them, in other words can they each have there own system drives independent of each other.

Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2009, 03:46 AM
lurkswithin's Avatar
lurkswithin lurkswithin is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,233
lurkswithin has a spectacular aura aboutlurkswithin has a spectacular aura aboutlurkswithin has a spectacular aura about


That my friend is the best way to go. Unfortunately Microsoft has yet to see it that you must use a third party boot manager to achieve it.

I use BootIt NG from terabyte as mine for multibooting configurations. It runs about $40 (US) A free version is GAG.
GAG does the same but limits itself to only 9 different installations. I have tested it and it is a great free program.You will need to Google for it though!

For a quick explanation...the installed boot manager in windows and windows itself limits the botable partitions to only 4 so if you need more you will need to do all your partitioning with the 3rd party boot manager. Most all work the same.....

The program installs on the pre-configured 8mb of lead in space that is before every partition that is created. Once installed it sets up a pre-boot screen that allows you to choose which operating system you want to boot to...which can be auto configured with a specific time limit to change this. Once the operating system to boot to is selected then all other master boot records are hidden to protect the integrity of each operating system....this allows you to share folders and files (not applications or programs) between the different operating systems...

A nice clean simple installation of each operating system is all that is required so no special boot configurations or anything like that is needed....

note....not all operating systems can see the same file systems so conciderations concerning that in file sharing is needed...for instance...XP installed on NTFS can read W98 installed on FAT32 but W98 cannot read the XP files unless XP is installed on FAT system as well.

To start... two ways
1) more than 4 operating systems you need to install the boot manager program prior to any partitioning....then use it to partition the drive or drives. Then install the operating systems in any order making sure that each operating system is fully updated and applications will have to be installed to each system.
2) for less than 4 operating systems then install the drive with the operating system already installed and just install the new boot manager and it will install itself and prepare for other installations of the operating systems.

I do this with all my beta programs...that way if there is a problem I don't screw up the other systems.

Each operating system will have to have its own license or activation code. Also the same with anti virus and anti malware programs and they will need to be configured to only be used on the partition that it is installed on or there can be conflicting false positives.

Last edited by lurkswithin; 04-30-2009 at 03:51 AM.. Reason: additional information
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-12-2009, 02:17 AM
vrviji vrviji is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2
vrviji is on a distinguished road

Default Dual Boot with separate Hard Drives

I have a slightly different problem and I use the GAG Boot Manager.

I had XP first on my PC. Then when I got my WIndows 7 Ultimate, I installed an additional drive, disabled my existing drive with XP on it and installed Win7 onto the new drive. So, now I have enabled the XP drive (C-Drive) and have another Drive with a full install of Win 7 (F Drive).

So, When I boot - it always goes to the XP Windows on C Drive, unless I set it up on the BIOS to boot from the F-Drive. But that is a hassle, if I have to change the BIOS each time I want to boot from a different OS.

Is there some tool, which could boot first, which will then offer me the option from booting either from the C-Drive (XP) or the F-Drive (Win7) ? To this question, I read somewhere that GAG did the job. So I installed Gag.

However, The Gag Boot Manager does not offer me the various hard drives I have. It seems to only recognize the one drive that the BIOS was going to boot from and the partitions on that drive. So, whatever I select, I only get the OS which the BIOS was going to boot from anyway.

Although GAG docuentation states that I can select different drives, it does n ot appear to be the case.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. ( Please email me at vroom88 (AT) if possible with any response - since I may not get to this page often.

BTW, I am using a i7 chip and Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit. But my XP is a 32bit version.


Last edited by vrviji; 08-18-2010 at 06:15 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2010, 07:58 PM
vrviji vrviji is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2
vrviji is on a distinguished road

Accept Solved : Dual boot froom separate drives for XP and Win7

Ok, found a solution . I now use EasyBCD ver 1.7.2 ( CNET has it on their site ) . I removed GAG and installed EasyBCD and it provides a countdown timer at start up showing a menu of which drives you want to boot from. If no drive is selected, then when the timer expires, the pre-selected preferred drive is booted. So it is pretty neat.

It even has a optional tray icon which you can use to select which drive to boot from next - so if you are in one OS, you can then say to boot from the other OS when you next reboot.

Hope this helps.


Last edited by vrviji; 08-18-2010 at 06:16 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08-17-2010, 02:29 AM
hitech hitech is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 25
hitech is on a distinguished road


Yes, it is possible to install two OS on different HD. You can do just like one HD.

Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hard Drive Recovery: Logical and Physical-Windows jacobluis Articles 0 04-16-2009 06:14 AM
Dual Boot on separate drives Steve O'Reno Operating Systems 1 07-25-2007 06:57 PM
Guide to Buying Hard Drives Sami Hardware 0 05-04-2006 01:54 PM
How to install a Hard Drive Sami Hardware 0 02-17-2006 08:28 PM
Strategies to Maximize the Life of Your Hard Drive Sami Articles 0 02-08-2006 03:57 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is on
Smilies are on
[IMG] code is on
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are on

» Ads

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54