1machine 2hard drives & 2 operating systems

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officework13

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Mar 2, 2004
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is the following possible.
i am adding a 2nd hard drive to my cpu P3 866mhz with 512megs ram. on my current hard drive i have windows ME & all my data. i do not wish do erase or reformat this hard drive as there are things that i need & dont want to put on a disk as well there are some programs i no longer have the disk for.

on the new hard drive i want to install windows XP.

can i do this and if so when starting up can i tell the computer that it is to boot from either of the drives.

can i also copy files from 1 drive to the other drive.
 

pyritechips

Jim
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Hello:

Yes, once you install the second HDD, start your computer and insert your XP CD it will initiate installation. when it asks you if you want to upgrade answer NO! The instruct it to install to the drive of your choice, ie. your new drive.

If you install XP on the NTFS format ME will not be able to read that drive. If you want ME (FAT32) to be able to read the XP drive, and any files on it, install XP on the FAT32 format.

See my illustrated guide to dual platform Here

It is written with W98se and W2K as examples but the same applies with ME/XP. Some of the screens shown may vary slightly.

P.S. The XP installation will obviously detect the ME system and will create a boot menu. When you start your computer you will have a choice of both operating systems.
 
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One word of caution, once you install the os's as dual boot xp will install the files needed to dual boot on the c partition. Thus don't think about reinstalling or reformatting the c drive, it will remove the bootloader files and it can be a nightmare sometimes to get them working again if at all.
 

officework13

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thanks however does it matter if i have 2 separate hard drives as apposed to 1 hd that is partitioned or do the rules work the same.

thanks for providing the links above they will prove to be usefull for this as well as other items i found.
 

pyritechips

Jim
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No, number of HDD's and putting a second OS on a different HDD matters not at all. Windows actually considers logical drives as opposed to physical ones when setting up OS's and file paths. The one thing you must be aware of and look out for is how window assigns drive letters. Remember what drive letters represent what logical drives (that is an old DOS term - NT OS's call them volumes) and don't get them mixed up.
 
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How DOS assigns drive letters.

All primary partitions will be assigned drive letters first starting with the first Primary partition on the first HD and then the first Primary partition on the second drive.

For example, let's take a system with two physical hard drives, each with 5 partitions; 2 Primary partitions and 3 logical partitions on each. (Altho most hard drives only have ONE Primary partition I am using two for sake of example)

TERMS:
D0 = first physical HD
D1 = second physical HD
Px = partition number (where X is 1 - 5)

D0P1 would be first physical drive and the first partition.

Drive Letter Assignment
D0P1 would be named C:
D1P1 would be named D:
D0P2 would be named E:
D1P2 would be named F:

Notice how the drive letters "ping pong" between the two physical drives.

Now the logical drives are added in
D0P3 would be G:
D0P4 would be H:
D0P5 would be I:
D1P3 would be J:
D1P4 would be K:
D1P5 would be L:


In the case of two physical hard drives, each with 3 partitions and NO primary partition on the second HD (logical partitions only) it would look like this:

D0P1 would be named C:

Now the logical drives are added in
D0P2 would be D:
D0P3 would be E:
D1P1 would be F:
D1P2 would be G:
D1P3 would be H:

Hope that helps.
 

officework13

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Mar 2, 2004
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another question relating to this.
how does one know how much they should partition a 80G hard drive to. How much space should be for the OS. do programs that are installed all have to be on the same partition as the OS. ANd cand the partition size be changed after it is set up (ie. add to one but take away from the other).
 

pyritechips

Jim
Gone but Never Forgotten
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Messages
26,907
Hello again:

How large a partition should be is a personal thing. It also depends on what you want to use them for.

You do not have to install programs on the same partition as the OS. Consider a hypothetical 80 GB HDD. If I had this drive I would partition it like this:

20 GB = OS & Programs.

20 GB = File storage.

20 GB = File Backup.

20 GB = ?

As you can see, these numbers are arbitrary and any of them are changeable. These partition sizes can be easily changed with W2K or XP, but with a W9x OS you would have to use a third party app, like Partition Magic.

Ideally, file backup is best if on a separate physical HDD. That way, if one HDD actually fails physically, all your files are safely stored on the other drive.
 
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