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Boot XP from a drive other than C

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Big_Al, Sep 29, 2008.

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  1. Big_Al

    Big_Al Thread Starter

    Oct 12, 2004

    Is it possible to boot XP from a drive other than C?

    What I want to do is to have a second hard drive with a mirror image of my C drive and I would like to be able to boot from this drive if I should ever encounter problems with my C drive.

    Thanks in advance.

    Big Al
  2. ShadowProwler420


    Jun 20, 2007
    Here's your answer ;)
  3. Everway9


    Sep 29, 2008
    First Name:
    Yeah, just add a 2nd HDD (make sure your main drive is set to master and the secondry drive as slave if they are on the same cable). Boot the system from your first drive. When on the desktop right click on my computer and go to properties, then advanced, then Startup and Recovery and edit the startup options file. (BE VERY CAREFULL NOT TO CHANGE ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH). 1PL27CB001124
    See link to editing the Boot.ini file http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022


    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT

    Where 'default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS' is displayed, this means your PC will boot from Hard Drive 0 (Primary) and partition 1 - It will boot from partition 1.

    If you have installed your cloned HDD as a slave on the same cable all you would need to do is to copy the 'multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect' bit but change the (0)'s to (1)'s. This means your system will now see the other HDD as a boot drive and will give you the option to boot from partition 1 on that drive.

    After saying all that you could just Software Mirror the HDD's from within windows. This option will give you a mirrored drive so as the files on the main drive change so will the files on the secondry drive.

    Hopr this helps
  4. padutch


    Sep 1, 2001
    Al , I run my PC exactly the way you want yours . The first thing was to get Paragon Hard Disk Manager for free and the key for it at http://kb.paragon-software.com/parag...roduct_id=3124
    Next attach the second harddrive , I usually set the jumpers as cable sellect . Here is what your boot.ini should be changed to

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Safe Mode XP" /safeboot:network /sos /bootlog
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Safe Mode XP" /safeboot:network /sos /bootlog

    be careful sometimes WINDOWS is called something different . Like WINNT . Make sure it maches what you have in your boot.ini now

    as you can see I added safe mode to the boot choice but you don't need to .
    Now copy your HD to the new one using Paragone.
    any problems just ask
  5. bbearren


    Jul 14, 2006
    Install your second hard drive, use Windows to format it with the same format you are currently using (probably NTFS), make a drive image of your current C drive, then restore that image to your second hard drive.

    Or visit my home page and click on Parallel Installation.

    What you are describing is a bootable full system backup. Bear in mind that you will have to keep it current (backup the full system routinely) or you'll lose any files that were created since the last full system backup.

    Click on Partitioning Options on my home page for some other ideas on backup regimen.
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