Dual-Boot with two hard drives

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shaun_p

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Jul 13, 2005
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I recently took the 20 GB hard drive (with Windows ME installed) from my old desktop and added it as a slave drive to the 30 GB hard drive (with Windows XP Home SP1 installed) to my newer desktop. I want to set up a dual-boot configuration, and while I know enough to be dangerous, apparently I'm not dangerous enough for this task.

I do not want to format the 20 GB hard drive - there are programs installed on there that I have, over time, lost the install disks for. For whatever reasons, I'm just not willing to lose those programs. I'd rather not have to format the 30 GB hard drive, or install a 3rd party program, but I will if I must.

I've tried modifying boot.ini to include the location of ME on the slave drive, but when I select ME from the list as I boot up, it gives me an error message, usually that a particular XP file is missing from my <windows root>/system32 directory. That wasn't the type of error I expected, so I'm guessing that playing with boot.ini is not going to help me.

Is there anything I can do short of sucking it up and setting the 20 GB ME drive as the master, re-formating the 30 GB drive (with FAT32, right?) and re-installing XP?

Thanks in advance for any help - this has been driving me nuts.
 

crjdriver

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Joined
Jan 2, 2001
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43,572
What I would do would be to pull the drive with xp on it. Boot your system with the me drive; it will need to re-detect all hardware. In addition you MAY have to install drivers. Once you get it all up and running correctly, put your xp drive back in and set the me drive as the slave.
Now follow these instructions; you should end up with a dual boot system that works and a boot menu.

Boot your computer with the Windows XP CD. When prompted to Setup or Repair, choose Repair. In the Recovery Console, enter the following commands:

FIXBOOT, answer Yes

CD \

ATTRIB -H NTLDR

ATTRIB -S NTLDR

ATTRIB -R NTLDR

ATTRIB -H NTDETECT.COM

ATTRIB -S NTDETECT.COM

ATTRIB -R NTDETECT.COM

COPY X:\I386\NTLDR C:\

COPY X:\I386\NTDETECT.COM C:\

In the last two commands, X is the letter of your CD drive.
 
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