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how to make one hard disk to act as two

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by jackson6612, Jan 16, 2011.

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  1. jackson6612

    jackson6612 Thread Starter

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    Suppose I use my computer at two difference - at home and at university. When I'm home I want all the software applications and files to be there on the computer. But when outside I only need messenger and the browser and no much. You may suggest that I have two profiles. But this way I would only be able to hide My Documents files and all the installed applications and there icons would be there. I don't like this. I want my laptop's hard disk to act as two. So that one can be used when I'm outside. Do you get what I'm trying to do? I'm using Win XP Pro. Please guide me. Thanks.
     
  2. surferdude2

    surferdude2

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    That's going to require quite a bit of effort since shrinking, repartitioning and cloning the drive is one way to set this up for dual-boot. You'll need at least intermediate skills and some 3rd party tools.

    I've done that several times for people but doing it via a forum would be much harder. It serves well when folks want a separate partition for the kids system. I can give you the basic outline but can't guarantee I'll always be available to guide you unless you are in no hurry. If your skill level is high enough, you can do it without any assist and it will only take an hour ± .

    Stick around and see if someone has a better/easier way.
     
  3. jackson6612

    jackson6612 Thread Starter

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    Hi Dude

    I'm not in hurry. I'm happy to learn that the solution exists and that you understood the nature of my problem. If you say I could use a new hard disk. Thanks.
     
  4. surferdude2

    surferdude2

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    OK Jackson, I have worked up a set of instructions based on instant recall. It may change as I review it so be aware that this is a rough draft. I can provide links to the referenced freebie if you have trouble locating them via Google. This is well suited for establishing a "Kid's Partition" or a "Test Dummy" system for testing new software without putting the primary system at risk. You can even set up two different boot.ini files and make either system the default boot if you so choose. I use a batch file for that.

    Anyway, here's the drill:

    1. Backup your drive using a drive imaging software. I recommend Acronis True Image but free ones are available. A good freebie is DriveImageXML. (You can eliminate this step at your own discretion)

    2. Run XP's Disk Cleanup tool or use CCleaner (freebie) and clean the drive of all temps, including Temporary Internet Files.

    3. Disable System Restore and Hibernate (if using).

    4. Reboot and open My Computer. Right-click the system drive and select "Properties." Take note of the used space reported.

    5. Use a 3rd party partitioning tool to shrink the existing system partition to allow creation of a second partition of a size equal to the existing used size (the number you got earlier) x 1.25. That'll give you 20% free on the new partition after cloning. (adjust this at your discretion)

    6. Create a new partiton on the unformatted space gained by the shrinking. Format the new creation. Reboot. Note the new drive letter in My Computer. If none was assigned, assign one now using XP Disk Manager.

    7. Reboot and open My Computer to see that all is well and the new drive is listed properly.

    8. Clone the existing system partition to the newly created partition using XXclone. XXclone offers options that will set the dual-boot up by inserting the required line into your boot.ini file. It also offers to assign its own wallpaper to the clone system so you can easily tell when it's booted. Most important - be sure you have the Source and Target volumes set properly before performing the clone. Getting them reversed is disasterous since you'll clone an empty drive to your existing system!! Not good. (ask for further directions on setting all areas of XXclone if needed)

    9. After the cloning completes, reboot and you will a screen that offers to boot to your normal system or to the clone (assuming you allowed XXclone to insert the test boot line). Select the clone and when it boots, check that it is designated as the C: drive and that the original system drive now has the letter that the newly created partition had previously. They must swap letters when booting the clone so that all shortcuts and registry entries will perform correctly when you boot the clone. If you don't get that screen, you can edit the boot.ini file manually or else run open XXclone and let it do that for you (recommended).

    10. Now you can uninstall any programs from the clone system that you don't want and make room for new ones. (if you muck this system up, you can merely clone over.)
     
  5. jackson6612

    jackson6612 Thread Starter

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    Thanks a lot, Dude. You are so nice.

    I have most of the required tools such as Acronis True Image and Acronis Disk Director. I will try to do this in next month because right now I'm occupied with many other things, and also my right hand is feeling terrible. But I would like to request you that you read my first posting again, and please make sure that following the steps you described I would be able to do what I desire. Suppose the hard has two partitions, C and D. Even when C is partitioned into two system sub-partitions, the D would still look the same no matter what system partition I'm logged into. Right? If it is, then I should only put non-secret material in the D.

    Once again, thanks. I understand it takes a lot of time and energy to help with these issues.
     
  6. surferdude2

    surferdude2

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    That's good since it changes how you can accomplish this task and makes it much easier.

    You will not need the XXclone software that I previously mentioned. Instead, you can use your Acronis Disk Director and the Operating System Selector that is included with it to do the full job.

    Use Disk Director to shrink your existing partition to allow creating a new partition of adequate size (perhaps 1.5 X existing total data size). Format the newly created space and assign it a drive letter if none was assigned.

    Then use Disk Director to clone your operating to that new partition.

    Then use the Operating System Selector feature to set up the boot menu that will appear when booting.

    After testing to see that you can boot each system, you can boot to the clone system and proceed to use Disk Director to hide any/all partitions as needed. You will be able to easily hide the other operating system partition which XP won't ordinarily allow unless you take extreme measures.

    While still booted to the clone system, you can also password protect entry into the Disk Director software. That way, clone users can't modify any setting you have made.

    Then you can boot to the boot menu screen and password protect your personal system entry on the menu so that only you have access. You may choose to leave the other entry without a password or assign one if you like.

    Although you likely don't need to be warned, be sure to make a hard copy of all passwords created and store it safely.

    Then you can boot to the clone and uninstall any items that you need so as to customize the system for others to use. You can delete your own user id and create a new one for whomever will be using the system.


    I think that satisfies the requirements that you stated. Post any questions you may have, I'll check occasionally.

    Dude

    EDIT, I think you need Acronis Disk Director version 11 in able to do the cloning part of the operation so if you have the older version 10, you'll have to use XXclone for that after all.
     
  7. jackson6612

    jackson6612 Thread Starter

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    Dude, you are so kind and nice. I understand how much time and energy it takes to help someone with all these issues. I believe I would experiment with that partition thing next week. Will let you know.

    Best wishes
    Jackson
     
  8. surferdude2

    surferdude2

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    Thanks for the kind words Jackson. I hope I have helped you and that things turn out fine. Post back your results please so all can share.

    ps. I'm in my eighth decade and between crossword puzzles and the computer help forums, I manage to keep myself entertained. ;)

    dude
     
  9. jackson6612

    jackson6612 Thread Starter

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    I wish I could offer you nice people something more than those words as gratitude - something like a gift and a thank you card! :)

    I hope you won't mine my asking. If you are in the eighth decade, then how come you know so much about the computers which are in way a later generation?! :)

    Please remember that I'm an English learner - as I'm sure you have already realized - so I interpret things wrongly sometimes. So, pardon me if that's the case.

    Best regards
    Jackson
     
  10. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    You should be aware that to remain legal you will have to purchase a 2nd copy of Windows, it's a violation of the EULA to install Windows more than once using the same Product Key, even though you can only boot into one installation at a time.

    If you purchase the same type and version of XP (Type:OEM or Retail, version: Home, Pro, Media Center, Tablet Edition), you don't have to re-install, just need to change the product key on one of the installations using the MS tool:
    Update your Windows product key
     
  11. aka Brett

    aka Brett Banned

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    If you dont have to specifically have windows applications on the second install...I saw you use messenger and a browser for the ocassions "outside' of personal activity...you might want to give Ubuntu a try using the wubi installer.
    You dont have to partition your windows install.
    A looped partition is created inside your current windows install.
    The dual boot menu is created for you.
    Wubi and Ubuntu is easily removed later without running into boot loader nightmares.
    Tons of software is available if the need arises to have specific software.
    Its free.
    Its easy.
    Its runs very respectable with 512 ram and above.
    http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/windows-installer
     
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