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XP dual/triple booting

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by lukemack, Jul 21, 2006.

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  1. lukemack

    lukemack Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
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    Hi,

    I've got a dual-booting Dell Dimension 4500 P4 with the following hard disk setup:

    DISK 1 (40GB) - Windows XP

    DellUtility Fat 31.3 MB Primary
    Local Disk (C:) NTFS 38.1 GB Primary

    DISK2 (120GB) - Windows XP
    Cubase SX NTFS 114 GB Primary

    I've backed everything up to an external drive. Disk 1 is the partition I use day to day and contains the boot.ini to load Windows XP on DISK2 if required.

    What I want to do is remove Disk 1 and repartition Disk 2 so that I can add a further Windows XP instance and possibly a third partition for another OS at a later stage (e.g Linux or a Vista Beta).

    However, if I remove Disk 1, I cant boot the machine - presumably because boot.ini, ntldr etc are on that Disk. Can I just copy these files over? If so, which are the files I need? From memory I would also need to edit boot.ini so that it looks at the right partition on the right disk to boot into an OS.

    The error I get if I just have disk 2 connected is:

    PXE-E61 Media Test Failure, check cable
    PXE-MOF: Exiting Intel Boot agent.

    Reboot and select a proper boot device.

    Both drives are set to use cable-select. I;ve tried making Disk 2 a master but got the same error. The cabling is inserted firmly etc.

    I have a copy of Partition Magic 8 on Disk1 I can use for the partitioning. I'd be grateful if anyone could suggest a strategy for doing this without any 'ntldr' missing or blue screen nightmares. I used to know this stuff but am a bit rusty.

    Many thanks,

    lukemack.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Messages:
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    If XP has been installed on the C: drive, you can't move the installation to another drive letter, because the boot will most certainly fail. It's not only the fact that the boot files are always on first drive, it's also the fact that the boot volume is spread throughout the registry.
     
  3. lukemack

    lukemack Thread Starter

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    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
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    thanks for your reply but i dont want to move the installation. i just want to scrap the c drive (disk1)

    however, i cant get the machine to boot without it being attached. I thought this was because all the necessary files for booting DISK2 were on the c drive. I therefore copied them across to DISK 2 and edited boot.ini to only look for one OS but this didnt work.

    all I want is to be able to boot to DISK2 without DISK1 being attached
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Joined:
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    Correct, the boot files are on the C: drive, even though the XP installation is on another drive. No can do!
     
  5. lukemack

    lukemack Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
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    So even though I have a perfectly healthy install of Windows XP on disk 2, there's no way I can use it?
     
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