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XP/Windows 7 dual boot (separate drives, XP primary)

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Mauricio, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Mauricio

    Mauricio Flightless Bird

    I have here a desktop with two sata drives. The first one (C:) has XP
    and the second (D:) Windows 7. If both drives are connected to the
    machine, it will boot XP; to boot Windows 7 I have to remove the XP
    drive which is a bit of a drag. So, I would like to be able to select
    which OS the machine will boot from.

    Searching online I find tons of examples of setting a machine whose
    primary (for a lack of a better word) OS is Windows 7 to dual boot
    with XP, which is exactly the opposite of what I want to do. Short of
    installing grub, is there a windows way to do this? I was also told
    that editing a boot.ini file in the XP drive would do the trick, but I
    could not find the said file. What else should I try?
     
  2. Frank A.

    Frank A. Flightless Bird

    > I have here a desktop with two sata drives. The first one (C:) has XP
    > and the second (D:) Windows 7. If both drives are connected to the
    > machine, it will boot XP; to boot Windows 7 I have to remove the XP
    > drive which is a bit of a drag. So, I would like to be able to select
    > which OS the machine will boot from.
    >
    > Searching online I find tons of examples of setting a machine whose
    > primary (for a lack of a better word) OS is Windows 7 to dual boot
    > with XP, which is exactly the opposite of what I want to do. Short of
    > installing grub, is there a windows way to do this? I was also told
    > that editing a boot.ini file in the XP drive would do the trick, but I
    > could not find the said file. What else should I try?


    I thought about this before and wondered if one was to control the DC
    power to each drive from switches at the front of the computer (just a
    simple, single pole switch would work), would that control things well?
    If there is no power going to the drive it won't be detected. It would be
    like its not there. As Sata doesn't have the Master/Slave, jumper
    idiosyncrasies of IDE, this might work. I wouldn't do this with IDE of
    course. Opinions?
     
  3. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    Mauricio wrote:
    > I have here a desktop with two sata drives. The first one (C:) has XP
    > and the second (D:) Windows 7. If both drives are connected to the
    > machine, it will boot XP; to boot Windows 7 I have to remove the XP
    > drive which is a bit of a drag. So, I would like to be able to select
    > which OS the machine will boot from.
    >
    > Searching online I find tons of examples of setting a machine whose
    > primary (for a lack of a better word) OS is Windows 7 to dual boot
    > with XP, which is exactly the opposite of what I want to do. Short of
    > installing grub, is there a windows way to do this? I was also told
    > that editing a boot.ini file in the XP drive would do the trick, but I
    > could not find the said file. What else should I try?


    Did you go in the BIOS and change the boot order so that the Windows 7
    drive is the first hard drive in the boot order and see if you can then
    boot the computer to the Windows 7 while the other drive(s) are still
    connected?

    John
     
  4. Mauricio

    Mauricio Flightless Bird

    Well, I see the main problem is that Windows 7 was installed to the
    second drive without the XP drive being around. So, it could not edit
    the boot menu. Can I do that after the fact? I have no problems
    swapping drives around or maybe editing the drive order if the bios
    supports it. I just want this to work.
     
  5. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    Mauricio wrote:
    > Well, I see the main problem is that Windows 7 was installed to the
    > second drive without the XP drive being around. So, it could not edit
    > the boot menu. Can I do that after the fact? I have no problems
    > swapping drives around or maybe editing the drive order if the bios
    > supports it. I just want this to work.


    Yes, set the Windows 7 drive as the boot device in the BIOS then add the
    Windows XP installation to the Windows 7 BCD store. You can use the
    Windows 7 BCDEdit tool to add Windows XP to the store or you can use a
    more user friendly tool like EasyBCD http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1

    John
     

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