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Thread: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

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    Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Hello there,

    I am trying to dual-boot XP and Vista on separate hard-drives - Vista on my SATA HD and XP on a 20GB partition on my IDE HD.

    Both OS's are installed fine, but in order to switch between them I have to go into the BIOS and change which hard-drive should boot primarily.

    When I try to boot to XP using the bootloader I get a message saying:

    "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem

    Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware."

    So I'm guessing that the Vista bootloader isn't finding the XP boot stuff, I'm guessing because the SATA hard-drive is set to boot first and XP is on the IDE HD.

    I have used VistaBootPro to change the Vista bootloader to point to the E:drive (XP location) partition and have confirmed this by checking the bcdedit in cmd.

    Any suggestions, please?

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Vista bootloader is alien creature to me too.
    I have two Vista x64 in different hard drives installed. When both are connected I get the OS selection menu, but if I unplug primary one and set to boot from secondary in BIOS it does not find the OS

    After deleting secondary OS I had to spend 20 minutes researching how can i remove it from bootloader cos it's totally different then in XP...go figure

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Well i use Acronis Os selector to do that.
    Acronis Os selector

    Dont know if there is any freeware software that can do this.

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Can't you just set to boot from XP and use the XP boot.ini settings?

    This solved a problem I used to have dual booting '98 and XP way back, must admit I haven't tried it with Vista though.

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Thanks for the replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffel View Post
    Well i use Acronis Os selector to do that.
    Acronis Os selector

    Dont know if there is any freeware software that can do this.
    Are your OS's on separate hard-drives or one hard-drive partitioned?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmc41 View Post
    Can't you just set to boot from XP and use the XP boot.ini settings?

    This solved a problem I used to have dual booting '98 and XP way back, must admit I haven't tried it with Vista though.
    XP doesn't recognise Vista, but Vista recognises XP - which is why you have to use the Vista bootloader and edit that.

    Any more ideas please?

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    you could always look into booting via GRUB?
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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    What is GRUB, pardon my ignorance.

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by makoblue View Post
    What is GRUB, pardon my ignorance.
    http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/

    it is a different bootloader to the one that windows uses
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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    I looked into GRUB and other 3rd party boot loaders, but none of them can seem to dual-boot properly.

    For example, I tried using GAG, which installed itself on my Windows XP partition and not my Vista drive, for some reason, but even so, when I set my XP drive to boot primarily and GAG came up, I get the same error message I mentioned in my first post.

    What is going on? Is there no way to dual-boot these two drives without switching them in the BIOS?

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by makoblue View Post

    Both OS's are installed fine, but in order to switch between them I have to go into the BIOS and change which hard-drive should boot primarily.
    Can't you press F12 and select the boot device instead of trawling through the BIOS? That's what I did when I had OSs on different drives. Not a solution but should make it easier in the meantime.

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    What menu does F12 load up?

    I'll give it a go, thanks!

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    The boot selection menu...
    On my computer it does anyway, don't know how general it is

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    F12 didn't do anything for me, but I'll try other keys.

    Oh, and I have another problem if anybody can help... My Win XP installation doesn't seem to recognise my ethernet internet connection - could this be a driver issue?

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by makoblue View Post
    F12 didn't do anything for me, but I'll try other keys.

    Oh, and I have another problem if anybody can help... My Win XP installation doesn't seem to recognise my ethernet internet connection - could this be a driver issue?
    yes, it could well be, install the motherboards chipset drivers, and what other drivers are needed...
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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by makoblue View Post



    Are your OS's on separate hard-drives or one hard-drive partitioned?


    Yes i ve tried booting from seperate hard-drives using acronis OS selector.And even quad booting no probs.

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    Re: Dual-booting on separate hard drives

    Thanks for all the replies. I seem to have gotten dual-booting to work now by using a different copy of XP - XP Professional SP2.

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