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Thread: Multiple Hard Drive Help

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    Multiple Hard Drive Help

    I have just built a new tower that I have installed the windows 7 release candidate on, but I still have my old tower that is running XP. I would like to be able to transfer the Hard drive from this old Tower to the new one, and be able to choose which one I want to boot from on start-up. I DON'T want a raid array and would like to be able to keep all of my files/programs on my XP HDD. Is there a simple way to do this that wouldn't involve wiping my XP HDD (although the windows 7 one I wouldn't mind, there isn't much on there anyway)

    I think the old HDD is IDE (and the new one SATA), And I have enough ports on my Mobo/PSU regardless of the connections.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Multiple Hard Drive Help

    You are un-likely to get your XP build to boot with new hardware. It will probably blue screen. Also, you can't go from a single core to a multi core, even if it does boot it will only use one core.
    If, and it's a BIG if, you manage to get the XP install to boot on the new hardware then you will be able to configure one of the operating systems to be aware of the other.
    You can test without doing this though. Either only plug one drive in, or see if your BIOS has some sort of Boot Selection Popup - This will be a key you press during POST, that then gives a list of devices to boot from, just pick whichever hard disk you want. The last option will be to change the hard disk boot priority in your BIOS settings.

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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Re: Multiple Hard Drive Help

    If your new machine is big enough and fast enough you could always convert it to a virtual machine and keep it on the W7 PC. Then clean down the old drive and use it as storage - say to hold your new virtual machine
    I VM'd my old Win2k PC onto my current XP PC using VMware Server. I fully expect to maintain that when I move to W7 on that machine.
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    Re: Multiple Hard Drive Help

    If you get Windows 7 Professional or better you could use XP mode to run any programs that don't play nice with Windows 7 (of which there are few).
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    Senior[ish] Member Singh400's Avatar
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    Re: Multiple Hard Drive Help

    You won't be able to boot from the old hard drive in your new PC. You can however just connect it as normal as any other drive, and transfer any important stuff you have over to the new hard drive.

    I did the exact same thing, I found my old hard drive wouldn't boot (to be expected, but worth a shot). I then just installed it as a normal bog standard drive, and I could access my old documents and stuff.

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    Re: Multiple Hard Drive Help

    First thing you need to do is disconnect/disable the SATA drive and install the IDE drive.

    You will then almost certainly need to boot off of the XP CD (you can try booting off of the HDD but as has been said, XP will probably blue screen) and run an XP repair.

    Once XP is repaired, re-enable your SATA drive with Windows 7 and download EasyBCD and set up a boot entry for the XP install on the other drive.
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    Re: Multiple Hard Drive Help

    Thanks for all your help - I will try these when I get a chance (Windows 7 RC not playing ball right now, but that is a whole different kettle of fish).

    Sorry for slow response, I have been away since Thursday.

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    Re: Multiple Hard Drive Help

    One other option might be to use a third party bootloader, such as grub, that would present you with a choice om=n machine start up - although configuring it would be fairly tricky.
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