how to run two hard drives

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by wonderworm2000, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. wonderworm2000

    wonderworm2000 OSNN Addict

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    Can someone tell me what has to be done to use two separate hard drives. I have both in my computer already loaded with software. I can plug one in and boot to it or swap to the other. Is there a way to have something on the screen to toggle back and forth on boot up and leave them both plugged in? Kinda like when you have separate partitions on one drive.

    Thanks
     
  2. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    Not sure what you are asking. Do both drives contain an Operating System, like Windows 2000 on one and Windows XP on the other? Or do you mean that you have one with say Windows XP and the other with files?

    Sure, this can be done, just please provide more information :)
     
  3. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    only thing i can think of is if there's a setting in your BIOS for selecting the hard drive boot order. if there is, then you could switch that back and forth to choose which of the 2 hard drives to boot from.
     
  4. American Zombie

    American Zombie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Most Via boards have a boot option screen if you push a key during POST. Turn off full screen logo to see the post screen then you will see which key to press.

    The board I have now it is F8 then I can select any drive I want to boot to including CD, DVD, Floppy. Previous board (A7V600) you just pushed ESC during post.

    You could also setup a dual boot system so Windows stops and gives you a choice which to boot from.
     
  5. wonderworm2000

    wonderworm2000 OSNN Addict

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    How is this dual boot to two drives setup?
     
  6. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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  7. wonderworm2000

    wonderworm2000 OSNN Addict

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    I think the last link sent me to info about partitioning a drive. I'm trying to multiboot separate drives.
     
  8. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    Which Operating Systems do you want to multi-boot?
     
  9. j79zlr

    j79zlr Glaanies script monkey Political User

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    Since you already have the OS installed, it will probably not work, if the second OS you are trying to add is of a lower version e.g. XP install, 2k what you want to install, you have to install the newest OS last, e.g. 2k first, then XP. Need more info.

    If you want to start from scratch, first install the older OS, then install the newer one, XP, 2k, or whatever will automatically detect the other OS and configure the bootloader.
     
  10. wonderworm2000

    wonderworm2000 OSNN Addict

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    I have two seperate drives already loaded with xp on both drives. identical software. at this time you can manually swap the cables and boot to either one. i want to know if there is a way to boot from the computer screen with both connected.
     
  11. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    I think the only way you could really do that, is when you reboot, go into the BIOS and change the boot order. Say have Drive A boot first, or Drive B, whichever version of XP you want to boot from. Curious though, why do you have this setup? Are you using one HD for testing or something?
     
  12. Son Goku

    Son Goku No lover of dogma

    Umm, if you're trying to multi-boot from multiple disks, there are several things that can be done, but some details would help:

    First, if one's dealing with Windows NT/2k/XP, the file that controls what options show up on the boot menu is boot.ini. In this case, if the other option isn't showing up there, you might be able to manually edit boot.ini on your boot drive. This would be the drive that has ntldr, boot.ini, and bootsect.dos (if you have an older system on there).

    In editing this file, you need to be careful as to the syntax used in specifying the drive you want. It does not follow the partions (as you identify it yourself). I'd have to look the syntax up again, but on my boot.ini file for instance

    You'll notice that it's following the pattern of finding the disk, then the partition number on the disk, etc. For a second hard drive, one of those values which are 0 above will be 1. I'll have to look to see which it is. BTW, don't delete your own entry from it, just append a new entry. This way if something goes wrong, you can still use the entry in there to boot your OS up. Also, if you copy ntldr, bootsect.dos, boot.ini (and there could be one other file, depending on whether you have your hard drive controller driver in here, though it gets renamed) to a floppy...then you could use the boot menu from the floppy (rather then the HD) to boot NT/2k/XP also...

    Look here

    http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000492.htm

    To specify the second hard drive, change rdisk from (0) t (1)... BTW, if you're careful (and don't delete the entry to boot your OS already), you can just edit this in notepad. There's an option to view hidden files in My Computer and Windows Explorer...

    Another option is a boot loader program like System Commander, or the like...
     
  13. dubstar

    dubstar format c:

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    or you could hook up a DTDP switch and have a sweet little manual toggle switch to control which hard drive gets power. (DTDP - Dual Throw Dual Poll) so you could have on-off-on
     
  14. prinsipe

    prinsipe Not Too eXPerienced

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    if the two drives are identical in terms of OS and programs installed I dont see the importance of having to make it a dual boot, but if you insist, the best thing do is to set the other drive to slave, and reinstall XP on the slave...hope it helps...