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Dual Booting - Win XP Pro for a Friend




I'm testing out Dual Booting two versions of Windows XP Pro on the same Box (different hard drives) for a lady friend. (Using my box as a prototype...NTFS Format on both and each set as a master on different IDE buses.)

The issue is her son downloads music and other stuff from the Web, and she is very tired of having to clean-up the web pages and other nasties he gets into. (I'm tired of it too!!)

I've tried a lending them an old Box and networking it, but he wants all the bells and whistles on the relatively new box - especially it's speed. (She likes some of his music.)

So anyway, I think I can solve most of the issues by dual booting onto two separate drives in Win XP. The question I have now is:

Is there a way to ensure no crosstalk between the Hard Drives ?

In Dual Boot, either drive sees the other as a "secondary" drive, all files are visible and therefore editable by the other system - and/or susceptible to any viruses picked up. I'm just trying to make this somewhat "bulletproof" but keep it as simple as possible (KISS).

The Boy's over at CDR-ETC think I should hard wire a switch to cut out the second drive. I'm not too keen on putting an A/B switch on the Hard Drive although if one did it on the power side, the bios would just fail to detect a drive there, and therefore the OS would also fail to see the non-powered device. (It would scare the Lady to death...even though it would certainly be a bulletproof method.)

Bewildered (over a Ghost's) suggested I disable the drive in Device Manager. I did try it and it works. One cannot see the disabled drive after rebooting. I did think of that before posting but still worry it could get infected by a virus, trojan, or such from the contamination of the "other" version of XP. I particularly see the "C" drive as most vulnerable as all of the bad crap out there seems to target it, almost exclusively.

Is that a likely senario or am I just worrying over nothing? The Lady's version on XP will be dominate (the default Boot) so if I do that I'd like to put her verion on C so it's simpler for her to install stuff without getting confused. Or do you think moving it to the D drive will protect it further ?

Once again, thanks for a quick response.

Any ideas would be appreciated. As always, thanks for the assist.




I think you'd be pretty safe partitioning the two separately for the dual boot and disabling the drive in the device manager. As long as you have decent virus software on both partitions, they should be okay.

Hipster Doofus

Good grief Charlie Brown
Instead of using the xp boot menu use another like boot magic from partition magic. That way the other operating system is inaccessable from the other.

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