two hard drives... is it possible


OSNN One Post Wonder
Ok this is what happened:
My family had two vistas both of which were pretty good at the time. My mom who has a home business ran shiping software on of the vistas. I ran my games on another vista. My moms computer broke (the mother board to be specific.) and in order to use her shiping software she had to switch the two hard drives. so now my gameing hard drive is in a computer that now longer works.

I was wondering if it is possible to run both hard drives (of the same OS) on the same computer
i know my computer has a slot to fit another CD/Hard drive (i think thats what it is for)
I have looked around already on this topic and right now all i have seen is people useing BIOS and other things to switch between the two hard drives on start-up. i am looking to be able to go in to a folder like my computer and then be able to select files on both hard drives at the sme time after start up.

thanks for your post Sysprog you answered more than one of my questions and i may have to do what you said but in the mean time do you or anyone else know if there would be a way to start a program off of the D drive, as that would make my life much easier (if it helps the exact program im thinking of is Steam and multiple games, but more importantly the many addons i have already installed on that hard drive, there are too many to copy over)

also another idea that i thought of was changing the mother board on my broken computer.
it a Vista-64 bit, HP pavillion, AMD Phenom triple core, none of the parts replaced after buying it from a store
how many components are on board for this version of vista and what is general price range to get the mother board replaced
(either by me or a proffesional)

Thankyou in advance

ok thankyou for all the information, just so you know iv decided to just go on and get a new motherboard, iv already talked to a local computer store about this and i know what im looking for i will be contacting hp soon.

thankyou for your help and time
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Yes, you can have both hard drive on the same computer. One will be the C: drive and will be where Vista boots from. The other drive will be the D: drive. The data on the D: drive will be visible to Vista but you probably won't be able to launch any of the programs installed on D: as most programs have LOTS of entries in the registry. These registry entries won't be in the registry on the C: drive.

I don't have any experience with dual-booting but you may be able to implement dual-booting on the C: Vista. This would allow you, at boot time, to select which drive to boot from. You wouldn't need to go into the BIOS to switch boot drives.

Can someone else provide info on setting up dual-booting?
After attaching the second hard drive to the computer, you can boot a Vista installation DVD and Repair Startup options. This may find the additional Vista installation and add it to Vista's boot menu, which it normally doesn't show you unless there's a problem or you're already multi-booting.

If you don't have an original Vista installation DVD, you can go to Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download — The NeoSmart Files and download the appropriate (32 or 64-bit) Vista Recovery Disc. It's a torrent and provides a link to how to download a torrent, and how to burn it to disc (I think you can use CDs or DVDs for these).

FYI they also make available
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I don't think that it will be possible to launch a program off of the D: drive. Most Windows programs, especially games, update the registry with a large number of entries. Your best bet, at this point, will be to implement dual-boot capabilities on the C: so that you have the option to boot from the Vista on C: or the Vista on D:. I would have top Google search how to do this as I did not switch over to Vista (I am running XP Professional).

As far as the cost to repair the broken PC, you will need to contact HP to see what they charge for a replacement motherboard AND if they have the same model motherboard available. If they don't have the same model available, maybe they can assist you with obtaining a new Vista Validation key for the Vista from the old PC.

Replacing the motherboard is not, usually, a difficult task (I've built quite a few PC's from scratch). You will need to remove all of the attached cards (video, sound, etc.); disconnect the ribbon cables; disconnect the wires that connect to the power switch, the lights in the case, the built-in speaker, etc; the cables to the power supply, and 5 or 6 screws that attach the motherboard to the case. Remove & replace the motherboard and reconnect all of the wires and cables, then install the cards.

Take note of the slot for each card and also the orientation of the wires that connect to the features on the case (the power switch, the speaker, the reset button, etc). The ribbon cables that connect the CD/DVD/Hard drive(s) and the serial cables will only go in in one direction.


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