Dual-boot when the second system is on the slave HD?

Posted on 2003-02-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Is there a way to dual-boot a PC with two HDs with an operating system on the master HD and the other operating system on the slave HD?

Why I want to do this:
About once a year I use some free 30-day trial software.  After uninstalling the trial software, its security stays on the HD s boot sector.  There are no cracks for the software, so I physically swap HDs when I need to use the trial software later.

What I have in mind:
Install W2K on two HDs in the same PC; one as master HD, the other as slave HD.  Keep most of my stuff on the master HD.  The slave HD is for running 30-day trail software.  To use another 30-day trial, I low-level format the slave HD to wipe out security and then reinstall.
Question by:wolfv
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LVL 13

Accepted Solution

rhinoceros earned 300 total points
ID: 8038989
(If partition C on master HD, partition D on second HD)

Normally, you install the W2K at C drive, and then install other one W2K at D drive. You will have the dual-boot menu when PC reboot each time. But that is not good for your case.

The disadvantage of dual-boot :-
When you intend to reinstall the first one W2K, the boot menu & link will be disappeared. you must reinstall the second W2K again, very trouble.

My opinion, you are able to follow it:-

1. Still install W2K at master HD.
2. (After finished installation) go to BIOS --> Disable master HD (not avaiable selected)--> boot up by D: --> reboot PC
3. Now install the second W2K by CD-ROM, which will auto install to the D Drive.
4. (After finished installation) go to Bios again --> Enable master HD. Now select which one W2K as you want to bootup (by C or D Drive ?)

Yes, overall you must go to the BIOS (boot by) to select the W2K each time when necessary. But base on your case, that is good for you with two separate W2K to avoid any boot sector problem if W2K reinstall.
One more, you are not always reinstall OS, right ? So I believe it is suitable for you.

In meantime, I also used the same method for my PC (C drive Linux + Windows XP dual-boot, D drive Windows 2000 server -- boot by D:). I hope it cab help.

(P.S. Disable HD in BIOS when need to reinstall W2K each time)


Author Comment

ID: 8039806
Let me see if I understand you correctly.  I have rewritten your suggestions in my own words; please tell me if I got it right or am missing something.

In my BIOS the boot disk options are:
First Boot Device
Second Boot Device
Third Boot Device

And within each boot device, my BIOS has these options:

1. Set HDD-0 jumpers to master.
2. Set HDD-1 jumpers to slave.
3. Install W2K on HDD-0
4. From BIOS, select “Second Boot Device > HDD-1” (Second Boot Device > Floppy)
5. Install W2K onto HDD-1 via CD-ROM
6. At any time, I can change bootup HD from BIOS to “Second Boot Device > HDD-0 or HDD-1”.

And you have actually booted up on an O/S on a slave HD and it worked.  Is it really that easy?

Thank you.

Author Comment

ID: 8045523
He gave me good suggestions.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 8045884
It is true, easily controlled by BIOS

Modify something as following:

1. Set HDD-0 jumpers to master.
2. Set HDD-1 jumpers to slave.
3. From BIOS, select First Boot Device > CD-ROM, Second Boot Device > HDD-0) * you must bootup by CD-ROM for installation.
4. Install W2K on HDD-0 by CD-ROM, (select first HD for install) and then finished......

5. From BIOS, select First Boot Device > CD-ROM, Second Boot Device > HDD-1)
6. From BIOS, Disable HDD-0 (Standard CMOS Setup) > Primary Master > None, Primary Slave > Auto
If not, the second installation will detect first W2K existing, maybe overwrite or link with first W2K to create boot menu, that we don't want to see, right ?
7.Install W2K onto HDD-1 via CD-ROM (It will detect the HDD-1 only, please select to install on second HD (HDD-1). And then finished.......

8. From BIOS, Enable HDD-0 (Standard CMOS Setup) > Primary Master > Auto, Primary Slave > Auto
9. At any time, you can change bootup HD from BIOS to First Boot Device > HDD-0 or HDD-1.

(P.S. Don't forget the BIOS setting during installation, that is very important for separate two W2K.)

I hope it can help.

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