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BIOS - Boot Device Priority with Multi-Boot Systems.

Hello. I have a question. If you have a multi-boot or a dual-boot configuration with Windows XP & Windows Vista, and each operating system is on a SEPARATE HARD DRIVE; in BIOS, which hard drive is the FIRST to boot -or- the first one to be listed from the choices? Please reply ASAP. Thanks!    
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montecarlo1987
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montecarlo1987
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3 Solutions
 
nathana21Commented:
ok, in my bios, i can choose priority drive. So i actually pick the drive i want to boot off of. You choose in bios the preferred hard drive.
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nathana21Commented:
it AMI, most people have that brand, unless you have a dell.
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montecarlo1987Author Commented:
Thanks! So you're saying that I pick the drive I boot from. Does it matter in my case where I have two OS installed, each on separate hard drives?  Please reply.
 
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nathana21Commented:
no, you just choose your desired drive. make your you know which one is what. That can be confusing.
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broomley72Commented:
Most Pc's will have a key to press just after bios posts. My Asus board is F8, Ibm's are F9 or F12 etc etc
A list will then come up of all bootable devices on your PC select the drive with the OS that you want to boot.
You may have to dissable quick boot in the bios to see this option.
What manufacturer of PC or motherboard do you have?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
As long as both drives are 'bootable' in a standalone environment then you can select either drive to boot your computer.. if part of a multi-boot option the second drive may not  have the neccessary boot information in the mbr as it is relying on the first hard drive for that information.
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Dr-4NCommented:
Nromally you can choose which drive you can start booting from in the BIOS menu
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montecarlo1987Author Commented:
In response to ve3ofa: "As long as both drives are 'bootable' in a standalone environment then you can select either drive to boot your computer.. if part of a multi-boot option the second drive may not  have the neccessary boot information in the mbr as it is relying on the first hard drive for that information."

So a way of looking at it is if that if where to disconnect one of the hard drives and consequently one of the operating systems, and if I were to run one of the OS, and it if booted and ran successfully -- and I did this for the other hard drive/operating systems, and we find that they both booted/started up without a hitch then I know I can select EITHER OS/hard drive as the FIRST bootable hard drive in BIOS when I combine them in ONE system??? ...or is this not true? Does the bootable information from both operating systems have to be combined together when I combine or create a multi-boot (operating) system regardless if they can boot independently?  In other words, keeping the bootable information SEPARATE with each working operating system can still be shared when combined in a dual-boot?    
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nathana21Commented:
yes, the filesystems can be shared. I"m doing this with vista and XP. I just select in bios or use the menu at boot.
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Ryan_RCommented:
Just as a follow up:

When you turn on the PC, the computer boots from the HDD that has the highest boot priority set in the BIOS.
It reads this HDD and looks for information on where to find the operating systems.
In a dual-boot scenario, only one HDD holds the information for both OS's.

Let's say this bootup information is stored on Disk 1 which is running XP. Disk 2 has no boot info on it and has Vista on it.

If both disks are present and the PC boots up from Disk 1, it will show you the list of OS's to load - "MS Windows Vista" and "Earlier Version of Windows" (which is XP).

If you remove Disk 2 - then your PC will still bootup. When you get to the option to choose an OS, you can choose XP and everything will be fine. If you try and choose Vista - you'll get an error and the PC will restart.

If you remove Disk 1, or if you change the BIOS setting to set Disk 2 with the highest boot priority, then the PC won't boot to the stage of showing you this menu where you can choose your OS. You'll get an error like 'Invalid System Disk'. You'll have to make sure Disk 1 is available and set as the 1st boot device.

Hope this helps.
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Ryan_RCommented:
Thanks for that   :o)
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