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Dual Boot by cloning an existing XP partition. Is it possible?

Posted on 2011-03-19
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Is it possible to Dual Boot 2 Xp systems by backing up and then Copy and Clone a Partition into a second partition so I have a dual boot system on the fly?

I have the Acronis True Image Home 2011 software if it helps.

I am going to give full points to the 1st RIGHT answer ...INSTANTLY !!!

Thank you.
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Question by:New_Alex
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by:jerbear1337
ID: 35171241
I would venture to say it would be VERY difficult because you have to deal with your MBR.   I would say try copying your partion and putting it on a different drive and then configuring your boot order to use that other drive as well if you must attempt this.  I will tell you that i have converted a windows install into a VM and then ran it on a linux host but it was far more complicated than what it was worth.  I would say just reinstall on a new partition all together.
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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 35171387
If you use bootit-ng and it's boot-manager, that is no problem. You can use thise toll to image and clone partitions, and also to resize them. So it is a replacement for acronis in that sense. But the most important part of bootit-ng is that it also includes a boot manager which allows you to hide one XP partition from the other. This is necessary as otherwise one of your XP partitions and OS's will try using drive D:\ and not C:\, and since the original copy of it was installed to C:\ it wouldn't run properly. But if the other partition is hidden that won't be an issue.

http://terabyteunlimited.com/
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by:New_Alex
ID: 35171669
Instant Points As Promised
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by:sleggy_allen
ID: 35171705
Hi,

YES! it is possible and we use Acronis True Image Home 2011 too! But you'll need the help of a Boot Manager like GAG to manage the MBR once you have the two partitions ready with OS.

We have this set up on multiple computers and this is how we do it.

1. Set up Windows XP and create a backup using Acronis. The backup will be used for the second partition. Or you may use a different backup if you like.
2. Partition the hard drive into 2 using Acronis Disk Director. The current Windows XP will remain untouched since Disk Director will just use the free space of the hard drive. Make sure to note the size of the second partition that doesn't have an OS yet. (This will be useful when you're on Step 3)
3. Now having 2 partitions 1 with OS and without. Using Acronis go ahead and recover the saved backup of Windows XP and load it on the partition that has no OS yet (Hint: To make sure you selected the right partition base it on the size of the partition).
4. Now that you have 2 partitions both having Windows XP installed, go ahead and use the boot manager. There are a lot of good boot managers out there and mostly are for free.

* I use GAG Graphical Boot Manager (http://gag.sourceforge.net/). The set up is very straight forward.

I hope this works for you.
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by:New_Alex
ID: 35173079
Hi sleggy allen

Terribly sorry mate. I haven't seen your post. It was really helpful.

It should have been given some points as well.

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by:sleggy_allen
ID: 35174303
Hi New_Alex, no worries..I noticed that right after posting you have already accepted rindi's solution. But nevertheless I  posted it to give you more information.
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