View Full Version : Two HDDs. Can I have two OS's?

29-09-2009, 08:33 PM
Hi all,
Just wondering whether I can boot from a slave drive or use "cable select jumper" to do so? I have two hard drives and both have different OS's on them. Can I have both of them installed in the computer and just set in Bios which one to boot from or is it not possible to do this?


29-09-2009, 08:37 PM
Yes, you can!

All you have to do is set up the bootloader right on one of the OS's, then when you boot select which OS to boot to.

29-09-2009, 09:15 PM
Does it matter about the jumper connections? This is on a 8 (?) year old Hewlett Packard, Pentium III, running XP OS's.

Speedy Gonzales
29-09-2009, 09:17 PM
Slave / master is better. Cable select doesnt always work. Once you install more than 1 OS, you'll have the option to boot from either. So it doesnt matter what hdd is the bootdisk in the BIOS

30-09-2009, 06:41 AM
So long as the second OS was installed while the first HDD was still connected and you chose to keep the original installation and install the new OS an another partition/hdd.

If you disconnected the first HDD then put another one in to do the second installation then the bootloader wont have been written for both OS's

30-09-2009, 07:20 AM
Hmm, actually I took out the original HD when I installed the new os on the new HD just to make sure I wouldn't overwrite my original OS by mistake. Should still work since both OS's were loaded in the same machine/bios?

30-09-2009, 08:20 AM
If you connect both drives in that case, only one OS will boot (the one on the master drive), as it doesn't recognise the other one and will boot itself.

30-09-2009, 08:40 AM
Use BCD editor to create a dual boot loader with both drives installed.

30-09-2009, 08:43 AM
Use BCD editor to create a dual boot loader with both drives installed.

... if the working OS is Vista or 7. IIRC it won't edit boot.ini.