View Full Version : Booting XP on two hard drives separately

07-10-2006, 01:28 PM
I have two hard drives (250Gb & 120 GB seagate). I just wanted to boot up the 250Gb when I am using the computer and for my daughter to boot up the other one, 120 GB, with all her stuff. Is this possible? Both have XP Pro installed.

Speedy Gonzales
07-10-2006, 01:48 PM
Shouldnt be a prob if both can be activated.

And the install isnt from the same cd. And theyre not using the same cd key.

Otherwise if one doesnt get activated, it'll lock u out after 30 days.

07-10-2006, 01:53 PM
What if both have been installed separately with the same CD key at the moment but one is a master, the other a slave? or If I changed the other drive using XP Home would that be OK. What are the steps??

Speedy Gonzales
07-10-2006, 02:05 PM
Doesnt matter, if one doesnt get activated, it wont let u do anything after 30 days..If you're using the same XP CD and CD key. Thats if its a legal version of XP.

If one is Pro and one is Home, and theyre different keys well they should work, as long as u activate it, either by the net or by phone it shouldnt be a prob.

If you want to install Home, it'll (the hdd u want to install Home on), have to be formatted from scratch. A clean install.

07-10-2006, 02:11 PM
The CD key is legal. Both drivers have clean installation. I simply install one drive and then unplug that. Install the second one and then set one as master and the other as slave. However it keep booting to the master one only.

Speedy Gonzales
07-10-2006, 02:23 PM
The key maybe legal, it doesnt mean u can install XP on more than 1 PC. (Thats if you're installing XP with the same CD key).

It can be installed, but the other PC/s u install it on, it needs to be activated, or else it locks u out.

In that case, an entry needs to be added to boot.ini on the main hdd so it knows there's a 2nd install of XP. On a separate hdd.

What you put in, I dont know. It'll usually give u the option to select an OS, (if its on the same hdd as the main hdd (in this case C).

BUT, in order to get the same thing for 2 different hdd's an entry needs/has to point to the 2nd hdd, (so when u boot it up, it picks up the 2nd hdd, with the other version of Windows on it), needs to be entered into the boot.ini file. Which is hidden and a text file.

07-10-2006, 02:30 PM
Sorry for the misunderstanding - the XP was not installed on two computers but on two different hard drives on the one(same) computer.

Speedy Gonzales
07-10-2006, 02:34 PM
Sorry for the misunderstanding - the XP was not installed on two computers but on two different hard drives on the one(same) computer.

Well, if one is Pro and one is Home (on the 2nd hdd) that should work.

BUT, if BOTH hdd's have XP (and theyre using the same cd key), then no.

One will have to be formatted and installed with XP Home or Pro with a different key. Since the 2nd hdd (if its also got Pro on it, and its using the same key), in order for it to work after 30 days it needs to be activated.

Which probably wont work, if the 1st hdd has been activated.

With that same key.

07-10-2006, 02:40 PM
Thanks Speedy Gonzales. The quick lessons were very helpful and now I am able to move on. Many thanks again.

07-10-2006, 03:35 PM
The XP licence states clearly that you may install one copy of the operating system, not install it on one PC. I looked this up a while ago when I was looking at virtual machine options. Don't you love EULAs?

To boot off several drives you can either set it up with the standard Windows NTLDR boot loader (I'm not sure how) or use an alternative boot loader (try googling for options).