Re: Dual Boot for transition to new drive

"JohnWRS" <JohnWRS@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> I've read through many dual boot posts and still wonder about one thing.
> have a new HD (WD Raptor 740) and I want to install WinXP Pro on it. I'd
> rather not suffer the hours of software reinstallation in one sitting and
> want to be able to return to my old WinXP Pro installation on the original
> drive to continue work as necessary. It makes sense to me to install the
> drive, then install a dual boot version of Windows XP Pro on it. In time,
> I complete application installations I'll work exclusively on the new
> drive/WinXP installation. However, i'll have the safety blanket of the
> WinXP Pro available. I have multiple legit copies of WinXP Pro, so
> are not an issue.
> So, is there something I'm missing here? Is there a downside or risk to
> dual-booting two copies of WinXP Pro on two drives as a transition method?
> Alternatively, I've thought of simply disconnecting the unused WinXP Pro
> drive, but then of course the contents of that drive are not available to
> access when it's off line. Perhaps a way to avoids any
> with dual boot.
> Appreciate your insights.
> Best regards,
> John

You have overlooked one little detail. If you install your second copy
of WinXP on your new drive in a dual-boot configuration then it will
be visible on drive D: (or perhaps on drive E:, depending on your other
partitions). This is so because the WinXP boot manager is about as
basic as they come. Later on, when you're retiring your old disk, you're
stuck: The new copy of WinXP will cease to run the moment you remove
the old disk, because the drive letters change. This is a frequent query
in this newsgroup.

Here is my tried and proven recipe:
1. Install the new disk as a slave disk, then boot into WinXP.
2. Create an NTFS partition on the new disk. Its size should be 10 MBytes
less than the capacity of the disk. Label it "WinXP New".
3. Label the existing WinXP partition "WinXP Old".
4. Create a 10 MByte (not GByte!) FAT partition at the far end of the new
Label it XOSL.
5. Get a copy of the XOSL boot manager. It's free.
6. Remove the old disk, then install the new disk as the primary master.
7. Load WinXP onto the new disk, leaving the small XOS partition intact.
8. Boot the machine with a Win98 boot disk (, then
install XOSL in its own partition.
9. Reboot from the hard disk, then add WinXP to the XOSL menu.
10. Install the old disk as a slave disk.
11. Reboot, then add the old WinXP installation to the XOSL menu.
Important: Hide the partition where the new WinXP installation resides!

You will now have this setup:
- When booting into the new WinXP installation then you will see the
old disk as drive D:. WinXP will be visible on drive C:.
- When booting into the old WinXP installation then WinXP will be
visible on its own drive C:. The new WinXP installation will be invisible
and inaccessible.

If you wish to boot from the old disk only, remove the new disk and
make the old disk the primary master.

If you wish to boot from the new disk only, without XOSL, restore
its Master Boot Record. This is a two-minute affair.


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