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Which OS?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by paiger, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. paiger

    paiger
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    Hi, I have a PC running Win XP which I use for my business. I have just bought a better VGA card with TV out. I also have a spare 20GB Hard Drive. I would like to put this in the PC as well and use it as a games drive so I have 2 PC's in one box. I just don't want patches and junk all over my business machine as I have got into big problems with that before.

    My questions are, can I set the BIOS to ask me which drive I want to boot from (the board is ASUS CUSL2) and if I do use this drive, which OS would be best? I have an old copy of Win 98SE and 2000 as well as XP. I have encountered problems running older games on XP but is Win 98 stable enough?

    CHeers
     
  2. andy76

    andy76
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    As far as I am aware you cannot boot from 2 different hard disks.
    If you want 2 OS on the PC you will need to install them on seperate partitions on the main Boot drive.
    You could still used the second drive for game installations etc, but not to hold the Windows files etc.

    Win 98 I believe is better for games than 2000, but I may be wrong on this one - never run games on a 2000 PC. Until recently I used 98 at home and never had any major stability issues. XP Home would be your best bet if you could get it as you will have the latest support for hardware, but you do say you have some problems with older games.
    Depends whether you intend having a lot of new hardware and latest games I suppose.

    Andrew
     
  3. Cool-hand

    Cool-hand
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    Hi,

    There is a program called Partition Magic which will let you select an OS at boot up. It's got a good gui and is fairly user friendly.
    Win98 + Mill has loads of device drivers for games/joysticks etc.... Win2000 is more business based.
     
  4. JohnS

    JohnS
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    You can boot from different drives because I do!

    With both drives installed you can add another installation of win xp to the other drive or partition, you just insert the xp install disk and tell it where you want to install it to. When you boot the machine it comes up with an option asking you which OS you want to boot from, this is just an alteration of the boot.ini file.

    If you want to dual boot win 98 and xp

    Win 98 has to be installed to your c drive 1st, then install xp to a different drive or partion and it again automatically alters the boot.ini file to give you the selection option. This works fine and is the configuration I use currently, although i have tried various options including tri-booting w98, w2000 and xp which also worked fine.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. paiger

    paiger
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    THanks for the replies. John, you say you do this. Here is my situation. I have my PC set up with XP installed on the HDD. Because I have a Zip drive on secondary slave it has, for some reason allocated this drive C and the HDD drive E. The Zip drive is knacked and I want to take it out anyway. I have a 20GB IBM drive that I would like to put Win 98 or XP on as a games drive and have a choice of which to boot from.

    What procedure should I take? If I just stick the drive in and put Windows on it, do I need to change the boot order in the bios or will it ask me when I power up the PC as you say? If you have 2 minutes, could you give me a bit more detail. Thanks.

    Steve
     
  6. rob_w

    rob_w
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    have you thought about usind a drive caddy to physically swap the hard drives?, much easier than messing about with your works machine`s bios etc......

    cheers
    robwells
     
  7. paiger

    paiger
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    Yeah, I guess thats an idea. I'll look into it, thanx.
     
  8. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Steve

    Win 98 has to be installed to the primary partion of the boot drive, xp can be installed pretty much anywhere, it coul even go on the same partion but this does cause greif so should be avoided.
    Win 98 is still much more compatible with games than xp but is going to cause you more installation hastle now. (My lads pc dual boots win98 and xp for this reason certain stuff just refuses to run in xp. We keep xp as his main use for everything that will run okay on it, but use 98 when it wont.)

    1st backup your work stuff if it is important!!!

    If you stick the drive in and make sure windows sees it, stick the xp install disc in and choose a clean install and the custom setup option which allows you to choose which partion/drive to install to. As part of the install procedure the boot.ini file is automatically altered. When the installation is finished and you reboot, after the bios checks for the ide and ram you will be presented with a boot screen asking which OS you wish to boot from.
     
  9. alanrob

    alanrob
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    Your HD is labeled as drive E: in your setup because NTFS partitions (used by WinNT/Win2K/XP) are put to the end of the chain of drives. So your first drive (C: ) is the Zip drive followed by your CD/DVD (which ever) drive as D:

    I'd put your current HD on the other IDE channel (or make it the slave on the first one) and get another HD and make this your primary drive. Install Win98/Me on it and alter the entry in the boot.ini file for the XP boot up (Mine looks like this for my Win2k partition - multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 )
    You'll have to change the disk(0) to disk(1) if you move the drive to slave on the main IDE connection.

    Make sure you check what your BOOT.INI file looks like (maybe even copy it to a floppy) before you install Win98/Me.
     
  10. paiger

    paiger
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    OK, so if I stick XP on the new disk the BIOS will just ask which drive to use on boot? Does it default to one after a certain time (as with boot to CD)? I would like it to auto boot to my main drive and just have to to interupt it to get my games drive.

    Cheers
     
  11. JohnS

    JohnS
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    OK, so if I stick XP on the new disk the BIOS will just ask which drive to use on boot?

    Not the bios, the boot initialisation but just after where you enter the bios before windows itself starts to boot.

    Does it default to one after a certain time (as with boot to CD)?

    Yes and you can change this time either by altering the boot.ini file or in win xp there is an option in control panel.
     
  12. paiger

    paiger
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    OK, I think thats what I'll go for and if I can't run some older games it's too bad. Thanks all you guys for all the useful advice, I appreciate your time. I have found the system startup stuff in control panel and will have a play once I have backed everything up.

    Thanks again.

    Steve
     
  13. alanrob

    alanrob
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    Can I ask one thing m8?

    What is your level of knowledge on PC's?
    If you have to ask about boot sequence that it can't be a full knowledge.

    I'd get someone else to get this all set up for you as it isn't to easy talking someone through what has to be done via a forum.
    Do you know someone who knows PC's inside out? If so, ask them to help you out. That way you wont come back on here and inform us all that you have blown your M/board or zapped your HD by mistake.
     
  14. paiger

    paiger
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    I'm fine with putting stuff together, have built many PC's. It's just the software side where I'm a bit lazy. I'm the practical sort but just not really 'into' computers the way some of you guys are if you know what I mean. I can strip and rebuild a twin chike Webber carb in half an hour though.:D
     
  15. GrahamC

    GrahamC
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    But a twin choke webber has'nt got a years tradding info for your accountant on it........:rolleyes:
     
  16. paiger

    paiger
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    Well, the worst they can do is over-estimate my earnings, fine me heavily and throw me in jail so whats the problem?
     

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