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XP Boot.ini information required

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by DaveP, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. DaveP

    DaveP
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    I have just put a 250Gb disk in my PC to replace the original 40Gb disk.

    I have done a new install on the new disk but I now find I need to get back to the 40Gb disk on numerous occasions.

    I have installed the new disk as primary and the old disk as secondary and each has 2 partitions,

    Can anyone tell me what modifications I need to do to boot.ini so that it gives me a choice of which disk to boot from?

    Thanks

    Dave
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I don't think it's possible.

    While XP supports dual-boot, AFAIK it isn't capable of simply being moved from one partition to another.

    On the one occasion I tried doing this it failed utterly because too many registry entries were hardcoded to the drive in which it was installed. It seems you have to install into separate partitions to achieve dual-boot, not simply move from, say, C: to D: as I tried to do.

    There may be tools aout there to allow this to be done, though I've never seen any, but I'm pretty sure 'out of the box' it's not doable.

    [edit]

    Maybe something like Boot Magic, which comes with Partition Magic, could sort out the partitions so that your old disk is still seen as C:, I'm not sure how much XP makes use of the IDE channel/unit method of addressing disks.
     
  3. HMHB

    HMHB
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    What I've done in this situation is to put each drive in a removable drive drawer so that you can boot up with one or the other. This will need a spare 5 and a quarter inch slot in your case though.
     
  4. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Thanks guys.

    I think what I should have done is have both drives installed when I did the install to the 250gb disk. Ths would then have allowed me to swap between them and the OS would know it was on the D: drive.

    Too late now

    Thanks anyway

    Dave
     
  5. KraGorn

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    That is correct, though your old system would have to have stayed on C:, which in the long run may not have been what you would have wanted.

    Sadly, M$ have failed abysmally to implement device-independent installations which *nix users take for granted. :mad:
     
  6. Pack Dude

    Pack Dude
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    You should be able to pick what harddrive the PC boots from in the BIOS, i do this all the time with two harddrives and two versions of windows.

    Have a look at boot devices and make a note of what you have changed.
     
  7. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Try editing the boot.ini to this...

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP Pro" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP Pro 2" /fastdetect
     
  8. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Unless I'm badly mistaken that's not going to work.

    Even if it boots, which my attempt didn't, the installation of XP on D: will have registry entries pointing to C: which will conflict with the copy of XP installed there, eg. "Program Files", "Documents and Settings" etc. While it's conceivable to fix-up these references it'd be a massive REGEDIT job.
     
  9. DaveP

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    Thanks guys, I'll look at them both tonight.

    Dave
     
  10. KraGorn

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    Unless I'm badly mistaken that's not going to work. Yes, that BOOT.INI will allow XP's boot loader to attempt to boot the system on D: but IMX it fails very early on in the process.

    Even if it boots, which my attempt didn't, the installation of XP on D: will have registry entries pointing to C: which will conflict with the copy of XP installed there, eg. "Program Files", "Documents and Settings" etc. While it's conceivable to fix-up these references it'd be a massive REGEDIT job.
     
  11. big@l

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    If I remember correctly you should be able to reinstall windows pointing it to the D drive and it will sort out the registry probs and allow you to dual boot.


    Its a while since I done this but sure it works. I could be wrong though.
     
  12. KraGorn

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    That would indeed work but if I understand correctly Dave wants to keep his old system disk intact and also wants to keep his new disk as C:, otherwise your suggestion would be the answer.
     
  13. big@l

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    But if he installs it over his old installation it will just keep his settings and up date the registry.
     
  14. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    As Kragorn says it will very likely fall over - bsod (blue screen of death). Once its done this the OS is flagged as requiring a repair. Put your XP cd in and it will eventually ask you whether you want to repair it. Go for repair - again - this isnt a definite fix but seems logical to me.
     
  15. DaveP

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    Sorry I haven't been back sooner guys, what spare time I had has been spent on trying to get my Hauppauge MediaMVP to playback DivX files created from the contents of a panasonic DVD-RAM disk but that is another story!

    I tried the various suggestions and to cut a long story short nothing has worked yet, but I can always try the repair when I'm feeling brave!

    I found This Site very useful. It explains what the various parameters mean.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Dave
     

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