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Morning,

I have 2 IDE HD's and 1 SATA HD.

The SATA is my primary XP install and I had one of my IDE HD's as a Secondary XP Install and is used for work purpose. Everything was working fine until one day I was unable to boot to my secondary install. I popped in my Win XP CD to attempt a repair however the CD picked up my primary install and not my secondary so I must of done something wrong when I installed my SATA HD earlier this year.

I thought it was time to do a clean install of XP on my primary install and then re-install my secondary install.

Just to be sure, I disconnected my 2 IDE hard drives ran the XP Install CD and installed XP on my SATA, everything went ok.

Plugged back in my 2 IDE HD's and windows reported HD’s as follows
SATA as C: <-- Primary Install
IDE HD 1 as D:
IDE HD 2 as E:

So far so good so time to dual boot. I booted up from XP CD's, I told the installer I wanted to install XP and a list of hard drives appeared which I expected of course, however the order in which the drives appeared were incorrect i.e.
IDE HD 1 as C:
IDE HD 2 as D:
SATA as E: <-- Current XP Install

I got a bit baffled so I quit the setup process.

Now after this long story here is my question:
If I were to continue and install XP on IDE HD1 would this dual boot my PC correctly? I mean if I load up my primary install will I still see my primary install as C:\ instead of E:?

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Last Post by DGULLIVER
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If these are fresh installs it can't hurt to try.

I think windows calls whatever drive it is installed on C but will appear as a different letter by another OS.

go ahead install the 2nd OS. I would label the hard drives as something more memorable. I have labels XP, Vista and Win_7.

You can also rename what comes up at boot selection, for example you could rename the OSes work_XP and XP to help distinguish.

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Thanks for the tips Xlphos :D

My primary is almost up to date with all my applications now so I will create an image with Acronis True Image tonight just in case.

[Off Topic]
W7, waiting for Oct to arrive have it on pre-order
[/Off Topic]

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You can set the HD order in BIOS, making the SATA one first in line. Windows accesses the HDs primarily by drive's/partition's numbers designated by SATA or IDE channels, and not letters. By default, IDE channels come before SATA, but that can be changed in BIOS.

Once the windows are installed on "e:", it will remain as such. You can't change drive letter of system partition.

I have a motherboard that allows me to easily choose from which drive to boot from, if I press F8 during boot-up (when the "press DEL to enter BIOS" is displayed.. before windows boot menu). That way I could boot from my E drive, which would become C for that session.
It is not a multi-boot setup. It is multiple single-boot setups (however confusing and ridiculous that sounds).

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Oh god.

I've just come home, booted up PC and the XP welcome screen was different. Yesterday I had Admin, User 1, User 2,User 3 and Guest, however tonight all I had visable was User 1, User 2 and User 3. What has happend since last night?

I did notice there was an "Invalid boot.ini" message while PC was booting and software I installed in the last week has gone including my AV, print drivers!

C drive is now E. Not happy! looks like I'm starting all over again and to be on the safe side removing both IDE drives :(

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Did you install XP on another drive?

has this happend after the disk image was taken?

Does the invalid boot.ini show each time you start the computer?

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Sorry Xlphos, I thought I had replied to your questions.

Does the invalid boot.ini show each time you start the computer?
Yes it did - Not now since I re-installed.

has this happend after the disk image was taken?
Yep

Did you install XP on another drive?
I did yesterday (24/08/09). As mentioned in my OP when XP set up asked which partition to install to it came up with:
IDE HD 1 as C:
IDE HD 2 as D:
SATA as E: <-- Current XP Install

So I continued a fresh install on C:, when finished and rebooted the system went straight into my SATA Install of XP (the screen that asks which OS to boot to didn't appear). I searched for the boot.ini file on my SATA drive and it was not there.

However I do re-call the Setup didn't seem to see my SATA XP installation, meaning normally if setup detects a windows installation you normally get a screen asking these questions:

These are from the top of my head

Install Windows XP, Enter to continue.

Repair existing Installation, Press R

Quit Install, Press F3

TIA
Darren

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Okay Try this,

Click on Start -> Run or windows key+R, Then type msconfig and click on the BOOT.INI tab. Then try clicking on the check boot paths and the other install may show up.


Or you can do as this link says Here. you would add an entry looking like this multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect changing the disk too whatever the disk number is.

- Let us know how it goes.

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Okay Try this,

Click on Start -> Run or windows key+R, Then type msconfig and click on the BOOT.INI tab. Then try clicking on the check boot paths and the other install may show up.


Or you can do as this link says Here. you would add an entry looking like this multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect changing the disk too whatever the disk number is.

- Let us know how it goes.

Clicking on the check boot paths didn't do much was one entry and it said all was ok.

I added and extra line changing rdisk(0) to rdisk(1) and this time it booted into my new stallation on my IDE HD. Thanks, think this is now solved.

Chaky, didn't forget your suggestion. Boot order seemed ok - so thank you also :D

I do have another issue now but I will post a new topic.

Rep given to Xlphos and Chaky :D

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