Operating Systems - choice - simultaneous or alternative

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Respected Gurus and dear friends,

I always have used one HARD DISK with two partitions....running windows xp

Now i have also added one extra harddisk with again two partitions using windows server 2000...

Now problem is that currently what i do is depending on which one i want to use; i change BIOS settings at time of machine start by kepping press DEL so that it takes me to BIOS settings and there i choose one out of two hard
disks...by modifying boot priority settings...

I was wondering is it possible to have (say) a screen which gives me option to choose any one from BOTH hard disk instead of changing BIOS settings everytime i start my machine....

Any idea / suggestion/ solution/ guide would be more than appreciated....



email edited out by moderator -- alc6379

type bootmanager into a google search !

I have always used SystemCommander (Its not free) as my bootloader manager. If you have any linux systems on any of the drives, you can use Grub or lilo.

If all of your OSs are windows, you may want to consider using OSL2000 (it is free). Here is the link to download it:



Member Avatar for nicentral

IMHO don't bother with mutli-boots if you are just learning the software. Get yourself a copy of VMWare and you can have as many installs of whatever OSs you have disk space for. I run Linux on my machine and have as many as 6 Windows VMs running as a test lab.

VMWare works. If you run windows you can try Microsoft Virtual PC (VMWare is better though). Both of those cost money.

There are also free options avaliable. Bochs is an opensource free emulator for windows and linux.

If linux is your main OS, you can use QMU.

VMWare or other virtualisation software may not always be the ideal choice. For many, directly booting into the host OS is the best option, for the sake of performance.

If you run FAT32 on your Primary partition on your Primary master disk, you can install XOSL:


It's a really nice graphical bootloader. It installs from DOS, and once you get it installed, you configure everything directly from the interface in the bootloader. If you're looking to boot multiple OSes from multiple drives, it's nice.

Also, there are ways to get the boot.ini file in Windows 2000/XP to do this, but it's a little more cumbersome. In fact, most OS's bootloaders should allow this, even grub and lilo can do this in Linux.

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