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SWITCHING BETWEEN HARD DRIVES ON STARTUP


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#1
SKOOTERBUM

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i have 2 hard drives in my system. both have the windows xp operating system on them.

i would like to find out, if i can some how choose the hard drive i want to use on startup.

they are both recognized, and labeled © and (f).

is this something i can do in my bios during startup ??

any help will be appreciated.....

thanks,
ron
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#2
Ax238

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Hi Ron,

What you're looking for is the boot.ini file:
How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP
Additional information and help with the boot.ini.

Let me know if you need more assistance.

Regards,

Ax
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#3
happyrock

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can you post a copy of your boot.ini file for us
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#4
SKOOTERBUM

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AX238 and Happyrock, thanks for your replies !!

AX238, i've printed all the information from the links you refered me to. now i can study them before trying to make any changes. i will post my questions, as i am sure i will have some....

Happyrock, give me a bit of time to see if i can figure out how to post my boot.ini file. i should be able to find the procedudure in the information from the links AX posted.

thanks,
ron
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#5
SKOOTERBUM

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can you post a copy of your boot.ini file for us




here you go Happyrock.......


[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="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


do i change the "red zero" to a "1" then save it, to make the systen use the other H-D on startup ??


ron
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#6
SKOOTERBUM

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ok i think i have it figured out now.

changing the disk(0) to disk(1), didn't work. i read through the information given by AX earlier, another time, and made these changes.......

before.....

[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="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


after.....

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


after doing this, i'm pretty sure i am running on the second drive now.

this is a really easy way to be able to use both drives.

if, after checking my changes, you find that i am doing something wrong, please let me know.....

thanks,
ron
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#7
Macboatmaster

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YOU very likely are HOWEVER I thought you wanted to be able to choose WHICH drive you boot to.


disk(x)The disk on the controller. If multi(x) is used, this value will always be 0.

rdisk(x)Which disk on the controller is being used. This value may be between "0" and "3"

The safe way is to post a screenshot of disk management - as the question is
Why do you have two XP installations
Are they both the SAME - XP Professional
Are the installations on TWO separate drives



That all said be careful, as if you get it wrong you may not be able to boot in to any installation.

As an aside - all went quiet on the planned new build - what is occurring on that issue - just as a matter of interest
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#8
SKOOTERBUM

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YOU very likely are HOWEVER I thought you wanted to be able to choose WHICH drive you boot to.


disk(x)The disk on the controller. If multi(x) is used, this value will always be 0.

rdisk(x)Which disk on the controller is being used. This value may be between "0" and "3"

The safe way is to post a screenshot of disk management - as the question is
Why do you have two XP installations
Are they both the SAME - XP Professional
Are the installations on TWO separate drives



That all said be careful, as if you get it wrong you may not be able to boot in to any installation.

As an aside - all went quiet on the planned new build - what is occurring on that issue - just as a matter of interest



yes you are correct Macboatmaster. i do want to be able to boot from, (or to) both drives. i have no big reason for doing this, other than one drive has a bunch of info, that the other doesn't have. also i was just wanting to learn if it can be done. apparently it can.

the reason for both drives having an operating system is, my old PC died on me. it had a relatively new HD in it that i kept, along with the other still good usable parts. then i purchased another old system that needed parts replaced in it, to be able to function. it came with it's own HD with the same operating system as what i had. so i ended up with two HD's with the same operating system in this old thing.

so eventually, i will have three cloned copy's for my backup. i lost a bunch of information when my old systems HD died on me and i didn't know how to recover any of it. i don't want to go through that again.

this information i am confused by.......

disk(x)The disk on the controller. If multi(x) is used, this value will always be 0.

rdisk(x)Which disk on the controller is being used. This value may be between "0" and "3"


I'm sorry i can't figure out what you are trying to tell me.......

as far as my new PC build, i will post there, telling where i am with it now.


thanks,
ron

almost forgot the screen shot of disk management......

Edited by Macboatmaster, 04 March 2012 - 07:44 PM.

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#9
Macboatmaster

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Sample boot .ini

Sample Boot.ini
This is a sample of a default Boot.ini file from a Windows XP computer.
One O/S loaded on one hard drive.
disk is 0 - that is not the letter allocated by windows that is the disk as shown in computer management - disk management
windows is on 1st partition of disk, OR there is ONLY one partition.
[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="Microsoft Windows XP" /fastdetect

This is a sample of the above Boot.ini file after adding another partition running Windows
Still only on ONE disk, but now with a second partition
NOTE rdisk has not changed.
Default operating system is the one loaded on partition 1.
and will load by default after a timeout of 30 seconds, if on boot you do not choose the other O/S - in this example it is as yours XP.
[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="Windows XP" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /fastdetect

So briefly I was trying to explain WHY it did not work when you, asked this, but then did it before anyone had chance to reply

do i change the "red zero" to a "1" then save it, to make the systen use the other H-D on startup ??




This may help

About Editing Boot.ini
Be careful with your typing when you edit Boot.ini. And remember that spaces are as important as content.

A few examples:

bootcfg /rebuild uses correct syntax.
bootcfg/rebuild is wrong - space is missing


multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP" /fastdetect uses correct syntax
multi(0) disk(0) rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP" /fastdetect is wrong - spaces are used when they should not be




multi()disk()rdisk()partition()\directory="menu text"
in Boot.ini's ARC path on x86-based computers

These define the location where that Windows XP/2K/NT's folders/files are installed i.e. the OS boot partition. Each line must be a complete line (no Word Wrap), and must be exactly correct! Otherwise you are likely to get 'Hall.dll', or other error, indication the Windows can not be found. The Bootcfg /rebuild command normally handles a Boot.ini creation quite efficiently. Occasionally user intervention is required or preferred.

multi()
The multi() syntax indicates to Windows that it should rely on the computer's BIOS to load system files. It's virtually always set to 0 (zero). If the SCSI() notation is used instead of multi() it indicates that Windows will load a boot device driver (NTBOOTDD.SYS) and use that driver to access the boot partition.

disk()
This is always 0 when multi(0) is used because the INT 13 call is involked. If scsi() is used then the number will be the SCSI ID of the target disk.

For the vast majority of users the correct syntax will be multi(0)disk(0).


rdisk()

rdisk() refers to physical hard disks and starts counting from 0. Therefore rdisk(1) refers to a second disk.
Every hard disk counts, not just disks with OSs installed.
The Primary Master hard disk is always rdisk(0).
If a Primary Slave exists, it has priority over any Secondary disk(s).
If a Secondary Master exists, it has priority over a Secondary Slave.

A number is allocated to each partition in the order that they occur on the hard disk specified by rdisk(). It starts counting from 1, and Primary partitions on that disk are counted first..

Therefore partition(2) is the second Primary partition on the disk.

rdisk(0)partition(1) refers to the first hard disk and its first partition. An example of the third partition on a second hard disk would be rdisk(1)partition(3).

\directory
Directory is the name of the installation directory of that Windows. The default is WINDOWS for Windows XP.



NOTE
You should exercise caution, I seem to be always saying this to you.
But it is only to provide you with the best advice.
That is why I stressed the caution requirement when you created the topic about building your new system.


In this case, of the dual boot, the issue is that one of the installations came from another computer

then i purchased another old system that needed parts replaced in it, to be able to function. it came with it's own HD with the same operating system as what i had. so i ended up with two HD's with the same operating system in this old thing.


the fact that THIS drive is installed in the computer and can be accessed, as you would EVEN if Windows was not installed on it, does NOT mean that it will boot and load windows on this computer - as all the drivers installed when the system was setup will not be for this computer.

and I am not certain from which drive you are now loading windows.

That is WHY I have not examined your attached disk management
The best advice is enter BIOS, change boot priority to the hard drive you mention.
Leave the other hard drive as second boot device
See what happens.

and finally with respect, but again trying to provide the best service to you - sooner or later you are going to get yourself into problem areas.
I admire your quest for more knowledge.
However your working everyday computer is NOT the one on which to experiment.



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#10
SKOOTERBUM

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OK, now i have a much better understanding of the boot ini files !! Macboatmaster, thanks again for taking the time to help me with that !!

when my old PC quit working on me, i had some ebay listings that were ending. so i had to quickly decide what i was going to do to fix the situation. i knew i wanted to build a newer PC, but i didn't have all of the money at that time. so i purchased another old PC, hoping i could get it to work with some of my newer old style parts from my dead PC. it worked. i knew i was going to be going through a lot of trial and error with this other old PC, and my new PC. so i also picked up on another working PC, so i could still get on-line and ask for help. so i am covered that way, unless the working one dies on me. LOL. so right now i have 2 working computers.

yes you are 150% correct about me making the mistake about the wrong drivers for the wrong PC !! you are also correct about me jumping the gun !! getting into something not really knowing what i am doing. i have to much free time. so when i get started on something, i have a hard time stopping when i need help.

so now i have to figure out how to fix this mess i created for myself ??

the system does start up, and seems to run OK. i can still get on-line with it too.

also, i went into BIOS to see if i could change the drive to boot from, and i couldn't find anywhere that gave me the option to do it.

your not going to hurt my feelings by suggesting i stop and ask, before i do something to damage / disable my PC. I've been this way all my life. i learn better by doing things hands on, compared to reading how to do it. being this way, has put me in a bad spot more that once. I'm sure you get frustrated trying to help people like me. i know it's a lot harder to troubleshoot something that has had more problems brought on by trying to fix the first thing, and not knowing what we are doing.

i won't be doing this with my new computer !! i will be patient when putting that together, and getting it to run.

your patience, and help is greatly appreciated Macboatmaster !!

ron
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#11
happyrock

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your screenshot shows only 1 hard drive...that's why you do not have any options in the bios
if you actually have 2 hard drives 1 is not being seen by the bios...if the bios can't see the drive windows won't either




in the future save screenshots as jpeg's not .bmp's
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#12
SKOOTERBUM

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your screenshot shows only 1 hard drive...that's why you do not have any options in the bios
if you actually have 2 hard drives 1 is not being seen by the bios...if the bios can't see the drive windows won't either




in the future save screenshots as jpeg's not .bmp's



Happyrock, thanks for your reply !!

i have a couple questions about your reply. first let me say i am a newbie with the internal workings of a PC. changing the internal parts out is fairly easy, but the way the parts all work together is where i lack a lot of knowledge.

with that said, yes i do have 2 pata drives mounted and powered in this system. when i double click on my computer they show up as local disk ©, and local disk(f). isn't this windows showing me both drives ?? this confuses me.....

also, how do i choose between jpeg's and bmp's ?? here is how i managed to save the screen shot. i might be doing this wrong, or the hard way.....

i brought up the screen shot i wanted, then i clicked alt and print screen at same time. i went to paint, copied the screen shot to paint, then saved it to my pictures. then attached the screen shot to the post.

is this the right way, or hard way to do this ?? i won't call it the wrong way, because i did get it to the post....LOL

your support is greatly appreciated !!

i am very thankful for the time and knowledge that is offered to me from the members of this forum !!

ron
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#13
SKOOTERBUM

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Happyrock, i think i figured out how to make items be a jpeg, and not a bmp.

now, why only one drive showed up in the first screen shot, and 2 in this one, i'm not sure ?? i must have been on my back-up PC at that time, and wasn't thinking. like i said i am a newbie trying to learn this stuff.

but, ultimately i think this is what you originaly asked for.....

Edited by SKOOTERBUM, 05 March 2012 - 01:24 PM.

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#14
happyrock

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perfect... :thumbsup:
now click on my computer...click on c drive...get screenshot...
do the same for the other drive...
post those...they will show us file/folders are on each drive
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#15
Macboatmaster

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SKOOTERBUM

Was this problem ever sorted please.
It is now some 16 days since we last heard from you.
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