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Dual Windows Boot


I was playing around with one of my old computers last night, and I put an old hard drive in my new system. I have XP on my master, and win 95 on my slave. Is it possible to be able to select what OS to boot from, without playing with cables or jumpers?


Most computers ive used have a boot option key that you can press shortly after turning on the computer, you can usually select to boot from master or slave.if not, you could use a boot loader called GRUB.


You can't really avoid messing with the jumpers - coz one drive HAS to be the Slave and other the Master. But assuming that your jumpers are configured accordingly, here's what you can do to get a dual-boot menu during bootup.


On the Master HDD which has WinXP, enable viewing of Hidden Files and Folders. Next check in the C:\ drive for a file named boot.ini. Here's what the file contains in my case:

[boot loader]timeout=30default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT[operating systems]multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

That multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1).... part you see specifies which partition & folder to boot from and what the label appears as during boot time. All you've got to do is add one more line:

multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows 95" /fastdetect

NOTICE how I've changed the disk(0) to disk(1) indicating your second physical Hard Drive. If Win95 is on the first partition of this disk, leave the partition(1) as it is... if it's on some other partition, replace this with a suitable value. Also the trailing folder has to be edited... For WinXP and 2000, this is \WINNT .. For 95 this should be changed to \WINDOWS or whichever folder your 95 is installed to. Also note that I've changed the label to "Microsoft Windows 95".


That's it. We're done. When you save the file, you might encounter some resistance as this is a file marked with Hidden, System & Readonly. In such a case, turn off these attributes, modify & save the file & turn the attributes back ON again.


Reboot and have fun... if it doesn't work the first time, then surely the record isn't pointing to the right partition & folder. Check up on your second drive, determine these factors and modify boot.ini accordingly..


All the best


As qwijibow said if you cant start it easily then GRUB is the way to go. when i tried it i dual booted windows and linux so i dont now if windows instals a boot manager.


Grub is the same as the bootloader in windows, so it would be quite a way around to do so. I have grub as bootloader, but that is only because it came standard with the Fedora Core 3 installation that i put over win xp.


Well usually when you boot a windows if it doesn't come up use F8 then it will show you the boot manual.


try to use BIOS to select drive which you want to use. press F11 or something of this sort and select the 2nd HDD. it doesn't matter if it is master or slave...


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