How to setup dual boot with dual hard-drives?

September 25, 2014 at 15:40:15
Specs: Windows 8.1
I’d like to set my Windows 8.1 computer for dual boot.
I have 2 drives installed (Windows 8.1 & Vista Home), and I’d like to have the option of choosing which OS to boot with.
Is that possible?

Much thanks!

Windows 8.1
Intel® Core™ i5-440CPU @ 3.10 GHz
12gb RAM
64-bit Operating System, x64-based processor
Intel® 8 Series/C220 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller
Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH164 (Win8.1)
Seagate ST3750528AS (Vista Home)


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#1
September 25, 2014 at 15:57:25
Your ONLY option is via the bios and setting which drive boots.

Otherwise you have to reinstall the 2nd drives OS while the first drive is booting. Then you can do a multiboot.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's


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#2
September 25, 2014 at 16:37:19
After choosing what drive you would like to boot to as default in the bios, you can toggle F8 during boot to change to the other drive.

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#3
September 25, 2014 at 16:54:19
The Vista drive does not appear in the bios.
It does appear in the 8.1 Explorer window, though.

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Related Solutions

#4
September 25, 2014 at 17:09:28
What drive do you want as default?

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#5
September 25, 2014 at 19:37:50
Most likely, the Vista drive.

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#6
September 25, 2014 at 19:47:27
"It does appear in the 8.1 Explorer window, though"
That means you are missing finding it in the bios.

Will need the version of your bios, if you can't work it out.


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#7
September 25, 2014 at 19:49:34
Another thought.

Is Vista installed on an IDE, Sata, SSD or other drive?
Is W8 installed on an IDE, Sata, SSD or other drive?

message edited by Johnw


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#8
September 25, 2014 at 19:55:27
Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH164 (Win8.1)
Seagate ST3750528AS (Vista Home)

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#9
September 25, 2014 at 20:09:23
You help me & I will help you, giving me model numbers, mean't I had to google to find out the answer.

They are both Sata, correct?

If so, refer my previous comments about the bios in post #6


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#10
September 25, 2014 at 21:13:22
It is possible to modify the boot entries in Vista or Win7/8 with the BCDedit command.
Unfortunately this is a text based interaction and not very useful for the not-so-computer-savvy user.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...

There is a GUI based version:
http://www.boyans.net/DownloadVisua...


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#11
September 26, 2014 at 04:20:55
Sorry, JohnW.
Yes, both are SATA.

Will verify BIOS version when I get home.....at the office right now.

Thanks!


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#12
September 26, 2014 at 04:57:59

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#13
September 26, 2014 at 12:28:04
Go into BIOS and make sure that both hard drives are listed as bootable in the hard drive section. Then set your boot order with DVD drive (or USB if no DVD) first, your preferred OS drive as second, and the alternate OS drive as third. Save changes and exit. After that, you should have the F8 option mentioned above.
Important: If the Vista hard drive was recovered from an older computer and was NOT installed on the drive while it was connected to that particular computer, THAT will not work.You will need to reinstall Vista with a new (unused) Windows key or you will have all kinds of issues including MS eventually locking up the Vista installation if the issue is not resolved (not to mention hardware/driver issues).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#14
September 27, 2014 at 09:54:26
BIOS Version/Date AMI 80.15, 4/15/2014

FWIW: The Vista machine was purchased in 2009.......


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#15
September 27, 2014 at 15:44:59
"BIOS Version/Date AMI 80.15, 4/15/2014"
Ok, googling suggests that in the Boot options of the bios, you have this.

Boot Device Priority.
Hard Disk Drives.

1: Go to Hard Disk Drives first & move your Vista drive to the top.
2: Then confirm in Boot Device Priority that the drive is default.
3: F10 & save.

As mentioned previously, toggle F8 during boot to select the other drive.
If you get Safe mode etc, you have left your toggling too late.

message edited by Johnw


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#16
September 27, 2014 at 17:40:12
Did you look at response # 12?

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#17
September 28, 2014 at 01:49:57
#12 would be ideal here would it not? Especially as it work both via a floppy or installed on the hard drive.

I went looking for a boot-manager when this post arrived here, but couldn't find any that appeared to work with win-7 onwards...

Good find by riider


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#18
September 28, 2014 at 08:28:41
(I tried posting pix....but was unable to.....pix are in Photobucket.)

I was able to reconfigure the boot order.........but it booted to 8.1 anyway.
I chose IPV4....and then IPV6......made no difference.

"Checking media presence.
Media Present.....
Start PXE Over IPV 4....."

.....and then it booted to 8.1.

message edited by msmith40


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#19
September 28, 2014 at 09:03:16
I downloaded GAG.
Doesn't appear to be 64-bit compatible.

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#20
September 28, 2014 at 09:39:12
"inspired..." by riider's effort/offering... I dun a google trawl and found this...

https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/b...

which appears to cover "all" M$ OS (32/64bit versions too).

I used the string:

64 bit compatible boot-manager

in Google - and there are other possibles that pop up too... Might be worth a wee trawl as above?


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#21
September 28, 2014 at 16:09:10
"Start PXE Over IPV 4....."
You still do not have the boot order in the bios, set to boot from the Vista drive first.

You need someone computer savvy to show you.


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#22
September 28, 2014 at 19:10:13
Question: Wouldn't opening msconfig in Windows 8.1 (as in Windows 7) offer dual boot options and shouldn't it 'see' the Vista installation?
Or, would running a Start Up type repair in Windows 8.1 offer the dual boot option?

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#23
September 28, 2014 at 19:27:26
"You still do not have the boot order in the bios, set to boot from the Vista drive first."

I don't see that option in the BIOS.
That was the 1st thing I looked for weeks ago....before I'd posted anything on this board.
I've done this before, with other machines, other OS'.
I've even run this problem past my IT team.
One tech said I needed a 'boot loader'.
I installed BCD boot loader......it didn't resolve the problem.
I've even disconnected the 8.1 drive and booted with just the Vista drive.....'no bot device found'.


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#24
September 28, 2014 at 19:31:19
"Question: Wouldn't opening msconfig in Windows 8.1 (as in Windows 7) offer dual boot options and shouldn't it 'see' the Vista installation?"

It doesn't appear.....only the 8.1 drive is shown.


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#25
September 28, 2014 at 19:48:52
"I've even disconnected the 8.1 drive and booted with just the Vista drive.....'no bot device found'"

Ok, this is the problem, try this first, with only the Vista drive connected.
Any error messages, give us the EXACT message.

1: Boot into the Windows Vista DVD and choose Repair Your Computer.
2: Startup Repair may run, if it does, let it fix the problem. If it doesn’t, then run startup repair immediately. Then immediately reboot back into the Windows 7 DVD.
3: Open a command prompt.
4: If using Windows Vista or later, run the following commands:
chkdsk c: /f /x (NOTE: The Windows DVD may have the Windows partition another drive letter. Make sure you use that drive letter.)
bootsect /nt60 sys /force /mbr
bcdboot c:\windows /s c: (NOTE: The Windows DVD may have assigned the Windows partition another letter. Use the drive letter Windows assigned for c:\windows.)
diskpart
select disk # (use the list disk command to get a list of drives and use the # of the boot drive.)
select partition # (use the list partition command to get a list of partitions on this drive and choose the partition with Windows on it, likely the largest.)
active
exit


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#26
September 30, 2014 at 17:46:35
If it does not appear in msconfig and does not complete a start up repair (as above), then you need to go back into BIOS and make sure that the drive appears and that it is listed as Bootable and is in the boot order.
As already mentioned, if the Vista drive was removed from another machine, it might not work in that machine (even to the point of a start up repair followed if works by a complete driver update) until Vista is completely reinstalled onto the drive. Note that the Windows installation is tied to the mother board that it was installed on and even if it boots, it will need a new unused license key.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#27
October 1, 2014 at 06:34:00
I used to use EasyBCD when I had a dual / multi-boot system. It's a brilliant little piece of software. It's been a long time now but I believe the development team have been keeping up with OS advancements:

http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

As already pointed out though, if a harddrive has been pulled from another computer that doesn't have the same motherboard and CPU you face driver issues and will probably get notified that you may be a victim of piracy (or is it counterfeit software?) from Microsoft.

message edited by btk1w1


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#28
October 5, 2014 at 14:36:29
First of all, MUCH THANKS to all who have responded!

Now......Secure Boot is now disabled.....and Legacy is enabled.
I can now see 2 drives: SATA00 & SATA01.
I chose to boot with SATA 00.....it booted to 8.1.

I chose to boot with SATA 01.....it booted to 8.1.
I shut down....disconnected the 8.1 drive...rebooted.
I could see that it was trying to boot to Vista (YESSS!), but it failed.
The 'Windows failed to shut down...bla-blah...' menu appeared.

There was an option to insert recovery disk and choose 'Repair'.
I did so.
Things seemed to be going well until......recovery realized that this is not the original machine.

The Vista disk is a recovery disk for my ASUS machine....purchased in 2009.

Current machine: HP....purchased in 2014.

Either I have to get my hands on a Vista disk (with a legit registration code), or buy a new mobo for the 2009 Vista machine.
And yes, the mobo is available on Ebay.

Had I known what a pain-in-the-(blank) 8.1 was in general....I never would have purchased a new machine.
I figured: "8.1 is the latest OS....may as well keep up with the rest of mankind....."

In hindsight, a new mobo would have been my best choice.

(8.1 came with IE11.....AWFUL!!!!!!!!!)

I've had the Vista machine for years....and the OS never, ever gave me any issues at-all.
Vista itself worked fine every day.....never an issue.
Though this will be the 2nd time I've replaced the mobo.


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#29
October 5, 2014 at 15:53:17
Re' Vista...

You "could" simply borrow a Vista disk of the same flavour as your OS - OEM or Retail; whichever it be your Vista installallation is. Likely it's an OEM.

Copy the cd - it's ok to do that. You will use "your Vista key with it.

Then run a repair installation (not a Repair Console repair routine) booting from the Vista cd.

You can also download an ISO for Vista - again get the version you have (OEM or Retail - whichever). Burn it to cd/dvd; use that disk.

Ideally get the one with latest service pack included. If you were to use disk with an earlier service pack included, likely it won't allow a repair routine; as some of the core files already present (in the current Vista installation) will be later than on a disk that has an earlier servce pack.


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