Dual Boot XP32 and XP64 Two HD's

Asus / Dual
April 2, 2009 at 13:17:04
Specs: Windows XP
I have XPPRO 32bit installed on my Primary HD
and SUSE 10.X installed on 2nd HD [Both
400 GB]
My system will support 64 bit OS. I want to
triple boot XP32, XP64, and SUSE 11.1. I have
NO way to reload the XP32bit. Can load the
New XP64 and /suse11.1 on HD2. I will
download the Terrabyte Bootit system to make
new partitions. Or will the Win64 bit be
installed on the 2nd drive if I direct it there?

See More: Dual Boot XP32 and XP64 Two HDs

Report •

April 2, 2009 at 14:05:07
I know nothing about SUSE anything.

Are you dual booting XP 32bit and SUSE 10.x now?
As in, do you get the choice of which one to boot with when you boot?

If you are, then SUSE 10.x has the built ability of dual booting XP 32 bit and SUSE, and if you install XP 64 bit, then SUSE 11.1, you should have a triple boot system.

But.... each operating system must be installed on a partition with no other operating system on it, and you may need to re-size existing partitions smaller in order to free up the drive space to do that

Do your two hard drives presently have partitions that take up the entire physical drive, or is there un-allocated (not partitioned) space you could install XP 64 bit on?

Most people DO NOT need more than 4gb of ram.
Ultimate Memory Guide
How Much Memory Do You Need? etc.

Why do you think you need XP 64 bit? Most people don't need it and would not benefit from it, and you may have to get 64 bit versions of some programs you want to use.

Dual booting XP 32bit and 64 bit is easy. You simply install XP 64 bit on a partition that has no existing operating system and it will automatically set up dual booting XP 32 bit and 64 bit.

If you had only Windows operating systems on the drives you wouldn't need to buy anything at all. If you have no un-allocated space available on the drives on which to install XP 64 bit, you can't re-size partitions in XP without losing the data on the partition, but there are freeware partition manipulation programs that are available that can do that without you losing any existing data (though you are advised to backup what you don't want to lose that you can't re-install BEFORE you run them).

Report •

April 2, 2009 at 15:23:30
If you can't reload Win32 then start with backup plan and test it.

There are a few hundred ways and web pages devoted to dual boot. No real need for any third party software unless you just want to.

Most newer systems allow you to choose boot device order, even if not in order of IDE chain and active partition.

Remember suse uses grub, either you would have to fix grub later or use MS's loader to load suse. Might need to install lilo on suse partition.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

Report •

April 2, 2009 at 16:08:08
You will have to repartition the second drive to create a primary partition for XP64 (would be easier on another HD) - which itself will probably mean a grub reload. If you install XP64 with XP32 disk still connected, it will automatically pick up the XP32 boot sector & add an entry to boot.ini on the XP32 disk. As grub passes control to the XP boot loader, this will give you triple boot menu (in 2 stages), but leaves the 2 XP installs co-dependent (specifically, if XP32 has a problem, XP64 may become unbootable). If you install XP64 with XP32 disk disconnected, you will get an independent installation, but I don't know what grub will make of 2 XP boot loaders (I have't used it in a long time). I once would have suggested www.boot-us.com - which I've been using for years (excellent boot loader). Now with proviso. If you're using just IDE drives or just SATA drives its ok. But if mixed, and SATA drives used in legacy (ie, IDE mode), it gets disk order mixed up.

I'd certainly want a full image backup of XP32 (I would anyway) before starting if you can't reinstall it.

Report •

Related Solutions

April 2, 2009 at 16:55:38
Thanks all, good suggestions,

Report •

April 2, 2009 at 17:04:39
I would suggest using GRUB. Using Windows native boot logger is dependent on the presence of all involved drives and OSes.

GRUB should allow you to add/remove drives and OSes without losing the ability to boot to any remaining drives/ OSes.

Report •

April 2, 2009 at 17:33:13
Great Suggestion. I was just considering that exact path.
Thanks again.

Report •

Ask Question