Boot sequence - 2 SATA drives

Had XP on one HDD.
Installed a second drive. Installing Win7 from DVD. pointed it to a new partition on the new drive. Files extracted and installed. Got to the choosing the language step, may have been something after that. ? So on around the 2nd or 3rd reboot, it started from the XP drive.

What is the ideal way to switch the boot order? Perhaps switch the SATA positions on the M/B? I don't really want to hide the old drive in the BIOS - still want it accessible.

I'll probably google what to do, but thought I'd share in case someone has an ideal method.

I will want to swap the boot sequence back and forth for a few days, until I get Win7 how I want it.

geek_r.g.nixon, Apr 18, 8:32 pm

you can normally reorder the hdds in the boot device selection in the bios iirc using +/- or F5/F6(?)

geek_king1, Apr 18, 8:45 pm

Simplest way would of been to unplug the old Xp drive while you did the 7 install on the new drive. Then once you had 7 installed re-plug the Xp drive and with 2 completely independent Windows installs you'd dual boot using your bios boot menu, not Windows boot manager. And the Xp drive will still be visible as a data drive when booted into 7.

geek_ross1970, Apr 18, 8:49 pm

Hmm, was wondering if Windows 7 would leave the XP drive untouched. I didn't choose 'upgrade' option. Maybe I'll just do what you suggested. Thanks ross1970

geek_r.g.nixon, Apr 18, 8:54 pm

wouldn't the win 7 set it up as a dual boot

geek_king1, Apr 18, 9:12 pm



No, What happens with installing Vista or 7 with Xp already on the pc is the 7 install checks for any existing install and if Xp exists the 7 install will actually place bootmgr and the bcd on that Xp partition with the original ntldr/boot.ini added as a boot option in the bcd. ( The bootsector on the Xp drive also gets overwritten with the 7 bootsector code so that the pc can boot into bootmgr/bcd , (still on the Xp drive) and if you select Xp from the boot options it then chain loads into ntldr/boot.ini to load Xp )

geek_ross1970, Apr 18, 9:19 pm



Yeah but the bootmgr /bcd for 7 gets placed on the Xp partition, so delete that and you can't access your 7 install without replacing bootmgr and bcd again on the 7 drive.

geek_ross1970, Apr 18, 9:22 pm

And on the other hand, if you didn't want the 7 install and wanted your Xp back the way it was ( deleted the bootmgr and bcd from the Xp partition ) then Xp won't boot until you rewrite the bootsector back to the original Xp bootsector that looks for ntldr/boot.ini. As during the 7 install it was overwritten with one that only looks for bootmgr/bcd to allow dualboot ( with Xp added as a boot option in the bcd ). So you'd have to "bootsect.exe /nt52. ( nt52 for Xp, nt60 for Vista/7 )

geek_ross1970, Apr 18, 9:37 pm

And then there's needing to know where shit is relevant to each os so you can set the appropriate partition as active when fixing/changing stuff. ( assuming mbr setup )

geek_ross1970, Apr 18, 9:52 pm


This is what I've always done. Seemed to always pan out OK.
I've had that issue in the past when boot orders messed up and find the machine boots to the other drive on occasion, so I've just unplugged the other drive while doing the install.

geek_neoslowmo, Apr 18, 11:58 pm

huh i have xp winblows 7 crap and linux all boot of the same drive and i had 2 drives and the os spread ove the 2 . oledest os installs first then win 7 makes it a dual boot where you arrow down to select the older os to boot .
i have to go from the linux boot screen to the win one and there choose what winblows. The only diference is for all this i use of course grub bootloader from linux.

geek_intrade, Feb 7, 8:56 pm

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