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I am sure I used to be able to hardware dual boot my PC but I don't seem able to any more.

By hardware dual boot I mean I have a removable drive caddy in which I have a 40Gb ATA drive set as master, fixed in my system I have a 160GB drive set as slave. In principle (and this used to work I thought) when I unlock my removable (essentially cutting its power), for the cost of a slight delay, the system will boot off the slave ... that definitely works. When I relock the drive (restoring power) the system will power up and boot off the master ... that works too but there's a problem.

My problem seems to reside in the BIOS (which is why I wonder if some kind of standard Award BIOS “upgrade” is responsible) where I can (must) set the order of booting. So I set it to my standard Floppy --> CD --> Hard Disk and then set the boot order to my removable master (Seagate) followed by my fixed slave (Maxtor) and that's fine too. If I then unlock my master drive and boot from the slave the BIOS loses the Seagate Removable and when it puts it back (next time I lock the removable in place) the removable is second in boot order where I don't want it.

In other words yes it works but I have to revisit the BIOS each time I want to use the removable drive as my boot disk.

I know I could use a software boot loader solution but I am really not keen on those mainly because I use my removable disk as a test system and I REALLY don't want those mucking about with my stable system or the partition of the drive it is on i.e. the reason I opt for hardware boot is as a means of protecting my stable system from the ravages of OS installations.

Any ideas would be helpful.
 

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I think you will run into a HORD of bees if you keep unpluging and hot plugging drives with Win XP / thats why microsoft has the disconnect USB device in the task bar (USB removable drive enclosure???)

I am assuming that back when your old method worked you were using either Win 98 or Win ME

I think you would be better served changing your boot order each time you wish to change from the bios / you very stable system isnt going to be stable if you keep hot swapping and unplugging drives / I can smell a corupt bios or MBR coming your way from the results of such an approach.

As far as a multi boot loader / I agree with you on the reason why you avoid them / however the regular dual boot system as suggested by microsoft is VERY stable / but does require two sperate partitions ?????

regards

joe
 

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Hi Linderman,

Someone else assumed that ... no, I switch the PC off between and enable or disable the drive at that juncture and no, I haven't used any 9.x variant seriously for more than 2 years but it shouldn't matter because this is quite evidently a hardware issue.

You may be right about needing to use the BIOS each time except for a few things ... it used to work with this board (my test system based around a Gigabyte 8KNXP with Award BIOS), it works on my main system (based around an Asus P4C800-E Deluxe with Phoenix BIOS) booting alternate Windows XP and Windows 2003 and it still works on my oldest daughters system which (based around an Asus P4B-E system with Award BIOS) booting alternate Windows XP and Windows Me.

In fact booting her system reveals an award BIOS different from my own in that it has only one definition series for boot order ... my Award system has that but additionally has the ability to order to various hard drives as a separate option.

Where would I get this MS bootloader and, more to the point, has MS finally gone Linux friendly ... I ask that because though I am Windows techy through and through I do like to play with various *NIX offerings.

Terrister: Thanks for that, I invested in three removable hard disc caddies about a year ago because I knew they worked ... and they did ... until recently.

Vamp
 

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With Microsoft Os's all you have to do is install the oldest OS on a partition that doesnt have an OS / then load the newest version (OS) on another partition within the same drive / each time you boot it will give you an option to select which OS you want / if you dont select within 30 seconds it will auto load the newest version

example

load win 2000 first
load win xp second


when it boots it will ask which OS you want to boot from / if you dont choose then it will auto load win XP

regards

joe

I would stick with the bios changes if you dont like the option above that I just outlined / those are the two most stable options

BOOTITNG has a multi boot on the same partition method / but that entering the realm of becoming dependant on software or atleast at the mercy of a 3rd party software glitch
http://terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html

regards

joe
 
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