System and Active Partitions

  Tabvla 17:31 02 Jun 2006

Environment : Windows XP Pro SP2 with 2 disks

Question 1
On a Windows XP system is it possible to have a "System" partition (with an OS) on Disk_1 and an "Active" partition (with an OS) on Disk_2?

Question 2
If you add an appropriate entry in the boot.ini file on Disk_1 can you then decide which OS to boot into at startup? (either Disk_1 or Disk_2)

Question 3
On startup could you interrupt the boot (press F11) and select Disk_2 as the boot disk (assuming that Disk_2 had an appropriate boot file)

Under Windows 2000 you could not do this because under W2K a system could only have 1 partition marked as "Active" per computer.

Under XP Pro I read in the Disk Management Help Files that ".... a disk can only have one Active partition.... but you can have multiple disks and each can have an Active partition...."

So from the above it seems as if this has changed between W2K and XP. Is my understanding correct?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:52 02 Jun 2006

1. yes

2. / 3. use a program like boot magic to set a a start menu to decide which drive to boot from.

If you install an old opsystem (98 me 2k )first then XP to the 2nd drive XP does the boot menu for you.

  Tabvla 18:11 02 Jun 2006

Thanks for the feedback.

The problem with Boot Magic (which I have as part of PM) is that it requires a little FAT partition at the start of the disk.

If you did not install BM upfront it means moving the "System" partition so that the BM FAT partition can be postitioned correctly.

Not something I really want to do. Just the kind of thing that could go horribly wrong :{

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