Making second HD bootable - but how?

  FreddyNoFriends 22:53 27 May 2006

I recently installed a second Maxtor 300Gb SATA HD into my machine, which is identical (right down to the model number) to the first.
I've formatted the new drive with MaxBlast software so it's working fine as a secondary storage device, but I really want to make it bootable so that in the event my C drive fails, I'll be able to boot from the second HD.

The only way I can see how to do this is to clone the complete contents of my C drive onto the new HD - which I dont want to do as we're talking about 150Gb of stuff.
Is there a way of making the new HD bootable without cloning, so I can simply pick and choose what I put on it?

I'm running WinXP with SP2.


  johnnyrocker 23:53 27 May 2006

AFAIK if push comes to shove you would need to set new drive as master in the event of original disk failure, but in order to use it in that manner it would need the os on it already so it can boot up?


  DieSse 00:06 28 May 2006

The easiest way is to clone it - then delete anything you don't want on it.

But why wouldn't you want a complete backup in the event of failure of the first drive?

  terryf 01:42 28 May 2006

I suggest that you only have os and progs on your c drive, put all data into folders on d drive like e.g dossier (to include worddocs, text, pdf, etc) pics, music, downloads etc. You will then have only about 20gb on c drive, back up this as an image using acronis to ext drive. Back up all your data on d to ext drive,either as image or as copies. Then you can get new c drive in case of failure and use image to replace os and progs on C drive. I have just done this, it was painless and I only had to update virus defs, os updates etc since backup.

  FreddyNoFriends 03:11 28 May 2006

Thanks for the replies. I think I'll simply clone the whole thing - it would seem to be the easiest option and the one most likely to ensure my dtat is still there in the event of a HD failure.
My only question is how do I determine which drive I boot from in future? Is it as simple as selecting the boot drive from the BIOS or will I need to specify the one to boot from each time I switch on the computer?

  terryf 20:56 28 May 2006

As I understand it the bios can only be set to boot from either 1 hd or cd or floppy, from what I understand you cannot select boot from specific hd. If you have both drives identical, how is the bios to know which HD to boot from, your suggestion to clone both is I think impractical. If you do as you say and clone both drives the data is only going to be updated on a day to day basis on 1 of them when you 'save' or 'save to'. Instead of cloning, think backing up or look at some raid alternatives which you will need to investigate by googling click here

  Ray5776 21:16 28 May 2006

Clone the disk for backup.
Disable one of the drives in BIOS then it can only boot from your preference.

  DieSse 21:26 28 May 2006

Are you planning to use the drive for more than just a clone/backup of your primary drive.

Whilst cloning a drive makes for a quick "get-you-up-and-running" again, hard drives really don't fail that often (In many, many years with PCs, I've never actually had one fail on me! - tempting fate there).

I image my drive onto a much smaller removeable drive (using Acronis) - and the image can be updated easily and very quickly - unlike a clone. If me drive fails, I can quickly slot in a new one, restore the image, and be up and running in as long as it takes to get a new drive - say 24hrs max. This is a more practcable way for a home user of coping, in the unlikely event of a drive failure.

  terryf 21:47 28 May 2006

I agree with DieSse, I just had a drive begin to fail, bought new one (different size but faster) and using acronis and partition manager was up and running very quickly

  FreddyNoFriends 23:29 28 May 2006

Hmm - think I'll clone AND then use back-up. Cant lose then!
Thanks everyone.

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