Problem Solving Dual Boot System

  flecc 00:29 02 Mar 2003

I've been meaning to post this for a while, but giving it as an answer on a thread has prompted me to do it now.

There is a very sneaky and simple way to dual boot and solve several problems, but it's very unorthodox!

On the power connector to the first hard drive, cut the thick red wire and extend the two cut ends by soldering or with crimp or screw connectors. Take the two wires to the two connections on a simple on/off switch, mounting it somewhere convenient.

You can get miniature switches from Maplin which could mount in a ventilation hole at the rear of the case with little or no enlargement of the hole.

Switch off the first hard drive and install the second OS in the usual way, or copy over your existing system. Now, when the switch is made you'll boot into the first OS. Switch off before booting or when the screen blacks out when rebooting and you'll boot into the second.

With this arrangement, keep your files on the second hard drive so that they're available at all times, reserving the first hard drive space for backups.

This method is a real problem solver.

It solves the problem of adding 98 to XP.

It solves the problem of not having an XP installation CD, since the system can just be copied over. Normally a copied over XP won't boot from a hard drive configured as slave, but with this system, XP sees the second as master when the first hard drive is switched out.

It solves the problem of adding Linux and having to get and configure a Linux boot manager like Lilo.

It also solves the Invalid Boot Disk problem that plagues many users with a "lazy" hard drive. If the first hard drive boot info isn't picked up i time, the system just goes on to boot the second drive without giving that dreaded message.

I've been using this system to boot Lindows with other OS's since last November and it's proved completely troublefree and very convenient.

  zanwalk 00:36 02 Mar 2003

A little bit of lateral thinking!

  flecc 12:00 02 Mar 2003


  Steve- 16:12 02 Mar 2003

I actually did something similar accidently a year or so ago when the power lead to my Master drive went intermittent and my computer suddenly booted into Win 95 instead of 98SE, it took a bit of head scratching before realising it was booting into the scond drive which still had 95 installed.

One possible word of warning though, I recently installed a second formatted clean drive as slave on my Asus A7V8X board, because I had run out of power connectors I connected the data lead and left the power off until I could purchase a splitter, this worked OK untill booting the next morning when the computer stopped after the POST saying it had no operation system, after four or five attempts it started OK and continued OK including reboots untill being switched off overnight when it did the same again, it also indicated an MBR problem. Unplugging the data lead cleared the problem as of course did powering the drive.

  flecc 20:23 02 Mar 2003

I'd expected to suffer that problem which is why I've used it for months without posting about it. However, there's been no problems so it's definitely worth trying for the advantages it gives.

  Steve- 22:05 02 Mar 2003

I may give it a go on another M/B, I was wondering if something similar could be done by intercepting and switching the Cable Select Line on the IDS cable - not as easy, but if it worked someone might make an adapter available.

  Steve- 22:07 02 Mar 2003

Sorry, I Meant IDE cable of course!

  flecc 22:23 02 Mar 2003

Might work, but the 12 volt line switch was so easy I just went for that, as I wanted to get into the Lindows ASAP. I was working with a loaned modem and needed to get it on and software downloaded quickly.

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