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I'm hoping to find a free reliable boot manager to use in conjunction with 2 SATA drives, one with XP Pro, the other with Windows 7 RC. Any recommendations out there?
I already had XP on SATA 1 and to be on the safe side I installed 7 on SATA 3. Consequence is that 7 is not seen when booting into XP. I'm reluctant to put both systems on the same disc.
Boot managers are completely different to dual boot systems.
In a dual boot system you always boot from the primary disk, which has had the MBR modified, and then select which o/s you want.
A boot manager gives you the option of selecting which drive you boot from so that neither o/s is dependant on the other.
If you Google 'boot managers' you will be offered loads of choices. My boot manager was actually on my PC when I got it I think. If I press the F8 key on boot up, instead of getting safe mode I get a boot manager. Having selected the drive I want I can then get safe mode by pressing F8 again - strange?
Your bios has a boot menu and a lot of computers show a boot menu at start by hitting Esc ,F8 or F12. There may be others but these are on three computers that I have.
Accessing and changing the boot order in the bios is obviously a pain and all modern computers seem to have a a key at start up giving you a multiple choice.
A boot manager enables you to change the boot file in Windows and lets you boot to several operating sytems or change the order etc.
I use easybcd which is free and downloadable here
Many thanks, I'll give your easybcd a try.
Pine Man - I'm reluctant to download freebies because of the undesirable passengers that some of them bring with them. I like to have them recommended!
Only last week I downloaded a free DVD burner that came complete with a trojan, a two word name and the second name I believe was travel. To get rid of it I had to use my Acronis backup.
Unfortunately, easybcd download manager is not compatible with XP. It is intended for Vista only as I understand it.
Therefore I'm still looking for a free, clean download manager for XP.
easybcd works with W7 and I changed the boot order from the default W7 to Earlier version of Windows
(that is XP)
Still think your over complicating this. I wasnt assuming you put them on the same disk. I have a similar set up. I installed XP to HD1 and then installed Vista to HD2. If both disks are connected when you you install 7 to the 2nd disk then then 7 will see and add XP to its boot menu. I also beg to differ re Easy BCD, its a great little program and is compatible with XP.
The other easy option is to hit F8 when booting and select the drive to boot from, provided the relevant boot files are there of course.
Note that every time you boot into XP it will erase all the system restore points on the 7 install.
Not something worth paying for in my opinion.
I understand the diffrence and was just trying to give the easy option.
"In a dual boot system you always boot from the primary disk, which has had the MBR modified, and then select which o/s you want."
Not strictly true, any disk can be configured as primary and the active boot disk.
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