Booting from a secondary drive (then back to the primary)

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Help and Support' started by Ryan Newsome, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Ryan Newsome

    Ryan Newsome New Member

    Mar 12, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I have a question. One related to hard drives, multiple windows os', and BIOS.

    I wont waste time. Here's my question.
    I have save data on my old hard drive (disk) that I need to retrieve that is in the Windows7 "My documents recognized by Windows 8.1 (Windows 8.1 is on my new SSD).

    I am concerned that my plan to retrieve my data might cause an error in the bootloader if I perform this method

    1. Reboot in Windows 8.1
    2. When the computer gets to the BIOS splash screen, press F11 (boot options)
    3. Select old harddrive (disk drive with Windows 7) to boot into
    4. This will boot in Windows 7 Home Premium which is located on the disk drive
    5. Log in and go into file explorer
    6. retrieve data from documents menu
    7. copy/paste data from Disk Drive to new folder in SSD
    8. Reboot in Windows 7
    9. When the computer gets to the BIOS splash screen, press F11 (boot options)
    10. Select SSD (with Windows 8.1)
    11. Move data to documents folder

    (If computer auto reboots from SSD then skip steps 9 and 10)

    Does this plan have any flaws?
  2. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2012
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    Nope. Sounds good. But if you still plan to use Windows 7, you can just create a partition on your old hard drive as data partition. Just create subfolders inside that partition for document, photos, music, etc. This partition will be accessible on both win 7 & Win 8. You can just point your Win 7 & win 8 library folders to this common data partition so you dont have to go back and forth.

    I have Windows and Mac OS on one of my PCs and I can access my files from a data partition on both OSes. There will be no problem booting up between your 2 drives/OSes.

    Btw, I assumed that both your drives are installed together.
    #2 badrobot, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  3. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Oct 16, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I would have to wonder why the files on the secondary drive cannot be seen by Windows 8.1. I can access mine without issue.
  4. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I think it can be accessed on Win 8.1 except that the OP possibly doesn't know where to look. He is probably relying on the library folders (My Documents, Photos, etc.) on the desktop. I could have actually told him how to access without rebooting, etc. but I was just directly answering his question. Haha. Anyway, that's a valid point Saltgrass.

    The library folders are on X:\Users\"username" (X is whatever the actual driver letter of the old hard drive is)

  5. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    May 25, 2009
    Likes Received:

    As Saltgrass said, the files should be available from both operating systems.

    The files in your Libraries folders are really just links to files stored in the Users folder.
    So when you change users, they no longer show in the libraries folders.

    If you have problems finding them, just run a search for any of the files, and when you find one you should find them all.

    You will probably find that which ever OS partition you log into will appear as drive C:\ switching the drives to opposite identification letters.

    I name my drives when I have multiple OSs i.e. Windows 7 and Windows 8, it just makes it a little easier to see what you are looking at in Windows Explorer.


    Funny no matter how many spaces I put between C:\ and switching in the copy above, no space appears?

    C:\ switching (there are 5 spaces in between C:\ and switching).
    #5 MikeHawthorne, Mar 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014

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