Windows 7 Dual boot with two hard drives


New Member
Jan 19, 2009
I have XP on one drive and 7 on the other. To change the drive I boot to I go into the Bios/Setup and move the XP or 7 drive up to the top of the boot list. Is there anyway I can get it to stop on boot up so I can pick my drive? Something like when you have two OS’s on one drive, each on there own partition?

I'm new here so hi all :D and thanks for your time...

i haven't done any dual booting w/ 2 seperate HD's with the new OS. obviously it doesn't check other drives for installations. try googling for a Windows 7 boot manager, or you might be able to edit their's to do what you want.

sorry i can't be of anymore help.

How did you go about installing the OS's? Windows 7 boot manager should have been written to the MBR and you should get a option of which Os you want to load.

In my case I have XP on it's own drive then win 7 on another, and Ubuntu on it's own partition. However Win 7 picked up my xp and added it to the boot loader on it's own from the get go.

actually it should have done this on the install, if you had left your primary drive the boot drive.

on my test system, I have XP on the primary drive and 7 on the slave, after the bios loads I have the option to boot into Windows 7 or 'previous version of windows'

In the end, it looks like this. (sans the Vista reference of course)

actually it should have done this on the install, if you had left your primary drive the boot drive.

I think that’s where I messed up. I used an old drive for my 7 install and it was a boot (basic) drive. So now what, somehow change the second drive from basic to dynamic then reload 7 on it?

Go ahead and format the drive you have windows 7 on to a ntfs file system and unplugg it. Then make your XP HDD your primary boot device in your bios.

Use your XP install disc to repair the MBR (or maybe you don't have to. Just unplug the drive with win 7 and make your XP primary boot. If it boots to XP then you don't have to do this step)

Boot with the XP installation CD.

When prompted, press R to repair a Windows XP installation.

If repairing a host with multiple operating systems, select the appropriate one (XP) from the menu. If you have only one operating system, enter 1 to select it.

Enter the administrator password if prompted.
To fix the MBR, use the following command:
Type y and ENTER to fix the MBR.
then type exit

Reboot and make sure you can boot to XP.

If you can then plug the second drive back in and load windows 7 on it. Leave your bios settings alone, use this as secondary drive. Win 7 should write the bootloader during install.

i just assumed it didn't check other drives on installations (because it wasn't giving you the option), i've never tried it myself. sorry about that.

Dual Boot

A lot of crap posted here.
To change boot order right click MY Computer ,go to the Advanced tab at the bottom section Startup & Recovery you will see System startup ,click on , you have your choices .
Forget the Bios .

@ deejay I don't think you understood the original post. In order for him not to have to choose "any boot order period", he should fix his MBR then re-install windows 7. Windows 7 will give you the boot manager automatically.

@mightymilk, when you install windows 7 be sure to choose the "custom setup" options. This will list your available partitions.


Thanks guys, I think I got it........:)

That did it Sick, thanks again....:)

Hi I read the replies above and don't understand what went wrong for me.

I had XP installed on Disc A.

I then installed Win 7 on disc B.

Windows 7 now loads by default without asking me to choose OS....? In the startup and recorvery there is no XP in the boot dropdown list.

Did I do something wrong?

I think my BIOS is looking to disc B with Win 7 on it first, is that wrong? Do I need to point the BIOS back at disc A with XP then reinstall 7 again?

Kind of the same question but:
Disk 0 (500gb) Win XP (mbr)
Win 7 RC 7100

Disk 1 (500gb) Win 7 Ver 7068 x64
Win 7 Ver 7022 x32

I want to get rid of XP totally and reinstall the new RC on disk 0, so I dont loose my file on ver 7068, right now.

I'm pretty sure I can just do a new install (not upgrade) over the XP and old RC and that it will make a new mbr, so I will end up with a 500gb RC disk 0, but, will it pick up my other drive (drive 1),if I leave it plugged in during this install process. so I can transfer files later to disk 0? That way I wont need to resize or anything. Both drives are SATA, if that makes a difference



One thing more when you are installing one of the OS on one HDD make sure the other HDD is plugged in otherwise you will not get a MBR record of the OS on the second drive.

A while ago I installed Windows 7 on one of my computers, the setup I had was I had XP on one HDD, and W7 on another HDD. But when I tried to just boot with just my XP HDD it wouldn't boot, and vixe versa, and because of that I had to re-install xp. Since then I have not done it again fearing that it will screw up my new computer which has Vista on it. But I have had another case on my laptop when I installed W7 on another partition on my HDD and when I formatted that partition my computer continued thinking I was trying to duel boot. What I have been thinking then is that when W7 installs, fragments of it go onto other HDD or partitions. Is this true? Or can someone explain to me why this has happened?