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Two drives, Two OS's

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a traditional HDD and an 840 pro 256 SSD.

I'm thinking about installing OS on each drive - use HDD for traditional everyday use, and use the SSD as a superclean gaming/benchmarking environment (nothing but essential services running/software installed, no anti-virus, just bare minimums). And yes I have two licensed copies of Win7 x64.

There should be plenty of room on the 256, as my current rig (with everything and several games installed) is 250gig, and I'm only even using around 60% of that...

Note that I'm NOT talking about a dual-boot. I'm talking two completely separate disk drives.

What would the boot procedure look like (i.e. would I have to enter the BIOS to change the boot drive every time I wanted to boot into a different environment)? Any opinions on whether this is worth it? I just hate gaming on a "gunked up" pc that's been surfing the web, installing/uninstalling programs and utilities, registry clogged with who knows what, etc.
post #2 of 8
Why dont you install your web browser PC in a VM? I am not sure if BIOSs can be set to prompt which drive to boot from or not. It sounds like this move would be aimed towards pleasing your OCD rather than actually doing much good, unless you visit garbage sites often and have virus problems frequently. If that is the case, I would go the VM route.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
And what, precisely, is wrong with pleasing my OCD? tongue.gif

When I'm gaming but especially benchmarking, I like to know I've eliminated as many variables as possible. Just seems to make sense to me for a real "streamlined" experience.

I don't think you can make the BIOS prompt you to select a drive, but I'd have to just change the boot drive manually. My newly-purchased Maximus Hero has a function/button that boots straight to BIOS, so shouldn't take too long.
post #4 of 8
What you are describing is dual boot. Why not use GRUB or the windows bootloader? It has absolutely no effect once the machine is running, and you could still boot from one when the other drive is disconnected if you want.

But yeah, I think you'd find the VM route more convenient. Just fire it up when you want to browse or do whatever, and then shut 'er down when you are done. No muss, no fuss.
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I thought "dual-boot" more describes two operating systems on ONE physical disk (whereas I'm asking about two disks and two OSes), but I guess it's just a matter of terminology.

I'm doing some research on the boot loader concept. I think that's the way I need to go. Thanks!
post #6 of 8
You can use a boot loader but most BIOSs will let you select a drive. I have a vertex 4 and a seagate 1 TB, and my boot options are the vertex, the seagate, or windows bootloader. So you should be able to just point it at a drive without a boot loader. The bootloader becomes more necessary when using 1 drive that has been partitioned.
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckymatt View Post

I thought "dual-boot" more describes two operating systems on ONE physical disk (whereas I'm asking about two disks and two OSes), but I guess it's just a matter of terminology.

    Nope.  Dual-boot and "boot loader" are really different terms for the same thing.  As far as dual-booting goes, it doesn't matter at all whether the OSes are on separate disks, separate partitions, or even on the same partition (not recommended).  And, you can certainly have more than two OSes configured (although I'm not sure what the exact limit is).
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckymatt View Post

I'm doing some research on the boot loader concept. I think that's the way I need to go. Thanks!

    Welcome to dual-boot.  Just install your main installation of Windows on the first drive, leave it configured in the BIOS as the startup drive, and then install Windows on the other drive.  The Windows installer will automatically add the second installation to the BCD (boot-loader) on the first drive, where you'll be presented with a boot menu to select which OS (and thus, disk) to boot from. thumb.gif
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckymatt View Post

And what, precisely, is wrong with pleasing my OCD? tongue.gif

When I'm gaming but especially benchmarking, I like to know I've eliminated as many variables as possible. Just seems to make sense to me for a real "streamlined" experience.

I don't think you can make the BIOS prompt you to select a drive, but I'd have to just change the boot drive manually. My newly-purchased Maximus Hero has a function/button that boots straight to BIOS, so shouldn't take too long.

There's nothing wrong with it, I just think you are going to find at the end of the day, its not really that big of a deal. Download VMplayer, install a second OS there, and do all of your surfing/etc in that VM and gaming/benching on your main rig.
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