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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so my current situation is that my windows install is almost 2 years old, and numerous things on my computer don't work. Ex: SLI.

So I was wondering if I could install Windows on my other drive without disrupting anything on my other partitions/drives. Here is how my HDD's are set up:

Primary drive/bootdrive
250GB 2 Partitions
1. Vista 230GB
2. Ubuntu + GRUB

Secondary drive/ Storage
1TB 3 Partitions
1. Documents 500GB
2. Programs 250Gb
3. Misc 181 GB (where I want to install windows)

Basically I want to switch the primary drive to the secondary drive, and install windows on my misc partition, all the while being able to access my primary drive to get whatever I need off it, like drivers. Can I do this?
 

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Windows installs don't work the way you are thinking.

When a MS OS installs it makes changes to the boot sector of the drive that is set as the boot drive in the bios. While you can copy (ie. tell the install program where to put them) files to any driver/partition/folder you want, the install will always make it's changes to the boot drive's first sector. During bootup, all computers copy the information from the first sector on the boot drive into memory. The BIOS than executes the boot routine from memory. What goes into memory is an executable file that loads the OS. The OS install program modifies this executable file so that it will point to the location on the hard drive where the boot loader files are located. The boot loader then loads the OS, or in the case of multiple OSs, brings up a boot menu so that you can choose which OS you want to boot.

While you can install two OSs onto two different drives (ie, unplug the old drive and install to a new drive, to prevent the OS install from modifying the old drives boot sector), that leads to all kinds of unintended consequences.

MS is smart enough to make their install programs "see" any previous OS installs. The new OS will modify the existing boot drive's boot sector/boot loader in such a way that you will get a choice of OSs to run at every boot up. The only caveat is that the existing OS has to the same release, or older, than the new OS because MS had no way to make an older OS "see" a newer OS, since the newer OS's code had not been written when the older OS was released). You can't install Vista first and then install XP.

So, yes, just go a head and install another instance of, I assume XP, you didn't say. Use the same key and online authentication will work fine too. When you boot up you'll get a menu that lets you chose which instance of XP to load.

I almost always set up a second copy of any OS I install. That way if one install gets fubarred, I still have a working computer.

You might want to look into modifying your boot.ini file after the new install, it's not required to do so, just convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alright, I'll do that tomorrow, because I love studying for OGT's! It would be nice if everything was working for once.
 
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