How can I install a second operating system on a second hard drive?
Question by Ian Robinson /

I have PC with Win7 64. Is it possible to run Win XP 32 on blank second hard drive?

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Answers (15)
  • Phizz_99

    What if you already have a hard drive with  windows xp installed on it. Can you install the hard drive and have 2 operating systems running easily.

  • Anonymous

    You can partition your physical HD(s) to create any (reasonable) number of logical drives, then install the OSs on respective logical drives. I have XP, Vista and Win7 all installed with the choice of OS at boot-time. I also have Ubuntu available under VMWare/Win7. This is on a 3 yr-old dual core PC with 2 GB RAM and 2 320GB HDs.

  • Chris

    I have a similar setup to that you are seeking. But I have two removable hard drive caddies installed on my machine and simply slide in the nard drive I want to use. If you want to swap data between the two drives then leave them both in and which ever one is configured as the Primary Master will boot up and the Secondary Master will just show as another drive.

  • JK III

    A somewhat related question:

    When using Unetbootin, how can I install a Linux Distro in a partition other than C? I do not want to install the distro in a USB Flash Drive, I want to install it in my Hard Drive. But when I select the option of installing in Hard Disk, the program only gives me the option of installing it in C.

    I am running Windows XP and this was tried with latest version of Unetbootin. Also, I have 2 hard drives.

    • Aibek

      Your second drive, is it recognized by Windows? Do you see it in My Computer window?

    • JK III

      Yes I see it in My Computer and it is fully functional.

    • Aibek

      I am out of ideas. I would recommend asking it to the developer directly.

      Go here:

      There is ‘Ask a question’ link in the upper right corner.

    • JK III

      If I am not able to find an answer elsewhere, I shall try that. Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      What about trying the VwWare Player. Free from VmWare. You can create multiple virtual machines and run them simultaneously as separate images. Most common OS can be installed.

      This seems to be taking over from the separate disk or USB approach. I have several Linux distros this way on my Vista Notebook. For example Google Chromium, Gentoo, …

      The performance seems great.

  • .High*Ping*Drifter.

    Another option would be to download and install “VirtualBox”, which is a Virtualization program. It creates a virtual or simulated “guest” computer inside your physical “host” computer, allowing you to install whatever operating systems you want. I use it to boot several different flavors of Linux on my Windoze XP box, as well as FreeDOS and several specialized firewall distros of Linux. Check it out:

    • Aibek

      Though it should be noted, that this virtual OS won’t perform as fast as it would if installed on a second drive as a stand-alone operating system.

    • ricky

      i;ve used virtualization on my windows 7 64 bit machine to run some xp programs  but find that    my Photoshop 7 hangs up in it or glitches and is un steady so i;m going to buy  a a 200 gb second hard drive  and install it then install windows xp on it ; right now I have a amd phenom II X 4  965 and asus cross hair IV formula motherboard  with 8 GB Ram operating system 64 bit

  • Oron Joffe

    Yes, just go ahead and install it! As part of the installation process, you will be asked to specify which drive you want to install on, at which point choose the second drive. The installer will make the necessary changes to the startup menu so that you can choose which operating system you want to boot from when you start up the machine.
    The only gotcha is that if anything should happen to the FIRST drive, you will not be able to boot up the machine from either system (since the boot loader is installed on C:). In that case, you will need to use the Windows installation disc to repair the setup.

    • Aibek

      I second 0ron, i also don’t think there is any other way to do it if you’re looking for a dual boot setup. If you have a windows repair disk then it shouldn’t be an issue, otherwsie make sure to create one before you start just in case something goes wrong.

      Also make sure to select the correct disk when choosing where to install the second operating system. I had a friend who mistakenly formatted his primary OS that way.

    • Froging

      (Aibex: Wrote: I had a friend who mistakenly formatted his primary OS that way.)

      If folks would just back their “SHYT”!!! stuff up ( Yes that Y should be an I). Then they would be enjoying life instead of looking for “Installing OS for dummies 101″ or is that 01.

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