Tri Boot - Dual Hard Drive Question

#1
Hello.

I'm hoping someone can answer a question for me.

I have a system with two hard drives and I am setting it up to be tri-boot. XP is on one drive and Win 7 / Win 8 on the other. So far I have completed the XP and Win 7 portion.

The question is this... I thought then when using EasyBCD that when booted into whatever OS you wanted, that particular system/partition would always show as "C". I had a dual boot (XP and Win 7) system setup previously (only one drive though) and that was how that one came out. Right now the drive letter of the assigned partition is all that shows. For example, the way the system is setup is that Win 7 is "C" and XP is "D". When booted into XP, the system drive is "D" and not "C" like I remember being able to do. Is it not possible to do this anymore? If so I must be missing something and would appreciate if someone could enlighten me.

Thanks!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Vista/7/8 will install as C if you boot from the DVD, even when another Windows already exists, but XP will only install as C if it's (or it thinks it's) the only copy of Windows.
If you install XP first, you'll get all "C"s, but if you install XP after Vista/7/8 and it sees the other OS is "system", it will not use C.
You can fool it into thinking it's alone if you set the target partition "active" before you install XP, or disconnect the other HDD if XP is not sharing. That way it's not aware that the other partitions contain an OS.
Once you've installed it as D, you're stuck with it unless you acquire a 3rd party tool capable of bulk editing all of the registry entries which are dependent on the letter chosen during setup.
Just as quick to reinstall if you've not yet done any customizing.
Remember to apply this hack to XP once all of the systems are installed but before you start using them for real.
System Restore Points - Stop XP Dual Boot Delete
otherwise it will destroy all of your Vista/7/8 restore points.
 
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#3
Vista/7/8 will install as C if you boot from the DVD, even when another Windows already exists, but XP will only install as C if it's (or it thinks it's) the only copy of Windows.
If you install XP first, you'll get all "C"s, but if you install XP after Vista/7/8 and it sees the other OS is "system", it will not use C.
You can fool it into thinking it's alone if you set the target partition "active" before you install XP, or disconnect the other HDD if XP is not sharing. That way it's not aware that the other partitions contain an OS.
Once you've installed it as D, you're stuck with it unless you acquire a 3rd party tool capable of bulk editing all of the registry entries which are dependent on the letter chosen during setup.
Just as quick to reinstall if you've not yet done any customizing.
Remember to apply this hack to XP once all of the systems are installed but before you start using them for real.
System Restore Points - Stop XP Dual Boot Delete
otherwise it will destroy all of your Vista/7/8 restore points.
Still doesn't makes sense. I did install XP first but the particular partition (drive) it's on was already labled "D" from the setup process as I didn't want that drive (which only has one partition) to be the main one. I guess I'm still confused.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
If you pre-allocated all the partitions and then installed XP to a drive with only one partition but the other drive was first in the boot sequence and had an active partition, then XP will have seen a higher priority active partition and assumed that that was another OS.
I don't have access to MS XP setup code, but I assume that they make no more of a check than just the existence of the other active partition, otherwise the end-result of your configuration can't be explained.
XP definitely installs as C unless it thinks there already is one, so whatever you did led it to that conclusion.
What you need to do if you want to reinstall it as C, is ensure that it has no reason to make that assumption by installing it to the only or highest priority active partition, either by disconnecting the other HDD while you do it or by making sure that the BIOS sequence is correct for what you're trying to achieve.