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Installing Windows multiple times on different disks (BIOS)

Remark 1: Please make sure that you know the installation limits of all involved operating systems.

Remark 2: The disk parameters "number of heads" and "sectors per track" must not change between installation of an operating system and the later usage. The simplest solution is to configure in the BIOS all disks to have 255 heads and 63 sectors per track.

To install DOS and Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 multiple times on different disks the following procedure should be employed:

  • DOS or Windows is installed on the first disk.
  • A physical second disk must appear temporarily as the first disk. This can be achieved, for example, by deactivating temporarily the physical first disk (detach the data cable).
  • On this physical second disk (now appearing as first disk) DOS or Windows can be installed without problems.
  • The physical first disk is re-activated. Both disks are now available as before.
  • Windows on the first disk is booted (without support of Boot-US).
  • The configuration program Boot-US is started and the desired partitions on the first and second disk are included in the boot manager. Again "automatic hiding of partitions" must be activated.
  • By the boot manager Boot-US all partitions on the first and second disk can be booted. The selected partition will be made visible while the other non-selected primary partitions will be hid during the boot process.

If Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 is involved you must true hide all partitions, see Windows tip 5.  

Advanced users with complex boot setups should keep in mind that Boot-US automatically performs disk mapping when a partition on the second (or higher) boot disk is selected for booting:

  • boot disk #2 is mapped as boot disk #1
  • boot disk #1 is mapped as boot disk #2
Due to the automatic disk mapping usually none of the files listed below need to be modified. Only in seldom exceptional cases it might be necessary to modify some device IDs in files like:
  • Boot.ini in Windows
  • a configuration file of a secondary bootloader
  • etc.