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Old 02-01-2005, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Partitioning Windows XP... virtual machines?

Hey everyone,

I am above average (I think) with my computer skills, but certainly not a computer wizard. I have a fairly new Compaq computer beefed up a little bit. I use it for music recording with Sonar, video editing with Vegas, and my regular day-to-day computing. I should really have a machine for each of these but I don't.

At any rate, here's the situation... I have had some issues once I get a lot of the programs installed on the machine (particularly with Internet programs freezing up). I've reformatted and the problems were gone but came back once I got a lot of the software installed again. I think the programs are obviously starting to conflict with each other.

Here's the question... I'm wondering if I can partition my system drive (120GB) into 2 separate system drives and install Windows XP on both. After doing that would I be able to then select which drive I want upon startup? I'm thinking I would be able to then have different hardware profiles for each "system" (so the day-to-day partition isn't using my fancy audio PCI cards), and I could install different software to each "system" (so my mulitmedia partition is the only one that has all the big programs and then my day-to-day partition shouldn't run into any internet issues). Does this make any sense? I've never tried anything like this. Do you think it would work? Is it more trouble than it's worth? If it would work, would I be able to access to all of my work files regardless of the partition I'm running off from? (i.e. if I'm running from partition B will I be able to access the storage files on partician A?).

That's it... probably a simple task or question but I've never tried it before. If it is a pretty straight forward task can anyone point me to a tutorial for doing this? I'm not sure how I would go about setting up the two particians. Either way I will have to go buy XP because all I have is what came on the computer when I bought it... I can only restore the original settings. Can I just put in an XP install disc, format the drive and partition it into two pieces, install XP on partition A, and then go back when that is done and install XP on startup on partition B? How would I select which one I load from on startup?

Thanks a lot for your help and feedback! I've asked a few of my more computer literate friends but they weren't sure how it would work.

-Limelite

Details:
I'm using a Compaq S6300NX, AMD Athalon XP 2800+, 1GB Memory, ATI Radeon 9600 (AGP), Echo Darla (PCI), Echo Layla (PCI), Pioneer 8x DVD burner (+/-), Sony 52X CD burner
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Reformat it in windows setup to 2 partitions
Install Windows XP on 1 partition.
Then select the next partition and install windows
Then when you reboot a screen will come up.

Select OS:
Windows XP
Windows XP

The last windows you setup will be the first.
If you don't select one in 30 seconds the last windows you installed will automatically boot.
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am not sure if XP2 can see XP1. Haven't done this in a long time.
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Old 02-01-2005, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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TheMajor,

Do You mean you're not sure if the two partitions can see each other (if using XP), or that you're not sure it would work if I was using an older version of XP along with a newer version?

Thanks!

-Limelite
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Old 02-01-2005, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am not sure if you can see partition A while running the XP wich is installed on part B.
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do this all of the time on my computers. get Partiition magic. partition your hard drives (use pm or the XP cd). I recommend 2 30gigs(I for each OS ) and 1 60gig (storage for both OS ) .

install XP on 1Partition. install PM. open it it and select "install another OS". follow the instructions. when it is done it will boot to the empty OS partition. Reinstall xp of this partition. make sure you don't install on the hidden partition (it will look likeOS inacyive or something to that effect)as partition magic hid it so you won't cause any conflicts. you can install 2 OS and make them show at the same time, but you can easily mess up one of their settings as it will appear in windows with no restrictions. install pm again.

when you want to switch OS's open PQ boot for window in PM (or pq boot for dos) and switch to the other OS. it will reboot to the other one and hide the one you was just on

windows will let you activate both of them as you have the same hardward
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by EricB

windows will let you activate both of them as you have the same hardward
you mean I can have 2 OS's running at the same time and be able to switch them back and forth?
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by uchiha
you mean I can have 2 OS's running at the same time and be able to switch them back and forth?
yes
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You can also use hardware profiles... would definately be faster.... because you could disable the Audio and NIC while doing graphics .... etc.
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default XP - Ease and backup

I'm not sure which way to go now (partition magic or just XP). I like the idea of the partitions instead of the hardware profiles only because it will help me to keep things a little more organized and separated. It will also allow me to image my mulitmedia partition (I think) so I can reinstall if something gets corrupt down the road. If I were to image do I have to image the whole hard drive (both partitions) or can I just image a partition. If I had an image saved and my hard drive died would I have to then partition a replacement hard drive identically to make the re-image work? Thanks everyone, your feedback is really helping!

-Limelite
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