Partitioning Windows XP... virtual machines?
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.
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