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  1. #1
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    Computer Question...
    Sorry, don't know where to put this one.

    Anyway, I've got an issue with a class I'm taking, and I'm hoping some of you might be able to help me with this.

    Does anyone here dual boot their PCs? I've got XP Media Center edition, and I need to install Server 2003. I've installed OS's plenty of times before, I've just never dual booted.

    I have a store bought PC and the data is on a restore disc which I'm not sure if it would function in a typical manner like a standard Windows CD (can I get the cabs off of it?), and I also have a partition with the backup data on it. Basically, I don't want to format my primary partition or the second one, but I want to set up a third partition to install server on. How can I go about this, and can I create the partition in Windows or do I need to boot to a dos prompt and go with fdisk? I haven't installed an OS in a while, and I definitely haven't installed two at once.

    Thanks for any help anyone can offer. I have to do this on two PC's (no, putting one version on one PC and one on the other won't cut it ) and I don't want to get too far behind in class while waiting to use Server 2003 (that's what the class covers).

    Thanks again.

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    well you need a 2nd partition, i would just buy a new hard drive. plug that in install win2k3 on it.

    after win2k3 installs (provided you installed it on your E drive for example) when you reboot it will give you a 30 second screen and ask what you want to boot into

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the reply. I was hoping to not have to buy another drive. Also, I have to do it on two computers, thus I would need two more drives. I do have a sata drive laying around, but I don't know how to install the drivers other than when installing Windows, so could I still put a second partition on that? I'm sure I could... but still I want to avoid that route if at all possible. I don't mind formatting the first drive (last resort), as I am about due for it anyway, but I would need to get around the fact that I have a restore cd for each of the computers, different restore cds for each at that. If I knew how to get the cab files or something, then I could just format and partition with fdisk?
    I forgot what I was doing.

  4. #4
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    SATA you put the drivers on a floppy and during the install of Win2k3 watch for the hit a button to load additional drives.

    you can divide up your current hard drive but you would have to back up all your data format the drive and create partitions. and reinstall both operating systems.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I had a dual boot on my PC that I don't use much anymore since I now use a laptop. I bought Partition Magic and used that to create a new partition which gave me a new drive letter. I then installed the new OS on that partition.

    Partition Magic can create new partitions without having to repartition the entire drive. But, I installed the second OS from a Windows disk and not a restore disc. I'm not sure if the restore disc will partition/format back to the original setup or not.
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  6. #6
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    Another option might be to install the 2nd drive, and then go into your BIOS setup and switch off the original drive and set it to boot from the 2nd one.

    Then you can install Server 2003 as a frsh install on that drive and play with it without putting your other data on the disabled hard drive in danger.

    Then switch between OS's by going into BIOS and picking which HDD you want to use.

  7. #7
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    I couldn't glean from your post if you actually have to do it the way that you specified (i.e. dual boot etc.). If you're just wanting to load up the Server O3 on your system so you can play around with it and use it to go hand-in-hand with your lessons, then perhaps something like Microsoft's Virtual PC might be easier?

    Vege...

  8. #8

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    Hardware geek has the best advice. I wouldn't partition it using Partition magic but just pick up an inexpensive 250GB or something and do a dual boot with that.

    I also use removable "racks" that hold hard drives that while I was testing around with Vista on our machines I would just install Vista entirely on it's own in a hard drive placed in a removable hard drive rack. I do it with a few linux installs as well.

  9. #9
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    Thank you everyone for the replies!

    Well, where to begin... I don't actually have to install the program any certain way. I'm actually just using a 180 trial version of server to get through this class. If I have to spend more money on it all later, I guess I have to, but I was trying to go a cheaper route for now. I have realized that I do have a couple of drives laying around. I have the one SATA drive that I mentioned before, and an IDE drive as well. Since I have two, I might just put one in each of the PCs and go from there. I have two computers, two extra hard drives, and two copies of the trial cds for Server 2003.

    Partition Magic... I don't really want to spend 70 bucks (although I did see a site selling it for around 15... kinda odd?) or 38 at the academic superstore and have to wait to get it. I want to do this project this weekend as cheaply as possible. Although, that looks like it would make things easier.

    Microsoft Virtual PC... that looks promising and someone recommended it to me at school the other day.... and it looks free? Any big risks or downsides? I think I'm going to read up on that more.

    Thank you again everyone. Any thoughts at this point?
    I forgot what I was doing.

  10. #10
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    Problem solved!!!

    Thank you everyone, and thank you Vegemite. I guess I should have worded it better. I didn't have to dual boot necessarily, I just needed to be able to run Windows Server for my lessons for class. Virtual PC seems to do the job great, and it was free.

    Thanks again!
    I forgot what I was doing.

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