2 hard drives, 2 users

By s_q_u_i_r_k ·
Ok, My sisters pc blows chunks... mine is teh rox. ok enough internet ebonics... anyway, I took her hard drive out of her pc and put it in mine. That way she can use a pc that doesn't suck. Here's my issue, how can I set it up so that when she logs in it gives her the same profile/settings she had on her pc?

Preferably also limiting her from accessing my HD. It's gotta be possible, it's a freakin computer ya know...

only thoughts I have come up with are: creating a batch file that asks up start up which login will be used or automatically chooses according to login which hard drive to boot from allowing her to use her stuff unchanged and me as well..

I don't know how to go about making this batch file... and the other thing is, that with her HD in my pc her hard drive is now F instead of C therefore preventing shortcuts from pointing to the right place. I'm sure im not the first person to wanna do this kind of thing so there has to be a way to do it... I can't even figure out where to begin looking for such a method though, so I came here.

Please help if you can and (not to be rude) if you can't help, please don't post/flame on how stupid you may think this is thanks.

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All Answers

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Hot Swap Bay

by TheChas In reply to 2 hard drives, 2 users

The easiest way to go about this is to install a drive bay in your computer and have separate trays for each user.

That way, either of you can lock your drive and keep anyone from seeing your files.


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Hardware solution

by ozi Eagle In reply to 2 hard drives, 2 users


I had the same issue with my wife and kids.
I installed a relay ( 4 DPDT 12V coil - "cradle relay), that changes the jumper settings so that when the wife turns on it sets her drive as master and the kids as slave, and vice versa.
The default turn on is the kid's, my wife needs to push and hold a button whilst she powers on the computer.
The button actuates the relay, which then latches. Works great.


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thanx but..

by s_q_u_i_r_k In reply to Hardware solution

after experimenting with switchin the hard drives around.. for some reason my sisters HD wont boot up... when I use my HD I can access all the files on her HD but of course since its not C the programs don't work properly... I tried changing the boot order to see if we could jus do that each time but no good...

We both have XP Home and her HD boots fine on her pc... any ideas on why it wouldn't boot up her HD?

Before I can try any of these suggestions I need to get to the bottom of this new problem... any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Try a boot manager

by GhostBrowser In reply to thanx but..

This is a good one
Each os can have a startup password

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HD Jumpers

by DownRightTired In reply to thanx but..

How are the jumpers set on her harddrive? The point I think the previous poster was making is that in a pc you must have a master harddrive which is the harddrive containing your MBR and os. A harddrive identifies itself as either a master or slave by the position of the jumper. You wouldnt be able to boot from a drive set as a slave even if it was the only harddrive installed. this is the reason for the answer provided by ozi (never heard of this solution but good idea).
If you wanted to do the whole changing the boot order thing (not sure if this will work) i would try and set the jumpers on both to primary then go to bios and disable the one you wont be using as two harddrives with primary jumpers will cause a problem also.

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by s_q_u_i_r_k In reply to HD Jumpers

I took the HD out of her computer where it boots normally.. did you read that part? Why would it be boot up normally in her pc and set up as a slave? It's not a slave drive and should boot normally when its the only drivein my pc unless I'm missing something.

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by s_q_u_i_r_k In reply to what?

Both jumpers were set at cable select, but that only works properly with 28 pin, my cable is 40 pin, which means it would default itself to master, which would explain why there wasa problem even when my HD was on the "slave" portion of the cable.. However, it doesn't explain why it wouldn't boot when it was in my pc by itself. With cable select setting on the jumper it would make itself master, so when I had her HD in my pc by itself it should have booted normally right? But all I get is a blinking cursor about an inch below top left corner..

All that aside.. there's got to be a way that we can have our cake and eat it too. Her pc is slower than dirt, so I thought I'd find a way to make things better for both of us. Saving space by having both hard drives in one pc and being able to boot from either HD so we each have our own settings should work somehow.. I can't be the first person to have thought of this.

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agree on swapbay

by DownRightTired In reply to ...

had these on the computers when i was in school, they were great. Install the drive bay then put your harddrives in an enclosure that you can swap out. Not sure about your problem w/ booting from the drive by itself, diff MOBO and HD combos will yield diff results in my experience. Id at least try setting pin to master when by itself maybe try a diff cable, if your not using the slave portion anyway try running a straight cable to it.

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Cable select

by GhostBrowser In reply to ...

Is supported on 40 way cables
But you have to have the right cable
Also on some cables the slave is the drive on the end
The blinking cursor is most likely that its waiting for the drive which is not there
A boot manager can change the order of the drives

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by s_q_u_i_r_k In reply to Cable select

waiting for the drive that isnt there?? the drives are there... 2 of em.. and cable select is only supported by special 40 pin cables.. so like I said 40 pin cables dont support cable select...

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