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Can I have 2 HDD on one pc

By LeChti ·
I have a customer who wants to upgrade from win98, not 98se. I am suggesting the installation a new 80gb hdd (master) and install xpsp2 home edition or pro (have not decided yet which) on it and use the old one (salve) as backup for all existing data, then when everything is running well, maybe a few weeks, then as a spare hdd for regular backup.
I do not wish to use or reformat the old drive as I am not yet sure all the sofware will operate under xp.

Is this feasible or am I going to encounter difficulties accessing the data on the old hhd after installing xp in order to migrate it to the new one. 98 uses fat32 as oppose to xp ntfs.

The pc is a pentium4 2400 with 256mb ram, it should take it I hope as it was built for that.

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xp can access fat32 format

by eric.chi.king.mok In reply to Can I have 2 HDD on one p ...

As far as I know you can access fat32 format HDD in XP. I have a HDD which was formatted using fat32 and the machine is running XP Home edition. You might also want to try using the 'file and setting wizard' in XP to transfer your data across. I haven't personally tried it yet, but I've heard it's useful from other members of my family.

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will do

by rapell In reply to Can I have 2 HDD on one p ...

well. Win XP can actually access fat32
partitions. Why on earth don't you just follow
an upgrade path for your customer? usually all
the older software will be supported, but it's
the newer ones that you should be afraid of,
they sometimes don't work on older systems.
Since the new disk is quite huge, you could
install XP, create a small partition, say 2gig
on it and use imaging software to backup your
win98 there. After that do your tests without
fear or favor. in the event that something goes
missing, you can restore. Powerquest or Norton
ghost could come in handy here. Good luck.

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Free disk imaging software

by Choppit In reply to will do

For a free alternative to Drive Image or Ghost try http://www.partition-saving.com/
I've been using it for some time now for imaging and deployment of W98 systems with great success. Be aware though that NTFS is a different story altogether so I always use commercial solutions for this.

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Add Ram

by Lost_one In reply to Can I have 2 HDD on one p ...

You might want to add more RAM to the machine. I would recommend atleast 512MB of RAM for an XP machine. You might have to use the Program Compatibility Wizard for any programs that you feel will not work on XP.

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by Choppit In reply to Can I have 2 HDD on one p ...

I don't foresee any problems with doing what you propose. I'd inventory the software on the W98 drive, check XP compatability and inform the customer of your findings before going ahead. If it turns out that the apps are incompatible with XP the customer has 2 choices, stay with W98 or upgrade the apps. You could save yourself a whole load of extra work.

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The best way.

by db8abl In reply to Can I have 2 HDD on one p ...

I've upgraded OS's many times and what you describe is my preferred method. Especially when you have software that runs on WinXX but you may not have the install disks or all of the updates to run on WinNew. After you have XP installed and running on the new drive, shut down and add the old drive in. It should recognize the hardware and be fine. Then install whatever software you have and the rest you will have to go through one at a time by trying out the exe. Usually if it is missing a dll it will tell you and you can just copy it from the old Windows directory to the appropriate place in the Windows NT directory and you'll have a reasonable shot at getting it run. The worst that can happen is you have to switch master and slave and you'll have your old system back. Not a bad back-out plan. Just one caution: The first time I tried this (too many years ago) I forgot to set the old drive as a slave. At boot time, Windows tried to "fix" the strange directory structure it saw on BOTH drives. Needless to say, by the time I pulled the power cord over half of the contents of the old drive was blown. I've gotten older and maybe a little smarter since then.
Good luck.

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Thank you all

by LeChti In reply to The best way.

Thank you all for the advices. I am not worried about the software side as the customer has all the installation disks.
It is to do with the business data that I don't want to lose.

Thanks again to all.

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Good Job

by philchil In reply to Thank you all

Way to go - way too many folks out in the field forget about the important stuff

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Check software compatibility first.

by asicstri In reply to Can I have 2 HDD on one p ...

Definetely add ram, slave new drive to old system and format and partition the drive in two. Use third party software to pull the user profile with all the data/files that need to be move over. I've used Altiris (old 3.1 version) recently with no problems. Select the new drive as destination but use what will be drive and send to location. May take a while if there is a lot of stuff.

Install new drive and os then locate file you put on drive then extract to C: drive. Any problem you encounter your still safe because your not touching your old drive.

Free trial of Altiris migration software.

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by antuck In reply to Can I have 2 HDD on one p ...

You will not have any problems. Since you are going to use the new drive and install XP on that, you can put the old drive in as a slave drive. Win XP will detect the old drive as a new one to XP and assign a drive letter. You will not lose any settings on the old drive. I do this all the time when I have a drive that is infected with viruses and need to run a virus scan on a drive. After running my scans I am always able to reconnect the drive and boot up without any problems given the virus didn't damage any system files. The only problem I've had installing XP on a system with two drives and an OS already installed, was the XP drive was assigned a drive letter D instead of C. I had the XP drive set as master and the other as slave. What I do now is disconnect the second drive, install XP and then reconnect the second drive.

Also for a business I would go with Pro vs Home. Pro has more networking features and if they ever decide to go to a server (if they are not already) Home will not sign onto a domain. You would need Pro to do this. Like was also mentioned, increase RAM to at least 512MB. The more RAM the better with XP. At 256MB it will perform slowly.

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