How-to Dual Boot Windows and Linux on a System with both Sata and IDE Drives

Date: 9/10/05


Scenario 1: You have a system with IDE and sata drives installed and want to dual boot Windows and Linux.

Scenario 2: You want a sata system only with Windows and Linux

System Specifications


Introduction (Scenario 1):

On my system, I already had Windows XP installed on my primary master drive, with various distros of Linux on each drive on the system. I decided that I wanted Windows XP on the sata drive and also multiboot to each distro.

I have a full installation cd of Windows XP Corporate Edition with does not have native drivers for my Silicone sata chipset built in.

For this method, do not remove your ide drives from the system.

Utilities Needed:

Installation of XP on the sata Drive:

I downloaded the Silicone sata drivers from the Asus site to a fat32 partition on my ide drive. You can just copy the inf and sys files to the root of the floppy disk to use during the XP installation, to allow XP to load the drivers at the setup screen.

1. Load the windows XP cdrom disk in your cdrom drive.

2. Boot your system

3. At the initial setup screen, you will see a prompt on the bottom of the screen to load additional drivers. Press F6 and follow the instructions. Choose "s" to load the drivers from the floppy diskette. Make sure that the driver diskette is in your floppy drive. 

4. When the XP setup lists the driver(s) on the disk, pick the appropriate driver and allow the installation to proceed.

5. At the partitioning screen, choose your sata drive from the list. Mine was clearly labeled as disk 2.

6. You have some options here. Windows will give you the option to leave the current filesystem intact, or format the partition as NTFS or fat. I chose to format the drive at NTFS, as I already had a fat32 filesystem, but had files on the partition that I did not need.

7. Allow the formatting to proceed and the initial installation to take place.  After the initial files are installed, Windows will reboot. You will get the Windows boot screen with your new installation labeled as the first choice. Choose the first option and allow the installation to continue.

***Realize that the Windows installation will over-write your MBR with the new settings, modifying your boot.ini file. This is fine, as you can recover your old grub file later on, if grub is installed on the MBR, as mine was.

You now have two versions of Windows XP on your system, one on the primary master ide drive, and one on your sata drive. This is useful, as you can look at your boot.ini file later on to orient yourself to where the boot.ini file is looking for both your Windows installations.

Hint: Windows XP has a nice feature that transfers your driver setting and document files, if you want, to your new XP installation. Boot back into your old Windows installation and choose Start-->All Programs--> Accessories-->System Tools--> Files and Settings Transfer Wizard. Click on the check box that saves your current settings (old computer). Save your settings, as you wish, to a convenient place on your hard drive, preferably a shared drive. This way you can point to this directory to retrieve your old settings and files when booted into your new installation.

Page 2: Recovering your Linux installations