2 Hard drives on same computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by EqtTrdr, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. dumb question but, have to ask because I cannot find the answer anywhere.

    Is it possible to have 2 hard drives each with its own operating system (windows XP) open and running at the same time on the same computer on the same monitor??

    How can you switch over from one HD to the other without enabling "boot from other HD" in BIOS??

    just clicking on "my computer" will open the other operating sytem??.. How does that work...

  2. TGregg


    Ouch. My brain hurts now, LOL.

    You can add a hard drive to a system without another operating system, if that is what you are trying to do (subject to certain hardware limitations). Else you want some dual boot system for two different OSes, but I don't think you want that.
  3. having 2 hard drives on the same computer is no problem. Switching OS the way you described cannot be done without extra software.

    You can use VMWare to handle that (NOTE: You don't need to have 2 hard drives for that)

    You would run VMWare, setup different Virtual Machines, then run the Virtual machines - each in its own window. You can have as many virtual machines running as your computer can handle and each can have a different OS in it. Keep in mind that each VM has the same basic requirements for memory and disk space as a separate computer, so you would want to have lots of memory and disk space available.

    Works great for testing. VMWare also lets you roll back changes to last saved state, copy VMs from one computer to another, setup virtual networks, etc.

  4. thanks for the info!!

    I was looking to build another trading computer intended soley for the purpose of "trading and related activities". Not to include any browsing of the internet .... as I do not wany any corruption of data or software.

    I assume its just easier to use the computer I just built and am using now to run in a network and use this comp for accessing the net and browsing...

    My question pertained to whether or not it was possible to use 2 HD's in the same computer at the same time, where one would be used for trading purposes and the other HD for internet/chat/email.....

    appreciate the replies.. :)
  5. Mvic


    what you want to then you would need access to your bios so that you could direct it to boot up off whichever disc you wanted each time you started up. There is probably a better way to do this but this is a very simple method that would aloow you to have two essentially separate PCs just by having 2 hard drives.
  6. TGregg


    Theoretically, you could make a switch for the ribbon cable (or rounded cable if you've gone all fancy) that allowed you to switch between drives. You'd keep power to both drives all the time, but the computer would only be able to see one or the other at any given time.

    Some drawbacks include not being able to copy files from one "system" to the other and having to update twice as often.

    And Heaven help ya if you bump that switch while the system is on, LOL.
  7. nkhoi

    nkhoi Moderator

    my guess is you want save the desk space, this will need 2 PC but they will be out of way somewhere on the floor instead of sitting on your desk http://www.avocent.com/web/en.nsf/Content/SwitchViewUSB2Port
  8. TGregg


    My guess is he has a fairly high end PC that he uses to trade, and would also like to put other stuff on it, apps and games. It'd be nice to keep those two seperate, one drive is strictly trading, and the other has all the other things like Word, Excel, Bill and Ted's Most Excellent Trader Accounting Package, Doom III, etc.

    And now that I think about it, I think a better switch would be through the power cables to the drives. You'd have to cut a hole in your case, but it should work (folks cut holes in their case all the time).

    Basically, you'd take the power cable from your power supply, plug it into one end of a switch (or four switches), plug one of the poles on the other side into one drive, and the other pole into the other drive. You could leave the ribbon cables all connected.

  9. Is that out now??
  10. several comments ....

    Jerry .. I had looked at the workstation4 URL that you posted .. nice, but I found it a bit expensive ...

    so I kept looking

    nkhoi --- I like the looks of the Avocent switch box and I have explored a few other similar ones, but, again, I kept looking

    and several other comments here have merit ...

    I've NOT purchased this one YET ...
    and might not, as I'm not in any hurry
    but it does appear relatively cheap and handy to have


    back to the original poster, EqtTrdr ====
    the point of "having them BOTH run at the same time" ....

    in the past *(don't do this anymore) I did it with Win98se

    used a pair of removable trays similar to this

    would boot with both HDs "turned on"
    and, after the computer would be running I could "inactivate one via the keylock" so that it was, literally "not available to the internet" ...
    I could hot toggle back and forth between the two HDs
    as was mentioned by TGregg ...
    I really caused myself some difficult times when I was not careful enough in hot toggling ...
    have to reboot in safe mode, etc ....

    have NOT tried using Win2k and WinXP that I'm operating with now ....

    what I do, instead ...
    is use the removable trays for multiple HDs on the same box ...

    I sitll have multiple computers, but all the HDs (7 or 8) are interchangeable between them via these removable tray gadgets ...
    pretty handy
    except that you stated .... <b>working at the same time </b>

    perhaps it will work with XP and 2K like it did with 98se, but I find, for now, the way I'm doing it is less troublesome
    #10     Mar 13, 2004