Dual booting (?) Windows 95a and Windows 95b

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by y2jasmine, May 8, 2002.

  1. y2jasmine


    Hi, I'm new to this dual-booting thing so please bear with me.

    I have this sucky computer :p (Pentium 200 MHz, 32 MB Ram) and someone just gave me another computer (200 MHz, 32 MB Ram). One computer has Windows 95a, the other Windows 95b.

    Rather than have two towers sitting around my apartment I want to "combine" the hard drives of the two computers (i.e. install them both into one tower). Since I share my computer with fiance, and he and I do different things on the computer, I would like to have a option come up asking me whether I would like to boot Windows 95a or Windows 95b (i.e. dual-boot). One hard drive would then have mostly games and the other would have mostly word processing software (Office, Corel Suite, etc.)

    Is this possible? If so...how do I do it? Do I set one as the master and the other as the slave? Will it automatically ask me which one I want to boot up or do I need a program (if I need a program anyone know of a freeware one)?

    Thanks a bunch!!! :)
  2. What you probably want to do is get a good boot manager. This becomes very tricky. Here's why. The Operating System was installed on each of the hard drives when it was the 'C:" drive. When both drives are in the machine, one of them will be the "D" drive. The OS will not work properly on th e"D" drive because it was installed on the "C" drive.

    Boot manager software might be able to swap the hard drives in the BIOS table. This only works on controllers that are on the motherboard. It may not work with ATA66, 100 or 133 controllers.

    What I do on one of my machines is I have a boot manager "GRUB" installed on a floppy drive. When I insert the floppy and boot, the boot manager comes up with a menu to boot either the first or second OS. If I choose the second OS, the boot manager hides the first partition, and boots the second. The OS can not see the first hard drive.

    If I don't insert the floppy or if I choose to boot the first partition, both drives can be seen.

    I chose to install the boot manager software on a floppy so that the drives could still work independently, and without the boot manager.

    Most computers have two hard drive controllers (Primary and Secondary). Each controller (cable) can support two devices (MAster and Slave). Each of the hard drives is probably set as a master. In your computer, you are probably using the MAster and Slave on the Primary controller. IF so, just plug another IDE cable into the Secondary controller and the additional hard drive. Go into the BIOS setup when the machine boots and enable the Secondary Master to "Auto". When you reboot, you should see two drives.

    Hope this helps. Give a shout if you can't get it.

  3. hey, been there, done that on Saturday...

    simpliest thing to do, unless you like making all these computer companies rich, and wasting time, is to off load your important data to the most stable platform known to man, PAPER.

    purchase one of the $400 (no monitor) or $695 (w/ monitor or flat panel) systems and move on with your life.

    you get the latest operating system, software and capabilities, instead of engaging in these time wasting money sapping endeavours, not that they have no redeeming value, however here is where those skills aren't useful:

    1) in corporate america, replace becomes far cheaper than maintain, given the short life and expectancy of these systems
    2) no one hires based in part or solely on these archaic skill sets
    3) academic endeavours based on the knowledge of these quirks between one system to another don't even have value even in the colleges

    Its very wise of Elite Trader to have the technical forum alongside the trading forum. But if we were to cross back over to the trading forum, most of the trading software puts such heavy demands upon the operating system as to literally lock up most of these pentiums. I've seen this work on the fastest pentiums, at and above 1Ghz. I have a 700Mhz and it simply can't handle the 56Kb, 2 Level2's and the other associated facets of a direct access platform.

    So in short words, even these older systems can't be brought up to the task of trading under current conditions..

  4. limitdown,

    Thats probably good advise for a non computer geek. How quickly I forget that I am one. I think the proper terminology in this case is:

    Dudette, You're getting a Dell!



    hey, where did it go, I'm going to need that later, let me find it....

    ROF - laughing - MAO
  6. I had a similar question before on another thread, and the best idea I saw so far was a simple device that allows you to choose which hard drive to boot up when you start the computer. Here's the link:

    Trios hardrive selector


    Best of luck! :)
  7. hapaboy,

    Cool piece of equipment. But what happens when it fails? You need to buy two - one for a backup. Also, boot manager software does the same thing without the additional hardware and GRUB is free. It is the new Linux loader. It loads other OS's as well.

  8. Good points, Mike. I am no expert on this subject and defer to you....It was merely my impression from various posts that a hardware solution was the easiest and least likely to drive a non-techie insane. Is boot manager software easy to use and reliable?