[SOLVED] Dual Booting with two C: Drives

Jan 28, 2019
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I'm preparing for the EOL of Windows 7, but I don't want to not have it because, well, I love it.

My current setup is one hard drive for the Windows 7 (and its files) and another hard drive for backing up the first hard drive on a schedule. What I want to do is buy a third hard drive (no partitions!) and install Windows 10 on it. I will also be reformatting and slimming down Windows 7 to bare necessities (including aged software which may have compatibility issues now or later on), install all updates up to January 14th, 2020, then leave it be (except where hardware is replaced, driver updates are needed, etc. -- easy enough with a partition on the third HD or a thumb drive).

I want to utilize dual boot and understand that 7 must be installed first. The other drive, with Windows 10, will become my default. My primary concern is that I would like to have both the Windows 7 drive and the Windows 10 drive recognize its own boot drive letter as C. From what I read, this shouldn't be a problem, but I want to know how I can make SURE it won't be a problem.

So my questions are:
  • Do I have to connect the drives separated to make sure that each drive installed the operating system on C?
  • Can I assign a permanent letter to the opposing OS drive after the fact for each OS (like F and not have issues arise? Or does Windows save it anyway and not assign them differently each time?
  • Will the BIOS become befuddled with two drives that have C: assigned?
Thank you for any assistance you might provide!
 
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karenjoly

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Apr 13, 2018
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Windows assigns the C to the boot drive. If there are two drives each with a bootable windows installation, the drive that you boot from is the C drive and the other is assigned a drive letter which you may change, but will often be D. Everything else being equal, it will stay D .
The default boot drive is as set by you in the bios. There is also a boot selection menu , ( here it is brought up pressing F8), which will show all bootable drives, allowing you to select the boot drive, to over ride the default boot choice. Bios will not be confused by having several bootable disks.
And yes, ensure that only the drive where the OS will be installed is attached when you install an operating system. And also ensure you use the latest install files from the windows 10 download site.
Not sure that 7 should be installed first but that will do no harm. You will have two systems to back up, perhaps consider images rather than clones.
 
Jan 28, 2019
8
0
20
Best answers
0
Windows assigns the C to the boot drive. If there are two drives each with a bootable windows installation, the drive that you boot from is the C drive and the other is assigned a drive letter which you may change, but will often be D. Everything else being equal, it will stay D .
The default boot drive is as set by you in the bios. There is also a boot selection menu , ( here it is brought up pressing F8), which will show all bootable drives, allowing you to select the boot drive, to over ride the default boot choice. Bios will not be confused by having several bootable disks.
And yes, ensure that only the drive where the OS will be installed is attached when you install an operating system. And also ensure you use the latest install files from the windows 10 download site.
Not sure that 7 should be installed first but that will do no harm. You will have two systems to back up, perhaps consider images rather than clones.
That's what I thought. I've seen other systems with two operating systems installed on one hard drive and multiple partitions, but I hadn't seen multiple operating systems on multiple hard drives. So, what you say confirms what I suspected and I thank you for it.

I actually do run a system image backup once a month and then regular backups of files every Monday. Regardless, thank you for the tip.


Also, I apologize to my moderators. Only sometime after the post did I realize that I probably should have put it in hard drive or related category. Thank you.
 
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