Dual Booting Home PC/DAW.

Discussion in 'Computing' started by GavinMajesty, Jan 19, 2006.

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  1. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    Hey, i'm needing to purchase a new PC soon and the one i have my eye on is a P4 3.4ghz 2gb ram beast.

    Now, i will be using the PC for two purposes. Audio production and Home PC uses (Net, etc).

    I will have atleast 3 Harddrives in the machine.

    Can i put two windows XP's on 2 of the harddrives so i can boot my Audio Workstation which is 100% dedicated to audio which is cut off from the other harddrives and then possibly use the other two harddrives as a "Home PC" thing with all my other files, music etc etc?

    I use a laptop as well dedicated to audio production and as i'm needing a new PC and will be buying a powerful one, it'd be good to have both and use them together.

    Is what i want to do possible?
  2. Spy

    Spy Guest


    You could also have two partitions on the same hard drive and have one of the other two as a back up (or mirror, if they're the same size) to the remaining one. Or even have the other two set up as a RAID array.

    Basically, what I'm saying is there's more than one way to skin a cat (as the saying goes) and what option you choose is up to you.
  3. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    Brilliant, thanks!

    See my idea is to have the two systems totally seperate so my audio side isn't bogged down by the system processes (anti virus etc) required for a home use side of the PC.

    I like your two partitions on the same HD actually... Like have one partition for Windows XP home, one for Pro (Audio), one for programs... as one drive.

    Then one drive for audio and one drive for all the music, videos etc etc.
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Why not just simply create two profiles? That's the easiest way to do it. This way when you boot up you can choose the audio profile or the general use profile.

    This way you don't have to deal with seperate insallations!

    Opus :D
  5. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    And there we have it. The answer i should have figured out right away yet never crossed my mind.

    That makes a lot of sense, bro!
  6. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Another way? Or, the same, just "expressed" differently?

    I can run up to 3 EIDE HD's, here's what I do.

    I have "drawers" for each open EIDE position(CompUSA, $20?). "Drawer inserts" for all HD's(Same place, less coin.).

    I have a "play" HD, with OS, word-processing, printer, photo scanner, email, all my "plain" software...

    I have a second "work", OS HD. OS, audio software, limited "other" software(Utilities, mostly, like my backup software). No printer, photo scanner, etc., "installed".

    Both "have" internet and VP/firewall, but in the audio drive I turn it all off, as I "startup", unless I want to go for "updates" of some sort. Anyway, I "plug-in" either drive for what I'm doing(Must power-down first, but this is no problem.).

    I also like to have a "test drive". A drive with EITHER OS/software combination - "pre-installed", so I can add "things" I MIGHT like??? Or, maybe try a different OS, with MY "stuff"? If I like it enough(Not often), fine, I add "it" to my main drives, if not, I format the entire "test drive"(Using Drive Image - now Norton Ghost, or others) and restore to the "default" of either play or work drives for more tests. Convenient! Also, with this system, if I get in trouble, with a virus, software/hardware problem, I can just "restore". Almost ANY problem is just a bit of a time-waster, instead of death incarnate... Nice!

    My "second position", is the "data HD", Both OS drives use this data drive(Though I can/do have others.). Also, here is where I keep the "temp files" for the software that needs same(Wavelab), which "likes" to be on a seperate physical drive.

    Position 3 is, normally, where my "backup HD" goes. When not being used to backup or restore it lives on a shelf - out of the machine!

    Some of these drives could be USB/firewire, but that would be more expensive(A no-no for me!)... And, with so many drives, each can be smaller - I don't like the idea of having all my eggs in one 300 gig basket!

    Everytime I plug-in a different OS drive, I have a "different" machine! No dual-boot, no partitions, no work-stoppage. Well, when "things" go bad, I have to take the time to restore, but, this really doesn't take long.

  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001

    Great idea indeed! The only thing I would change is a better drive bay! I've had bad experiences with cheap internal bays that tend to crap out on the backboard after time due to cheap construction!

    There are some nice ones out there for about $6 more that are a little more robust and are alluminum to help keep it cool!

    I may need to do this myself for my beta testing! My DAW doesn't do basic home email and what not. That's what my laptop is for :D


  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    The thing with seperate profiles is (not entirely sure about this) that programs and drivers that are available to one profile will also be available to the other, so you may have drivers loading that you don't necessarily want to load. IE: the ethernet card/onboard chip. I'm sure there is a way to prevent certain programs from loading but it would require some diligence during installation. There are some programs however that don't give you options during installation as to which profile will be able to access the program. I think that you may be able to adjust this as administrator but I'm not sure that this will prevent the program from loading at boot.

    Personally I think it's safer to run dual boot.
  9. LividBliss

    LividBliss Guest

    Since I can't afford a 2nd PC and don't want a dual-boot, some guys from the IT department told me to use msconfig to "quiet" the system for digital recording. I have a C/D partitioned drive with the OS on C:, Apps on D: and then all files on a seperate E Drive. They said this would be a quick solution.

    For XP users: Go to Run and type msconfig.

    Go to the services tab and check "Hide all Microsoft Services"; this will make sure you don't shut off anything essential in your OS.

    Uncheck all boxes in Services & Startups that you can do without. You would leave soundcard/video card drivers on and so forth. Apply, Close msconfig, then Restart/Reboot. This means on reboot everything unchecked will not run: Virus Scans, Spyware Scans, Auto Updates, Printer Drivers, Etc.

    Once you are done recording, open msconfig and check "Normal Startup" in the General tab and then "Enable All" boxes in the Services & Startup tab. Now Apply, close msconfig, then Restart/Reboot.

    Should be back to normal after the reboot.

    Now wouldn't using "msconfig" work just as well as a Dual-Boot? or is this just a crappy substitute?
  10. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I always prefer Dual Boot. 1) Easier to get exactly what you want from each install and 2) you always have a back-up OS you can boot if one totally takes a dump on you. NTM Dual-Booting is a piece of cake IMO...

  11. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    I was tihinking about a dual boot as well but still unsure it will work the way I had it in mind. I made a backup of my clean install. Could I just "restore" that to the D:\ and have a second boot just like that? I read you have to do something to your boot.ini or so.
  12. twon

    twon Guest


    you need to let your pc know that d:\ is bootable.
    you can either modify boot.ini (inserting an entry for your second xp install, not too hard) or you can get a third party boot manager, eg. osl2000 http://www.osloader.com. it looks crappy but it does the job well with virtually no configuration necessary. btw it is free for a demo which works fully (afaik) but pops up a nag screen. it is still quite inexpensive.

  13. Why dont you want a dual boot... its so much faster and easier and in the DAW if you optimizie it for nothing but recording its improves everything about 100% i drop my latency about 20 ms doing this
  14. LividBliss

    LividBliss Guest

    Wouldn't I have to buy a 2nd OS and HD? Will both boot at the same time or do you have to reboot to switch? I would also have to disable one of my disc drives to make room wouldn't I? I honestly don't know how to set a dual boot up, but I know it costs a little cash...

    I can tell all processes to stop with MsConfig. I plan on buying/building a 2nd PC dedicated for recording down the line anyways; just going the cheaper route now to buy some other equipment first. MsConfig saves me $200+, even though it may be a generic substitute of a dual boot. That cash can go toward the new PC. For what I am doing it serves its purpose...just doing VO's using a single channel for now.
  15. no you dont need anything else from what you have. all you do is partition another space on your harddrive assuming its not completly full. and then install the same OS you have. But when you boot up it will ask which version you want to boot. There are not at the same time you must reboot to swtich the OS. which IMO isint any trouble. It is free.
  16. LividBliss

    LividBliss Guest

    My OS came pre-installed, no hard copy so I would have to buy one (unless MS would send me one free) and another Hardrive cuz they are full. If I have to reboot to switch drives its the same amount of time as MsConfig. If this setup were going to be all I would use I probably would. But, within the year I should be getting a dedicated PC (no internet, just LAN to the other PC).

    I imagine a dual boot is probably better but I confirmed the MsConfig with a couple of IT guys and they said either way would do me right. Once I'm ready to build the new system I'll buy MS Vista anyways - after its out for 6 months so they work out the major bugs. By that time I should have 4-5 HD's to swap in and out of both PC's and try the dual boot like you are saying.
  17. LividBliss

    LividBliss Guest

    I guess you could Ghost my current OS onto another HD. Then zap the original OS/Partitioned Drive back to system restore. Only thing is you would still have to eliminate all the pre-installed crap that came with it after the restore...

    Now I am getting confused on what I want...Forgive me, I am still in the learning process...
  18. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    It has been my experience that simply Ghosting an OS install to a different drive will ONLY WORK if the drive you copy to is on the same exact controller and position (master/slave if using PATA HD's). This would mean you will need removable caddies for your OS Drive.

    When I tried to Ghost my Main C: OS Install to another drive, it would not boot. I believe even IF you change the boot.ini, the OS Itself is looking for its Windows Directory on a certain drive path (EG: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS). Move this OS to multi(0)disc(1)rdisk(1)partition(0), and it will start to load the correct OS, but then it goes back to multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS to load the original Windows install of the original HD, and freezes up.

    I could not find out how to change the Windows Environmental Variables once you Ghost the image over. If you can figure out how to change the OS's variables (probably easily done with an appropriare registry change), Ghosting might work fine...

    I just do a fresh OS install for each partition (Single HD or a RAID-0 Array, with multiple partitions for each OS). Tweak each one to perfection, and then Image these ("Ghost" them) onto a removable HD for quick recovery should problems arise (usually due to un-necessary experimenting on my part :) ). If the OS has been installed on Partition 2, it must be recovered from the Partition 2 OS Image for it to work...

    Did that make any sense? Sorry. It is my Monday. :cool:
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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