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Would this work ?

I install win xp sp2, drivers, applications ... the works, on C (only partition at that time).

After that I make a disc image on external drive.

After that I repartition the disc, split it in two. And then put that image on D partition. Can I encounter any problems in the process ?


I need two xp configurations, one stable and one for testing some very unstable (in-house) software. But I want to save some time configuring the system.


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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Normally, you would rebuild the boot.ini file using the bootcfg /rebuild command from the command prompt, in order to have access to both instances of Windows XP from the boot menu.

As you want to run both instances from the same disk, to appear as "C:", you might run into problems using the above command. Maybe not, in which case the above command is all you need to do!

If you do have problems with this, I would manually edit the boot.ini file on your first (master) installation of Windows XP to something like this:


The important difference is the partition number. See the Microsoft KB article called BOOT.INI and ARC Path Naming Conventions and Usage for some background info on this.

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This is only in answer to your original question. I still agree with and +1 heavyd's suggestion of using a virtual machine instead. – Kez Mar 3 '10 at 20:15

Have you considered using a virtual machine instead of two installs? Virtual machines allow you to take snapshots of the drive so you can roll back to a known configuration at the click of a button.

Virtualization has been covered extensively here on Super User:

...and many more.

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+1 I was just typing that... I was also going to add that you could convert your already working live XP system into a virtual image using VMware vCenter Converter: – Kez Mar 3 '10 at 19:41
+1 VM would be a great way to go. Make many copies if needed. Just be aware of potential license issues. – Dave M Mar 3 '10 at 20:11

How about using a virtual machine instead? There's an app by Sysinternals that will convert your current setup in to a virtual drive. You can do what ever you like with the current set up, and always go back to a copy of the drive


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No, I've hadn't had much exp. with v-machines. Will I be able to copy that configuration (in the v-machine) without problems to other computers ? – Rook Mar 3 '10 at 19:42
Unfortunately I haven't done this myself. I suspect you could install a drive imaging tool (such as driveImage xml) in to the VM. Then get the imaging app to write files to a shared drive that the host machine can also access. Then images drives from there. – Ak. Mar 3 '10 at 20:24

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