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I've two Caviar Black drives on SATA0 and SATA1, with Windows XP on the former which is the boot (system) drive.

I plan to put an Intel X-25M SSD on SATA0, and the Caviar Blacks on SATA1 and SATA2. I'll then do a clean install of Windows XP on the Intel SSD.

Before doing the clean install, a partition on the Intel SSD will have been created using a Windows 7 install disc for correct SSD partition alignment.

The objecive is to be able to switch between booting (into Windows XP) with either (i) the SSD on SATA0, and (ii) the Caviar Black on SATA1 by selecting the boot drive in the BIOS boot order menu.

However, after reading about bootloaders (first- and second-stage), MBR and related info, I'm not quite sure whether my objective is achievable and how to go about it.

I use EasyBCD on a notebook so as to dual-boot Windows 7 and XP. Could EasyBCD help in this dual-drive setup?

A large number of programs are installed on the current Caviar Black Windows XP boot drive, but I'd like to have a minimalist Windows XP on the new SSD with only a few programs. This is the reason for switching between the two drives.

If anyone has done anything similar previously or has first-hand related experience, I'd much appreciate his/her pointers to achieve the dual-boot drive setup described above.

Thanks in advance!

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As far as I can tell quickly, you have a couple of options.

To get you to your objective - Disconnect all hard drives and only connect the one that you want to install to and do the installation. Repeat as many times as needed.

Each drive will be successfully set up and partitioned correctly. You should then be able to simply change active installation by the BIOS or just tapping F12 (Or whatever the one time boot menu is on your machine).

However, What you want to do should not be a problem at all for the standard Windows boot loader. You can install in any order you want and then just use the built in tool BCDEDIT, or EasyBCD (which does make it easier!) to tidy up the entries.

Lastly, I should just say, if you have budgets for a SSD, you probably have a good computer - I would recommend just using Windows 7 and taking a look at virtualisation for running legacy programs.

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