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I have two logical HDD partitions with Windows XP installed on them. First (old and "main") copy is WinXP x86 SP3 and second is WinXP x64 SP2. Currently I want to completely remove HDD drive with first copy of WinXP. But it looks like it is impossible to run Windows from secondary partition directly (because there is not boot.* files, ntldr etc.) So my question: is it possible to make my secondary windows copy "main" and directly bootable without first copy ?

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migrated from serverfault.com Apr 16 '12 at 21:03

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Do you have two HDDs, or one HDD with two logical partitions? Your question makes this unclear. –  Ben Voigt Apr 16 '12 at 21:21
    
@BenVoigt Yes. I have first windows installed in main partition of first HDD, while second Windows installed in extended partition of second HDD. –  Epsiloncool Apr 16 '12 at 21:53

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If you really wanted to run the 64 bit XP. As per the previous answer, you would need to boot up with the XP 64bit OS CD, get to the recovery console and run the Fix MBR command along with Fix Boot. However I have used XP 64 and it is a very unstable OS and I would not recommend using it as the main OS for your machine. You would be better off your go to your local computer store buy a new HDD and at that time buy the OEM version of Windows 7 64 bit, that is to be sold with a new PC or when an HDD is purchased. This will make you life a lot easier. I ran the 64 bit XP for a few months and I got many BSODs on my PC. I even ran it with the newest drivers for XP 64 bit. Yet Windows 7 64 bit ran fine on the same machine.

If you really want XP 64 for testing then I would recommend creating a VM of it once you get Win 7 64 on your host box.

I hope this was helpful to you and good luck.

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Thank you, I will try to do it immediately (fix MBR & fix Boot). Regarding moving to win7, I have planned to go to a new hard drive with win7, but, unfortunately, right now I need a quick and cheap solution to recover an old system. –  Epsiloncool Apr 16 '12 at 22:14

You can make the second partition "PRIMARY" and the Logical Drive on that partition "ACTIVE"=BOOTABLE. That may work. I haven't done it myself though. You may also have to create MBR and create BOOT Record on the second drive manually before BIOS will start the PC from the second partition. It may also need manual remapping of boot drive sequence in the boot.ini file.

*Make sure to backup data or Make Disc IMAGE(s) before changing MBR and other boot record settings.

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Since your second install is in an extended partition (how did you manage to get it there?), it cannot be made bootable.

Only primary partitions can be bootable.

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