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I've got this computer with Windows 7 on it and inserted an old hard drive with Windows XP on it. How can I choose which Windows I want to boot from?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The simplest way, though perhaps a bit tedious if you are switching back and forth regularly, would be to enter the bios on start-up, and manually select which hard drive you want to boot from.

Alternatively, you can involve a bootloader to select the OS at start-up, but those tend to get angry if, say, you decide to remove the XP hard drive later.

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Thanks :) This seemed to work pretty well. The BIOS already had an option to boot from a given device. So I can just use that to boot from either hard drive :) – Kenny Bones Jul 4 '12 at 5:30

You could go with a boot loader such as Grub4DOS to allow you to select which hard disk you want to use. Not the easiest method but it is free. You could also try EasyBCD for simplicity, though it costs around $25. There are also a few other free BCD alteration utilities floating around but be careful you don't wreck your windows 7 boot loaded.

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