Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm trying to install a second copy of Windows on another hard disk, so that I have two different ones to choose from. I want to use one for my audio recording software only.

I have activated the second one but after some time it won't start (black screen at start up).

Is this because of the OEM license? Or can I maybe install it on the same HD just another partition?

share|improve this question
On the hard drive with the black screen boot problem, how far along in the boot process does it get to? For example, you see part of Windows XP boot up screen, then it goes black, or no post. – Brutick Nov 28 '12 at 18:12
no post or windows logo...just black screen... – lars roos Nov 28 '12 at 19:03
Damn, so it's worse than just the video driver screwing up. No POST means something far worse is happening. The other hard drive POSTs and boots? – Brutick Nov 28 '12 at 19:13

No, your blackscreen is not a licensing activation problem. MS is very clear when they believe you have an issue with activation, so they can prompt you to purchase a license. you will not be able to miss it.

share|improve this answer
hmmm. i have tried 2 times, i have not be able to update at the MS page. do you think it's possible to make it work hte way i planed – lars roos Nov 28 '12 at 18:10
Yes, this sounds like a problem with the install itself (or the bootloader or something like that). – Shinrai Nov 28 '12 at 18:40
@larsroos - We would only be guessing since you didn't provide enough information. – Ramhound Nov 28 '12 at 18:46
of course....i will try a forum in danish. its hard to explane my self in english... thanks anyway.. – lars roos Nov 28 '12 at 19:06
@Lars, I'm sure it is a problem that can be overcome, asuming it is not a sign of an eminent hardware failure as Brutick suggested. there is no reason that it shouldn't work correctly, though you may have to customize your bootloader settings in boot.ini. You can definitely install multiple xp instances on a system, and since your OEM distros are only running one at a time, you have not even violated the terms of the OEM licensing. – Frank Thomas Nov 28 '12 at 19:43

The first thing I would try is booting into "Safe Mode". You can do this by holding down F8 after your system presents its post screen.

Once booted into "Safe Mode" attempt the following:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
  3. Expand the Display Adapters section. Right-click on the video device you have the monitor hooked up to, and click Uninstall.
  4. Restart the computer, and boot into the other Windows install.
  5. Repeat steps 1 and 2.
  6. Expand the Display Adapters section. Right-click on the video device you have the monitor hooked up to, and click Properties.
  7. Click the Driver tab, and record the Driver Version.
  8. Try to get a copy of that working version for your other install, so both will use the same video driver. Place the copy on a USB stick, or some storage device you'll have access to on both Windows installs.
  9. Restart the computer, and boot into the "bad" Windows install.
  10. At this point, your computer should (hopefully) start in what is called "VGA Mode", where Windows is using a default driver for your display device, and the screen resolution will be a god awful 640x480.
  11. Install the video driver that you copied earlier, and follow all prompts of the install.
  12. With any luck, your computer should be working now!

Hope this all helps!

share|improve this answer
now i did it. it did not start i vga mode. can i install the new driver in safemode? – lars roos Nov 28 '12 at 20:21
@larsroos Yes you can install the driver in safe mode, but if your system is still booting with a black screen at that point, the video driver can be eliminated as the issue. Sorry :( – Brutick Nov 28 '12 at 20:55
Thank you for your answers..i gave up trying it wound work. – lars roos Dec 3 '12 at 12:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.