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Knowledge Base > Operating Systems > Windows > NT/2K/XP/2003 > How to Completely Install Windows NT to an Alternate Hard Drive

How to Completely Install Windows NT to an Alternate Hard Drive

This article outlines the procedure for installing Windows NT completely on a hard drive other than HD0.  These instructions do not apply to Windows 2000/XP/2003, Windows Vista or Windows 7/8.x/10.  For instructions that apply to Windows 2000/XP/2003, please refer to the article How to Completely Install Windows 2000/XP/2003 to an Alternate Hard Drive. For instructions that apply to Windows Vista or Windows 7/8.x/10, please refer to the article How to Completely Install Windows Vista or Windows 7/8.x/10 to an Alternate Hard Drive.

To install Windows NT completely to a hard drive other than HD0, use one of the following methods. Both methods assume BootIt BM is installed on the system.

Method 1

  1. Using BootIt BM, create a primary FAT16 partition on the hard drive on which you will be installing Windows NT.

  2. Using BootIt BM, set the primary partition you created in Step 1 as active.

  3. Shut down the computer and disconnect your current primary hard drive (i.e. HD0).

  4. Install the hard drive you will be installing Windows NT on as HD0. This may require entering the BIOS and changing the boot order so this drive is the booting drive.

  5. Boot to the Windows NT installation media and begin the installation. Ensure that the desired target partition has the drive letter C:.

  6. Proceed with the installation of Windows NT.

  7. Once the installation is complete, shut down the computer and return the drive to its original position as a secondary drive. Reconnect the primary hard drive (the original HD0). If necessary, enter the BIOS and restore the original boot order (the original HD0 should be the booting drive).

  8. Using BootIt BM, create a boot menu item for the new Windows NT installation. Ensure all primary partitions on HD0 are hidden or not loaded into the MBR (an extended partition can be visible). Enable the Swap option for the boot item. Note: On some systems it will be necessary to enable the Fix Swap option (in BootIt BM settings) in order for swapping to work.

Method 2

Note: Using this method requires that the BootIt BM Swap booting option works correctly on the system. On some systems it will be necessary to enable the Fix Swap option (in BootIt BM settings) in order for swapping to work.

The procedure you will need to follow varies depending on whether or not the Limit Primaries option in BootIt BM is enabled or disabled.  Refer to the appropriate section below, depending on your configuration.

If the Limit Primaries option in BootIt BM is enabled, proceed as follows:

  1. Create a FAT16 partition for the NT Installation.
  2. Go to the Direct Boot Menu.
  3. Go to the partition you created for the installation.
  4. Press the Spacebar to make it active.
  5. Press F5 until the Swap option is On.
  6. Make sure the Hide Type option is Auto.
  7. Insert the NT boot diskette and then boot the Floppy Drive (top option). NOTE: You MAY be able to use the Next BIOS Device to boot from a CD-ROM if you have the BIOS setup to boot the CD-ROM drive after the C: drive.
  8. Start installing NT to C:.
  9. When the system reboots just boot the partition to which you are installing Windows NT.
  10. That's it. You should always have Swap enabled when booting this NT partition and, if you want, you can unhide other primary partitions on the same HD as this NT partition, but not on HD0 unless it is an extended partition.

If the Limit Primaries option in BootIt BM is disabled, proceed as follows:

  1. Create a FAT16 partition for the NT Installation.
  2. Create a boot item that boots that partition with the Swap option enabled (no partitions on hard drives before the target). If you enable a One Time Option to boot from the Floppy Drive or Next BIOS Device then insert the media and skip Steps 4 and 5.
  3. Boot the new boot item.
  4. A message is displayed that no OS exists on the partition.
  5. Insert the installation diskette or CD and hit a key to continue. (The diskette or CD must boot before the hard drive to work in this case).
  6. Start installing NT to C:.
  7. When the system reboots, just boot the partition to which you are installing Windows NT.
  8. That's it. You should always have Swap enabled when booting this NT partition and, if you want, you can unhide other primary partitions on the same HD as this NT partition, but not on HD0 unless it is an extended partition.

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