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Knowledge Base > Operating Systems > Windows > NT/2K/XP/2003 > How to Completely Install Windows 2000/XP/2003 to an Alternate Hard Drive

How to Completely Install Windows 2000/XP/2003 to an Alternate Hard Drive

This article refers to Windows 2000/XP/2003 only and does not apply to Windows NT or Windows Vista or later.  For instructions that apply to Windows NT, please refer to the article How to Completely Install Windows NT 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.

If you wish to install Windows 2000/XP/2003 with the exception of the core boot files to a hard drive other than HD0, please refer to the article How to Install Windows 2000/XP/2003 to an Alternate Drive Letter.

The Windows 2000/XP/2003 setup program will not allow you to completely install the operating system to a hard drive other than HD0.  You can work around this by using one of the following methods. Both methods assume BootIt BM is installed on the system.

Method 1

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

  2. Using BootIt BM, create a boot menu item for the new Windows installation.  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.

  3. Important Step:  Using BootIt BM, boot the menu item you created in Step 2.  This will setup the MBR with the partition and set it active.

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

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

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

  7. Proceed with the installation of Windows.

  8. 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).


Method 2

If there is sufficient free space on HD0 for another primary partition large enough for a Windows installation, you can install Windows to HD0 and then copy it to the secondary drive (HD1 is used in the following procedure).

  1. Using BootIt BM, create a new primary partition on HD0.

  2. Create a boot menu entry for the new partition. Make sure to put the partition into Slot 0 of the MBR. Set the partition as the Boot partition. If you are using the Limit Primaries option, hide the other partitions on HD0. If you are not using the Limit Primaries option, the new partition should be the only one loaded into the MBR.

  3. From the Boot Menu, do a simulated boot into the new menu entry: Select the entry. Then press and hold down the left Shift key while selecting Boot. If the computer's internal speaker works, you'll hear a beep when performing this step.

  4. Reboot to the Windows installation media and begin the installation. Ensure that the desired target partition has the drive letter C:.

  5. Proceed with the installation of Windows.

  6. Once the installation is complete, boot to the BootIt BM Setup media and reactivate it.

  7. Remove the BootIt BM Setup media and reboot the computer. It should boot back to the installed BootIt BM menu.

  8. Using Partition Work, copy the new Windows partition to free space on HD1. Once the copy has completed you can delete the partition from HD0. Note: If you choose not to delete the partition on HD0, make sure to hide it for the new Windows boot menu entry.

  9. Edit the new Windows boot menu entry. Make sure the copied partition is in Slot 0 of the MBR of HD1. Set the partition as the Boot partition. Enable the Swap option. Note: On some systems it will be necessary to enable the Fix Swap option (in BootIt BM settings) in order for swapping to work.

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