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Knowledge Base > Operating Systems > Windows > Vista/Win7/8.x/10 > How to Completely Install Windows Vista or Windows 7/8.x/10 to an Alternate Hard Drive

How to Completely Install Windows Vista or Windows 7/8.x/10 to an Alternate Hard Drive

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

Note: Before proceeding, please watch the related videos that are available on the BootIt Next Generation Tutorials and Videos page.  In particular, note the potential implications to Windows XP restore points (as mentioned in the Upgrading Windows XP to Windows Vista video). While these links are for BootIt NG, most of the information is still applicable to BootIt BM.

To install Windows Vista or Windows 7/8.x/10 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 NTFS partition of the desired size 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:

    • Select the applicable HD number and then select the partition you just created in the Boot drop-down list.

    • Enable the Swap option. This option must be left enabled permanently (i.e. for as long as you wish to boot Windows under this HD configuration).

      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. Note that the system will boot to an error message since Windows is not yet installed. Alternatively, you can perform a simulated boot from the Boot Menu by selecting the boot item and then holding down left Shift key while clicking the Boot button (the system will beep if the internal speaker works). Either of these methods 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 is located on Disk 0.

  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

Note: Using this method requires that the BootIt BM booting options Swap, BIOS Sequence, and Next BIOS Device work correctly on the system.

  1. In BootIt BM, create an NTFS partition of the desired size and in the desired location for the new Windows installation.

  2. In BootIt BM, create a boot item with the following parameters for the partition you created in Step 1:

    • Select the applicable HD number and then select the partition you just created in the Boot drop-down list.

    • Enable the Swap option. This option must be left enabled permanently (i.e. for as long as you wish to boot Windows under this HD configuration).

      Note:
      On some systems it will be necessary to enable the Fix Swap option (in BootIt BM settings) in order for swapping to work. If you find that Windows setup accesses (or attempts to create) a partition other than the desired target, try enabling this option.

    • For each partition that appears on HD0, select it and then click the Hide button. (After Windows is installed, you may be able to edit the boot menu item again and unhide some or all of these partitions; this point will be addressed in a later step.)

  3. Ensure that the Windows installation media is inserted into the appropriate drive.

  4. Click OK twice, then click Resume on the BootIt BM desktop to access the boot menu.

  5. To boot from the Windows installation media, select the new boot item on the boot menu and press the applicable keyboard shortcut combination: If your system BIOS is configured such that the drive containing the Windows installation media will boot before the hard drive on which you will be installing Windows, press Alt+S to use the BIOS Sequence function.  If your system BIOS is configured to boot the drive containing the Windows installation media after the hard drive on which you will be installing Windows, press Alt+N to use the Next BIOS Device function.

  6. Install Windows to the partition created in Step 1 on desired hard drive.

    If the installer displays a message that Windows cannot be installed to the desired drive, the Swap option may not be functioning on the system. If the BootIt BM Fix Swap option isn't enabled, enable it and try again. Otherwise, use Method 1 instead.

    Warning: If the installer displays a message indicating that it might (or will) create additional partitions, create a system volume, or write startup files to Disk 0, do not continue with the installation. Doing so will make changes to HD0 and will result in data loss if the partition created overwrites an existing partition. Cancel or abort the installation. If the BootIt BM Fix Swap option isn't enabled, enable it and try again. Otherwise, use Method 1 instead.

  7. After the installation is complete, if you want any of the partitions on HD0 to be visible and accessible from within the new Windows installation, edit the boot menu item you created in Step 2 and unhide those partitions on HD0.

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