Setting bootable hard drive as slave



My new (single-boot) PC will have two hard drives. Windows XP Pro is
installed on the second drive. My understanging is that because this
drive comes from another PC (a dual-boot one), where is was a Slave,
it has to be a Slave in the new PC, too.
What are the implications of having the hard drive with the operating
system set as Slave?



Rich Barry

You are going to experience major problems moving a hard drive with a
version of XP installed to ANY
different PC. XP will be looking for all the old device drivers from the
other computer. Setting it as slave will be the least of your problems.



To overcome the issues Rich refers to you will need to do a repair install.

In general, once a windows install has had a drive letter assigned it is not
a good idea to change it, so if your XP install currently comes up as say D:
then doing any fix to change it to C: may break many things. So, make sure
you back up all data prior to changing anything.

Take a look over at this article by Michael Stevens:

- Tim


I've read Michael Stevens's article and I know I shouldn't change the
drive's letter. The hard drive which has XP installed on it is
currently set as Slave and has the letter "D". It seems therefore that
it should be set as Slave and have the letter "D" in the new computer,
too. My question therefore is what will happen if the operating system
is on the Slave/"D" drive and there is no operating system in the
Master/"C" drive?
I think I've read that the operating system should be in the Master
drive. Is it just a matter of speed or will the PC not be able to
Would it be wise if I installed the XP drive as Slave, then did a
repair XP install, then changed the jumpers to make it a master and
finally, if the drive letter had changed to "C", changed it back to




Sorry for not seeing your response...

To boot you need an active partition + a boot loader.

If you move the D drive to your new computer, it will not have an active
partition (this is set using fdisk from a Windows 98 boot disk).

I can't be conclusive on what to run, but if you were to try booting your
machine like that it would not find an active partition and would not find a
bootloader (currently on your C drive) ==> No OS found error.

If you do a repair install the repair should set all this right, however I
believe I have seen repair omit setting the active partition. If your system
fails to boot after the repair, then you can either use one of the other
boot options to fix the boot environment or use a Windows 98 disk to do so.
See fdisk /mbr.

I would be cautious though. I did this a while ago and the Win98 fdisk
clouted the partitions on the disk (they were a weird layout C was inside an
extended partition somehow). I had partition magic, disc images, and so
could restart.

IE do a full backup first, or do a new install (after a data backup).

- Tim

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads