A few months ago, I bought a Dell Studio 540 (which is a Vista computer). However, I wanted to continue using some programs from my old XP computer. I also wanted to learn Ubuntu Linux. To accomplish these goals, I decided to use 3 hard drives (with a separate one for each operating system) and to move the “Data_HD” (containing all my personal documents, pictures, etc) from my old computer to the new one. The 4 hard drives used consist of 2 SATA and 2 IDE.Below is an outline of how the computer was configured:Hard Drive Installation * Newer SATA drive kept as the Vista drive (“Vista_HD”) * SATA drive from old PC used for XP (“XP_HD”) * IDE drive from old PC used without change for personal documents (“Data_HD”) * Spare IDE drive used for Ubuntu (“Ubuntu_HD”) * The IDE drives were connected via an added PCI-e IDE controller * A jumper on each IDE drive was set to CS (Cable Select) * The end connector of the IDE cable was hooked to the Data_HD Note: The IDE drives were unrecognized if formatted or connected other than stated above; neither drive was found (regardless of order) if both were formatted as Windows drives; of course, the Data_HD was formatted for Windows, while the Ubuntu_HD was notOperating System Installation * Vista was on the original SATA drive of the new PC o It became corrupted when McAfee was inadvertently installed over Trend Micro Antivirus (which had been preloaded on the computer by Dell) o Vista has been reinstalled from a CD set provided by Dell Computer Support * XP reloaded (because of accumulated corruption) on SATA drive from old PC o XP installed from CD (which was the only available, earliest version) o XP-SP1 Downloaded from Microsoft’s website o XP-SP3 Loaded from CD (purchased from Microsoft for $10) o XP_HD backed up to external HD (after completely configured) * Ubuntu put on spare IDE drive o Loaded from Ubuntu CD o This HD is invisible to Vista and XP, since its format is not like the Windows HDs * The Data_HD IDE drive moved “as-is” from old PC o This drive backed up often, since it is changed most frequently o When possible, a program is loaded here for use by Vista or XP Note: A few programs didn't have to be installed for both Vista and XP; for instance when running Vista, it was possible to create a shortcut for Firefox on the Vista desktop from the Firefox program that had been loaded on the XP_HDDevice Driver Installation * Intel Chipset Drivers installed first (so drivers installed later would work) * For XP, the Dell Inspiron 530 drivers were used (with modem driver being most critical) * For Vista, the Dell Studio 540 drivers were used * The driver for the IDE controller was provided by the manufacturerSelect Hard Drive to Boot by using the BIOS SETUP UTILITY * This selection can be made only during a few seconds after a computer power up or reboot * The desired key should be pressed after “F2 = Setup” and “F12 = Boot Menu” are displayed in the upper right hand corner of the screen and the progress bar is about 1/3 across * Press F2 (and perform the following steps) o Press right arrow key until “Boot” is highlighted o Press down arrow until “Hard Disk Boot Priority” is highlighted; press Enter key o When “1st Drive” highlighted, press Enter key o Highlight desired drive and press Enter key o Press F10 and Enter key to save the selected default boot drive Note: The boot drive will remain the same until the default is changed by using this F2 procedure (during a subsequent boot up) and selecting a different default boot drive * Press F12 (and perform the following step) o Highlight desired drive and press Enter key Note: At the next computer power up or reboot, the boot drive will revert to the default drive chosen when the F2 option was used last
I wanted to document this process of installing multiple hard drives and operating systems on my computer in case I should need to redo anything a few months from now. It’s too easy to forget a critical detail that will prevent a computer from working as desired.I also hope that some of what I’m reporting will be helpful to others in the Dell Community. I’d like to be as helpful to others as several here have been to me.