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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Boot.ini for two hard-disks (XP Home 5.1)

    Can someone please explain in comprehensible terms what exactly rdisk () is supposed to be ? Microsoft says it refers to physical disk 1 which is a pretty vague description - "physical" as opposed to "virtual", or what ? There seem to be many possibilities.
    Another source defines it as the number of the drive: 0 is Master and 1 Slave on the primary IDE-Channel, 2 is Master and 3 Slave on the secondary IDE-Channel.

    I have to modify my boot.ini to accomodate a new removable hard-disk which I want to use mainly for backup and/or all sorts of accidents, so it won't be always on-board. Both the fixed and the removable hard-disks are bootable, they both have XP Home installed on them so there are lots of possible combinations and permutations and I don't want to shut myself out. Anyway I'll make a boot-diskette to be on the safe side, but in the meantime can anyone shed light on the matter? I'd like to know what I'm doing here.

    I think I understood the other terms ( multi() and disk() ) well enough, partition () is self-explanatory.

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Boot.ini for two hard-disks (XP Home 5.1)

    It refers to the physical hard drive - meaning if you have one hard drive inside the case, that's the one. If you have two hard drives - two indopendent physical pieces of mechanical wonder - then you could have RDISK(1) if that's where Windows was installed.

    The first device is assumed to be 0, all the way up to 3 for additional devices (assuming this is IDE and not SCSI). This number refers to the physical hard drive where Windows is installed, so if it is hard disk (0), the very first one attached to the system as seen by the BIOS, it is 0, if you have Windows installed on a secondary hard drive, the number will be different.

    There is a wealth of information at i386.com. Bookmark that site and make use of it....IT articles written by people like us (meaning that the geek-speak is usually translated).
    -Mark

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Boot.ini for two hard-disks (XP Home 5.1)

    That's what I suspected, but as my CMOS says

    IDE Primary Master Removable HD (When it's not on board it says NONE)
    IDE Primary Slave CD-Writer
    IDE Secondary Master DVD-ROM
    IDE Secondary Slave Fixed HD

    I didn't know if I was supposed to count the CD-Drives too, that is if I'll be switching between 0 and 1 or 0 and 3.
    Thank you and I appreciate the link, I must have looked at over 30 sites searching for boot.ini and rdisk, but I never found this one.
    Oana

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Boot.ini for two hard-disks (XP Home 5.1)

    If memory serves correctly, the optical drives count. The number is dependent upon the devices installed on the chain (either IDE or SCSI). Removing the first device should not change the order of the other drives - they would still be physically attached at the same location on the IDE bus, so the second hard drive would be RDISK(3) in both a "docked" and "undocked" configuration.

    Hope that helps!!
    -Mark

  5. #5
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    Re: Boot.ini for two hard-disks (XP Home 5.1)

    Well, I'm afraid it's more complicated. You see, when the removable is docked it deems itself of course to be drive C: and anyway even if it wouldn't have an OS installed on it the boot.ini would be read from there. So it has to point to both disks for me to have the choice - my everyday working disk being the other HD. Logic says the fixed HD must be rdisk(3) but as I learned (the hard way) last night it's rdisk(1), so the optical drives aren't taken into account. Why ?
    And to add insult to injury, when the removable is undocked the fixed HD becomes rdisk (0) !
    So much for the logic.

    It's not a matter of life and death and I adapted all the booting files on the HD's and on two floppies, they work OK, but I'd like to understand how and why. Could it have something to do with the installation order of the Operating Systems ?

    Another question: if I prefer to have the fixed HD as the Primary Master, the removable Secondary and so on, I suppose I'll have to play around with the jumpers. Would that change something on the HD's ? Do I have to reinstall and rethink these nice (and many) booting files I created ?

    Thank you for your interest even if it's not such an interesting problem,

    Oana

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