Installing a second instance of Windows; any known problems?

Discussion in 'Windows 64 Bit' started by Techead, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. Techead

    Techead Guest

    Here's a straight-forward question:

    Are there any known (or suspected) issues with installing a second instance
    of Windows (64-bit) into a C:\WINNT folder?

    Currently, I can't boot to my frst installation that was running for 6
    months. I believe I encountered a virus that got past Avast, and I tried a
    repair-install before I tried a system recovery. Now my system is stuck in
    the repair mode and freezes while trying to load drivers. F8 does not
    respond. The only thing I can do is boot from the CD and try things in
    recovery console; none of which has worked.

    SO, I either buy another hard drive and install a fresh copy of windows (I'd
    prefer to avoid the expense), or perform an install into a new folder on the
    same drive (for which I neglected to make multiple partitions ).

    I also tried to create a bootable CD with Nero via BART's PE, but the CD
    won't boot for some strange reason, and I can't confirm what files should be
    in the root of the CD in order to make it bootable. I then tried to make a
    bootable-CD with Linux Defender, but the low quality shareware programs I'm
    using to burn the image only burned the files in the root folder, but not the
    folders themselves (I'll try that process again after work today).

    SO, again, my question is; will I harm my first instance of Windows XP-64 by
    installing a second instance? If not, then I should be able to run a virus /
    trojan / spyware / adware scanner and registry cleaner (are htere any XP-64
    registry cleaners?) in order to salvage my original WIndows installation.

    Replies urgently needed; Thanx, in advance.
    Techead, Jan 9, 2006
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  2. Techead

    John Barnes Guest

    My personal approach would be to Rename the Windows folder and the Documents
    and Settings folder for your current install, then let your new install
    create the new Windows and Documents folders.
    John Barnes, Jan 9, 2006
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  3. Techead

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Techead.

    Have you tried an in-place upgrade, also known as a repair install or a
    reinstallation, as described in this KB article:

    How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP;en-us;q315341

    This will completely reinstall WinXP x64 (and take just about as long), but
    will preserve your installed applications and data.
    Are you saying that your first installation is in C:\WinNT? Or that you
    will create that folder alongside C:\Windows, which holds WinXP x64? As you
    probably know, the default name for the WinXP folder is \Windows EXCEPT when
    WinXP is installed as an upgrade from Win2K or WinNT4, in which case the
    prior name (\WinNT) is retained. But there is no upgrade path to x64 from
    prior Windows versions, so I'm surprised to see that folder name with WinXP
    x64. Whatever foldername now holds WinXP x64 should survive the in-place

    As you also know, a second installation into the same volume is NOT
    recommended. If you do such a second installation, you should fix your
    existing problem as soon as possible, then boot into either installation and
    delete the other's boot folder.

    You can't simply rename or delete your Boot Folder while booted into it, of
    course, because WinXP won't let you. But if you have a second installation
    and boot into that, then the first installation's Boot Folder is "just
    another folder" to that second installation and you can do pretty much
    anything you want with it. I'm not saying that you SHOULD, just that you

    R. C. White, Jan 9, 2006
  4. Techead

    Techead Guest


    Allow me to reiterate:

    I have a C:\Windows folder that contains a defective XP-64 build; the
    in-line repair has brought me to a point where the process freezes the PC
    during the drivers load process (Windows repair will complete within 37
    minutes). No other standard methods are working. My only resolve is to either
    install a 2nd instance of 64 into a c:\winnt folder (which will be created by
    a second instance install), or, buy a new HD and install it there.

    So, my question was; will the second instal in the c:\winnt folder cause any
    harm tomy c:windows installation? I ask this because as som as I boot to the
    new instalation, I want to clean-up the 1st installation and return to it;
    100+ ap's are installed and config'ed, so I don't want to start-out fresh.

    I have concluded from the many replies that I received that this method is

    Techead, Jan 10, 2006
  5. If you have another computer and an external hard drive enclosure available
    you can pull your files off by temporarily mounting the drive in the
    enclosure and attaching it to the other computer.
    Colin Barnhorst, Jan 10, 2006
  6. Techead

    Randy Guest

    I've done it with XP Pro x64... no problems, but you have to re-install apps
    again to new Win folder. That being said, it's FAR from the ideal
    solution... And yes, I would re-name the original Win directory...
    Randy, Jan 10, 2006
  7. Techead

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Techead.

    Inconsistent terminology may getting in the way of clear communication here.

    By "in-line repair", do you mean the "in-place upgrade"? It sounds like you
    do, but then you use the phrase "Windows repair will complete...", rather
    than the expected "Windows installation..."

    That KB article 315341 confuses many people. Using Method 2, after booting
    from the WinXP CD-ROM, the first menu offers to Repair your Windows
    installation. DO NOT press "R" at this point to accept this offer. "Press
    ENTER to set up Windows XP." Agree to the EULA, then press "R" in Step 5.

    It appears you have done this to get to the "37 minutes" milestone. How
    long have you waited here? That "37 minutes" (and several later milestones)
    are often waayy off! You might need to wait an hour or more. If you DO
    abort the installation, it will partially remember where you were. That is,
    you'll probably have to go through all the previous steps to get to this
    point again, but Setup should remember the many drivers that it has already
    tried and continue trying the remaining ones. But there are no guarantees
    here. I've had a variety of experiences from this point, not all good. :>(

    You've mentioned Bart's PE, Linux and some other tools. I've heard good
    things about these, but I've never tried them at all and can't comment on
    what they might have done to you or for you.

    Depending on how valuable your files on that first HD are to you, your best
    bet (and cheapest, if you value your time) might be to install a second HD
    as secondary. Boot from the WinXP CD and tell Setup to clean install there.
    Then boot into that copy of WinXP and use it to explore and repair your
    original. That's how I first got introduced to the idea of a "parallel
    installation", based on recommendations in a newsgroup. Once I saw the
    benefits of dual-booting, I was hooked and have always had at least two
    copies of Windows available for the past decade or so. For instructions,
    see this page from the WinXP Resource Kit online:
    Performing a Parallel Windows XP Professional Installation

    These RK URLs don't always go directly to the page I have in mind. Within
    the RK, the path is:
    Welcome > Part VI System Troubleshooting > Ch 28 Troubleshooting Startup >
    Following a Process for Startup and Recovery

    R. C. White, Jan 10, 2006
  8. Techead

    churin Guest


    My comments and suggestions:

    1. If you install the second installtion in a different directory then
    all applications have to be installed again as somebody else already
    2. During OS installation in my experience, the process sometimes
    appears standing still for five minutes or more.
    3. If you conclued that in-place upgrade or repair installation can not
    be done, then there are two options:
    a. Get disk utility as Partition Magic for example, create another
    primary partition and install there.
    b. Get another physical hard drive to make the second installtion there.
    My preference is a. because it is a good idea to make a second
    installtion of OS for system maintenace purpose as somebody else in this
    thread already mentioned.

    churin, Jan 10, 2006
  9. Are you sure it is 37 and not 34 minutes? There is a known "34-minute" bug.
    Of course, in x64 it might well be 37 minutes. Anyway, I suspect your
    problem relates to:

    In any case, it is probably hardware related. Disconnect everything you do
    not absolutely need to get the installation done.
    Colin Barnhorst, Jan 11, 2006
  10. Techead

    Techead Guest


    I was able to manually grab the system restore files (system, sam, software,
    security, and default) from the C:\Windows\repair folder and place them into
    the system32\config folder (replacing the current files) while I was
    booted-up in C:\WINNT. I then attempted to boot with htese files replaced; I
    got the splash screen for 2 minutes, then it freezes!

    So, then I figured, why not try the in-place upgrade again (the CD calls it
    a "repair" of an existing installation). I tried this technique 3 times
    (multiple attempts were often required in Win-2K-Pro). This time, I was able
    to get past the "Windows installation will complete within 37 minutes;
    instaling devices" section. The process completed and the system rebooted.
    Now, I get the spalsh screen for a minute, then thescreen goes black and
    stays there!!!

    I don't get it; I grabbed the (system, sam, software, security, and default)
    files from a (snapshot) date back in early December; a week or so before my
    system crashed. I should have been able tojust boot-up directly from there,
    right? If not, then the "in-line repair / upgrade" should have worked, right?

    So, why does the splash screen go black after 1-2 minutes and I get nothing???

    I also tried safe mode after doing a CD-repair; the "multi-disk-0" text
    scrolls down through the drivers being instaled and then that screen freezes
    also! How strange. Yet, If I boot to the new instance of Windows in C:\WINNT;
    everything seems to work well.

    Anyone got any ideas?

    Techead, Jan 18, 2006
  11. Techead

    Techead Guest


    I was able to turn-off all the built-in functions on my Giagbyte 81955x
    Royal Mobo and then re-install Windows (in-line repair). It finally worked. I
    then instaled the Windows updates. I will now reboot and re-install the
    drivers (one at a time) and pray that all remains well.

    Thanx for al of your comments and support.

    Techead, Jan 20, 2006
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