So one of my friends finally upgraded his computer (good stuff, I was thinking into stealing some of the components for my personal usage
), and dropt me a call to install the OS, and make some post-assembly work (moving his old hard drive there basically).
The thing is that, while he installed Vista in the main HDD, he wanted to keep XP in the old one. Since the original installation was beat up, and new components would not do any benefit to it, I simply got the HDD there, and left it disconnected. Besides, Vista complained about the new HDD not being the main one, and thus the OS installation phase was halted at that point.
So I installed Vista, changed something here and there, while admiring Vista idiosyncrasies and hunting for moved options. Also, it seems now you need an antivirus if you want to fully "enjoy" WLM chat facilities (and they wonder why I don't use it...). Everything ran fine, though, so I copied the old files to the new drive, turned off the computer, and proceeded to connect the older one and install XP. Just like before, everything went fine, and with my job nearly done, I went to Google for fixing up possible bootloader issues.
You see, apc published a few tutorials of how to dual boot between various OS, including Vista and XP, so I followed their tips to the letter. The problem is that: first, unlike they say there, XP didn't mess with Vista bootloader, and second, EasyBCD did not find XP in the other drive, so here I just opted to fix such thing myself with the tool, because in theory it should work.
OK, it didn't. XP did not start in any way, but fortunately Vista remains fine. I did some googling, and found another way to do it, old-schol, but reliable, using bcdedit. According to the guy who wrote the guide, it should work with two separate drives, but did not again.
So, the question is how to do it correctly. In my mind, a few explanations for the failure cooked over, like that the old drive was disconnected when I installed Vista, and he does not like it now, or that because of the peculiarities of the motherboard southbridge
(SB700), everything is running in IDE mode (I nearly panicked when I peeked into the BIOS, and did not see SATA in any place), and the fact that the old drive is in channel 0 as the master device, and both the optical drive and the new HDD are in the channel 3 as slave and master respectively (weirdness) causes them to fight over bus dominance or something. Or perhaps that I should get some sleep, because I'm making up extravagant explanations with no basis in reality, and missed something very evident.
So, I'll appreciate if someone did something like this before would tell me how they did it, or where did they find the information about how it should be done.