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07-14-2020 04:08 AM
Product: HP Z2 G4
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)
I would like to dual boot my HP Z2 with 2 different operating systems on 2 hard drives, however only have the host hard drive visible
is it possible to "disable" the drive that hasn't booted so it cannot be seen by the other OS (for security reasons)
For example when loading windows 10, in file explorer id want to only see the current drive and not the 2nd OS drive
thanks in advance
2 REPLIES 2
08-24-2020 12:42 PM
you may find it more practical to have a hotswap drive bay, and simply insert the drive with the desired OS and do a reboot into the new OS
trying to do it via software including hiding a drive could be done using software and scripts, but would be complex and prone to random issues on a recurring basis
08-24-2020 08:53 PM - edited 08-24-2020 10:05 PM
You can change your boot drive in the HP BIOS, with two bootable drives attached to both power and SATA... both "live". However, especially with W10, eventually your OS will do something to one of the two or both of the two that makes your house of cards collapse. We tried and tried, because we had two incompatible critical programs that just could not coexist on one boot drive. I was also experimenting with getting both to even just work under W10 on 2 separate drives while the vendors said it could not be done. I eventually prevailed on both projects.
The solution was to have two boot SSDs. Both ended up finally running W10, but they were two separate builds. I found two excellent ways to use the two boot drives.... one was to use the Icy Dock 2.5 form factor carrier/receiver approach. On the links you'll see the single front-access Icy Dock receiver to accept the Icy Dock SSD carrier, and it takes only a little over a minute to shut down/ remove the first carrier/ swap in the second carrier, and reboot. This is with tuned BIOS and a fast workstation. However, now I had a very nice 500GB SSD in a nice little carrier sitting around that can walk or get lost while I was not using it.
The second approach was to use a special type of SATA drive switch. This is the type that requires a full power shutdown before a change of the chosen attached drive from one to the other can become effective. This way there can be zero cross-talk between the two drives. There was a very nice one from Canada, Indus Technologies, but they're out of business. Too nice; too expensive. We have about 20 of those but I can't get more. The other is one that is a bit cheezy, from China, but electronically excellent. I figured out how to physically beef that up and I mount it in a nice HP 3.5 to 5.25" form factor adapter, in a spare optical drive bay in the HP workstation.
There are two links below that let you see how I've done this, and we've had this approach in service for over 5 years with zero failures. For me at home on two of my utility workstations I'm using the Icy Dock approach because it is in a secure environment. I may have up to 5 separate carriers with different builds and OSs to pick from as boot drives for different projects, using two souped up HP workstations. I can get you info on the switch if you're interested.
A tip: learn how to turn off "fast startup" in any W10 build... it is easy. It caused us so much grief until I finally figured out what it was and what it is doing. It caches some parts of the OS during shutdown to supposedly make the next cold boot startup faster. However, it caused temporary startup corruption in some of our critical software (could fix that with a warm restart), and it sure did not seem to speed things up at all. Worse than worthless, and it is defaulted ON by Microsoft in all W10 builds.
Below are your links. Note that the top link shows pictures of my solution for a workstation that uses the drawer approach to drive mounting (a Z620 shown there). Yours is one that does not use the drive drawers. That is actually easier as you can see via the lower link. The switch only controls power to the drive in its special way. The SATA cables for both drives are always plugged in but only one drive is "live" at any time. The two drives cannot cross contaminate if only one of the two has power:
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