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Windows 7: Hidden Dual Boot

16 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Mac OS X 10.6.2 x64
Hidden Dual Boot

I plan on creating a partition with the same installation as my current os (Windows 7 Ultimate x64) Unactive just to easily restore any missing system files if they ever go missing. So how can i create a partition (will be 20GB) then hide it, so it doesnt show up on my computer, then also make it automatically boot to my normal OS after 5 seconds of not touching the keyboard on startup

(u know how if you dual boot, it lists 2 OS and if you dont choose one it auto chooses the highlighted one after a certain time) I want it to auto choose the regular OS after 5 seconds.

And i also want to be able to unhide it if needed. Is there a way to do any of this? If not all at least tell me how to do the parts i can do.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2009   #2


If you go to control panel>administrative tools>computer management>storage>disk management, you can create a new partition there. Just right click on the drive you want to partition and click "shrink volume" and it'll let you enter the amount you want to shrink by.

I'm not 100% sure about keeping it hidden, but if you don't give it a drive letter, then it will remain hidden in My Computer, but you will still be able to install an OS to it I think. Whether or not it's bootable without a drive letter I don't know.

Once you have an OS installed on this partition, if you come in to your main OS and run msconfig, in the boot tab, set the OS you want as default, and change the "Timeout" from 30 seconds to 5 seconds and then click "make all boot settings permanent" and apply.

Now when your PC boots up, your primary OS will be selected at boot screen and after 5 seconds will boot in to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2009   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

Try these Seven Forums tutorials,

For the partitions:
Partition or Volume - Shrink

Partition or Volume - Create New

If these don't work for you, then try the free Partition Wizard

After installing the OS you could go to Disk Management, right click the partition, click Change Drive Letter and Path, then click Remove. with no drive letter it will be hidden.

As Everlong18 mentioned, go to msconfig, boot tab and change the timeout to 5 seconds. With no drive letter the second OS won't boot anyway, just put the timeout to '0' and it will boot straight to the old OS.

Unhide is the reverse of Hide, just assign a letter to the partition.

Now, that being said, why do you want to 'Hide' a second OS?
If it's to restore any missing files, just use a backup image program. You should be using one as part of your Disaster Recovery Plan. Backup your HD at least once a week. If you do have a problem you can restore your OS as it was when you first installed it or how it was last week, usually will take 15 to 20 minutes. No need to install programs or activate Win7 again. You can also take any files or folders from the backup image and restore them.
There are several free programs that will do this very well.
Macrium Reflect
Paragon offers Drive Backup for free several times a year, it's a good program if you can catch the deal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Mac OS X 10.6.2 x64

I dont want to pay for anything. Its just occasionally when i customize system files, i sometimes make them missing or corrupt, which i have to fully restore my computer, and that takes hours. I would rather just boot into the second OS, and copy the system file over to the real OS.

I want the drive hidden from my computer, but it still lets me boot up to it when i startup my computer. I understand the 5 second timeout thing.

So far, i have a dual boot, C: drive normal, and D: is my recovery. Now what i want to do is hide it from at least Windows Explorer without removing the drive letter as it makes it unable to boot to it (tested with no letter)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hidden Dual Boot

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