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Windows 7: Installing both x32 and x64 versions of Win 7

14 Sep 2010   #1
konstheo

Windows 7
 
 
Installing both x32 and x64 versions of Win 7

I'd like to install both 32bit and 64bit versions of Win7.

64bits version will be used with specific calculation-heavy programs (eg MATLAB)
The 32bit version is intended for more casual use.

Note that 2 hard drives are available. Any guidelines will be appreciated.

Thank you all


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Sep 2010   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello konstheo.





The first suggestion would be to use the BIOS one time boot menu to choose which OS / HDD to boot instead of letting it be Windows managed, that way the 2 OS's won't be dependent on the other to share the boot files, much easier to separate if/when the time comes.

If you have one Windows 7 installed to one Hard Disk Drive (HDD) already; disconnect that HDD and leave only the HDD you want to install the second OS to connected for the second install and when that's done connect the other, then whenever the PC is booted choose which OS / HDD to start using the BIOS boot menu.


Also 'legally' one key equals 1 install at a time, one activation key is to activate only 1 Windows, not 2; at worst the key will be blacklisted and will no-longer be good to activate even 1 install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #3
konstheo

Windows 7
 
 

Hello BFK, thank you for your reply.

I'm lucky to have two license keys available (MSDN Academic Alliance) so activation won't be a problem.

After having installed both versions of Windows by connecting and disconnecting the drives (the way you wrote), what should I do in case I don't want to choose from BIOS menu which OS to boot?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


14 Sep 2010   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello again.





Either way you have to choose an OS to start at boot-up; the second way is the Windows managed way I mentioned and it's not really any different in methodology, the BIOS way is just easier to remove one HDD and still have a working/booting OS to use if needed.

In the Widows managed you get a boot menu at boot to select which OS to start after Windows has started, like in the snip below.
You would leave both HDDs connected during the install and Windows will automatically configure the boot files to be shared by the 2 separate OSs.

The difference in your boot menu, you would have 2 Windows 7 entries to choose, the last one installed will be default and that can be changed in "MSCONFIG" very easily, there are ways to change either or both "Windows 7" to something else of your choosing also.
click to enlarge
-dual-boot.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #5
konstheo

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you BFK. I'll probably choose the BIOS boot menu option. It seems more simple, no weird configuration involved plus the two OSes will be completely independant.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #6
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

My pleasure mate, be sure to post back how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #7
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by konstheo View Post
Hello BFK, thank you for your reply.

I'm lucky to have two license keys available (MSDN Academic Alliance) so activation won't be a problem.

After having installed both versions of Windows by connecting and disconnecting the drives (the way you wrote), what should I do in case I don't want to choose from BIOS menu which OS to boot?


I was looking back over this and I don't know if I answered this, if you are asking if you have to make a decision which OS to start every time you start the PC, no you do not, you set the default OS / HDD to start in the main BIOS menu and when you want to boot the other OS / HDD as soon as you hit the power button start tapping the F12 hot-key to access the one-time boot menu (I believe it's F12 for your main-board) to get the one-time menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #8
konstheo

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
I was looking back over this and I don't know if I answered this, if you are asking if you have to make a decision which OS to start every time you start the PC, no you do not, you set the default OS / HDD to start in the main BIOS menu and when you want to boot the other OS / HDD as soon as you hit the power button start tapping the F12 hot-key to access the one-time boot menu (I believe it's F12 for your main-board) to get the one-time menu.

Your answer was perfectly clear. I'll set as the default hdd to boot from the one with win-32. When I need to start win-64 I should press F12 (yes,that's the hotkey) and choose the other drive.

By the end of the week I believe I'll have set up the OSes so I can come to the thread with feedback.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #9
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Thanks, we'll be here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2010   #10
konstheo

Windows 7
 
 

Well, there's been a slight change in the plan. I decided to install Win XP along with 7 32/64 for maximum compatibility with older software and hardware (eg my ISDN terminal and the 56K modem).

This is the partitioning of my current HDDs:

Kingston SSD 40GB: 2 partitions (1 "System Reserved", 1 "Windows 7 x64")
WDC 500GB: 5 partitions (1 primary "Windows XP SP3", 1 primary "Swap x64", 1 primary "Swap x32", 1 extended "Common Volume")

Kingston SSD is dedicated for Win 7 x64
WDC holds Win XP, the swap file for Win 7 x64 and the swap file for Win 7 x32 (which I haven't installed yet since I am waiting to buy a new SSD). WDC also holds the user files (My documents etc) for all three operating systems in the "Common Volume" partition.

Installation of Win 7 x64 and XP was done by disconnecting and connecting the HDDs as BFK proposed.


So now's left to get the new SSD for Win 7 x32 which is gonna be my main OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Installing both x32 and x64 versions of Win 7




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