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Windows 7: Win 7 plus Win 7 on 2 partitions?


07 Jan 2011   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, Service Pack 1
 
 
Win 7 plus Win 7 on 2 partitions?

I have a laptop with a pair of 500Gb physical HDDs, each drive has 3 partitions. For the past 18 months I have been successfully running Vista (my original OS) on C: and Win 7 Home Premium installed on my G: partition on the 2nd physical drive. I think that Vista is irrelevant now and want to reclaim that partition space. I have also lately been having a few problems with progs on G:, which is a complex setup with many programs. No games or trivia, all business or graphic design apps.

I wondered if it might be possible to format C: and install a 2nd version of Win 7 Home on that partition too? This way I could take my time installing all my apps and revert to booting from G: when I need to do some productive work. A full install of programs takes about 3 days by the time all the tweaks and fine tuning are done. That's a lot of time for me to be non-productive, hence my idea of doing a new install in stages. Once finished I could then format the G: partition and reclaim the space for data, returning to a single boot system.

I thought I could use DualBootPro to manage which partition was selected as the default boot-up - seems a neat way of switching that.

I am just wondering if I am missing some fundamental issue that might screw everything up! Dual boot was never meant for 2 versions of the same OS. All input greatly appreciated!

Cheers
Adrian


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jan 2011   #2

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

hi merlincorp, and welcome to sevenforums,

dual-booting two 7's will work fine.

you won't even need dualbootpro or any extra software, you'll get a simple text-based boot menu to switch between os'es - of course, yours will list two 7's on it...



you can then use something like the free easybcd to modify that boot-menu more to your liking...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello merlincorp, welcome to Seven Forums!



You don't need a 3rd party boot manager as you have/will have the OSs on separate Hard Disk Drives the simplest way would be a BIOS managed dual boot; but before we make any specific recommendations will you please post a snip/screen-shot of the entire disk management drive map with a full description as to which drive/partition is which, so we can see what you have going on.

In the Windows start menu right click computer and click manage, in the left pane of the "Computer Management" window that opens click disk management and post a snip of that.


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jan 2011   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, Service Pack 1
 
 

I appreciate your advice and am glad this is not a crazy thing to do!

The easybcd program looks terrific.

Thanks
Adrian


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mickey megabyte View Post
hi merlincorp, and welcome to sevenforums,

dual-booting two 7's will work fine.

you won't even need dualbootpro or any extra software, you'll get a simple text-based boot menu to switch between os'es - of course, yours will list two 7's on it...



you can then use something like the free easybcd to modify that boot-menu more to your liking...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
You don't need a 3rd party boot manager as you have/will have the OSs on separate Hard Disk Drives the simplest way would be a BIOS managed dual boot; but before we make any specific recommendations will you please post a snip/screen-shot of the entire disk management drive map with a full description as to which drive/partition is which, so we can see what you have going on.
OK, I have hopefully attached the partition info screenshot. I always label the partitions so the function of each should be obvious.

I frequently take an image of my G:Win 7 partition using the excellent (free) Macrium Reflect program, so I actually don't need the 2 small partitions on Drive 0. I take it I could get rid of these? I use (free) Paragon Partition Manager for this kind of task. I hope these links may be of use to someone else.

Back to my plan of attack. I want to install Win 7 on the C: partition and take my time installing and configuring the many apps I have, this would take typically 3 days if I just focused on that task - but I can't spare the time all at once right now. So by switching between the existing G: Win 7 and the new C: Win 7 I can remain productive and fit in the new install as time allows. Once I have completed everything I will format G: and use that space for data.

I don't seem to be able to format C: from within the Disk Management console, but vaguely remember that is an option offered from the Win 7 installation disk? It's an OEM version of Win 7, I hope that's not gonna cause me any issues!

I just need an easy way to switch between booting from C: or G: at startup. I guess I can do that by labeling C: "New Win 7" or something obvious like that.

Cheers
Adrian


Attached Thumbnails
Win 7 plus Win 7 on 2 partitions?-partition-info.gif  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello again.



For the new install disconnect the Disk 1 Hard Disk Drive data cable from the motherboard; clean install the 'new' Windows 7 and do not enter an activation key when presented with that dialog box; that will give you 120 days to get things in order before you have to activate the new install.

Activation Trial Period - Extend Up to 120 Days


After the install is complete, power down the PC and reconnect Disk 1 to the mobo and then use the BIOS one-time boot menu hot-key specific to your mobo at PC startup to boot the older HDD/OS when needed.

Be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Using the BIOS to dual-boot as BFK suggests keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please - which is exactly what you want when you're phasing one out.

If you want to get the cleanest install, move the data off the target HD and wipe it of all code. Here are tips to getting a purrfect install based on hundreds done here: re-install windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Greg has an excellent idea to move the data from the Disk 0 and to do a complete wipe (secure erase) of the entire HDD prior to OS installation, for the best possible space to install Windows 7 to; have a look at Step One of this tutorial at the link below, be sure to look through Step Two #s 2 & 3 for partition creation options.


SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Hello again.
For the new install disconnect the Disk 1 Hard Disk Drive data cable from the motherboard; clean install the 'new' Windows 7 and do not enter an activation key when presented with that dialog box; that will give you 120 days to get things in order before you have to activate the new install.
I appreciate your input, but I am extremely reluctant to open up my Acer laptop and fiddle about inside. If I make a balls of it I am in deep trouble as I am now living in the Philippines and getting any kind of decent hardware support is virtually impossible.

Is this step really necessary?

Thanks
Adrian
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Using the BIOS to dual-boot as BFK suggests keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please - which is exactly what you want when you're phasing one out.

If you want to get the cleanest install, move the data off the target HD and wipe it of all code. Here are tips to getting a purrfect install based on hundreds done here: re-install windows 7
Thanks Greg, but this scares me ****less. I am a website designer, not a techie and I feel well outside my depth here. I do have some experience and I figured if I just focused on formatting the C:Vista partition and installing Win 7 on there I couldn't make a complete mess. Are the advantages to be gained by going the whole hog really worth the risk?

Thanks
Adrian
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win 7 plus Win 7 on 2 partitions?




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