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Windows 7: How to dual boot Windows 7 64-bit with existing Vista 32-bit, and ?s

01 Jul 2011   #1

Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
 
 
How to dual boot Windows 7 64-bit with existing Vista 32-bit, and ?s

I have an HP quad core machine with OEM Vista Home Premium 32-bit installed. It has never been connected to the internet (only my home network) since I have only used it for video editing and a few other particular tasks that do not require internet access. My thinking was that by keeping it "virgin" I would maintain fast boot times and that out-of-the-box snappiness. Set it up with several specific types of software, remove everything that isn't important (like AV software), and only install things via USB when necessary. For three years I've succeeded and the box is as fast as the day I set it up. It sits sequestered in its tower still wearing its chastity belt, oblivious to the evils of the outside world.

Unfortunately my main online machine (Vista 64-bit) just suffered the indignity of a failed motherboard. It's not worth repairing. Luckily the hard drive is intact. Here is my plan of action. I'd like to know if it makes sense, if it's doable, and, if so, the best way to go about it.

I'd like to set up a dual boot system. A year ago I purchased a full Windows 7 installation using the student discount available at the time. My virgin machine is capable of handling Windows 7 64-bit, so I'd like to install that (have already downloaded the ISO and burned it to a dvd). What I want to do is throw in an entirely new hard drive and install Windows 7 64-bit on it. I would then leave the Vista 32-bit existing installation intact and untouched. I would end up with three SATA drives in the HP tower -- 1) main drive with the existing, virgin OEM Vista 32 installation, 2) brand-new drive on which I would install Windows 7 64-bit, 3) drive I pulled from my dead Vista 64-bit machine, including lots of data and settings.

I would gradually set up the Windows 7 to mirror what I was doing on the machine that just died (I still have access to all of the important settings I need on the hard drive). When I want to do my regular stuff on the net I'll use the new Windows 7 64-bit installation. When I want to do the video and photo stuff I've been doing the last three years I'll boot to the virgin Vista installation (maybe even unplugging from the net while doing so).

So, can I do this? Will I maintain the snappiness of my current setup by making sure that when I boot to the existing Vista 32 install that I stay offline? If all answers are yes, how do I do it? For example, do I just install a new hard drive and then tell the machine to boot to the dvd drive and then install Windows 7 to that new drive from there? If so, how does the dual boot part of it go (or is it automatic and I'll be asked each time I turn on the machine?)

Sorry for the longwindedness, and thank you in advance for any replies


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Jul 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

could we get some info on the hardware involved? Cpu, ram, etc?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2011   #3

Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
could we get some info on the hardware involved? Cpu, ram, etc?
AMD Phenom 9500 Quad Core 2.2 GHz, 4GB RAM, 512MB hard drive (I'd be installing a new 640MB drive for the Windows 7 64-bit install and the drive from the failed computer is also 512MB). NVidia GeForce 8500 GT. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


01 Jul 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Tutorial here for dual-booting Win 7 and Win Vista: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and Vista
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

First backup your DATA.

Setup the HD's up
1) Disk0 Vista
2) Disk1 Windows 7
3) Disk2 DATA.

When installing Windows 7 uplug the DATA HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

With separate HD's it is best to unplug other HD's during install then set preferred OS HD as first to boot in BIOS setup, boot secondary HD using one-time BIOS Boot Menu key.

This keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please, whereas leaving both HD's plugged in during install to configure a Windows-managed Dual Boot will lock the second HD to the first (System) HD requiring major surgery to ever remove the first one.

Simply disable your ethernet or wireless adapter in virgin Vista to keep it from ever connecting to the internet. It's possible you could infect it by copying infected files in from the other HD's.

Once you know you don't want the old Vista any longer move it's files off to format, or move data files into another partition to format or delete the Vista System partition.

A popular method is to link your User account or folders on both OS's to the third HD to share the data however if you're worried about cross-contamination from the new streetwalking Windows 7 you may not want to do this. User Profile - Change Default Location
User Folders - Change Default Location

You can also if needed run Paragon Adaptive Restore CD on the moved Vista HD to start it on the new hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2011   #7

Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
 
 

Thank you, all. As for installing the other two drives, is there a particular way I should do it to make sure that Disk1 (as Theog mentions) will be fine for the Windows 7 installation? I've moved hard drives between computers before but usually I simply connect them via external enclosures or docks. I'm not up on the master/slave distinction, for example. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
First backup your DATA.

Setup the HD's up
1) Disk0 Vista
2) Disk1 Windows 7
3) Disk2 DATA.

When installing Windows 7 uplug the DATA HD.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by unclelobsterman View Post
Thank you, all. As for installing the other two drives, is there a particular way I should do it to make sure that Disk1 (as Theog mentions) will be fine for the Windows 7 installation? I've moved hard drives between computers before but usually I simply connect them via external enclosures or docks. I'm not up on the master/slave distinction, for example. Thanks.
On the MOBO you have Sata ports.

1) Plug Disk0 to Sata port 1.
2) Plug CD/DVD0 to Sata port 2.(If you have one)
3) Plug Disk1 to Sata port 3.
4) Plug Disk2 to Sata port 4.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2011   #9

Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post

On the MOBO you have Sata ports.

1) Plug Disk0 to Sata port 1.
2) Plug CD/DVD0 to Sata port 2.(If you have one)
3) Plug Disk1 to Sata port 3.
4) Plug Disk2 to Sata port 4.
Thanks again. Last question before I get started: Does it matter whether Vista or 7 gets the Disk0 designation? Seems there are two opinions. For what it's worth 90% of the time I'll be booting into 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Use disk0 for Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to dual boot Windows 7 64-bit with existing Vista 32-bit, and ?s




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