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Windows 7: Triple Boot - XP, 2 Windows 7?

06 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise 32bit
 
 
Triple Boot - XP, 2 Windows 7?

I work for a college that needs 2 and possibly 3 bootable partitions for testing. I might need the 3rd due to conflicts with the testing programs not liking each other. The hard drive has 3 50gb partitions with another 80gb unallocated on a 250gb hard drive. I have successfully done a XP followed by a 32 bit Windows 7. I tried to put Windows 7 on the third, and it didnít ask where to install. I just started to install without asking where to install. Because of this, it wiped out the boot manager of the disk and had to re-partition the disk. I am just wanting to know if this would be possible to do.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Did you boot the installer? Clean Install Windows 7

You should still have one of the old OS's on the HD as the installer will only install to one partition, however it should have let you choose unless it is unintended Unattended.

Where did you get Windows 7 installer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Enterprise 32bit
 
 

This is Enterprise Edition of Windows 7. I wiped the hard drive and re-partitioned it when the third went belly up. I was thinking of doing 64 bit on the third partition seeing it would be a different version of Windows, or doing a 32 bit of professional. The drive was completely clean except for the Dell Recovery which I believe I kept on this 380 Optiplex.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

To be clear:

You said in OP that you tried to install the third OS to partition and it began installing without asking where, wiping out your partitions. I replied that it should have only overwritten one partition, not all three.

I also asked you quite clearly if you booted the DVD.

You reply that you've deleted all but one partition on the HD except for a Dell Recov partition which most likely won't run now?

So what happens when you boot the DVD to install? Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise 32bit
 
 

I made the 3 partitions with the extra not allocated. I did a fresh install from the DVD of XP Pro SP3 on the first partition. I then did a clean install from the DVD of Windows 7 Enterprise on the second partition of which I selected the second partition which had all space being free. The first partition showed quite a bit of used space from the XP install. I then got brave and tried to install the same version of Win 7 on the third partition. I went through the formalities of setting the time and accepting the terms. After clicking ok, I usually see the window asking where to install like it did on the 2 previous installs, but it went straight into installing. I stopped it right away when I didn't see the screen I was expecting. I then tried to boot either XP or Windows 7 that I have done a few times to install the drivers, but I got the Boot Manager missing. I took the hard drive out and hooked it up to my usb adapter that I used to partition it. I then saw that my partitions were gone. It had 2 partitions with one being the 80 unallocated and the 150 that was my 3 separate partitions. I am wondering if I did something wrong or not.

Like I said, I need XP for some older testing programs for Employment testing that some companies use our testing site for. I would like 2 Windows 7 32bit for the other testing programs for the different ports and to keep a few from conflicting with each other. I said something about using Vista, and that was quickly rejected. I am just wanting to know if it possible to do the same version of Windows 7 on the same drive but different partitions, or do I need to use a different version like Professional? I know that Enterprise and Pro are basically the same, but is there enough differences to make it work? Would I be able to use a 64 bit to make it work? These are questions that I have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Again I ask for the third time if you booted the installer.

It likely began install because you ran it from the Windows 7 partition and failed to choose Custom Install, but instead clicked Upgrade which is a Repair Install.

You should be able to multi-boot the same version if you boot the installer, choose Custom install to choose partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Seeing that you work for a College you most proberly have access to multiple hard drives. You might save yourself allot of time, effort and headaches if you just install 3 HDD's and install your OS to each one independently then just hit F10/11/12 or whichever key gives you your boot options to choose which drive to boot from .... just my opinion though
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Enterprise 32bit
 
 

I can put one other hard drive in the machine. They are Dell Optiplex 380. They don't have extra power couplings from the power supply and only have one extra SATA connector on the motherboard. If I have to, I can split the hard drive for XP and 7 and put another Windows 7 on the extra hard drive in the small space where the A drive used to go in them.

It asked me for Custom or Upgrade this time. I swear it didn't the first time. I am hoping this works, or I will be working on this tomorrow morning when I get back to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Did you boot the installer?

If it doesn't configure a triple boot during install, you can add EasyBCD to the new install to add the others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Enterprise 32bit
 
 

It worked. I must have not noticed that I hit upgrade or repair. Sorry to take up your time for my mess up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Triple Boot - XP, 2 Windows 7?




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