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Windows 7: Dual booting Windows 7 Home Basic x64 and Server 2008 R2 without VHD


09 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Basic x64
 
 
Dual booting Windows 7 Home Basic x64 and Server 2008 R2 without VHD

Hello,everyone.I have a doubt:There's a single hard drive in my laptop,and it contains two partitions(besides the 100 MB "system reserved" partition).The "C:" drive contains the OS and boot files.The "D:" partition holds personal data and backup files.Both are primary.I would like to set my laptop to dual boot mode,with Windows Server 2008 R2 as the new bootable OS.I would achieve this by shrinking the "D:" partition,creating a new one(e.g."E:")with the unallocated space,and installing the new OS into the new partition.Nevertheless,I fear that installing a new OS will overwrite/modify the current MBR,leaving me with only the Server 2008 R2 boot entry.
So,will Server 2008 R2 really mess with MBR or boot entries on the HD,or will the boot manager still report two boot entries?

P.S.:I've tried creating a VHD drive,installing and booting Server 2008 R2 from there,however that can't be accomplished because my notebook Windows 7 edition is Home Basic x64,whereupon this feature isn't enabled.If I try to install the desired OS to the virtual disk,the setup disk manager GUI will report this error message:

"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is a surfaced virtual disk.Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computerís hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the diskís controller is enabled in the computerís BIOS menu."


This is the guide I've been following in order to learn how to handle with VHD drives:


Dual booting Windows Server 2008 R2 with Windows 7 using VHD booting | microsoftNOW



Sorry for the long post and my English.I hope you understand what I mean.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jan 2012   #2

Win 8 RP, Win 7, XP
 
 

When you install a later Windows version its boot environment will replace that of the existing OS.
It very well possible to install Windows 2008 R2 to VHD.

The message you receive can be ignored as Windows 2008 R2 boot manager can boot VHD's.
Moreover a dual boot will be created automatically.
The new boot environment (files) will be placed in System Reserved (and replace/amend the existing).

If you prefer shrinking d: and installing R2 on the newly created space you will have a slightly better disk performance everything else is the same for VHD or native partition install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Hello ksioamaral89 Welcome to the Seven Forums!

There are two things right off that could be preventling any install to VHD from working. 1) Your laptop may lack virtualzation hardware support. or 2) The virtualization feature wasn't enabled in the bios setup.

To see if your laptop will support virtualization you will want to download the Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Tool made available by MS for the Virtual PC which can downloaded from How to confirm your PC supports hardware virtualization
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jan 2012   #4

Win 8 RP, Win 7, XP
 
 

I don't have hardware virtualization support but Windows 8 DP running from native VHD installation.

For native VHD installation to run only the correct boot environment and drivers are needed which are enabled for certain Windows versions (Windows 7 (not all), 2008 R2 and later).

Virtual PC needs virtualization support.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The W8 DP was intended to run on 7 being a preview not a beta release. Another thing to look at would be the guide for creating a vhd and setting up to boot with. Virtual Hard Drive VHD File - Create and Start with at Boot

Originally it was intended for 7 if you were running Vista but should work for a dual boot as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64 and Windows XP Professional SP3 x32 (Dual Boot)
 
 

"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is a surfaced virtual disk.Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer’s hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk’s controller is enabled in the computer’s BIOS menu."

It will always say that when you try to install an OS on a VHD. You should promptly ignore it, and it will work fine as long as you have the right edition (any Server 2008 R2 should be fine) of Windows. You don't need to worry about hardware virtualization for VHD dual booting because my laptop has no hardware virtualization whatsoever (couldn't install Windows 8 DP, Windows Server 2008 R2, etc. on VirtualBox), but was able to install said operating systems on VHDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Basic x64
 
 

Hey guys,as I expected,installing Server 2008 R2 into a separate partition didn't mess with BCD,so the previous OS entry(Windows 7) was there.I also Checked bcdedit and it reported both entries,so no reasons to worry .Seems like installing Vista,7,Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2(perhaps other recent NT family OS will behave like that as well)will not delete boot entries ,unlike Windows XP,which simply wiped out my previous Windows boot registry.Thanks for the help,people!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64 and Windows XP Professional SP3 x32 (Dual Boot)
 
 

If you install XP after a recent Windows OS, yes, it will delete the boot entry, but it's very easy to bring back with an easy Startup Repair. Glad you were able to fix your problem through repartitioning though (which I prefer for long term purposes, while I like VHD for short term). You would have been fine with a VHD too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dual booting Windows 7 Home Basic x64 and Server 2008 R2 without VHD




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