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Windows 7: Multiple OS installations from 1 image file


01 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
 
 
Multiple OS installations from 1 image file

Is it possible to create multiple OS installations of windows 7 on one machine from one master image file (I'm using True Image 2012)?

I have several win 7 installs on the same machine for dedicated purposes (Main, Games, Testing, Programing, etc...), and they all are the same up to a point - that is, they share many initial programs, tweeks, service packs, updates, etc.
Since I reinstall often, I'd like to have a basic image that I can restore from and then only have to minor customizing.
I used to do this using Acronis Disk Director, and made it so each OS could not see the others, but I'd really rather use Windows 7's own boot menu as it seems much, much cleaner. I'm just not sure if Win 7 would get confused by this.
Any thoughts?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You can boot as many windows installtions as you like using windows boot management.

I often have over 30 boot menu entries.

You know that - as you already doing it.

I can't understand the question
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
You can boot as many windows installtions as you like using windows boot management.

I often have over 30 boot menu entries.

You know that - as you already doing it.

I can't understand the question
I want to install all of them from a single image file instead of from the windows installation disk. The image file is made from 1 installation which has all the common elements of the different installations I want to make.
Since they are all created from the same image file they are initially identical which was a big problem with XP (something about partition or disk IDs ?). So my question is would this be an issue in Windows 7 or not?

Thanks for any help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yes, you can do that.

Modern imaging apps. will adjust bcd during the restore process.

You can restore the same image to multiple partitions on the same machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Yes, you can do that.

Modern imaging apps. will adjust bcd during the restore process.

You can restore the same image to multiple partitions on the same machine.
Thanks for the info! That makes my life so much easier

In the olden XP days, duplicate images or clones of the same OS could cause them to be confused as to where they were really supposed to write to (sometimes writing into the other OS's partition. Exactly why & how this happened I don't know / remember, but I'm glad it's no longer the case.

Thanks again for the help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Not sure that old imaging apps. will do it tho - anything in the last 3 or 4years should do the job, macrium and paragon both do good free versions.

Have fun
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 - 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by siw2 View Post
i often have over 30 boot menu entries.
30
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

How are the partitions setup? Are they each visible or does each think it's the C: drive? If not, then I would think there would be problems with restoring an image taken from C: then restoring it to a partition that runs as F:

Am I missing something?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You can take an image of your o/s partition ( usually calls itself C ) - which may be on Disk0 partition 2.

You can restore that image to any other partition without issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #10

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

I don't understand how that will work. If you install to C: that means everything in the registry is expecting things to be on C:.

If you then take an image and restore it to another partition which is F: or G:, anything but C: are you saying Windows 7 will boot and run without any problems?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Multiple OS installations from 1 image file




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