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Windows 7: dual boot manager?


28 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
dual boot manager?

Background... I wanted to try out Windows 8 so downloaded the iso file, burned it to disk and then tried installing it on a virtual drive. (on any of three machines on my network) I won't go into a long recitation of my failed attempts, but I then switched tactics and installed it onto a spare sata drive on a machine running Vista. Ah! The pleasure of success on the first attempt.
My problem is that I cannot select either physical drive to boot to except by unplugging the one I don't want. No! Bios doesn't work. I can't get Vista or Win 8 to do that for me. I need a boot manager that will download and install (without a lot of crapplications). Or does anyone have a SIMPLE way to do this for a user who actually uses the machine as a computer, not as a technological time consuming challenge????

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Heyutwo View Post
Background... I wanted to try out Windows 8 so downloaded the iso file, burned it to disk and then tried installing it on a virtual drive. (on any of three machines on my network) I won't go into a long recitation of my failed attempts, but I then switched tactics and installed it onto a spare sata drive on a machine running Vista. Ah! The pleasure of success on the first attempt.
My problem is that I cannot select either physical drive to boot to except by unplugging the one I don't want. No! Bios doesn't work. I can't get Vista or Win 8 to do that for me. I need a boot manager that will download and install (without a lot of crapplications). Or does anyone have a SIMPLE way to do this for a user who actually uses the machine as a computer, not as a technological time consuming challenge????
Try using Easy BCD: EasyBCD - Download.com

This should work for you, even though you are running Vista:

Dual Boot Installation - Windows 8 and Windows 7 or Vista - Windows 8 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2012   #3
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

The most reasonable way to install two different OSs in the same computer is to install those in two different HDDs (unplugging one, when installing in the other). And then to use the boot menu key to select which HDD is to boot from.

Using this method, if either installation corrupts, you can repair it without hampering the others boot records.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Apr 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Set the preferred HD to boot in BIOS setup, accessed by tapping the key given for that on first screen.

Then boot the other HD when needed by tapping the Dell F12 one-time BIOS Boot Menu key at bootup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Arc View Post
The most reasonable way to install two different OSs in the same computer is to install those in two different HDDs (unplugging one, when installing in the other). And then to use the boot menu key to select which HDD is to boot from.

Using this method, if either installation corrupts, you can repair it without hampering the others boot records.
Of course I did unplug the vista drive when installing but had both plugged in to try it.
I tried the bios key f12 and no matter what I select, I still get Windows 8. What's worse is that after that, when I did unplug the W8 drive and plugged in the Vista drive, it immediately went into a chkdsk on all drives on the Vista drive including the partitioned ones. (I have no idea why W8 would cause this to the Vista drive) I guess I'll have to check out that easy bcd but this all seems to be complicated for such a simple requirement. By the way, the Vista is a Dell. I don't want to get into changing bios and since it will boot to the W8, I can do that, but the Vista drive is the one my wife has all her genealogy stuff on. She might divorce me if I screw up her stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Always back up your files before doing any reinstall or repairs.

If you cannot boot your choice of OS's via BIOS then I'd reinstall Win8 with both HD's plugged in to have it autoconfigure a Metro-style Dual Boot menu. It might be able to do this now by running it's Repair function shown on first boot menu, or installing EasyBCD to add Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
conclusion

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Always back up your files before doing any reinstall or repairs.
If you cannot boot your choice of OS's via BIOS then I'd reinstall Win8 with both HD's plugged in to have it autoconfigure a Metro-style Dual Boot menu. It might be able to do this now by running it's Repair function shown on first boot menu, or installing EasyBCD to add Windows 7.


Well since the bios selection doesn't work, that's an obvious way, but now that I have a very good installation, I'm going to live with the problem because all I wanted to do was evaluate W8. I even thought of installing my old NG drive image application to get a dual boot that worked and I still have on one old laptop.

(I find that from what I see of W8, I like it. I can still configure it the way I like with a CLEAN desktop and file manager and I expect I'll also be able to install 'Total command' which is an excellent 2 pane file manager. I haven't really explored W8 very well, it but although initially confusing, I think it's going in the right direction.)

When W8 is available I may even install it as my primary OS. The trouble I had with running it in a virtual window was a complete failure. Too many gotchas. I tried Windows 7's virtual installation as well as Virtualbox, on three machines and never did get an installation that worked until I put it on a separate sata drive.
I never throw anything away and have a storage building full of obsolete software, hardware and components. All I want now is SIMPLICITY and I'm tired of spending all my time (and money) trying to work around all kinds of problems. I guess I really am getting old.

THANKS FOR YOUR RESPONSE.
I appreciate the time and trouble you went to for someone else's problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

I believe I recall that if you choose the Repair option at Win8 boot or by booting the DVD or Repair CD, it will add the attached Windows 7 HD into a Dual Boot for you. Automatic Repair - Run in Windows 8 - Windows 8 Forums

If not then running Refresh will do it. Refresh Windows 8 - Windows 8 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #9

Win 7
 
 

There is a very easy way to correct this. I BOOT to five different OS's.
Go to 'Backup and Repair' in the Cntl panel. Make a REPAIR DISK. Boot to that...your BIOS just might give you the choice: BOOT TO...etc when you restart.
Just let it go and it will set up your Boot Sequence you will see when you reboot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 dual boot manager?




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