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Windows 7: Considering a Duel Boot System: Need Advice/Suggestions

11 Jan 2014   #11
dTonic

 

I'm not exactly certain about the Host/Guest/virtual designations. I ca guess that the host is the PC's main OS and that the guest is the guest system, running in virtual memory.

Also: I read that VirtualBox can suspend a virtual system, freeing up memory for the other OS so that it can take advantage of all possible RAM. My understanding is that VMWare Player can not do this. This, of course, is based on possibly antiquated internet reviews. One review said that VMWare Player could not create VM's, but this is not the case at this point in time.

Any thoughts?

And I'm guessing that your suggestion of running Win 7 as a guest/virtual is because 8 is already installed and may have licensing issues...correct?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jan 2014   #12
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
I'm not exactly certain about the Host/Guest/virtual designations. I ca guess that the host is the PC's main OS and that the guest is the guest system, running in virtual memory.
That is correct
Quote:
I read that VirtualBox can suspend a virtual system, freeing up memory for the other OS so that it can take advantage of all possible RAM

I have used Virtual Box for many years but I never noticed that. I now use VMware Player because I think it is superior.

If you have 4GB or more of RAM, there is no problem anyhow. Both Win7 and Win8 can live well with 2GB of RAM

Quote:
And I'm guessing that your suggestion of running Win 7 as a guest/virtual is because 8 is already installed and may have licensing issues...correct
That is correct. You have a Windows 8 system and transferring that to virtual would be a challenge. I have a Windows 7 sustem and at the time I bought one of those special offer Windows 8 licenses for $40. That is what I run now in virtual.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #13
dTonic

 

Well, given that I really want to use Win 7 as my work horse, and to merely "play/learn" windows 8, I would lean towards installing 7 and making 8 virtual. I also want to use the 128GB SSD as the drive for the OS's instead of the 1TB mechanical drive.

I have an AMD FX Quad-core processor @ about 3.9GHz with 32GB DDR3 1600 RAM. Photoshop and 100MB image files should be a snap I would hope!

I can Install windows 7 on the blank SSD Drive with Windows 8 untouched on the 1TB Drive, then try a virtual 8 with the SSD drive, leaving the 1TB Drive out of the picture temporarily. I have both an Acronis Image of Windows 8 as well as the restore disc.

I placed the SSD drive in the system yesterday, but it did not show up in Windows Explorer, I am assuming I need to format it using "Disk Management."

Does this sould like a reasonable plan?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jan 2014   #14
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Installing 7 on the SSD is a breeze. You need not even format it (the installer does that) unless you want to avoid the system partition problem and the need to unplug the HDD during the installation. In that case format it with these commands:

Diskpart
List disk
Select disk n (where n is the number that was given for your SSD in List disk)
Clean
Create partition primary align=1024
Format fs=ntfs quick
assign letter=C
Active
Exit

Then install into that partition. But if you install into the blank SSD, make sure you physically disconnect the 1TB drive. Else your Win7 bootmgr will end up on it. With the predefined partition that cannot happen.

The first things you want to do after your installation is:

1. get rid of the hiberfile. The command is powercfg -h off
2. reduce the pagefile to 2 GB.

Those 2 actions will save you 62GBs on the SSD. Your RAM is so big that you would get those massive files otherwise eating all your SSD space.

Now you could also run both systems by switching the bootorder with the BIOS boot priority. The SSD first if you want Windows 7 and the HDD first when you want Windows 8. That is not quite as comfy as a virtual setup because you have to reboot each time you want to switch systems, but it avoids the possible activation problems for Windows 8 in VMware Player.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #15
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dTonic View Post
Well, given that I really want to use Win 7 as my work horse, and to merely "play/learn" windows 8, I would lean towards installing 7 and making 8 virtual
Why bother virtualising? A dual boot is straightforward.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #16
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dTonic View Post
Well, given that I really want to use Win 7 as my work horse, and to merely "play/learn" windows 8, I would lean towards installing 7 and making 8 virtual
Why bother virtualising? A dual boot is straightforward.
It's also messy and you have to reboot every time you want to go to the other system - very inconvenient. I see no advantage in double booting, do you ?

But in his case, because of the Win8 activation problem, a double installation switching with the BIOS boot order may be the best solution. That way the 2 systems don't get into each other's hair. Bios switching is actually easier than switching with the bootloader.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #17
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Its not messy at all......I thought it might be, but it was very easy without any technical tinkering required. Its rock solid, and since the W8 bootloader is the default loader it seems twice as fast as W7 when booting.

Since I've done it this way, I haven't felt the need to boot into W7 in about 2 weeks Everything I do here now is in W8. Maybe the psychological effect of having W7 available if I need it, is working in my favour
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #18
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I guess once you understood how to install it with UEFI and secure boot it is OK. Getting rid of one of the systems is another story. In virtual I just delete 1 folder. And for backup I just copy that 1 folder someplace. Beats even imaging which I use a lot too on the host system.

But your situation is different. You want to run W8 more or less all the time. The OP wants W8 only for tinkering at times. That's like me. I bring up W8 maybe twice per week for an hour or so. The rest of the time I run in W7 or one of my Linux distros. Right now I have a total of 6 virtual systems - and growing. Try that with double booting. See here for details:

Running multiple operating systems side-by-side
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #19
dTonic

 

I'm a non-hibernation guy for sure....no need for it.
As for the Pagefile.sys, although it would be faster on the SSD I was considering using the 1TB drive, or maybe an 8GB USB3 thumb drive. I like the ability to keep the SSD with as few writes as possible and free from fragmentation. The pagefile has a way of finding every hole and filling it in.

I'm not exactly up to speed on how the system prioritizes memory from RAM versus the pagefile.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2014   #20
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

With 32GBs of RAM, nothing will be written to the pagefile - ever. I only keep it because some processes do false pagefaults where nothing is really written to the file.

But I would not worry about the number of write operations. There won't be enough of those during your lifetime to harm the SSD - and I wish you a long life,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Considering a Duel Boot System: Need Advice/Suggestions




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