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Windows 7: How to display Bios boot menu on startup?

09 Mar 2015   #1
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 
How to display Bios boot menu on startup?

Hi,

I plan to have two installations of windows 7, on each harddrive. I don't want a dual boot setup in the traditional sense, where Windows adds it to startup options, and the boot files are all placed on one drive, if that makes sense.

What I am after are two totally independant systems that are not aware of each other, by installing one first, then unplugging that drive, then installing the other.

The only way to boot these is via F12 boot menu, where you would select to boot from a drive, usb, or cd.

My question is, would it be possible to set in BIOS options, to always display this F12 boot menu on startup, rather than having to quickly time hitting the F12 key?

I guess this is dependant on the motherboard bios itself (Gigabyte Z87) but I have no idea what this option would be called or if it exists.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Mar 2015   #2
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Not possible as far as I know. I have not seen any option in the BIOS to do that. The best you can do is set the drive with the OS you use most often as the first boot device. Then use F12 to switch to the other drive when need be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2015   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Nah, is hitting F12 such a problem.

When you install on disk2, make sure disk1 is physically disconnected. Else your disk2 bootmgr may end up on disk1.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Mar 2015   #4
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Yeh I was planning on setting the most used drive as 1st priority.

Its not a problem hitting F12 as such, but my computer is in the other room, meaning as soon as I switch it on, I have to leg it to my computer keyboard in other room and hit F12 in time, otherwise it will boot into the drive I do not wish to use.
I guess that is the way so I'll make do.

I found dual boots under Windows to be messy with how it manages a single boot manager between installations and dumping it on Disk 0 regardless of where the installs are.

Is it possible that rather than disconnecting drives, I could install a single fresh W7 to one drive (no other installations present) and use Macrium to back it up in its fresh state, then "restore" this image to the other drive, thereby giving two installtions that are seperate from each other, with their own system reserved partitions and boot managers?

I can't see why this wouldn't work, but if not, I can physically disconnect one before installing the other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2015   #5
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

On second thoughts, Is restoring a W7 installation plus its system reserved partition, to another drive likely to cause a non boot, because the restored boot manager will be looking at the wrong disk location?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2015   #6
gregrocker

 

Unplug all other drives when applying the image or cloning to the target drive. If it doesn't start confirm the Partition Marked Active and then run Startup Repair until it starts.

As to Boot menu: Once you've assured that each hard drive is independently bootable as you're doing and intend, you can then install EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) to add the other to a more convenient Windows Dual Boot menu. Each drive will remain independently bootable but only have the Windows menu overlaid onto them, which can be removed at any time in msconfig>Boot or EasyBCD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2015   #7
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Cheers,

Is there no way around having to open up my pc and physically disconnect the other drives? I know that sounds lazy but the inside of my pc is not the easiest to navigate. I wonder if i can disable specific sata ports in bios, which would effectivly disconnect them during installations right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2015   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The Macrium image way should work without opening the box. I see no complications. Just make sure you also get the 100MB system partition or copy the bottmgr first to C - before you make the image of C only.

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2015   #9
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Also, how do I know if both installations are completly independant and have their own boot managers on their respective drives?

Would it be that they both have a system reserved partition, and if they were not independant, they would share a system reserved partition, dumped on the first physical disk?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2015   #10
MrJWilson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1 (x2. Dual Boot)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
The Macrium image way should work without opening the box. I see no complications. Just make sure you also get the 100MB system partition or copy the bottmgr first to C - before you make the image of C only.

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD

I think I understand this but not sure if i'd have to do that.

So when backing up the W7 install, I would naturally back it up along with the system reserved partition (containg boot manager)

Would simply restoring / copying this W7 + system partition via Macrium to new disk, allow me to boot into this new restored installation without having to mess with bootmanger?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to display Bios boot menu on startup?




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