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Windows 7: Possible to Dual boot from one backup image?

15 Sep 2016   #1
SenileAnimal

Windows 7 Home Premium X64
 
 
Possible to Dual boot from one backup image?

So I reinstalled Windows 7 (MBR), tweaked it to my liking, backed it up (with Macrium Reflect), then decided I'd like to dual boot Windows 7.

Is it possible to reuse the backup image or do I need to go through another OS install?

I'm using one HDD, have 2 Windows 7 DVDs (home premium and ultimate x64), and don't mind buying another if necessary. I'm familiar with disk part and storage devices but dual booting is unfamiliar territory for me...not sure if what I want is doable or advised.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thank you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Sep 2016   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

If you used the backup, you`d have to enter another key.

There won`t be any issues dual booting 7 but....

What`s the point of 2 7`s on 1 drive ??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #3
SenileAnimal

Windows 7 Home Premium X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
If you used the backup, you`d have to enter another key.

There won`t be any issues dual booting 7 but....

What`s the point of 2 7`s on 1 drive ??
So just create a new primary partition and restore the backup image alongside the existing os?

I wonder if my unused Windows 7 Ultimate (retail) key will activate the second Windows 7 HP OEM install, or if I need to buy a key.

1 optimized for gaming, 1 with crap on it for work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Sep 2016   #4
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I don't think a retail Windows will activate an OEM Windows. Somehow, you need to eventually end up with Windows and its product key on each of your OS partitions; I've never done anything close to that, so I'll listen in and learn alongside you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #5
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

The problem trying to restore an image for the 2nd OS is you have two different versions of Win 7, home premium and ultimate.
You won't be able to change the product key to a different version such as home premium to ultimate.
You would need to do a clean install with the other DVD/version, or purchase another license for the same version as you have installed now.

Post a maximized/resized screen print of Disk Management showing all info using these instructions:
Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #6
SenileAnimal

Windows 7 Home Premium X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
I don't think a retail Windows will activate an OEM Windows. Somehow, you need to eventually end up with Windows and its product key on each of your OS partitions; I've never done anything close to that, so I'll listen in and learn alongside you!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
The problem trying to restore an image for the 2nd OS is you have two different versions of Win 7, home premium and ultimate.
You won't be able to change the product key to a different version such as home premium to ultimate.
You would need to do a clean install with the other DVD/version, or purchase another license for the same version as you have installed now.

Post a maximized/resized screen print of Disk Management showing all info using these instructions:
Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
Didn't think so, oh well. Ill probably buy another Home Premium OEM key just to avoid another reinstall.

Aside from that, do I just restore the backup alongside the existing os and all is well, easy peasy or?

I'm away from the rig at the moment, unfortunately. The layout is:
System Reserved (active) 100mb / C: OS (ntfs primary) 100gb/ A: Media (ntfs logical) around 750gb / free space

The rest, at the end of the disk is unallocated. I've got in mind aprox 100gb for the second 7 boot, 5gb fat32 (for bios flashing), and 50gb for Linux (eventually).

Thank you all for trying to help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #7
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

When you restore the image for a 2nd OS you will need to add that OS to the bootloader.
I would use EasyBCD for that.

Just be careful not to have too many primary partitions on the HD.
You can have a max of 4 Primary, or 3 Primary and unlimited Logical.
Windows can be installed on a Logical partition.
The only partition that needs to be Primary is the bootloader partition, for you that's System Reserved.

Is your A: Media partition your data partition ?
Using drive letter A can cause issues, A and B are intended to be used for floppy drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #8
SenileAnimal

Windows 7 Home Premium X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
When you restore the image for a 2nd OS you will need to add that OS to the bootloader.
I would use EasyBCD for that.

Just be careful not to have too many primary partitions on the HD.
You can have a max of 4 Primary, or 3 Primary and unlimited Logical.
Windows can be installed on a Logical partition.
The only partition that needs to be Primary is the bootloader partition, for you that's System Reserved.

Is your A: Media partition your data partition ?
Using drive letter A can cause issues, A and B are intended to be used for floppy drives.
Hugely informative reply, thank you!

I've never used EasyBCD, but heard of it. I'm going to see if I can find a tutorial.

Newb question: will a Windows bootloader magically appear or do I need to do something special/ install something to make that happen? I suspect the system reserved partition handles this but, not sure.

I didn't realize you could boot from a Logical partition. That's great, I might go that route then.

Yes, A is data. Wow I never knew that. Unfortunately its pretty well entangled with the OS at this point (~400gb of games plus applications) so I'm not sure if it's worth the effort in changing it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #9
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

As stated, you can not use a Home Premium key to activate Ultimate and vice versa.

A retail key or an oem key (not branded) will work to activate windows, it doesn`t matter. A retail disc and an OEM disc (not branded) are the same exact thing.

I agree with David, do not name partitions A or B

But if it has data pertinent to Windows...say it`s a games partition/drive then do not change it`s letter. A strictly data partition or drives letter can be changed and nothing bad should happen, but it`s best to setup your partitions and drives as soon as you can after installing Windows.

Nowadays, I really don`t think it would cause any issues on a Data partition, it`s a really old rule, and people just don`t do it.

All about drive letters and drive names | PCWorld

But there is one rule we can all agree on, never change the drive letter that windows is installed on, which will always be C, unless it`s installed from within windows where C of course will already be taken.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #10
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

You already have a bootloader in the System Reserved partition, you don't need to do anything special to create it.
In Disk Management you should see System Reserved as the Active, System partition, that shows where the bootloader is that was used to start Windows.
You should see C as the Boot partition that shows where Windows is running from.

That's why i wanted to see a DM screen print, to make sure it's the way i think it is from your description.

Yea, i understand about A being entangled and the work/risk involved trying to change the drive letter.
I've never used A for a drive letter, so i have no personal experience.
I've read others do run into problems.

If A is for games plus applications I'm not sure what you might run into if you "share/use" this partition with both OS's.
I install all programs on the C drive, the OS + Programs partition.
To me it seems if you use A for both OS's, you will have Games on your Work OS
I think if you update program xyz in OS1 it will no longer work in OS2.
I'm not a gamer, so i can't comment on that.

Data can be updated on a "Shared" drive, but i wouldn't share Installed Programs for different OS's.
I do have "Portable Apps" and "Data" partitions that i share/use for multiple OS's, but they are not Installed programs, they are Portable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Possible to Dual boot from one backup image?




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