Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Dual-Boot Windows 7 64-bit and 32-bit

26 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7
Dual-Boot Windows 7 64-bit and 32-bit

I have a workstation that I am configuring for dual-boot of both Window 7 64-bit and Windows 7 32-bit.

I believe I'm almost done, but I have a few (hopefully) minor changes that I would like to make using BCDedit - perhaps someone could help me.

A bit of background may speed this up a bit.

I have a Dell T7500 Workstation that I had pre-ordered with 2 500GB HDDs configured as Raid 1 with Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit installed. I knew that I would run into some issues with the 64-bit OS, so I wanted to install the 32-bit version of Windows 7 before I got too far into setting up this PC - to avoid having to reload a whole bunch of applications.

So, I purchased 2 1TB HDDs and and additional copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. I installed the new drives and configured them as Raid 1. So I now have 2 virtual drives, one 500GB and the other 1TB.

I booted from the new DVD and installed Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit to the new drive. When I rebooted, I got 2 "Windows 7" operating systems. After poking around a bit and trying my hand at BCDedit, I now get "Windows 7 32-bit" followed by "Windows 7 64-bit" - the OSes are in the reverse order of what I expected.

So I have 2 questions:
  1. It appears that {default} determines which OS gets highlighted and therefore boots by "default" if a user does not intervene. Is there a way to switch which entry is assigned {default} and {current} - or some other method so that the 64-bit OS boots by default?
  2. When I boot the 32-bit OS, it is on C: and the 64-bit drive is on D:. When I boot the 64-bit OS it is on C: - which I expected based on the forums, etc. - but the 32-bit drive is on E:, not D: as I expected - the DVD is now assigned to D:. Is there a way to switch the second HDD and the DVD drive letters?
I searched the forums for dual-boot and BCDedit tutorials and managed to glean most of what I need. I realize that there are a plethora of alternate boot managers available, but I feel like I'm so close - I'd prefer to keep it simple.

Thank you,

Kevin Taberski

My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hello Kevin, Welcome to the best Windows forums out there!

To change the default OS, try this tutorial.

To change drive letters, go into Disk Management and right-click on your drive. Then select Change Drive Letters (or whatever the option is, you will see it).

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7


Thank you for the link to the tutorial - that solved my 1st question!

If I attempt to change the drive letter of the second HDD, I find that D: is not available - which makes sense as D: is assigned to the DVD. I basically would like to swap D: with E: (i.e. the second HDD with the DVD). is it possible to assign an unused letter to the DVD? Then I could assign D: to my second HDD and then E: to the DVD.

I'm so close!

Thank you,

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64

Yes, you can do all kinds on monkeying with drive letters. If you change the DVD letter, you should be able to change the HD letter to D.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower

Hello taberski again another welcome to the Windows 7 Forums!

Changing the drive letters around in each installation is rather basic there. Make sure the 7 dvd or another disk with some data on it is left in the optical drive since that is one of the drives being changed. Once you go into the Disk Management tool and right click on the drive you can temporarily give it any unused drive letter like H, K, R, X and then proceed to make the other 7 Drive D.

Once done you simply go back to the optical drive once more to reassign E,F,G or whichever letter you want. Note that each time a drive letter is changed expect to see a Windows prompt cautioning about some programs no longer being able to work when asking if you want the change as well as seeing the autoplay popup appear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2009   #6

Windows 7

Jonathan and Night Hawk,

Thank you for the additional information. The step I was missing was having a disk inserted in the DVD drive. Once I performed that step, all was clear and straight forward.

I believe I now have my workstation configured just as I had intended - so I can now start installing applications with confidence.

Thanks again and Happy New Year!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower

I'm glad to see you have sorted out now and a have great New Year!

(I've done that a few times where I went to change drive letters and forgot to have a disk in the drive. That's when you say aw crap and toss one in! )
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dual-Boot Windows 7 64-bit and 32-bit

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads for: Dual-Boot Windows 7 64-bit and 32-bit
Thread Forum
Solved Dual boot with Windows 7, and XP no longer appears in Boot Manager Installation & Setup
Restore points missing from windows 7 after i boot in Xp(dual boot) Performance & Maintenance
Recover Windows 7 boot on dual boot system with GRUB masterboot General Discussion
windows 7 and linux fedora dual boot with dual drives General Discussion
Unable to boot Windows 7 after unistalling Ubuntu Dual boot Installation & Setup
dual boot windows 7 and vista boot error winload.exe Installation & Setup
dual boot , reinstall the windows and lost dual boot Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:10 AM.
Twitter Facebook Google+

Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33