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Windows 7: Dual Boot Win7 x64 with Vista x64

03 Apr 2009   #1

Windows Vista Home Premium x64
 
 
Dual Boot Win7 x64 with Vista x64

Hi all,

Got a few questions w/r to doing a dual boot between Vista x64 and Windows 7 x64.

First and foremost, I know I need a secondary partition on my drive. But when I try to section off some space using the Windows Disk Manager, I get an error about how dynamic disks won't support OS booting. I tell it to proceed anyway, on the thought that I can convert it to a basic disk later; but then it says dynamic disk not supported on system.

So there's the major hurdle--has anyone else seen this before? How do you get around that?

Second: previous experience setting up dual boots on machines (beetween Vista and XP) suggests that when the second OS is installed, it will override boot handles for the first OS, such that if I have Vista installed first, then install XP, it'll boot straight to XP without giving me the option to boot to Vista. For Vista-XP situations I know there's a specialized tool to fix that. Is there likewise a specific method for this kind of scenario as well?

Third: are there any other unique challenges that I should be aware of when dealing with a 64-bit environment? I've only ever done 32-bit operations before so this is new territory for me.

Fourth: when I installed the Windows 7 Beta as an upgrade on a previous computer (overwriting that computer's OEM Windows Vista OS), it destroyed that computer's ability to restore from its factory image. Are there any such effects on the BIOS or anything of that nature when dual-booting with Windows 7, or are those changes contained entirely within that OS' dedicated partition?

Fifth and finally: the computer I'm working with is an Acer Aspire 8930G-7665 with a 500GB hard drive sectioned into two 250GB pieces, one the OS drive and one a utility partition where I have my backup image stored. Are there any unique steps that I need to take with this particular make and model? (I've historically always done it on Dell machines)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

03 Apr 2009   #2

 

  1. Well, as to the Dynamic disks, yes, that is true - but your Windows system partition should not be a *dynamic* disk in the first place. How are you trying to partition, and more importantly, *which* partition are you trying to partition?
  2. As for the boot situation, no, the Windows 7 bootloader will take over since it is the newer OS, and it will recognize Vista as the other OS and set everything up for you.
  3. I was in your shoes a year ago - be wary of drivers support (or, actually, lack thereof) especially for older hardware.
  4. No such effects on the BIOS - however, it can interact negatively with the BIOSs, in that if your BIOS does not support Vista (hypothetically speaking, as you are already running Vista) then there is a good chance it will not work correctly with Windows 7. However, OEM computers quite possibly face that same problem - I have an HP 2710p Tablet PC and it still shows all the same partitions as before, but I never bothered to see if the restore works or not - perhaps another project for me this weekend....
  5. None that I know of, but others may know something that I do not....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2009   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi,

Could you post a screenshot of Disk Management, like this:

Dual Boot Win7 x64 with Vista x64-diskmanagement2009-02-04_031947.jpg

If you need to convert Dynamic to Basic, do you have an app. which will do that without data loss?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


03 Apr 2009   #4

Windows Vista Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johngalt View Post
  1. Well, as to the Dynamic disks, yes, that is true - but your Windows system partition should not be a *dynamic* disk in the first place. How are you trying to partition, and more importantly, *which* partition are you trying to partition?
That's the mystery, my OS drive isn't a dynamic. All of the drives I see are basic drives.

When attempting to partition, I go into Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management, then right-click the logical drive I want to steal free space from. I've stuck with 50GB up till now, so I select that amount and then let the computer do it. (I've tried this with both the OS partition as well as the secondary partition). The unallocated space shows up, and so I right-click it to set up a new simple volume. This is when the trouble starts--I go through the steps, but when I click OK for what should be the final time, I get the warning about how the new volume is going to be a dynamic volume. The rest you know.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Hi,

If you need to convert Dynamic to Basic, do you have an app. which will do that without data loss?
Unfortunately no, before today I didn't know anything about dynamic disks or how to manage them.

Here's a glimpse at what my Disk Management console looks like:


Attached Thumbnails
Dual Boot Win7 x64 with Vista x64-disk-management-console.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2009   #5

 

The problem is that you can only have 4 primary partitions on HD - so trying to make a new partition on that drive *forces* it to become a dynamic drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2009   #6

Windows Vista Home Premium x64
 
 

The easy answer then is to make the secondary partition a non-primary partition, is there a way to do that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2009   #7

 

No, you don't understand. You can only have 4 Max Primary partitions - however, if you have more than 4 partitions, then you can only have 3 primary partitions and the rest are going to be made into 'extended partitions', which Vista calls dynamic disks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2009   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi,

Try this

1. Move your data from D to C.

2. Delete D

3. Recreate another partition using the unallocated space that was D. Disk Management will automatically create an Extended partition ( dark green rectangle - see my screenshot )

4. Create another partition inside the Extended one - you now have two partitions inside the Extended, 5 in total.

5. Move your data back onto the new partition (I would use the one on the right inside the Extended - F probably).

6. Install 7 on the first partition ( the one on the left) inside the Extended one. That should be fine as Vista will be the System partition.

Hope it helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2009   #9

Windows Vista Home Premium x64
 
 

That's a good approach!...but I wonder, in theory could I not back up the data from D onto an external drive and, from there, simply put 7 onto the D drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2009   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yes you could do that.

You would not be able to make any more partitions on Disk0 , to put your data back on, for example.

If you are ok to keep it on an external HD, that's fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dual Boot Win7 x64 with Vista x64




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