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Windows 7: Dual boot two copies of Win7 (Enterprise + Pro)


17 Feb 2010   #1

XP
 
 
Dual boot two copies of Win7 (Enterprise + Pro)

Hi,

I've been given a laptop by work, which has Windows 7 Enterprise installed on it. I'd like to install a further copy of Windows 7 in a separate partition and am wondering if the following plan is going to work.

[Here's why: the machine has been configured for remote maintenance, so that the organisation essentially has root access to the machine without my knowledge. It is perfectly acceptable for us to use the machine for small amounts of private work, but I am worried about the security and confidentiality of my personal data given the above access rights. I therefore thought that, in order to avoid buying a separate machine for home use (the current one is on its last legs and most of the stuff I do at home is work-related anyway), I'd install a further copy of Windows 7 with more restricted access rights on a separate partition and then use PGP whole disk encryption to protect that partition from access when booting up through the work copy of Windows 7. I do have admin rights on the current Windows 7 installation.]

At present, the SATA HDD has three partitions: a small "system reserved" volume, the main Windows 7 partition (ca. 120GB), and a data partition (ca. 120GB). The latter two have drive letters C and D when booting Windows 7.

I have an unused OEM copy of XP (from an old Dell laptop; new laptop is a Dell as well) and have ordered an upgrade license for Windows 7 Pro.

My questions are - 1-3 really only to calm my nerves
(1) I'm going to image the whole HDD through the Acronis TrueImage-style software which came with my external Seagate BlackArmor HDD. If I mess up the installation I should be able to restore the image via a bootable CD and no permanent damage will have arisen. I'm assuming that the whole-drive image includes literally everything incl. the MBR? The computing officer would probably bite my head off if he has to reinstall the machine manually
(2) In order to be able to install the upgrade license of Windows 7, I understand that XP needs to be installed on the HDD - otherwise could scrub step (3)...
(3) For installing the dual boot (Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP - excellent, thanks!!), I guess web access won't be required for the XP install as long as I have .NET and EasyBCD to hand? (The machine currently connects to the web via the work network, and I don't think I'll access the work network via the private partition.)
(4) Most importantly: can I then simply stick the Windows 7 disk in the drive and 'upgrade' XP in the second partition (which of course amounts to a clean install - Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version), or do I need to watch anything else to keep the dual boot arrangement and the work partition intact?

The installation of PGP WDE should be the easy bit...

Sorry if some of this has already been answered, if so please just point me in the right direction. If it was my private machine to start with I would just go ahead and do it

Thanks!
Steve

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Feb 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by steveman View Post
Hi,

The computing officer would probably bite my head off if he has to reinstall the machine manually

Thanks!
Steve
He/She may bite your head off or may be unemployed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2010   #3

XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by steveman View Post
Hi,

The computing officer would probably bite my head off if he has to reinstall the machine manually

Thanks!
Steve
He/She may bite your head off or may be unemployed.

Did you mean for this to read 'or you may be unemployed'?

I don't think I have anything to worry about except, perhaps, annoying the IT guys. There are no rules in force against either (1) a degree of private use (2) running a second OS/dual boot or (3) disk encryption. However, the kids in IT services are pretty curious and I don't really want them to read my private correspondence over the network...

The only other solution would be to buy totally separate hardware at my own expense. I'm not too keen on that as my computer use is 95% work anyway.

---------- Post added at 01:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:31 PM ----------
[Following was posted in reply to something which was then removed, saying that the machine was owned by my employer and I should just buy myself a netbook.]

Funnily enough, it doesn't - it was bought on a personal academic grant but the university increasingly wants to influence how people use their gear since they have too few IT staff to maintain things other than by remote maintenance.

The issue does not just affect myself. My entire lab is against these changes but most people have machines which were installed before they were introduced.

If I do end up buying my own machine, I'll buy something that's powerful enough to run everything, incl. the work stuff, as convergence was one of the goals when buying the current machine - they didn't tell me about these OS issues at the time of purchase or I might not have bothered. I'd get expensive, esp. because the licenses would come out of my pocket, but I'll do it if really required.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Feb 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

You do not need to have XP installed to install Windows 7 Upgrade version. The Windows 7 DVD will scan the HD at bootup or when run from Enterprise to see another OS which allows use of Upgrade key. You only need to have qualifying XP on hand.

Follow these steps: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and Vista

Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

You can use Windows 7 backup imaging to save externally a system image beforehand, or Acronis.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2010   #5

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

An easier solution would be to get a sandisk cruzer flashdrive and use firefox from the flashdrive. this way all of your browsing is done from the flash drive instead of on the computer's hd

Also, the cruzers offer encryption through password setup so you cant access anything on the disc without password. They only cost 12 bucks for a 4gig drive

More edits: This setup would probably decrease the suspicion factor as well since tech guys could probably see that you are dual booting, could see the partitions and just couldn't access your OS. if its done from a flashdrive, you take it with you at EOD and tech guys wouldn't know you even used it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ulti. x64
 
 

Steveman, Welcome to SevenForums
My thoughts for you is if work can see the D partition now well then they will be able to see it when you get Windows 7 installed on it. Just saying.... Good luck to you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #7

XP
 
 

Thanks for all the replies!
  • I'm delighted that I might get by without installing XP first - saves me having to slipstream the XP installer with SP3 and SATA drivers!
  • Also like the idea of the flash drive, though it won't quite do what I intend, which is to have a load of apps and data at my disposal, even if used only rarely.
I had another thought, which is to boot from an eSATA drive, thus keeping the new installation entirely separate and making it physically disconnectable. With this approach - do I have to install XP beforehand as there won't be a qualifying OS on the same drive? And, most importantly - will this approach alter the boot sector on the internal HDD? Am keen to avoid the latter since I can change the boot sequence via BIOS anyway. I considered unplugging the internal HDD during the installation but am not sure if I'll generate a drive letter problem once I boot from the eSATA drive with the internal HDD in place?

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

If the eSATA is an external drive then you can't install Windows 7 to an external drive, due to USB limitations.

If not, unplug the other HD to keep a BIOS-managed boot menu, otherwise Windows 7 will configure a windows-managed dual boot that makes the HD's interdependent.

If there is another OS on either drive during install, the Windows 7 DVD will see it to allow Uprade version key. Otherwise use one of the workarounds given here to install to clean HD: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #9

XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If the eSATA is an external drive then you can't install Windows 7 to an external drive, due to USB limitations.

If not, unplug the other HD to keep a BIOS-managed boot menu, otherwise Windows 7 will configure a windows-managed dual boot that makes the HD's interdependent.

If there is another OS on either drive during install, the Windows 7 DVD will see it to allow Uprade version key. Otherwise use one of the workarounds given here to install to clean HD: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

Very useful information about keeping the BIOS boot menu, thanks.

To the best of my knowledge, it is possible to install all incarnations of Windows on eSATA drives as - unlike USB drives - they appear to be internal drives as far as the OS is concerned. I found the following quote on some MS forum and thought it might be helpful to others:

'Windows 7 cannot be installed on any drive that Windows identifies as removable. Depending on how your system is configured you might be able to install the OS on an eSATA drive, which appears to the operating system as an internal, fixed drive.'[from Carey Frisch MVP]

...but I'd be glad to hear any commentaries to the contrary before I commit myself to this route!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dual boot two copies of Win7 (Enterprise + Pro)




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