A bit late and theoretically OT, I know, but stumbled on this thread and wanted to share some experience you both may be really interested on. I'm amazed none did say this.
Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker
The ultimate solution is to multi-boot Windows and Linux on separate HD's booted only via the BIOS.
You're soo retro, Greg.
Linux distros can be run from USB drives as well as HDDs without a huge fuss ("usb drive" can be either flash or a USB HDD, does not matter, although while faster-booting the flash memory life will be somewhat shorter than its HDD brethren).
Ok, maybe it's not a good idea for servers, but you won't notice any stuttering unless you are running some seriously write-read intensive applications (like say rendering images or movies). This is true for Win 7 running from a USB as well. Ubuntu wiki on the matter
. Just google to find better stuff, like say the awesome YUMI
(read the "known issues" at the end of the page to see how to add persistence to the Ubuntu you installed that way).
Basically all modern BIOS allow boot from USB, in case it does not (or it hates your particular USB device for arcane and unfixable reasons, not uncommon and very frustrating) or want a more flexible interface, or still want to run stuff from partitions in the same internal HDD you can install the good ol plopboot manager
(yes, navigating that site is a pain, but is worth it).
I'm nearly totally sure that if you keep your linux distro Grub2 in the linux partition, and install plopboot in the MBR, linux should work without screwing up Win 7. (never used Grub2, only Grub and Linux Puppy plus win 7 in that setup)
At least I have no idea on how it could since it wouldn't be interacting with Windows 7 anymore (since it would be now plopboot's job).
To run linux you tell it to boot from the linux partition (that has GRUB2 or any other linux bootloader in it), if you want to boot Win 7 you have to tell plopboot to boot the partition that contains the post-MBR Windows 7 bootloader, which is in the "system reserved" partition, not in the other. (unless you did manage to install Win 7 all in the same partition like me and in that case the second-stage bootloaders are in there) You should already know this.
But other readers may not.