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Windows 7: Use a program in dual boot OS without installing twice. (Tutorial)

07 Aug 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Use a program in dual boot OS without installing twice. (Tutorial)

When dual booting you may want to use some programs in both Operating Systems, but for very large programs or games it can be space consuming to install the same program twice, especially if you have small hard drives or a lot of programs.

WARNING: This is not recommended and may have unpredictable results. Only do this for large programs (like games which are very big nowadays) and if you REALLY need the space. For example i have more than 250 GB of Games (some are as large as 35-40 GB) and i will be adding more, so this is a good idea. If you have small or few programs just don't do it. I do not recommend it but it may be needed.

But most programs are more than just files in a folder so you can't just expect to just run the executable and the program to work just like that, or when it does you may face issues.

So: How to use the same program in both Operating Systems without installing twice:

NOTE: This is not easy for starters and will probably only work between windows installations. I assume that OS #1 is Windows 7, and OS #2 is XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10. I cannot guarantee it will work on any other version (especially older than 2000). It is also recommended that you have your user profile, data and programs on a partition other than the two that have an OS on them.
On the example image below, the second OS is to be installed on (D:), (E:) is used for files and programs (including user profile) and (G:) will be for games.
96 GB is enough for Win 7 as long as you have your files/programs elsewhere and 64 is more than enough for XP. Microsoft says that 20 GB is required for 7 installation and 2 GB for XP installation so you'll have plenty of space for small programs.

Step 1: Install the program in OS #1 in a location of your liking,
preferably in a partition that neither of the Operating Systems are installed.
NOTE: In some program installers you may have to choose "CUSTOM" or "ADVANCED" to give you this option.
Step 2: In OS #2 install the program again, in the same location. This may be time consuming but it will save space in your Hard Drive.
Step 3:Edit the program preferences in both Operating Systems to save your work, documents, game progress, or whatever it produces in another folder so your work will be available for both OS.
NOTE: Many programs will store the user settings not in the program folder itself but in the user's documents folder or his appdata folder. You can change the location of those folders in each operating system (preferably in a third partition where you don't have any OS installed. You can move user profile in both OS (again preferably on another partition), instructions (not mine) can be found here.

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Use a program in dual boot OS without installing twice. (Tutorial)-hdds.png   Use a program in dual boot OS without installing twice. (Tutorial)-reg1.png  
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Use a program in dual boot OS without installing twice. (Tutorial)-location.png Use a program in dual boot OS without installing twice. (Tutorial)-location2.png 
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