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Windows 7: Two HDD's, Two Different OS's

17 Apr 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 / Windows 10 Home x64
Two HDD's, Two Different OS's

Not sure if this is the right forum or thread but here it goes. I have recently installed a second HDD into my PC and I am wondering if I can install an OS on the second HDD and be able to choose between the two like I would if I was dual booting on the Same HDD.

EDIT: Some additional information and questions.

1) The two operating systems are Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
2) I heard something about installing the older OS first before the new OS, (This is not a an option)
3) Windows 8.1 is my current OS
4) I am seeing some mixed ways of doing this. People are saying have two blank HDD's and unplug one of them and proceed to install an OS on the first HDD. Then unplug the newly installed windows HDD and plugin the secondary blank HDD and install the second OS. And then plug them both back in and reboot.

EDIT #2: Is this as simple as it gets?:

How to Dual Boot With Two Hard Drives | Tech Channel - RadioShack

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2014   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Yes you can,use the method in no.4 and when you boot use f12 to select which HDD you want.I've got Win7 and XP on separate HDD's in my machine,no problems so far.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 / Windows 10 Home x64

Can you not do what you would normally do when you would dual boot on the same HDD? That is when it boots it says " Choose an operating system (Windows 7) (Windows 8)


I have both operating systems installed. The problem now is getting them to properly dual boot. I looked in the boot tab under msconfig and Windows 8 isn't even recognized, but it IS recognized under Explorer as a 2nd HDD. It does not ask me which operating system to choose at boot.

I heard something about using F12 at boot to select a HDD/boot option. Is there no way to utilize the little menu that would come up if you were dual booting on the same HDD?

I am seeing something again about installing OLD os first but there is a work around I think. They say if you installed Windows 8 THEN windows 7 you can do this to get boot menu at start working properly.

"If you reversed the order, and installed Win7 after Win8 (on separate partition, but lost the Win8 boot manager in the process...
From elevated CMD, enter Bcdboot x:\Windows where x is the Windows 8 installation drive."
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Apr 2014   #4


First try unplugging the other HD during Clean Install Windows 7.

After install, plug back in the Win8 HD, set preferred OS HD first to boot in BIOS setup, trigger the other one using the one-time BIOS Boot menu key.

If this is not to your liking, install EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) to add the other OS to a Dual Boot menu. Both will remain independently bootable but just share a menu, whereas if you'd install 7 with 8 plugged in it would place 7 boot files on 8 boot partition and it would be dependent upon 8 to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 / Windows 10 Home x64

I have no idea what a one time bios menu boot key is. Since I don't know what this is should I use that program? Also will it ask me upon boot to choose an OS like it should?

Edit: After further reading I am starting to learn that bios booting is better than a windows boot manager.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2014   #6


Reboot your PC and look for the prompt for Boot Menu key. If not shown there then google your mobo model's manual to read it to see if it gives it. If it is the rare mobo that doesn't have one then you'd have to enter BIOS setup to change the HD boot order when wanting to boot the other HD which is not practical.

If not then you can either install Win7 with the Win8 drive plugged in to have it auto-configure a Dual Boot menu which will place the 7 boot files on 8 boot partition, or install with the 8 drive unplugged to afterwards install EasyBCD latest version to add 8 to menu which will assure both HD's OS's are independently bootable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Two HDD's, Two Different OS's

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