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Windows 7: Windows 7 dual boot using BIOS vs software vs switch ?

1 Week Ago   #1
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Windows 7 dual boot using BIOS vs software vs switch ?

My regular PC uses a spinner HDD. But Iíve been playing around with an SSD to put some games on it. Iíve been powering off & swapping connections when I want to swap drives.

I thought about buying/building a hardware switch or using third party software to select the boot drive.

But since I have to reboot the PC no matter which method I use, why not just change the BIOS boot order when I want to use the SSD?

Iíve Googled & searched quite a bit & most articles are about partitioning the HDD & installing both OSs on the same drive. Or they state having two drives is the better way to go, but then go into discussing how to partition the HDD. I want to keep both drives completely separate because eventually the SSD will become the only drive.

Is there a downside to using BIOS to select the boot drive?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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1 Week Ago   #2
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

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1 Week Ago   #3
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for the link.

I looked at all the options & it looks like they all are used for selecting an OS from the same drive. But both of my drives have the same OS so I have to select the drive. I don't think using something like a boot manager will work because each drive would have a boot manager.

I need to select a drive before it boots.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

1 Week Ago   #4
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It is quite easy.

For example , if you have a system partion on Disk0 , and a system partition on Disk1, you can have boot menu entries to both OS in both bcd stores.

My current system partition is assigned C.

There is another OS on a different disk - assigned J by my currently running OS.

I add a bcd entry for C to the bcd store on J:

admin command prompt:

bcdboot c:\windows /s j:

Then add an entry for the OS on J to the bcd store on C

bcdboot j:\windows

You might then want to change the bcd description so you know which is which:

admin command prompt

bcdedit /set {current} description "Windows 7 on Disk 0"

The description between " " can be anything you want


Then you will get a windows boot menu with an entry for each os. By default it will pause 30 seconds for you to make a selection.

You can change it, e.g to 5 seconds

bcdedit /timeout 5
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1 Week Ago   #5
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

The basic bcdboot command is:

BCDBOOT <source windows directory, e.g c:\windows> [/s <letter of target bcd volume, e.g. J:]

There are other switches for adding locale settings and so on, but you don't need to do that.

Note the /s switch is optional. It is used to specify a different i.e. not the current bcd volume. If you don't use /s the entry will be added to the currently live bcd store.

So instead of
bcdboot j:\windows /s c:
you can just type
bcdboot j:\windows
the entry for J os will be added to the current bcd store by default if you don't specify a different volume with /s switch.

That is useful because windows will often hide the current system partition by not automatically assigning a drive letter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #6
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

My Gigabyte MB has a Boot Menu (F12). When I hear the POST beep I press F12 and boot options screen opens. Then I can choose the disk / OS I want to boot from.
Doesn't your HP BIOS has a similar option?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #7
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
It is quite easy.

For example , if you have a system partion on Disk0 , and a system partition on Disk1, you can have boot menu entries to both OS in both bcd stores.

My current system partition is assigned C.

There is another OS on a different disk - assigned J by my currently running OS.

I add a bcd entry for C to the bcd store on J:

admin command prompt:

bcdboot c:\windows /s j:

Then add an entry for the OS on J to the bcd store on C

bcdboot j:\windows

You might then want to change the bcd description so you know which is which:

admin command prompt

bcdedit /set {current} description "Windows 7 on Disk 0"

The description between " " can be anything you want


Then you will get a windows boot menu with an entry for each os. By default it will pause 30 seconds for you to make a selection.

You can change it, e.g to 5 seconds

bcdedit /timeout 5

Thanks for the information. I also looked at Easy BCD. However think I found an easier way.

Last night I re-discovered that hitting the Esc button on started brings up a boot menu. Itís not a permanent choice & will revert back to the default drive on the next startup. I'm going to give that a try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #8
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
My Gigabyte MB has a Boot Menu (F12). When I hear the POST beep I press F12 and boot options screen opens. Then I can choose the disk / OS I want to boot from.
Doesn't your HP BIOS has a similar option?
You are correct, as I just mentioned above.

Last night I just re-discovered that hitting the Esc button on my PC at startup brings up a boot menu. I picked up a couple SATA cables & will get both drives connected & see how it works & report back.
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1 Week Ago   #9
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Before I do something that might mess up things, I have a question.

If I disconnect the HDD & connect the SSD, making the SSD the only drive & the letter C: Then install a couple programs & data. Then re-connect the HDD and make it the primary C: drive, thereby making the SSD the D: drive.

What happens when I run a program on the SSD which is the D: drive? Is it going to look for everything it needs on the SSD?

Or since the SSD was the C: drive when the program was installed, is the program going to look for what it needs (.dll & other files & data) on the HDD which is now the C: drive?
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1 Week Ago   #10
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Fist of all, the drive letter is assigned by the OS it is running. As a general rule, the C: drive will the drive the OS has booted from. (There are exceptions.)

If you have two drives (C: and D:) and you run a program on D: it won't work (again there are exceptions). The main reason is that a program has a "script" on the register of the running OS. So, if you run a program on D: that isn't on C: it wont work.

My advice:
- As you have 4G of memory you should have installed Win 7 32 bits instead of 64
- You should use your SSD to install Windows and programs and use the HDD for data only. You will have the speed of a SSD and the space of a HDD at low cost. I have a small SSD (128G) for windows and Linux and a HDD for data. Works great.
If you're interested, I can show you how to move C:\Users to D:\Users
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 Windows 7 dual boot using BIOS vs software vs switch ?




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