Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: 32-bit and 64-bit on different drives, without dual boot?

28 Aug 2010   #1
jimhoyle

Windows 7
 
 
32-bit and 64-bit on different drives, without dual boot?

Here's my situation: I use 32-bit Windows 7, however, once per month I need to use 64-bit Windows 7. So I would like to install 64-bit Win7 to another drive. However, I don't want to see the dual boot menu on every restart. I only want to temporarily switch to 64-bit by pressing F8 (or whatever) to change booting device at bootup.

What's the proper way to do this?

Many years ago I used to have a situation where I had WinXP on one drive and WinXP on other drive. I could switch my C:\ (with WinXP) at bootup. It worked, except there was a problem: In some situations C:\Windows and D:\Windows or Programs Files were getting mixed up, automatically Start Menu pointed suddenly to D:\Program Files\something without asking me. I had used a clone software to clone the drive so that might be the reason why they mixed up together. Eventually removing the other drive might've crippled the system even my intention was to have two separate operating systems, just in one computer.

Basically I would like to have two C: drives with Win7-32bit and Win7-64bit. So in case one drive breaks, I'll have a very quick backup system ready.

Is it a stupid idea to disconnect the current C: drive and then install the new Windows to C: and then put the first drive in as well? Then I wouldn't have the dual boot menu, which might be what I want.

Is it possible to hide the dual boot menu, have it load 32-bit as default but still have a possibility to bring up the dual boot menu by pressing some key at bootup? In that case, is it possible to remove either drive and still boot up without problems?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
28 Aug 2010   #2
Lemur

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

You could control your bootup drive from the bios. Guess it's not a big deal if you do it once a month.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2010   #3
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello jimhoyle.





Just be sure to disconnect all Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) except the one you want to install to then after the install connect the other(s) HDDs and then you will be able to choose which to boot using the BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 Aug 2010   #4
Petey7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

I'm not sure if it will actually work as intended, so you may have to play with it a bit.

From within Windows, go to start menu, right-click Computer, and click properties. Click Advanced system settings, then click Settings, under Startup and Recovery. Set 32-bit Windows 7 as the default OS, then set the time to display a list of operating system to 0 seconds. The menu might flash up for a second, but it will continue to the main Windows 7 install.

If it won't let you boot into the second install when choosing to boot from the second hard drive, you could set the time to wait to 1 or 2 seconds. Then it won't sit for a long time, plus it will give you time to tap the arrow keys to keep it from going straight into the main OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2010   #5
gregrocker

 

If you unplug the other OS HD when you install the new Win7, it won't configure a Windows-managed Dual Boot and you can boot via the BIOS which is a cleaner method which allows the HD's to come and go as you please. A windows-managed Dual Boot interlocks the HD's.

After plugging back in the first Win7 HD once you install the second one, set preferred HD to boot first in BIOS setup, then to boot the other use the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key given on first boot screen. Every computer has one: Sony Vaio Upgrading kit to Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #6
jimhoyle

Windows 7
 
 

Ok, thanks all! About the drive letter: So I install the Windows while only one drive is in (and also the other one). Then I re-connect all my drives. Then I switch from BIOS boot which of the Windows drives is C:. What happens to the other "C:", will it automatically change to first available letter without problems, and switching back and forth will be free of problems?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #7
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello again Jim.





Using this method you will actually be using the PC BIOS to select which OS/HDD to boot when the PC is started-up; after the install(s) and all the HDDs are reconnected you will boot to the PC BIOS to select which HDD will be the first boot device; each OS will be C: independent of the other.


Have alook at this tutorial at the link below.

How To Change the Drive Boot Priority in BIOS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #8
Ivan the SoSo

windows 10 pro 64 bit
 
 

buy a power splitter and wire a on/off/on switch to the yellow wires.... I did that to dual boot between xp64 and windows seven
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #9
jimhoyle

Windows 7
 
 

I installed the second Win7 and everything works great so far! I only had to change drive letters once (per Windows) and remove the drive letter from the new Windows system partition (the small compulsory system partition). If I don't write here any more it means everything worked perfectly. BIOS boot selector is fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2010   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Since you need the 64 bit so infrequently, why don't you install it in a virtual partition (e.g. virtual box). Then you can switch back and forth with one click.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 32-bit and 64-bit on different drives, without dual boot?




Thread Tools




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Dual Boot With W7 And XP With Two Hard Drives
I have a M2010 running W7 ultimate using raid. I was wondering if I put in a hd in the secondary spot if I could add XP Pro and dual boot. I have some things that work better under XP. I put my old laptop drive in and set the bios raid to auto detect/ata. It booted to 7 and installed drive E:. I...
General Discussion
windows 7 and linux fedora dual boot with dual drives
hello, i have some questions regarding dual booting windows 7 home premium x64 with linux fedora 14 on dual independantly dedicated drives. i am a college student with moderate computer (windows) knowledge but am doing software development and would like to play around with some linux for a class....
General Discussion
another how to undo dual boot on 2 drives
After a rash of hard drive failures first on d drive, then on c, I finally have things working again. But with dual boot. My choices are win7 and win7. The first choice works, the second fails to boot. No idea how this happened. Fustration was setting in. Can I do as described elsewhere? ie...
Installation & Setup
CD Drives boot problems (win7/xp dual boot)
Hello, I'm searched around for possible clues or solutions for what's going on with my system. No luck. I have a win7 and xp dual boot. They had been working fine, until one day I couldn't get on XP anymore. It'd just freeze while loading, whether it is safe mode, normal, you name it. I had...
Hardware & Devices
Dual boot on serarate Drives
Is there an easy way to dual boot on separate drives, i have installed windows 7 on 1 drive & vista on another. This was done independenly on the same machine as to say put vista on last year the got another hard drive took the vista drive out put new hard drive in & installed windows 7.I connected...
Installation & Setup
dual boot on two drives ?
hp providian has two 512meg hdd's I have vista 32bit installed on one hdd Would like to install windows 7 64 bit on the other hdd as a dual boot. Never done dual boot before. there are some programs on the second hdd it only has one partition. Can I just install it on that drive as is and still...
Installation & Setup


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:54.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App