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Windows 7: Running Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit simultaneously

21 Nov 2011   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Running Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit simultaneously

I recently bought a new computer which came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1 pre-installed. I am trying to apply for a work position which demands that I download and install their software which is not compatible with any 64 bit OS's.

I thought I could create a separate partition on my hard drive and install a 32 bit OS (either XP or 7). In the case of XP I found I couldn't because I would need to install XP first and then Windows 7 but I do not want to format my whole computer (at least not yet). When I tried installing the Windows 7 on this partition it tells me "Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. The partition contains one or more dynamic volumes that are not supported for installation."

A couple of side notes would be that both the XP and Windows 7 installation trials have been done through an ISO mounting software (Daemon Tools Lite) not via an installation CD and that the 32 bit version of Windows 7 I tried to install is Ultimate as opposed to the Home Premium that I am running.

So my question here would be, is it possible to run the 32 and 64 bit version of Windows 7 simultaneously? If yes, what am I doing wrong? If no, what other options do I have here besides formatting my hard drive, installing XP first and then installing Windows 7 as well?

Thanks in advance for your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

Before we can help you please post a screenshot of your fully expanded disk management layout so that we can see:
  1. How many partitions you have
  2. How big they are
  3. Which ones are basic and which ones are dynamic
I can tell you now that your dynamic volumes will have to be converted back to basic volumes, but let's see your partition layout first.

Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Nov 2011   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

seavixen32, please find the screen shot of my disk management screen below. The partition that I am trying to install the new windows on is called Work and is labelled W:

Running Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit simultaneously-systempartitionsnapshot.png

theog, I have updated my system specs.

Also. let me mention that I'm glad that I found and joined this forum. Very helpful. Koodos to you all.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #5


Unfortunately you must have ignored the warning that your HD was about to be converted to Dynamic Disk when you added a fifth partition after already having a maximum of four Primary. Dynamic Disks are meant to span the same partition over multiple HD's.

You'll need to move the data off of W, delete it then convert the HD back to Basic disk using the old verison of Partition Wizard bootable CD which still has conversion as a free feature on the Disk tab. ISO - Windows Live

Then convert C to Logical by rightclicking to Modify>Convert to Logical. You can then add within as many Logical subpartitions as desired. Logical partitions are meant for data and cannot be marked Active to accept System boot files, however because installing 32 bit Win7 will only update the boot files already on System partition it can be installed to a Logical sub-partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

I can add nothing to the excellent advice that Greg has given you.

He is one of the best that WSF has, so follow his suggestions to recover from the mess you currently find yourself in.

If there's anything you're not sure of, don't hesitate to ask, and we'll do our best to help you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #7

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Thanks gregrocker ... I will try that out. Thanks for your help seavixen32.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

You're very welcome.

Please keep us posted as to how things turn out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Hey people, I have successfully converted the C: partition from dynamic to basic using the pw422 boot disk (thanks to greg) But I am not able to convert this to logical as per his advice. The option to convert the disk back to logical is inactive or unselectable if you will. Any help and advice would be appreciated. I am posting how my hard drive looks like below. As a side note when I right click on the paritions 'System' and 'Recovery' I do get the option of converting them to logical.

Running Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit simultaneously-systemsnapshot.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #10


I've not seen a case yet where PW CD won't convert a Primary non-System partition to Logical.

If you're using the PW boot CD, try installing Partition Wizard to Win7 to see if it allows the choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Running Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit simultaneously

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