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Windows 7: Questions about partitions & multiple instances of Windows 7 Ultimate

06 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Questions about partitions & multiple instances of Windows 7 Ultimate

He everyone, long time lurker, first time I've actually had the need to post.

I've been reading and searching for a few days, but there are still some things I'm unclear on so I'm hoping some of you may have some advice/answers/suggestions.

I'm in the process of reconfiguring my laptop; I have a new 500gb drive that I will be splitting into two partitions, and then installing a copy of Win 7 64x on each.

One is basically my personal files and work files from my own business, and the other is for a new company that I will be working for.

Since you may ask, the reason I'm doing it this way vs a VM etc, is that the new company already runs all of their stuff inside of a VM, and I don't want to run a VM inside a VM (if that's even possible), and I want/need to keep everything as separate and as clean as possible.

All of this will be new/fresh installs, no upgrades, brand new hard drive, etc.

So with all that said, my questions are:

1) Is there any downside to not having the 100mb "system" partition that Win 7 tries to force on you ?

It's not a huge deal but it just annoys me. I've read plenty on how to keep it from creating it, but I can't seem to find a definitive answer on whether there are any negative repercussions from NOT having it there. The only thing I've found was related to the Bitlocker encryption etc, but I'm not / will not ever be using that.

2) Once I have both copies installed on their respective partitions, will they be able to see each other or no ?

For example, say partition/win copy 1 is "personal", and partition/win copy 2 is "work". When I am booted up into "personal", will the other partition show up/be accessible as drive D:\ or something, or will it just be ignored as if it's not even there ?

Basically what I don't understand is, after they are both installed, when I boot into each, will each one have it's own "C:" drive etc, or will copy 1 always be C: and copy 2 always be D: ?

I realize that may be a bit of a dumb question but I haven't installed multiple OS's before so I don't entirely understand how it works.

Anyhow, thanks in advance for any answers/comments you may have.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


You don't need the 100mb SysReserved partition and can avoid it by pre-partitioning using free Partition Wizard bootable CD. However it's actually good to have in a Dual Boot so that wiping the first installed OS doesn't take the boot files for both with it. So I would just do a booted clean install deleting all and then creating my partitions using Custom drive options as shown here: Clean Install Windows 7

You'll see the other partition in Explorer and can access your files, even link them to related Library so they're handy and don't need copying over: Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums

Just remember to do both from booted installer so that Win7 correctly sees itself as C when each is booted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

You might find this tutorial handy, which explains how to edit your boot menu:

Dual Boot - Change OS Name in Windows Boot Manager

For example, you could name your respective systems as Windows Personal and Windows Work - the choice is yours.

Whichever system you boot into it will take the drive letter C, with the other one taking the first available drive letter, typically D.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Questions about partitions & multiple instances of Windows 7 Ultimate

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