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Windows 7: Dual-Boot Installation - 2 copies of Windows

27 Jul 2019   #1
nwgilbert

Windows 10
 
 
Dual-Boot Installation - 2 copies of Windows

I am setting up the dual windows on my laptop. The laptop has 2 drives (ssd 256gb and hdd 1tb).
I am wondering if someone can give some advice on how the dual-boot windows installation should be achieved.

The purpose of putting dual boot windows on this laptop is that we run a server at local events from time to time. We have noticed that if we use the laptop (one operating system) for both personal use and the server, the applications installed on Windows used for general use, interferes with the server.
To avoid this, we want to create a second installation of Windows which will have server data only and be used for this only (no personal use). The other copy of Windows (which already exists) will be used for general use.

I have some initial questions as listed below:

1. Would you agree the best way for us to do this would be dual-boot?

2. Can I dual boot 2 x Windows 10ís?
or does it need to be Windows 10 and another version of Windows such as Windows 7?
Windows 10 already exists on the laptop from factory.

3. The current Windows is installed on the SSD as it came factory loaded like this. I need the second installation of Windows (used for Server only) to also be installed on the SSD. This is because the server will need the power of the SSD to run efficiently. Would it be possible to split the SSD into 2 partitions? Could there be any complications around this?

4. If I split the SSD and have 2 partitions on the SSD each with a Windows copy,
Will I be able to access the 1tb HDD drive (also in the laptop) from both Windows copies from within Windows?

5. Is dual-boot Windows difficult to achieve? How should I install the second copy?

Any advise would be really appreciated on how I can best achieve this.
Look forward to hearing from you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Jul 2019   #2
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Hi nwgilbert-

I'm sure you'll get additional advice but I'm wondering if simply creating a second user account would solve your problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2019   #3
nwgilbert

Windows 10
 
 

Hi @wither 2, Thanks for your reply. I don't think this would be a solution. Applications work across different user accounts on windows don't they?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Jul 2019   #4
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

The very simple way of doing this is to run a virtual pc with free virtualboxhttps://www.virtualbox.org/.
You dontsay what server your running but duel booting both windows files will be visable so could be a danger and you would need another legal copy to run another system
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2019   #5
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nwgilbert View Post
1. Would you agree the best way for us to do this would be dual-boot?
Yes, you're correct that programs can install services that run across user accounts, so separate user accounts probably won't be a satisfactory solution for you.

Given that, there are two basic approaches you can take: dual-booting or virtualization.

Virtualization is convenient because it allows you to run both the host and guest OSes at the same time. But it's heavier on system resources (running simultaneous OSes vs one at a time), may be a bit trickier to setup if one is a server, and legally the host and guest are supposed to have their own licenses.

Dual-booting allows each OS to run, in turn, with full system resources, and could be preferable if you only need to do this occasionally and don't need access to your programs on the non-booted OS at the same time. (Note the distinction between programs vs data.)

Per your comment: "(running) a server at local events", I would think multi-booting ought to be more practical for your purposes.


Quote:
2. Can I dual boot 2 x Windows 10ís?
or does it need to be Windows 10 and another version of Windows such as Windows 7?
Windows 10 already exists on the laptop from factory.
Yes. Multi-booting with the same OS on both partitions is not a problem. However, Windows 8.x/10 come with Fast Startup turned on by default, and that can interfere with dual-booting and cause data corruption. Make sure you disable Fast Startup on both installations.

With virtualization, Fast Startup is not a problem because each OS is installed on its own "computer" and its own "hard drive" (one of them virtualized) rather than sharing the same hard drive.


Quote:
3. The current Windows is installed on the SSD as it came factory loaded like this. I need the second installation of Windows (used for Server only) to also be installed on the SSD. This is because the server will need the power of the SSD to run efficiently. Would it be possible to split the SSD into 2 partitions? Could there be any complications around this?

4. If I split the SSD and have 2 partitions on the SSD each with a Windows copy,
Will I be able to access the 1tb HDD drive (also in the laptop) from both Windows copies from within Windows?
Yes, with dual-booting you can split the SSD into mutliple partitions and install separate OSes on different partitions. And each installation can see the common data partition on the 1TB drive.

I haven't seen your current partition layout, but I'll assume you have a GPT layout booting via an EFI partition. You can configure it so the boot process starts with the single EFI partition, then boots one or the other of the OS partitions, and both see the 1TB drive.


Quote:
5. Is dual-boot Windows difficult to achieve? How should I install the second copy?
It is possible to multi-boot a GPT disk (your SSD) and use the BCD as a boot manager, though I only multi-boot via a third-party boot manager on MBR disks (yes, Win10 can be installed on MBR disks) so I'll leave it to someone else to advise how to do it with GPT.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2019   #6
nwgilbert

Windows 10
 
 

Thanks for all your replies.

Server needs to be on SSD because it requires data to be processed quickly.

Regarding issues with the SSD space not being enough to split partitions for 2 windows installations, I've been told that we only require 30gb of space for the server data. Let's push that to 50gb to be on the safe side.

I've read online that Windows 10 64bit OS install requires about 20GB.

In my drive detail for the SSD it says
Capacity 227,570,348.032bytes (227gb).

If I split the SSD for a second partition as follows:
Partition 1 - 157GB - For personal use - Can use the HDD for additional storage once it runs out.
Partition 2 - 70GB - For server use only

I don't think VM is possible due to how we run the server. The server runs docker. Seems safer option to dual-boot Windows 10.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dual-Boot Installation - 2 copies of Windows




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