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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows Server 2003 Dual boot

    I normally run Windows 7 Ultimate on my primary desktop system here at the office (a dental office.) Our dental office practice management system is due for a major upgrade. In order to cut down on the chance of "nasty surprises" when I do the formal upgrade on our production system (running on a Windows Server 2003 system), I'm running a trial upgrade on my desktop using a copy of our most recent backup.

    As Windows 7 Ultimate was the first OS installed on my primary system, I knew that I wouldn't be able to then load Windows Server 2003 onto another partition on the same hard drive (older OSs have to be the first one installed.) So, I got an ok from the boss to get another hard drive for my primary system so I could load Windows Server 2003 on it. I disconnected my primary system's hard drive (the one with Windows 7 Ultimate on it) and installed the new hard drive. Got Server 2003 up and running, and am in the midst of the trial upgrade of our dental practice management system on a copy of our most recent backup.

    Once the trial upgrade is finished, I'll want to be able to dual-boot between Server 2003 and Windows 7 Ultimate for a bit, to work out any potential kinks in the upgrade process, before doing the upgrade on the production system. Once the production system is upgraded, I'll be "nuking" the Server 2003 trial system, and just have another hard drive available to my primary system.

    I know Vista Boot Pro and the other BCD editing tools out there can handle setting that up. I've already installed Vista Boot Pro on the trial Server 2003 system, but since there's no BCD-based OS partition found (it's disconnected at present), it naturally throws up some error messages before it gets to the main screen.

    My question is this: What will happen on boot-up if I hook up the Windows 7 Ultimate hard drive, and then try to boot up the system? Since the Server 2003 drive is at present the primary boot drive, will it remain that way when I reintroduce the Win7 drive? Or will I have a conflict?

    Now that I think about it, I suppose I could disconnect the Server 2003 drive, hook the Win7 drive back up, boot up into Win 7, and set up the BCD data that way (adding an entry for Server 2003) and then shut things down and hook the Server 2003 drive back up. Will this work, or do I need to go about it a different way?

    10/14/2011 Update:

    I have since found the answer to my question. The first time I booted up the system after reconnecting the Windows 7 drive, it still booted up into Server 2003. This morning, I shut the system down and swapped the data cables for the two drives. The Windows 7 drive booted up. I then used EasyBCD to edit the boot setup, and now have Windows 7 as the default entry, with Windows Server 2003 as an option. Tested, and it works.
    Last edited by carroll.ray; 2011-10-14 at 10:26. Reason: Additional information
    -=> Carroll McAllister <=-

    Coming to you "almost live" from Searcy, Arkansas

  2. #2
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    Sorry you did not get any responses but glad you got things working. Thanks for posting back your results.

    Joe

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Hello Carroll, I am a dentist (American--living in Spain) with a similar necessity for Windows 2003 Server. In my case, I brought with me an Easy Dental 2008 program and am now in the midst of starting a new clinic. The problem seems to be all my shiny new hardware.. Emphasis on new. At this point, I have Windows 7 Pro and it won´t work for the network. ED will run fine on the PC in my office but I cannot seem to install it in working order on my laptop (workstation).
    I am wondering if I step backwards and download Windows 2003 Server (which I know is compatible with ED 2008), can I put it on my other hard drive (D) and run two operating systems? I appreciate any insight you may have. As you know we have a rather specialized realm in computer programs (and generally behind the current trend in the rest of the market). Add to that, living in Spain and you´ve got one frustrated dentist. Un saludo, Iain.

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