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  1. #1
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    How To Install Win7 as a Dual Boot System?

    Just thought I ought to ask about this before plunging in and maybe messing things up!

    I have my new system up and running with Win7 x 64 bit. All is good so far.
    I want to keep the old Gateway rig as a backup system in my shop.
    It has Vista HP 32 bit installed, which is working fine.
    I was thinking of just upgrading it to Win7 x 64 bit; but can I add a new drive partition and install Win7 on that, then set it so it preferentially boots from the Win 7 partition?
    Any advice on how to do that (without disturbing anything currently on the drive) would be appreciated!
    The drive currently has about 200 GB empty space, and I think I need about 20 GB to install Win7.

    Thanks,
    rstew
    Last edited by rstew; 2014-09-08 at 21:14.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Rstew,

    Welcome to the Lounge as a new poster.

    I'm assuming you meant to say you had XP 32 bit installed on the Gateway vs HP 32 Bit which would be Windows 7 HP 32 bit?

    Here's how I would tackle this.

    STEP1: *** DO NOT SKIP *** Make an Image backup of the entire drive as it now stands using a Free or Paid utility like Macrium Reflect Free. Don't forget to make the Recovery Boot Media preferably the Windows PE version.

    STEP2: Download and install EasyBCD and iReboot.

    STEP3: Repartition the drive using a Free or Paid utility like EaseUS Partition Master Free. Making 2 additional partitions one for the new install of Windows 7 and the other one for your data. Size the partitions as you see fit and of course this will involve shrinking the current partition first to make room.

    STEP4: Using the MS approved method move your data to your new data partition. (I personally set this up as the G: drive). This will allow both OS versions to use the same data.

    STEP5: Install Windows 7 in the partition created for it. It should become the default OS.

    STEP6: Install EasyBCD and iReboot then use them to add your XP partition to the Boot Menu.

    STEP7: Using the MS approved method (same as step 4 but you don't have to actually move any data) point your data directories to the data partition.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Rstew,

    Welcome to the Lounge as a new poster.

    I'm assuming you meant to say you had XP 32 bit installed on the Gateway vs HP 32 Bit which would be Windows 7 HP 32 bit?

    Here's how I would tackle this.

    STEP1: *** DO NOT SKIP *** Make an Image backup of the entire drive as it now stands using a Free or Paid utility like Macrium Reflect Free. Don't forget to make the Recovery Boot Media preferably the Windows PE version.

    STEP2: Download and install EasyBCD and iReboot.

    STEP3: Repartition the drive using a Free or Paid utility like EaseUS Partition Master Free. Making 2 additional partitions one for the new install of Windows 7 and the other one for your data. Size the partitions as you see fit and of course this will involve shrinking the current partition first to make room.

    STEP4: Using the MS approved method move your data to your new data partition. (I personally set this up as the G: drive). This will allow both OS versions to use the same data.

    STEP5: Install Windows 7 in the partition created for it. It should become the default OS.

    STEP6: Install EasyBCD and iReboot then use them to add your XP partition to the Boot Menu.

    STEP7: Using the MS approved method (same as step 4 but you don't have to actually move any data) point your data directories to the data partition.

    HTH
    Thanks RTG;
    The current OS is Vista HP 32 bit; sorry for the confusion.
    I wanted to upgrade to Win 7 64 bit, but I wanted to keep Vista around in case there is some software that is not happy with Win7.
    Looks like its going to be a little more complicated than what I thought.
    I would love to put my data all in a separate partition; unforunately its scattered all over the place in various directories and folders.
    So that would be time consuming to pull it all out.
    If I just shrink the current partition size, leaving everything in it, then make a new partition for Win7, would it be able to point to all the files and programs in the main partition?
    Or am I going to need to wipe the drive, re-partition it, and re-install both OS's?

    thanks,
    rstew

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Rstew,

    The short answer is Yes. However, it is never a good idea, IMHO, to have two OS partitions visible at the same time. When I set up a dual boot system the registry for each system automatically hides the OS partition of the OS NOT in use. Again, IMHO, you would be best served by finding and incorporating all of your date under the (My)Documents folder and then moving that to a separate partition. Yes it does take some work but in the long run (e.g. think Windows 9 coming down the pike) you'll be much better off, especially if you are dual booting. Of course the call is yours that why they call it a Personal Computer. Good Luck with what ever you decide but what ever you decide STILL make sure you do STEP#1. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
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