cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Windows 7 dual boot

dgk
Grafter
Posts: 58
Registered: 16-02-2009

Windows 7 dual boot

Last year I was doing an open University course and I was able as a student to buy a very cheap copy of Windows 7 professional upgrade. I am at present running Windows XP professional, and have been a bit nervous about changing to Windows 7. My system is as follows;
Cpu  Intel® Core™2 Duo E8500 (2 X 3.16GHz) 1333MHz FSB/6MB L2 Cache
Motherboard   ASUS® P5Q: DDR2, SATAII, PCI-e x16, 3 PCI, 2 x PCI-e x1
Memory  4GB CORSAIR DDR2 667MHz
Hard drive  300GB WD VelociRaptor® SATA 16MB CACHE (10,000rpm)
I now thought that if I were to buy a new hard drive, I could install Windows 7 on that and have a dual boot PC and try out Windows 7, while still keeping XP running.
Has anybody any thoughts on this as a strategy.
As for actually doing it, whenever I have fitted an additional hard drive, I have set the jumpers to make the second hard drive a slave. What would I do here, with one operating system, XP on one hard drive, and the other operating system, Windows 7 on the other hard drive. Would one drive be set up as a master and the other drive as a slave?
10 REPLIES
community
Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

Quote from: dgk
As for actually doing it, whenever I have fitted an additional hard drive, I have set the jumpers to make the second hard drive a slave. What would I do here, with one operating system, XP on one hard drive, and the other operating system, Windows 7 on the other hard drive. Would one drive be set up as a master and the other drive as a slave?

A short answer to your question is yes.
This is exactly what I did just a couple of weeks ago.
but I have to admit that I am not a techie, so I just followed the instructions which appeared on the monitor screen! and it worked .
When I now bootup, it gives me the option to open the Windows 7 hard disk or the 'earlier version' (sic).(which has my WindowsXP O/S on the earlier hard disk)
If I want to stay with Windows 7 I leave it to go to it, (because it is always highlighted to go to W7), OR I click the 'up arrow' key and go to the earlier version of Windows XP.
Good luck, but as always make sure you have a full copy of your files!
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

Quote from: dgk
whenever I have fitted an additional hard drive, I have set the jumpers to make the second hard drive a slave.

You don't do that with SATA, each has its own cable.
Install the drive then install W7; you'll probably need to boot from the DVD as you don't want an upgrade. Just install it on the empty drive and you'll get a dual-boot menu in future.
If you want to change the time delay on the menu do it in W7.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,869
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

The downside of a simple dual boot is that the boot sector ends up on one hard drive (usually the original one) so you won't be able to boot to the second hard drive if the first hard drive is not physically present.  Also, if you ever tried to re-install Windows XP it would mess up the Windows 7 boot.  An alternative is to disconnect the first hard drive whilst you install Windows 7 on the second drive so each drive has its own boot sector.  To switch between XP & 7 you will then need to use the BIOS settings to select which of your two hard drives is the boot drive.  I think the F8 key will allow you to do that on an Asus motherboard.  This isn't so elegant as a "proper" dual boot but it does give you more flexibility.    
KenA
Grafter
Posts: 92
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

Quote from: community
....
When I now bootup, it gives me the option to open the Windows 7 hard disk or the 'earlier version' (sic).(which has my WindowsXP O/S on the earlier hard disk)
....

You can rename the "earlier version" to Windows XP or whatever, see this post:
http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/20191-renaming-earlier-version-windows-dual-boot.html
Additionally, you can change which one is selected by default:
Go to Control Panel Home (Start -> Control Panel) -> System and Maintenance -> System.
On the left side pane, under the Tasks, Click Advanced System Settings.
Click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
Under System startup, you can change the Default operating system between Windows 7 and the earlier version.
dgk
Grafter
Posts: 58
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

Thanks, that's really interesting information . I'm quite attracted to the idea of selecting the drive to use during start-up using the BIOS. I expect that once I've tried Windows 7 I will either decide to carry on using it or go back to XP. I don't anticipate switching a lot between the two, so I could select the drive with my preferred operating system on it to be the first in the BIOS and leave it at that.
I do have a question though, which might apply to which ever dual boot option I choose, what happens to the names of the partitions on the hard drives. The C drive is normally the one with the operating system on, but I now have two operating systems-(not at the same time). Do they alternate as C drive and if so when not C drive what are they called. I have my data on E partition/drive on my old hard drive, if I disconnect this hard drive whilst installing Windows 7 on my new hard drive which I will partition might I not get another E drive of on the new drive. I don't think I've explained this to well I hope you get the gist of what I'm trying to ask
KenA
Grafter
Posts: 92
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

In my case, I installed XP first, then Win7 (and then Ubuntu so I have a triple-boot).
In both versions of Windows, the system drive is C:.  I manually changed the drive letters so that the system partition of the "other" Windows became D:.  That is, in XP, D: = the system drive for Win7, and vice-versa.
I also created a third partition to use for my data, and named it E: in both Windows (the changing of the drive letter will need to be done once for each instance of Windows).  Then I changed "my documents" to point to a suitable folder on E:, so that any data I created was easily available in a single location, and always with the E: drive letter regardless of which Windows instance I used.
In fact, I also pointed my Ubuntu home folder to the same location so I could also access it from that operating system too - but it has to be on a NTFS volume so that Windows can access it.
When you change drive letters, you need to be aware you can't rename the system drive (usually CSmiley, and the one you are changing cannot be in use at the time, so close off running programs, especially Windows Explorer.  You may also need to re-letter the CD/DVD drive first, and also check it's got the same letter between instances too.  I did so I didn't get too confused!
All of the above is applicable irrespective of whether you use different physical disks or have all the partitions on a single disk (as in my case).
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,869
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

If you follow my suggestion of alternating the boot drive using the BIOS then both Windows drives will be the C: drive when running (by default), so yes they do alternate.  You can assign whatever free drive letter you like to the drive containing the non-running copy of Windows.  Right click (My) computer then choose Manage and then Disk Manager to do this.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

Quote from: ReedRichards
If you follow my suggestion of alternating the boot drive using the BIOS

I have done this in the past, especially when I expected one boot to be my "regular default" and the other only used rarely or for a transition period.
HOWEVER I have found that more modern motherboards are not all as flexible, especially with SATA drives, so I would check it out carefully first.
You may just find you have to open up the case and switch cables round between drives....... Embarrassed
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,869
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

Works fine on my Asus SATA motherboard (4 SATA sockets).  The only problem I have with this is that if I temporarily connect a PATA hard drive, the BIOS always defaults to this as the boot drive until I change the settings back - but that's another issue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Windows 7 dual boot

Oh yes, if it works (and you don't need to switch frequently) it's a much better solution in many ways.  Smiley