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#294590 - 03/01/10 02:03 PM Windows 7 dual-boot install help please
Ya_basta Offline
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Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4299
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Hey guys, I currently have two hard drives in my computer. One has Windows XP on it, and the other has Windows 7 release candidate. They are currently in a dual-boot setup.

Now that the Windows 7 release candidate has expired, I need to do a fresh install with the full version of Windows 7, but I want to keep my computer as a dual-boot setup.

I understand that I have to partition the drive that I currently have Windows 7 release candidate installed on, and reinstall the full version on it, but I don't want any of the install files going to my second hard drive.

I believe it was Chris that provided me with his method which is as follows- "I get around this by making sure the only drive in the machine when I install Windows is the same drive I'm going to be booting from. I then put my other drives back in after the install is done. I use the BIOS to pick the boot drive, and thus the OS I'm going to load at that time. So I have Win7 on one, and Linux on another, both assuming their the first drive in the machine, and thus directly bootable."

My main question I have is can I not just disconnect the cable running from one hard drive to the other until the installation is finished, then plug them back in together? Also, with the boot.ini file already set up for my dual-boot (I'm virtually positive it set up on the XP side because that OS was installed first), won't I be prompted with the boot selection screen when I install the full version of Windows 7?

If someone could give me detailed step-by-step instructions on how to go about this it would be greatly appreciated. I would like to do it myself and save some money on what is somewhat a menial task.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation. Your help is greatly appreciated as always.

Thanks,
Cam





Edited by wheelz999 (03/01/10 02:07 PM)
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#294597 - 03/01/10 02:43 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: Ya_basta]
pmbuko Offline
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Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
Actually, the easiest thing to do is to leave both drives connected, boot from the Win 7 install disk, and do a fresh install onto the drive with Win 7 RC on it. The installer will see that Win XP exists on the other drive and will add it as an option to a new boot menu.

Out of curiosity, how did you get dual booting working when you installed Win 7 RC?
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#294606 - 03/01/10 03:08 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: pmbuko]
Ya_basta Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4299
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Doing a fresh install is the same as partitioning the drive? I did not know that. A couple websites that I have checked out said to partition the drive first.

I had a computer tech install Windows 7 RC, so I have no idea how he got it to dual-boot. I do however remember him modifying the boot.ini file in Windows XP, but that's it.
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#294612 - 03/01/10 03:18 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: Ya_basta]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
Since you have a totally separate hard disk, there's no need to repartition it. In the Windows 7 installer, do a custom install and then select the appropriate drive. It will take care of the rest.
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#294614 - 03/01/10 03:23 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: pmbuko]
Ya_basta Offline
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Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4299
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Thank you very much, very appreciated.
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The only reasonable argument for owning a gun is to protect yourself from the police.

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#294618 - 03/01/10 03:36 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: Ya_basta]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
Cam. Is win7 in a separate partition on its drive? Is there a reason why you want it in a partition?

Personally I like to put the OS on a separate partition so I can re-install the OS without worrying about the data on the drive.

I havn't done a win7 install, but vista gave me the option of creating a partition during the install process. I've installed xp so many times at work I can't remember, but I expect it gives the same option.

You can manually edit the boot.ini. Its just a text file, but you would need to know what to put in to get the boot menu to show up. A quick online search will probably give you the appropriate entries.

..., or you can do it the easy way as Peter suggested
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#294621 - 03/01/10 04:06 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: fredk]
Ya_basta Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4299
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
No, Windows 7 is just on a separate drive, no partition. Also, there's no reason why I wanted to partition it.

You know what, I was using the term partition to refer to deleting the entire drive. I've never partitioned a hard drive on any of my computers, but based on your reasoning it does seem like a good idea.
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The only reasonable argument for owning a gun is to protect yourself from the police.

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#294629 - 03/01/10 04:34 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: Ya_basta]
Redo Offline
buff

Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 45
Loc: Chicagoland
Ditch XP, ancient OS now :p

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#294646 - 03/01/10 05:47 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: Redo]
Ya_basta Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4299
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
I know what you're saying. There are a few programs that I have on XP that I still utilize, but the main reason for keeping it is that I find having a dual boot system is beneficial because if I get a virus on Windows 7, which I have, I can boot into Windows XP and successfully remove it; this has happened twice now.
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The only reasonable argument for owning a gun is to protect yourself from the police.

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#294656 - 03/01/10 06:15 PM Re: Windows 7 dual-boot install help please [Re: Ya_basta]
Redo Offline
buff

Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 45
Loc: Chicagoland
I keep linux live-cd's handy for those purposes, but that's my personal fallback. I haven't had any major issues in a very long time. I end up using those live-cd's when other people ask for my help for their fubar'd computers.

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