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Old 01-26-2009, 09:23 PM   #1
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Default 2 OS's 1 HDD

Is it possible to put two different OS's on one HDD? Like using a partition or something? What I want to be able to do is keep my Windows 7 Beta, but also have a 32 bit Windows Vista installed on my computer so I can play games (Only hoping it will workin 32 bit instead of 64 bit).
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2 OS's 1 HDD

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Originally Posted by Dieter View Post
Is it possible to put two different OS's on one HDD? Like using a partition or something? What I want to be able to do is keep my Windows 7 Beta, but also have a 32 bit Windows Vista installed on my computer so I can play games (Only hoping it will workin 32 bit instead of 64 bit).
Huh? I have Vista Ultimate x64 (64 bit) and all my games work on 64 bit....

But yes, you can put two O/S's on one HDD...it's called dual booting. I did it with XP and Vista, but it should work with any Windows O/S's (note that it also works with linux but the setup and partitioning is different).

1) Partition your HDD. For instance, maybe you want 100GB for each O/S and maybe additional partitions for data
2) Rule of thumb is to install the older O/S first (I'm not sure if this truly matters...you could google it)
3) Install the newer O/S (supposedly it handles the boot loader better...for instance XP might not see "Vista" on the previous partition if you install Vista, then XP)
4) You should be good to go

(You can replace my XP and Vista references appropriately)

I haven't done this with Windows7 yet since it's just a beta. I'm going to install it on my External HD tonight and test it out so I can see how well it performs and maybe I'll get it and triple boot when they release it (or maybe I'll delete my Vista...hmm).

As with anything involving formatting and partitioning, depending on what you are doing you could/will lose files so back up anything of value and importance.

Zac
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2 OS's 1 HDD

Idk why I can't play any of my games, well most of them, it might just be a coincidence, but I'd rather be able to play my games than keep fiddling around with it until I figure it out. I want to say it's something to do with the 64bit but everyone has their own opinions, all my stuff worked fine in 32 bit until I got 64 bit.

Thanks for the explanation though.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2 OS's 1 HDD

I wouldn't install any version of Windows to an external drive to begin with. Each time you start the system the boot configuration is subject to change.

For seeing two versions of Windows installed there Dieter you would need to see a second NTFS primary type partition created. A 3rd party drive tool like GParted live(free of course) or a retail software would be adivised over certain work around for shrinking the present Vista primary with the Disk Management included in Windows.

Most any games you have on Vista will run likely better on the 32bit beta release since 7 is presently set up as the primary OS in a dual boot with XP on one drive and Vista on another.

GParted live for cd shrank the XP primary for 7 as well as having been used for shrinking and regrowing previous installations without problems while a first timer just learning how to partition and format drives is always advised to first back things up.

While 16gb is the recommended minimum drive space needed once you have 7 on and want to try out different programs that will eat space up rather fast. First see if you have enough free space on the drive for a good 25-30gb primary to be added on.

For using GParted look over the information well seen at http://gparted.sourceforge.net/larry...es/gparted.htm

The latest build will appear a bit different seeing the partitioning tool minimized to a window with a desktop looking main gui now seen with the 0.4.1-2 release available at http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...kage_id=271779

You will need a burning program that supports ISO type disk images for burning the small image onto a cd-r. A few like ImgBurn(free) or StarBurn(free version available) work well for that. ImgBurn is found at http://www.imgburn.com/

StarBurn's free version is an updated form of burning program that works well on Vista seen at http://www.rocketdivision.com/index.html
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2 OS's 1 HDD

I think I have enough free space to give up for that, so I'll try this out and see how it works... Thanks for the info
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2 OS's 1 HDD

If you are seeing some 50gb or more free shrinking the volume down some 25-30gb will go without a hitch. That's simply due to any drive space presently being reserved by Vista.

To simply things a little once you are booted up to the main gui in GParted and click on the resize button after highlighting the current partition for Vista you will see what looks like a white slider bar with a thin line as a border around that.

When you click at the end on the right(rear of drive) you will see what looks like clamps where you pull it over while watching the drive space indicator shrink. Once you see a good amount following the partition you simply click the apply button and watch as it goes to work. From there click on the empty space created and then the new button.

The last step after clicking the apply again is simply right clicking on the new primary to see it formatted to NTFS from the list of partition types in the menu. Click apply and be ready to reboot.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2 OS's 1 HDD

Wow so that was A LOT easier than I was anticipating it to be. Windows 7 actually has a tool to partition your HDD built in to it (Vista does too I guess?). Working with that tool was real easy, didn't lose any data. I installed Windows Vista Eternity Edition 2009 (32bit). Booting up my computer recognized both OS's got all my updates, drivers, everything. Seems to be working GREAT so far. I was going to use GParted until I read somewhere about that Partition Tool. Used IMGBurn to burn the ISO files to DVD's. Install went smooth. Absolutely no problems what so ever. Thanks to both of you for the info, it was really helpfull
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2 OS's 1 HDD

Glad we could be of service
+1 rep for Dodge for helping you too.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2 OS's 1 HDD

Great! Glad to see things went well for you there. But there's a few things more you may want to know about GParted.

The latest release seen at the link there has made it far easier for the first time user over some previous releases seen back in 2006. The auto detection feature now seen in it automatically sets the display to your monitor's native resolution. The older releases left you stuck at 1024x768.

XP also has a limited partitioning tool seen in the older version there as well. The problems come when trying to shrink the partition you are loading Windows from while booted in it for the Disk Management tool seen there as well.

It makes it a lot easier when you can simply boot up with GParted and do everything in one session. The two latest releases the 0.4.1-1 and one just before that the 0.3.9.13 are the two to working with now
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