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Partitioning and dual boot for Win 7RC

(12 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Tomween1
  • Latest reply from whs
  • Topic Viewed 3573 times

Tomween1
Tomween1
Posts: 50

Well I am becoming newly aware of partitioning. I have built three computers, and not until the most recent did I understand partitioning.

I have a desktop w/ a 320gb hdd, it has no partitions. Of course I now realize I cannot partition this drive through XP since it was long ago formatted as a single partition. I am aware of partitioning software such as Acronis etc but these are all pay programs.

I am now looking to install Win 7RC. So I have 2 question's;

1. What is the best freeware to partition my existing drive? I really don't want to buy one for a one time operation.

2. How in fact do I install a second OS... and set up an individual boot process? Example, power on, choose which OS to boot from. Or can I be in XP (my main OS) and from Win XP switch to Win 7RC?

Thanks, Tom

Posted 5 years ago
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JadeEmperor
JadeEmperor
Posts: 244

hi Tomween1,

that is possible. first off, BACKUP YOU DATA! i think that's self-explanatory. anytime you work on a major system change like this one, make backups in case things didn't go well.

next, i heard (i haven't used myself) partition magic is good so you might want to google for that.

then, once you have partitioned your hd, boot off the Windows 7 RC DVD you created and make sure you select the empty partition to install to, not your XP partition.

after the install is done, when you reboot, you will be shown with a screen to select which OS to boot.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Tomween1,
Time ran out so couldn't post more links.
You are in for a long haul my friend.
Hope the above links help.
MS don't make it easy. :)
Remember, when the FREE RUNS OUT, you have to put all the stuff back the way it was.
Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Tom,

1) Free partition managers: Paragon, Easeus, or GPartEd for Linux.

2) To be able to switch between XP and 7 on the fly, you would need to run one of them in a Virtual Machine. See whs' tutorial for instructions. To dual boot, you boot from the Win7 install media and do a custom install to unallocated space. It will find XP and add it to the Win7 boot loader.

Don't bother with Partition Magic, it's a dead product that pre-dates Vista and won't work under Vista or 7.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Another way you could proceed is to put a second HDD (or SSD) into your box and install W7 on there by tempararily disconnecting the first disk. Then you have 2 completely independent systems and don't have to muck around with MBR's etc. Switching between those two you do with the boot sequence in the BIOS (when the first BIOS splash screen comes up). That's how I have set up my W7 Beta on my SSD and will now replace it with the RC. I find this very fast and convenient.
But the virtual partition that ScottW mentioned has advantages too. There you literarily switch with one click between the 2 systems. It does, however, have some shortfalls too. But if you do it, give about 1.2 GB of RAM to W7 (assumng you have 3GB total). And don't worry about the initial slowness of XP. Once superfetch has rearranged the real estate, you will hardly notice a performance difference.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

[ OR ]
You could go ahead and build another machine and run Win7 configured like you are suppose to.
That's why they are giving it to you for FREE till next year.
Get New Parts on Order TODAY and Help the Economy !! :)

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Rick, but that would take up more office space. He probably then needs to put an extension on the house too. That would really help the economy.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Yeah, no telling how W7 RC1 will simulate world economies.
---
I called the Electric Company myself today to see when they could schedule running in 3 Phase Power for me.

Posted 5 years ago
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Tomween1
Tomween1
Posts: 50

whs I actually believe buying a second hdd is the way to go. I looked into all (or as many as I had time to read up on) partitioning programs and Acronis seems to be the highest reviewed product. Unfortunately it's cost is roughly $50, where as I can get a 250 to 500 gb hdd for $45 - $85. Seems much more lucrative to buy a second hdd.... Would that be a good assumption?

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Tom, a new hard drive is always a good investment. If you don't have enough room to backup your data, you don't have enough storage.

These days, I don't see the need to pay for partition manager software. Disk Management, which is included in Vista and Win7, is pretty good for most operations. You can extend and shrink volumes, create and delete them. And, where Disk Management refuses to perform some operations, diskpart.exe can be run from the Recovery Environment and do more. The only function you don't get is the ability to move a partition. However, every partition manager that can do this recommends that you backup the partition before attempting it. Well, once I have imaged such a partition, I can then use Disk Management (or diskpart) to delete it and re-create it in a new location. Then I restore from the image. For anyone who doesn't have enough space to image a partition, see paragraph 1.

Cost of additional software: $0. Being able to do your own partitioning: priceless!

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

What ScottW says makes of course a lot of sense. But I found, 2 seperate installations on 2 disks gives you the least headaches. And that during the installation and the preperations for that and also for any uninstall (which most likely will screw up your MBR again). When you deal with 2 seperate systems on 2 seperate disks, each system sees the other as a data disk and there is no confusion.
If you go thru all these threads on this forum and others that the "double booters" have posted, you will see the agonies with which they have to deal. But yes, you may learn something - the hard way.

Posted 5 years ago
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