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Dual Boot: Vista and Win7 HELP!!!

Last response: in Windows 7
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May 5, 2009 11:57:37 PM

Ok so i have an Hp dv7t laptop with two 320 gb internal HDD's. Right now i am running vista ultimate 64 bit, but i would like to do a dual boot configuration with the new windows 7 rc. I have already downloaded and made the installation disk for windows 7. I have also made recovery disks. I am currently backed up with my secondary internal drive, but should i go ahead and back up my data to my virus protection's online backup?

I have never installed an OS, formatted a HDD, or created a new partition on an existing drive. So I have a few questions:

Should I make another partition on the primary internal HDD with Vista on it, or just install it on the secondary internal HDD(which i currently have some backup files on)?

If i install on the secondary HDD, do i need to delete all of the files on there? Or do i just make a new partition on the secondary drive? If possible, I would like to continue using this drive to backup files once i install Win7 on it.

Is there anything i should be worried about here?

Any other tips, hints, or precautions would be much appreciated!

I will continue to use Vista Ultimate 64 bit as my main OS, but i really would like to see what all of the hype is about concerning Windows 7.

Please help guys, as i am anxious to try this out. Thanks :) 

Oh and i have 69 gb free on my primary HDD, and 259 gb free on my secondary HDD.
I could also back up to my 16gb flash drive(excluding music) if that was better.

More about : dual boot vista win7

May 6, 2009 6:25:02 AM

Any help here? Anyone have any experience with this (of course you guys do!)?

I just need some advice :) 
a b $ Windows 7
May 6, 2009 6:54:58 AM

touchdowntexas13 said:
Ok so i have an Hp dv7t laptop with two 320 gb internal HDD's. Right now i am running vista ultimate 64 bit, but i would like to do a dual boot configuration with the new windows 7 rc. I have already downloaded and made the installation disk for windows 7. I have also made recovery disks. I am currently backed up with my secondary internal drive, but should i go ahead and back up my data to my virus protection's online backup?

I have never installed an OS, formatted a HDD, or created a new partition on an existing drive. So I have a few questions:

Quote:
Should I make another partition on the primary internal HDD with Vista on it, or just install it on the secondary internal HDD(which i currently have some backup files on)?


Should be simple enough to set the DVD as first boot device in BIOS and boot to the Windows 7 RC disk and choose the secondary HD to load the new OS on. Doesn't effect your Vista installation this way. Back up to disk or external drive all important data on the secondary drive because it will be lost when formatted by the installation disk.

Quote:
If i install on the secondary HDD, do i need to delete all of the files on there? Or do i just make a new partition on the secondary drive? If possible, I would like to continue using this drive to backup files once i install Win7 on it.


Personally, I would load the OS on the secondary HD and store my important files elsewhere, like an external drive exclusively for important personal files.

Quote:
Is there anything i should be worried about here?


I loaded Windows 7 RC last night. Used an ancient AMD 64 socket 939 system with XP on the main drive and loaded W7 RC on a 74 Gb Raptor I stuck in the case. No problems. In fact, I was astonished when I did not have to load a single system driver. W7 RC provided all the drivers required for an old socket 939 NF4.

Quote:
Any other tips, hints, or precautions would be much appreciated!


Boot to the Windows 7 CD. When the system instructs to 'press any key to boot to CD'. Press any key and load up the OS on the secondary HD. When you have the dual boot established, a boot menu askiing which OS you want to boot to will appear when you power up. Choose the HD containing Vista or Win7 and load up to desktop.

Quote:
I will continue to use Vista Ultimate 64 bit as my main OS, but i really would like to see what all of the hype is about concerning Windows 7.


I have Windows 7 BETA installed since the day it came out earlier this year. After one day using the W7 RC issue, I am thinking to buy and SSD drive and dual boot on one of my quad cores and get familiar with it now . Seems to be a very fast OS. But I'm using a single core 2.4GHz and 2 GB of PC3200.


Quote:
Oh and i have 69 gb free on my primary HDD, and 259 gb free on my secondary HDD.


The secondary 259 GB drive will be fine for W7. Be sure to back up the data to disk or external drive before you wipe it by formatting and loading new OS.

Quote:
I could also back up to my 16gb flash drive(excluding music) if that was better



I back up my really important files to a quality external drive or burn to disk.


Installing Windows 7 is the same as installing Vista here, Method 2:

Method 2: Perform a clean installation of Windows Vista by starting the computer from the Windows Vista DVD
Note The computer must be configured to start from the DVD drive. For information about how to configure the computer to start from the DVD drive, see the documentation that is included with the computer. Or, contact the computer manufacturer.

To perform a clean installation of Windows Vista by starting the computer from the Windows Vista DVD, follow these steps:
Start the computer.
Insert the Windows Vista DVD into the DVD drive and then close the drive tray.
Restart the computer.
When you receive the "Press any key to boot from CD" message, press a key.
Follow the instructions to install Windows Vista.
If Windows Vista is now running on your computer, you have completed the installation successfully.

If the installation does not finish or you receive an error message, and you are comfortable trying to troubleshoot the problem, go to the "Troubleshooting" section. If you are not comfortable trying to troubleshoot the issue, go to the “Next Steps” section.



http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918884
Related resources
May 6, 2009 3:21:54 PM

Thanks for all of the advice! I'll see how this turns out.
May 6, 2009 3:41:18 PM

My first question is, why? You can upgrade (or so they say) to Windows 7 RC1 from Vista. There aren't any real problems with RC1 especially compared to Vista. If I were you I would backup your files and make an image of your HDD with Acronis True Image and just upgrade to Windows 7. You will be able to use it until June 1st 2010 before you will have to purchase it.

Windows 7 is much better than Vista so I truly doubt you will ever switch back. Most all Vista drivers can be used with Windows 7 as well so there should be no lack of support.

If something goes terribly wrong you will have your backups and image to fall back on.
May 6, 2009 4:21:18 PM

Wouldn't i have to install all of my programs and apps all over again if i upgraded to Win7?

Really I just want to test it out and get a feel for it. I am content with vista at the moment and would rather not make the upgrade until i have at least tried Win7 out first. That sounds like the smart thing to do...
May 6, 2009 7:09:18 PM

Wow, I just deleted my post trying to edit it. I guess i'll sum it up.

If you want to know how to dual boot it there are tons of instructions on Google.
http://lifehacker.com/5126781/how-to-dual-boot-windows-7-with-xp-or-vista

Resizing your HDD partition is kind of risky but it's also the easiest. Installing on a separate HDD is safer but a pain.

If you are just curious and want to play with it for a day or two, skip it! It's merely a faster running Vista. You won't notice the slightest difference (except the different task bar) unless you are an enthusiast and even then you won't notice much.

Unless you are wanting to use Windows 7 as your daily computer there is no reason to play around with it.

(Kinda like going from Windows 95 to 98 with less change)

May 6, 2009 9:12:26 PM

I installed it just a few hours ago on my second hdd. What i like about it is that it's a fresh installation with nothing installed. It's great for when I just want to get on the internet real quick because it boots up so much faster! I was considering doing a dual boot with linux at one point, but i think i am satisfied with using Windows 7 in those situations. I might also make it my gaming OS if i felt the compatibility was there.

Overall, i would just say its a tweaked version of vista that i don't really think a vista owner should have to pay for. Seems like a great OS, but i just don't see enough change to make someone pay $$$ for it. Hopefully SP2 for vista has been optimized like windows 7 is. This way i might not see the need to upgrade when the Win7 RC term ends.

Will Win7 RC be getting constant updates throughout its term??

Thanks again for the replies guys.
a b $ Windows 7
May 6, 2009 9:30:08 PM

That's great. Your very first installation of an OS LOL. I'm a good teacher. Not. 8)
May 7, 2009 2:32:14 AM

Seriously, I'm pretty proud. It will be even more exciting when i build my first system this summer :) 
May 7, 2009 3:18:49 AM

Agree with the assumption that it's a faster Vista. That may not be a big thing, but for responsiveness addicts like me, it is paramount! Congrats touchdowntexas13, score! ;) 
!