Can i have 2 win 7 installs?

Can i have two windows 7 installs one on each physical harddrive, and select which one on boot-up.

failing the bootup option menu, surely i could select/deselect boot up prioroty in the bios to start the windows 7 i need?

would that work?
12 answers Last reply
More about installs
  1. Yeah, But when you install win7 on another HDD, unplug the HDD that you already have win7 on, that way it don't screw around with the boot part of that install.

    Also you can set up which install of OS you want to boot from 1st and set up a selection menu ex: Option 1: Windows 7 Ultimate / Option 2: Windows 7 Home.

    Download Easy BCD from here to configure both installs, (Note its kinda weird how this software is set up, gotta play with it)

    Just a reminder, un plug any HDD that you already have windows installed on before you install it on another HDD, In other words only HDD that should be plugged in is the HDD your going to install windows on.
  2. thank you very much for your help,

    I've been exploring my computer (bought it used) and the OS hard drive is a SATA 2 solid state, but i believe its connected to the SATA 3 port on the motherboard, along with another hard drive (i.e both ports are taken)

    if i move them to the SATA 2 ports (i have 6) and use the SATA 3 for my new harddrive, do i have to do anything special apart from change the loading bios order etc, or am i likely to cause problems?

    i.e how easy is it to just shuffle round the sata ports from 3 to 2, will it auto detect?
  3. Well if the board only has a few sata III ports, it should be in a different color from the sata II's. But when you change ports like that you will probably have to mess with the boot priority in the bios, but it still should work if the drive it plugged into sata II or III. If its a sata II driver, you wont see any performance increase if thats what your thinking, It would have to be sata III to see a performance increase.
  4. yes the SATA 3 ports is a different colour, as they are both taken with the existing SATA 2 drives and my new drive is SATA3, it makes sense to use the SATA 3 drive with the SATA 3 port, so intend to change them around, hoping i only have to change the boot priority.

    a quick question regarding BCD? does that work with operating systems on two different drives? or does it just work for partitioned on one drive? Many thanks
  5. I used it with widows XP and vista at the time and both installs were on different drives, I have also used it on a laptop with 1 HDD and it worked with the partition, so it will work with either config
  6. Sorry i am new at this really, thank you.

    so if i remove all attached hard drives, and install as if its a new pc, once i put easy BCD on when i "add new entry" how do i specify its location, as arn't the drive letters dependant on the hard drive (i.e both hard drives will have a C: drive,)

    thanks for your help and patience
  7. Well, after you have gotten windows 7 installed on both drives, you can hook all the drives back up, reason I said to unhook all drives is because I have ran into problems load an old oer another OS after installing another OS to a HDD. It messes with the boot part of the previous OS.

    After you hook the drive back up Add new entry and set the drive letter of the other OS and you can name it what ever you please in the Edit Boot Menu tab.
  8. It won't allow me to edit my post to fix typos lol
  9. ahh i get it, sorry, the penny has now dropped,

    does easy BCD need to be installed on both or just which ever one you set it up with?
  10. EasyBCD needs to be on the primary Boot HDD to give you the option to choose between OS's
  11. In this situation there are two routes you can take to get a dual boot setup for Windows 7. If, as you originally wrote, you have only a single drive with two partitions each with Windows 7, it can be done, but there will be only a single boot partition which will contain the Boot Configuration Database (BCD) which selects which installation of Windows to boot. The vanilla Windows 7 installation media should detect, when you go to install Windows 7 on the second partition, the first boot partition and create an entry in the BCD for the second installation of Windows 7. Thus, when the system boots, you will be prompted with a screen with two entries of Windows 7 to select between. You can further edit the title of each operating system in the BCD by using BCDedit as outlined here on TechNet.

    If you install Windows 7 to two different hard drives, each being the only drive present in the system at the time of installation, there will be two boot partitions each with its own BCD, one on each drive, at which point the drive which the BIOS boots to first will load Windows. This can be an easier way to manage multiple operating systems as with each boot partition separate, you do not have to remember where the primary boot partition is stored. In the first scenario on one hard drive, if the primary Windows 7 installation is deleted by formatting the partition, the system will no longer have a pointer to point to the operating system to boot, and therefore will not boot. The system can be repaired though using the Bootrec.exe tool to recreate the boot partition and BCD.

    If both drives are left in the system when the second instance of Windows 7 is installed, the installer will treat the system as if each were a partition on a single drive. It will create or alter the BCD on the primary boot partition on one drive to recognize the operating system on the other, but if the boot drive is removed, the operating system on the other drive will no longer boot without repair.
  12. There is a third option; you can essentially download "Virtual Box" from Oracle. I did an article in another thread. Vbox will let you run both Operating Systems at the same time; as I'm not entirely sure why you'd want to run two versions of the same Operating System. Anyways, that is an alternative.

    If you do follow of the above instructions; be careful because Windows has a tendency to have boot related issues with both drives booting. So make sure you follow the instructions carefully.
Ask a new question

Read More

Chipsets Windows 7 Boot Hard Drives Overclocking