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Dual HDDs - Vista/Win7

HI,

Have an old HP with a q6600 chip running Vista.

I'm Buying a new HDD to Load Win7 for some music s/w I need that is now unsupported on anything under win7. I'd Like to keep my Vista HDD as it has my MMOs and Games etc.

Is there an easy way to add a new HDD, Load Win 7 and then, Make it to where I can Choose which drive I want to boot from? I know through Bios I can set the boot order but I am assuming there's a better way!

But I Don't know if there are any issues I should be aware of going into this nor do I know how to make it say "Boot Vista or Boot Win7" (3rd party program maybe?)

If i have missed any pertinent info, pls let me know.

Thank you for your time!
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about dual hdds vista win7
  1. It's possible to do what you want but some of the games on the vista HD might not work while in Windows 7. I think WOW is self contained in the install directory. You have to boot into Vista to play the game that don't work or just re-install tem on the new HD and copy save game content. There are third part apps that help you create a dual boot environment but Windows 7 will do it for you. Here is a link. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd494658.aspx
    They shrink the primary hard drive to create a new partition. You have a new HD so you don't need to do that. Just install the new HD and then load Windows 7. Make sure you select the new HD when you install Windows 7. Backup your data if your concerned.
  2. Creating a dual boot system using windows OS's is easy. Install them in order from oldest to newest. You already have vista installed. By simply installing win 7, it will over write the boot loader and creat a dual boot menu.

    Be sure you want to do this because even though creating a dual boot system is easy, trying to remove an OS later is much more difficult. I'd rather use the bios to switch boot disks then go through the hassle of trying to remove an OS later on, especially if your boot screen provides a fuction key to choose the boot disk at startup.
  3. DeadRam said:
    It's possible to do what you want but some of the games on the vista HD might not work while in Windows 7. I think WOW is self contained in the install directory. You have to boot into Vista to play the game that don't work or just re-install tem on the new HD and copy save game content. There are third part apps that help you create a dual boot environment but Windows 7 will do it for you. Here is a link. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd494658.aspx
    They shrink the primary hard drive to create a new partition. You have a new HD so you don't need to do that. Just install the new HD and then load Windows 7. Make sure you select the new HD when you install Windows 7. Backup your data if your concerned.


    I basically want to leave the Vista drive alone if possible I can play all my games on it. But then, Have the New HDD with Win7 on it for the music s/w - So, when it boots, I can hopefully be able to say "Boot from the Vista HDD" or "Boot from the seperate Win7 HDD".

    So, 2 drives. 2 OS's and an option to choose which boots. Or, have 1 as default, then have it ask if I want Win7 before Defaulting to primary.

    I hope I am making sense ;)
  4. Best answer
    Yes, I pretty much just explained it above. Simply by installing win 7 onto the new drive, it will overwrite vista's boot loader. At startup, you will get a windows screen asking which OS to boot from. If you later decide to remove one of the OS's, it will be more complicated. Simply formating the windows partition will not be enough.

    If you want to use your bios's boot option, then disconnect all drives except for the one you will be installing win7 onto. Install windows 7. Reconnect all remaining drives. Use the bios to select the drive to boot from, vista or 7. Later, to remove one of the OS's, simply format the partition that has the version of windows you want to remove.
  5. Hawkeye has nailed it. If you want the disks to be independent, don't have one attached to the system while the other's OS is being installed. If you did that, then both of them are actually booting from one disc.

    You can get a boot utility, if you want, to prompt at each startup. If you tend to use one OS a long time, then switch to the other, you might as well just use the BIOS boot menu (F8 during POST). That's what I do.
  6. Best answer selected by Rustyd79.
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