Installing Windows 7 on both of my PCs hard drives.

I built a new PC and I have my old hard drive. What I would like is to install windows 7 on each hard drive and at start up be given the choice of which one I want to start up. Is this possible and if so how is it done. I did a search and I don't think I know what this is called because while I get the impression from other threads that it can be done I can't find out how.

So when the PC powers up I want it to give me the choice of using HD1 or HD2 and each HD having its own windows on it that is completely separate from the other HD.

Besides the two hard drives and windows 7 what else do I need?

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More about installing windows hard drives
  1. nothing more .. just install windows 7 on first hdd after completing installation follow the same step & install windows 7 now in 2nd hdd( use custom setting while selecting installation type,not upgrade )

    here the link for vista & win 7 dual boot guide..

    to avoid feature errors with boot sectors better get any one of boot managers like this
  2. So it can't be done without spending more money?

    Will both versions of windows 7 be separate?
  3. i could be wrong about this, but i believe that the best way to do this is to go into bios on start up and tell it which drive to load. As far as it asking which one, i dont think thats possible. but the easy way is what i just spoke of. Load windows onto one Hard Drive, load everything up all the way to windows desktop. Restart, and go into bios, and select the other drive. When you hit save changes, remember to have the windows disk in the drive. run through set up again.

    I must confess that i have never done this before, but in theory, it should work. No promises. :/
  4. "baby blue"

    there's no need to change bios priority, both of the hard disk are going to have OS, & while installing the OS we can easily select in which HDD to install, even you change the boot order in BIOS you have to choose the HDD to install during second windows setup..


    installation is not an issue, but I'm not sure about license you may have to get separate license for second one..

    those who have idea about licensing for dual boot can share it..
  5. the UELA says one computer, one installation, you are licensing the use of the OS, not the disk you have in your hand, 2 operating OS's are that, 2 OS/s, call and ask them to be sure-but
  6. You're correct number13. One install per machine per license. The CD offers only one valid license, unless you have volume licensing. The same also goes for virtual machines.

    I know there was an issue with Vista + Xp dual boot where Vista would over-write / delete the Xp System Restore points. This in itself doesn't relate to the topic but it does indicate that the operating systems do interact even though only one has been booted to. I'm not sure how the registry will be with two identical OS's set-up in a dual boot.
  7. I remember with XP you could just edit the Boot.ini of the OS on the drive that the BIOS would boot from first, and you could point it to another windows NT installation on a seperate partition or drive. I belive there was even a way to get it to load Linux like this too. Wether this is possible under the newer BCD, I'm not so sure, but there is no reason why this couldnt be part of the NTLDR menu, rather than using BIOS boot priority. End result would be the same however.
  8. If you install 2nd OS while both HD's active, the boot files for the install on HD 2 remain on HD1. If you want two truly separate installs, then disconnect HD 1 while installing to 2 and use the BIOS or 3rd party utility to switch.

    As for the license, despite a literal reading of the EULA, MS has historically allowed the installation of a "Maintenance Copy" on the same machine.....I can't see how the online activation process would detect it as when it tries, it's not going to find the required number of "changed" hardware items.
  9. as long as both HDD are used on the same machine, and given that both OS cannot be used at the same time, then I don't see any problem at doing so. During activation, both OS will register the same hardware, so, they will be activated.
  10. I am in the process of adding a huge 2TB to an older computer.

    The smaller 320GB older HD is faster, otherwise I would take it out.

    This is what I have found. If you have Windows Professional you can

    install it on a new hard drive. However you MUST enter the Product Key

    during the install if you do it after the install, you will be asked to

    "activate" your the program after 30 days. The trick seems to be that

    after the install the product key will not be recognized when you attempt

    to active it.

    Again the trick is to make sure you put in the product key, when you

    install from disk, that is the ONLY time it will be recognized, without a


    Now you essentially have two computers. You can boot from either of the

    two HD disks in your hard drive. I did not partition the huge disk, Windows

    7 only took up a very small space. I have not completed the installation

    but I plan to give the new Hard drive a new letter say H:

    If I have a problem after the install of both disks I hope I can

    FDISK .. reformat the new drive

    When you run the fdisk and format commands, the Master Boot Record (MBR) and file allocation tables are created. The MBR and file allocation tables store the necessary disk geometry that allows hard disk to accept, store, and retrieve data. partitioning and a hard disk geometry overview, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    I am probably making some computer tech's eyes spin in their heads

    reading this :pt1cable:

    But what can you expect form a MiamiNiceShyGuy :)
  11. hey every one, just install your complete os and programs on the 1st harddrive-mine is a ssd, get it all the way you want it, then image it to the the 2nd drive.....mine is also a ssd......then you can boot up to either drive at anytime, when booting you can go into the bios and choose which drive you want....1 or 2.....use two as a perfect backup. i also use a hdd to hold all data, and i use the forth hdd to make backups of mydata. so i have 4 drives total, 2 ssd and 2 hdd. works awesome.
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