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is it possible to install two windows 7 systems on the same drive?


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#1 thedarkness

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 05:46 PM

Are there any software that will install windows twice on the same hard drive, and not through a virtual machine?
I know I can install linux and windows on separate partitions, so I am wondering if it's possible to do the same with windows.

I suspect installing two different versions of windows might be the easiest way. Is it also possible to install two working copies of the same system, eg two windows 7, and to be able to install software that will only relate to the system that is run?

A lot of software after a google seems to be able to simply 'clone' the windows partition to a new partition on a drive, but I suspect a new drive letter is probably assigned, and anything pre-installed from the cloned partition (eg 'drive E') will probably still relate to and run off the C drive,although I don't know if it would be using the same registry.

Any info would be great, thanks



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#2 CKing123

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 06:15 PM

Hi

 

Yes, you can install Windows 7 on a separate partition. To do so, you would need to create another partition, and then boot into the install disk, and format the that partition and install on it

 

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#3 kaljukass

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 07:58 PM

Hi

 

Yes, you can install Windows 7 on a separate partition. To do so, you would need to create another partition, and then boot into the install disk, and format the that partition and install on it

 

-CKing

Yes, in that you are absolutely right - it is possible (nearly everything is possible), but so these things do not go any way as You told. The thing is a lot more complicated.
Of cource, partition must be and also formatted, but it is not enough.

Edited by kaljukass, 01 September 2016 - 07:59 PM.


#4 smax013

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 08:18 PM

Are there any software that will install windows twice on the same hard drive, and not through a virtual machine?
I know I can install linux and windows on separate partitions, so I am wondering if it's possible to do the same with windows.
I suspect installing two different versions of windows might be the easiest way. Is it also possible to install two working copies of the same system, eg two windows 7, and to be able to install software that will only relate to the system that is run?

A lot of software after a google seems to be able to simply 'clone' the windows partition to a new partition on a drive, but I suspect a new drive letter is probably assigned, and anything pre-installed from the cloned partition (eg 'drive E') will probably still relate to and run off the C drive,although I don't know if it would be using the same registry.

Any info would be great, thanks


Yes, it is possible.

I did this with Windows XP on my older Windows desktop as I wanted one Windows XP boot for use as my "general" use boot and one with very minimal stuff installed for use as a gaming boot. In my case, I actually did it with two different drives and cloned the first drive to the second drive after I had installed just Windows XP and any needed drivers (i.e. no other programs), but it would work with installed programs due to how I boot. In my case, both drives are now setup as if there are single Windows boot drives with no boot manager installed on either drive. I then use the built-in boot drive selection tool of my motherboard to pick which drive I boot from. This then means no matter which drive I boot from will be the "C drive", so even if I had programs installed, they would work fine.

About the only possible issue might be Windows activation. It was not a problem with Windows XP, but Microsoft has made the activation system more "robust", so I don't know if it will freak in Windows 7. If you want to be sure, then you just get two Windows licenses, install license number 1 on disk 1 with disk 2 not connected, then disconnect disk 1 and connect disk 2 and install license number 2. There would be no issues with activation there. Of course, you have now paid twice for Windows on once machine.

#5 RolandJS

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 09:31 PM

BC guys -- will the dual boot be able to use the one Windows 7 System Reserved partition?  Or, can each Windows 7 partition have its own set of Windows 7 boot files?  I know the System Reserved will be marked Active, how will the two twin boot set be marked?  I'd like to learn more about this.


Edited by RolandJS, 01 September 2016 - 09:32 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

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Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#6 smax013

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 06:10 AM

BC guys -- will the dual boot be able to use the one Windows 7 System Reserved partition?  Or, can each Windows 7 partition have its own set of Windows 7 boot files?  I know the System Reserved will be marked Active, how will the two twin boot set be marked?  I'd like to learn more about this.


All depends on how you set it up the multiboot.

The traditional way is to leave all drives hooked up when you install the second OS. As part of this process, the Windows installer (or other OS installer) will also install a boot manager on the primary boot drive. The boot manager will then load when you fire up the computer. You then select which OS you want to use and the boot manager will then "point" to the correct drive or partition (depending on if you installed the second OS on a second drive or just on another partition on the main drive) for the boot process to complete. I honestly don't know if going this process when using two installs of Windows 7 will just use a single Windows 7 System Reserved partition or two as I don't use this method...and don't have a system setup with two installs of Windows 7.

The other way is to do it the way that I do. With this method you are essentially setting up multiple single boot drives (however many different OSs you want to run) and then using either the boot priority in the BIOS or the boot drive select from your motherboard. You do this process buy disconnecting all drives from the computer other than the bare drive that you are going to install the new OS on. So, when you install the OS on the new bare drive, no other boot drives are detected by the Windows (or other OS) installer. As a result, it will NOT install a boot manager. As long as you do this for each different OS boot drive that you want to have, then each drive is setup like there will be only one boot drive. Then you are just using the motherboard boot options to select which drive the motherboard will try to boot from. This has the same effect as if you had your drives sitting out on the desk and you decide which drive you are going to install in the computer to boot from today...except with out actually having to open up the computer to remove one drive and install another drive if you want to boot from another OS. When you do select one drive to boot from using the motherboard boot options, the other drives will mount in Windows as if they are just additional disks. My older Windows desktop is setup this way with 4 different interior drives installed with 4 different OSs (two installs of XP, one install of Vista, and one install of Windows 7) plus a fifth drive in an external drive eSATA drive dock with Windows 8 on it (there are two other internal drives in RAID 1 for data). I do this option because adjusting the boot manager if you decide to delete/modify an OS can be a real pain in the rear. With this option, if I decide I don't want an OS anymore, I just remove the drive (and if I want to use it for something else, then reformat it as well). With this option, each disk will have any partitions needed by Windows just as if it was the only boot disk. So, if I did install Windows 7 twice, then there would be a Windows 7 Reserved partition on each disk.

#7 RolandJS

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 09:59 AM

smax, I like your system!  If I ever need to have more than one OS, I'm doing it your way  :)


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#8 smax013

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 07:32 PM

smax, I like your system!  If I ever need to have more than one OS, I'm doing it your way   :)


Works well for me...and I don't need to mess with boot managers. While the last time I dealt with boot managers was admittedly a long, long time ago and it possible that they are now less of a pain to deal with, I still would rather not deal with them on a multiboot system.

#9 thedarkness

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 01:03 PM

I've been away, but thanks for all the suggestions. I did wonder if having windows twice on the same drive, with each partition isolated or hidden from the other was possible, to avoid confusion. There is plenty space on the drive I have, and family members do not like people installing new programs that affect one another's account, so I thought it might be an option, and posted out of interest. I believe in the past I have tried my windows 7 install disc to install twice, and it only gave me the option to repair the current system rather than install the same system again to another partition. I may be wrong though (I wiped the drive after what is below so I'd need to try it again sometime to be sure).

Today I cloned my C windows partition using paragon manager to see how the system would react, and windows 7 did show up twice in the boot manager, but files would install and associate only with C as I thought. After changing all my shortcuts I would bet there might be a fix to associate all future installs to the other partition. Perhaps even a way to isolate each partition and have the system think they are both C? Perhaps that's far fetched. Cloning seems a bit messy. It seems the best way to do it to avoid confusion is to really just have that separate drive. Thanks

Edited by thedarkness, 11 September 2016 - 01:04 PM.





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