Post by Allen Drake Post by Wolf K
Post by BeeJ
So far I think I am hearing
install XP Pro first
use one HD for each OS
Yes, that's what I'd recommend. HDDs are cheap. Since you're starting
with a blank box, I'd also recommend RAID 1, which you have to set up
before installing any OS, and which requires a RAID-capable BIOS.
But you can put XP and W7 on different partitions and use the second HD
for backups. NB that the backup utility that comes with W7 refuses to
backup the system to a partition on the same physical drive.
Post by BeeJ
use EasyBCD to boot.
You don't need it if you have a pure Windows box. Easy BCD is helpful
(but _not_ bullet proof) if you add non-Windows OS.
PS: I've now had three desktops with two or more OSs on them.
Dual/multi-boot is a lot simpler than many people think. I also briefly
dual-booted a laptop.
What does "not bullet proof" mean". Does it have any bugs? The OP
asked about booting into two Windows OSes and nothing about
non-Windows. My guess it no one in this tread has deven tried EasyBCD.
If they had they would see the ease and simplicity. It boots to a menu
and waits as long as you tell it to for you to hit one key.
I have it on 3 systems and who said it doesn't boot to non-Windows?
What is EasyBCD ®Anyway?
It all depends on who you ask or what you want to get done, but
•EasyBCD is NeoSmart Technologies 100% free Windows bootloader (BCD)
•A way to get your Windows Vista or Windows 7 working with Linux, BSD,
Mac OS X, and dozens more operating systems without a headache!
•An IT Guy's number 1 bootloader-troubleshooting tool.
•A multiple award-winning application, used and recommended by the
folks at Microsoft, PC World and more!
•The easiest way of booting from virtual disks, ISO images, network
devices, or USB disks!
•The best way to do just about anything with Windows Vista/7 before it
even turns on!
That's just the tip of the iceberg though. You should read the FAQ for
more info. Also, take a look at the Multibooters' Guide for a
down-to-earth explanation of what multi-booting is and how it works.
What Does EasyBCD Do? Why Should I Use It?
Well, no one says you have to use EasyBCD, but Microsoft's made it
very clear that they're not releasing anything other than the
command-line (and poorly supported/documented) bcdedit.exe for editing
the bootloader. Plus, the guys at Microsoft, Google, PC World, PC
Magazine, and many others use EasyBCD as their Vista BCD tool of
choice. Why shouldn't you join in the fun? After all, not like it
To get started, take a look at our list of Supported Operating
Systems, check out the FAQ, or jump right into our detailed
documentation for booting into just about anything from A to Z!
I don't think that's the issue at all.
Setting up the initial boot configuration is not a big deal.
Making modifications with EasyBCD is not a big deal either.
Wiring together your config, using bubble gum and binder twine
isn't the issue either. If you wanted to manage booting via
GRUB, I'm sure that would work.
What is a big deal, is how safe it is to mix WinXP, Win7, and
Linux at the same time. I've "broken" Win7 twice now, one time
repaired by the built-in boot repair facility, the second time,
really broken and requiring recovery from a system image backup.
The issue is, the design of the NTFS file system on the Win7 C: partition,
and what operations are or aren't safe. An obvious issue,
is leaving System Restore enabled on WinXP. But even probing the
Win7 C: partition from Linux, can have unintended consequences.
I think I might have deleted a couple trivial data files while
running Linux, and then Win7 wouldn't boot on the next attempt.
On my current system, mixing Win2K, WinXP, Linux, I never have
problems like that. On a system with Win7 added to the mix,
I've had problems keeping Win7 running.
So I wouldn't be too glib about success formulas. There is still
a need to be careful. And for my own personal usage, I still
don't have what I consider to be "safe enough" handling
procedures. For example, if I need to do maintenance from
Linux, I've resorted to using Knoppix 5.3.1 DVD, because
it mounts Windows partitions "read only" by default. Many
other Linux LiveCDs will tempt you by mounting read/write,
and then there is a possibility when you make even a couple
file changes to the NTFS C: partition of Win7, it'll be broken
So sure, dual boot, multiboot, but make a system image every
week of Win7 C: and SYSTEM RESERVED partitions, using the
build-in Win7 capability, and store in a safe place. I'm glad
I did that. I've had problems, but I recovered from them.
If you make the C: partition on Win7 relatively small, and store
user data on a separate partition, that makes it easier to give
C: a few more backups than normal. I've never had a problem
with the data partition on my Win7 setup. It's the C: that
is sensitive to behind-the-scenes activities.
And I haven't methodically examined the issues, because
my setup isn't flexible enough to do that in a reasonably
short time period. I'm discovering these issues just as a
part of normal activities.
The items you want, are "Create a system image" and "Create a
system repair disc". The latter one, if you have a laptop with
pre-installed Win7, and don't have a regular installer DVD to
boot from. The "system repair disk" is a couple hundred MB and
allows booting from a CD, to copy back the system image and
fix C: again. You store the resulting system image, on an
external disk, for safety.Loading Image...
If you install Win7 without Service Pack, then I'd also
recommend doing the System Image, before installing SP1.
Again, just for safety. The Service Pack will back itself
out, if it detects problems during the install attempt.
But if the SP1 has a problem on the first reboot, then
you could be screwed. (That's because, the installer
considers the job "finished". And if you can't boot at
that point, you'll need to restore from backup. The
installer logic is great, if it detects a problem
during the actual installation part.)