Using an SDD for dual-boot system?

Dell / OPTIPLEX 755
April 7, 2014 at 07:28:04
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.327 GHz / 3316 MB
I am going to install a Samsung 120 GB SSD in my PC. I have a swappable hard drive bay in the PC so that I can run it as either Win 7 or Win 8 (currently running Win 8). If I clone either hard drive onto the SSD, that would determine which OS I would have to run unless I change the first boot device in the BIOS. Here's my question: would I be able to configure the SSD to set up dual boot so that I wouldn't have to go into the BIOS to tell it to boot to the HD that has Win 7 on it? (I understand that I would have to make sure the Win 7 HD was in the dock first.)

1 Corinthians 15:3-4


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#1
April 7, 2014 at 08:11:49
Swapping hard drives to switch the OS is not dual booting.

A properly setup dual boot system would boot up to a menu (not the BIOS) for you to choose which OS to boot into.

Microsoft's instructions

PC Magazine article

Google search results


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#2
April 7, 2014 at 08:44:00
Hi, Fishmonger. I do understand that my hard-drive swap system isn't dual-boot (I have set up actual dual-boot systems between Windows and Linux). My question was if I wanted to install an SSD as the main hard drive, would I be able to configure it to set up dual-boot so that I could get into either OS I would chose without having to go into the BIOS and select the first boot device (i.e., the hard drive other than the SSD).

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

message edited by najitech


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#3
April 7, 2014 at 09:03:58
Yes, as long as you setup an actual dual boot system.

Most dual boot configurations install both OS's on the same hard drive, but that is not required. You could install them on separate dives. However, the Windows boot loader may give you trouble with that setup.

You may need to use a linux boot loader, such as grub and using a Linux boot loader may mean that you will need to do a tri boot system where Linux is installed first, then Win7 and Win8.

It's been almost 15 years since I setup a dual boot system so I can't give step-by-step instructions.


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#4
April 7, 2014 at 13:11:08
Since I have been running Win 8 a lot more than 7, I could just clone 8 on the SSD, and select the hard drive as first-boot device in the BIOS when running 7. Actually, the jury is still out for even buying the SSD, since I'm not sure how much of an advantage it would really be. Any additional feedback would be most welcome. [BTW, my PC is an i3 with 8 GB of RAM.]

1 Corinthians 15:3-4


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#5
April 7, 2014 at 13:33:24
With Windows, for a dual boot/multi boot to work you typically install the older OS's first and install the newer one last. As long as the others are visible to the installer, you will get the multi boot options. In your case, you should be able to do a repair to windows 8 with the windows 7 hard drive still in the system and both hard drives being bootable in BIOS and the Windows 8 drive as the one in the boot order before the windows 7 drive. Windows repair should see both installations and modify the boot loader. There may also be a way through running mconfig from the Windows 8 machine to select the boot options but I am not as familiar with those options. Others here may have actually done these and can give you more details on one or both.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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