Solved Can I Dual Boot Two Installations of Windows 7?

Hewlett-packard / Cq5300y
February 26, 2016 at 20:41:30
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium, AMDAthlon II X2 215, 2.70. GHz / 4 GB RAM
Hi, guys!

I recently removed a SATA hard drive from a slow PC I'm retiring and installed it in a faster PC. This faster PC is running Windows 7 home premium. The hard drive from the old PC is also running Windows 7 home premium. I have licenses for both.

Everything is operating fine. Both hard drives are detected when I boot into either. The thing is, I don't get a boot option menu when first turning on the machine.

So, when I want to boot into the other Windows 7 installation (which has different programs and files on it), I have to F10 into the BIOS, change the boot order of the drives, then restart. It's driving me a little crazy.

In Windows... when I go to Startup and Recovery in the Advanced System options, I have only one operating system listed in the System Startup menu - Windows 7. However, it shows only one Windows 7.

How can I accomplish what I'm trying to do here?

Thanks very much!


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✔ Best Answer
February 28, 2016 at 16:29:09
No need to change BIOS, just choose the HDD in BIOS you like to boot from every time you start your system
.
On that drive add the other OS to the boot manager.

If you are using Visual BCD Editor press F9 (click right on the left pane) to add missing boot loaders. Hope that works.



#1
February 26, 2016 at 21:42:16
You need to modify the Boot Manager with BCDedit.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorial...
A GUI version: https://www.boyans.net/


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#2
February 27, 2016 at 06:39:11
You had no problems getting the swapped HDD to boot? It didn't get locked out due to the hardware differences? Very odd. Are the specs for both systems almost identical?

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#3
February 28, 2016 at 08:57:02
HA! I know! The specs for the two machines are somewhat similar. Both with 4GB RAM, both with NVIDIA graphics on board, both with AMD chips - although one is Sempron 2.4 GHz and the other Athlon II X2 2.7GHz.

Thanks!


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#4
February 28, 2016 at 08:59:38
Thanks, Sluc.

If I modify the Boot Manager with BCDedit, that will give me a screen to choose which OS/hard drive I want to boot into on startup? Do I also have to make another change in the BIOS?

Also... should (or can) I rename one of the Windows 7 installations at some point during this process? Otherwise, won't my boot options say:

Windows 7
Windows 7

and then how will I know which is which?

Thanks again!

message edited by susanrs


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#5
February 28, 2016 at 14:45:03
Okay... I figured out how to rename each of the Windows 7 installations, so I'll be able to identify them. However, I don't understand how to create the new boot entry. The instructions seem related to adding a new boot entry when the new OS is on a partition. I'm trying to do it for a separate, newly added hard drive. Plus, my drive letters are different depending on which OS I'm booted into.

When I'm booted into the original Windows 7 OS (named ENT), this is how my drive letters look:

ENT (C:)
FACTORY_IMAGE (D:)
MEDIA (E:) - this is a partition
SYSTEM (G:)
VOY (H:)
FACTORY_IMAGE (I:)

When I'm booted into the second Windows 7 OS (named VOY - and the hard drive I just added to the machine) this is how my drive letters look:

VOY (C:)
FACTORY_IMAGE (D:)
SYSTEM (E:)
MEDIA (F:)
ENT (G:)
FACTORY_IMAGE (H:)

If I'm booted into the original Windows 7 OS (ENT), what commands and/or lines of code would I enter to add the second Windows 7 OS (VOY) to the boot manager?

Thanks in advance, and I apologize for being so... dense!

Thanks in advance!

message edited by susanrs


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#6
February 28, 2016 at 16:29:09
✔ Best Answer
No need to change BIOS, just choose the HDD in BIOS you like to boot from every time you start your system
.
On that drive add the other OS to the boot manager.

If you are using Visual BCD Editor press F9 (click right on the left pane) to add missing boot loaders. Hope that works.


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#7
February 28, 2016 at 17:03:21
Wow! Awesome! That worked!

Thank you so much for your help, Sluc!!


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