Setting up a Dual-Boot: Windows 7 and Vista?


ross m. greenberg

I have a bootable Vista Ultimate on my C.: drive. I have some stuff on my
D.: drive. How can I best set up a dual-boot so that I have the choice of
booting Vista or Windows 7 (of my D.: drive) my D: is a 39 GB drive with
about 20 GB free. I prefer not to lose what is currently on the D.: drive,
but if I cannot preserve it is backed up elsewhere.

How can I best accomplish this?



R. C. White

Hi, Ross.
How can I best accomplish this?

Boot into Vista. Insert the Win7 DVD-ROM and run Setup.exe from it. Tell
it to clean install Win7 on D:. Follow the instructions. Done! ;<)

I've glossed over some points, of course, but that should accomplish what
you said. Since your data on D: is backed up, I would recommend that you
let Setup re-format D: for you, then restore your data after Win7 is
installed, running and tweaked to your initial satisfaction. (I say
"initial satisfaction" because you probably are like me and will continue to
tweak it as long as you keep using it.) Also, of course, you will need to
install all your applications in Win7 because it won't be able to read from
Vista's Registry, even if the app's executable files are already in place.

Twenty GB is enough to initially install Win7, but it doesn't give it much
elbow room, even though Win7's footprint on the disk is smaller than
Vista's. Win7 Setup will, of course, update the startup files on your
System Volume (Drive C:); future boots will start in C: and then, if you
choose Win7, will branch to Drive D:, no matter if it is a separate
partition on Disk 0 or a partition on a separate Disk 1. At today's prices,
we can add a TB drive for around $100 or 500 GB for less than that. You
could always add or replace the drive later, but if you do it now you can
avoid the hassle of moving Win7 later.

Good luck! Please report back and let us know how it works out for you.
I'm sure many other readers here have the same question and can learn from
your experience.

R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8089.0726) in Win7 Ultimate x64

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