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Author Topic: Dual Boot questions  (Read 3685 times)

TaoPhoenix

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Dual Boot questions
« on: August 07, 2014, 02:48:07 PM »
A "long time ago" (in the comp-sci world) I had a buddy build a decent grade project computer we nicknamed "twilight", (not the TV show!!), designed to outlast XP and get info on wherever the state of Microsoft is at a bunch of years ahead.

(Update: We saw what should have been "awesome Longhorn" descend into the desperate Vista, then Win 7 wasn't bad, then the Win8 and 8.1 messes... so here we are.)

The "end of its mission" (heh, watching too much Star Trek Enterprise lately!) will be when Win 9 comes out. If all of our careful planning and a little luck holds out, my box might actually be able to handle it. Not counting raw core min specs, and I might need one more ram chip, the system has dual Terabyte hard drives.

So I plan to stick Win 9 (which if my ailing memory serves, is coming up semi soon now) on the second drive and get a techie to make a dual boot.

Supposing I get lucky and it works, will all my old apps still load? Last I knew they were all tied to C/Program Files/whatever. To me it shouldn't matter that the new system is on D Drive and new apps end up in D/Program files/whatever. Then little by little when I am bored I can just update versions at the same time I switch them over, etc etc.

Are my instincts right?

I don't really wanna run two whole new comps side by side and begin comparing stuff, plus except that HD problem we were talking about in another thread (fresh new HD, remember?), it would just make 2014-me smile that 2006-me got it right!      : )


Shades

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 01:01:16 AM »
With the different folder structures between Windows versions I wouldn't be too worried. However, it is advised to keep the OS'es as separated as possible. Again, because of that same structure.

From experience I can tell you that my PortableApps folder (which contains 90% of all the software I need) worked fine when the main OS on that drive was Windows XP. I always setup my systems to have a separate partition for just the OS, one for the programs I need/want and another for my actual data. And if possible I keep even a separate partition for the Windows and user temp folders. Highly opinionated about this subject, I'm afraid.

Anywayz, with my structured setup I replaced Windows XP with Windows 7 (after leaving a Windows domain botched my XP) without a hitch and my portable apps worked immediately without any hiccup. Couldn't have spent more than 3 hours from completely botched to a completely installed and configured Windows 7 system (including the time it took to burn the installation DVD).

Later I added a new HD and on that drive Windows 2012 was installed. Relabeling the drive letters in W2012 to match the letters from W7 and my portable apps worked again without a hitch. Whenever I swap between OS'es the portable apps plain and simply work. For mail I use the installed version of Thunderbird (the portable version of that one is utter crap!), and after a one-time redirection of mail folder in both OS'es, mail I received in one OS is completely accessible in the other OS.

Standard Windows installations throw everything in one heap, making software execution and transferability much more complicated than it needs to be. If you are stuck with that, have fun. In that case, the best advise is to install the oldest OS first and then the new OS. The new(er) OS is usually capable of detecting an older Windows installation and work around it to make dual-boot possible. The other way around just creates one big stinking pile of s....

Having said all this, I hardly switch to Windows 7 anymore. With the dual HD setup I have, Windows 2012 is much more "snappy" than Windows 7 is. The first thing I did with Windows 2012 was installing Classic Shell and after that my needs for Windows 7 vanished almost completely within a month of swapping between both OS'es.

And that is what happens to most people who dual-boot. The newer OS gains the favor fairly quick and when (not if) that moment comes, the old OS is just data taking up (valuable) HD space. Bite the bullet, you are going to swap anyway.

SKA

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 05:29:06 AM »
Shades

By Windows 2012 - you mean which exact flavor of Windows Server ?

Thanks
Ska 

Stoic Joker

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 07:10:20 AM »
Dual boot was fun to play with back in the day, but it eventually ends up being a real hassle when you need to get something from the old OS...when you're already in the middle of something on the new OS.

Few months back when I made the jump to Win8, I just virtualized my old Win7 install so I could keep it handy incase something I forgot to move was needed. Sysinternals Disk2vhd makes doing this as close to idiot proof as anything I've ever seen. I've used it to virtualize dozens of production systems and haven't lost one yet.

Also if you're really paranoid, you can always pull and save the old drive.

MilesAhead

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 07:58:40 AM »
Dual boot was fun to play with back in the day, but it eventually ends up being a real hassle when you need to get something from the old OS...when you're already in the middle of something on the new OS.

They messed it up starting with Vista.  The booted OS just has to be C:.  XP didn't care.  It booted as H: on my dual core and I could just drag and drop any files I needed from the W7 partition. (I'm talking single physical drive setup pre GPT.)

It would be fun to do it over again on a large SSD.  The reboot wouldn't take so long.

mouser

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 08:08:17 AM »
Just an FYI:

Dual booting is always a bit hairy because it requires modification to the boot procedure.

What  I much prefer is to use an internal drive rack as your primary hard drive, and just slot in and out different boot drives.

Though these days, virtual machine software (like VmWare) is often the most convenient approach to running additional operating systems and "virtual" machines.

MilesAhead

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 08:37:59 AM »
Just an FYI:

Dual booting is always a bit hairy because it requires modification to the boot procedure.

What  I much prefer is to use an internal drive rack as your primary hard drive, and just slot in and out different boot drives.

Wish I got onto that.  I guy on another forum uses the drive rack.  Every couple of days he makes a Macrium image of the boot drive and restores it to an identical drive in a docking station.  If he has a HD failure he pulls the backup drive out of a drawer, slides it in the rack and boots.

Curt

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 09:01:58 AM »

Shades

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 10:35:25 AM »
Windows Server 2012 R2, the 'Standard' version with GUI, to be more specific.

Cuffy

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 04:03:49 PM »
I've played mouser's game for years.
New OS? Pull the drive and install a clean drive.
But, if you want to play the silly dual boot bit you might want to take a close look at Easy BCD page. It bailed me out of trouble a couple of times.........

http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

I don't recall ever running a dual boot system that didn't turn sour  :D


sword

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2014, 04:22:52 PM »
Alternate (tangent?) just a thought:
I tried the dual-booting but only on Win 2K and XP. Portable apps worked better. I prefer portable OSes (live Linux DVDs). Now I have my old Windows apps on an old laptop and box. Collections of great apps are easily available like in Uberstudent_4 with no hard drive, just a basic box and USB optical drive or USB sticks

MilesAhead

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2014, 04:25:59 PM »
I don't recall ever running a dual boot system that didn't turn sour

That lame scheme of copying over files and hiding partitions, marking the other active etc. never works for long.  Setting a customer up with that mechanism was pulling the pin on the grenade aand telling him to hold it tightly!  :)

On my old 486 using Boot Magic as primary boot manager and first Lilo, then grub as secondary, I had Dos 6, Windows 3.1/later Win9x, OS/2 3.0 and Slackware with a couple of starup configs in grub, all going for several years.  I think in 2000 or so I got a Pentium III and just went with Win9x and Mandrake 9.1.

But yeah, you have to watch your Ps and Qs all the time.  Plus back then there was no free backup imaging software.  But these days I don't have that kind of patience.  My hair is falling out.  I don;t have to rip it out.  :)


Cuffy

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 04:57:29 PM »
It's not so easy anymore..............

How to install 145 operating systems on one PC - Tech
downloadsquad.switched.com/.../how-to-install-145-operating-systems-o...
by Brad Linder - Sep 13, 2007 - Well, one JustLinux forum member has you beat. And by beat, we mean he finished a marathon in the amount of time it took you to cross the ...

 :D

Cuffy

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2014, 05:13:54 PM »
http://downloadsquad...g-systems-on-one-pc/

Maybe this link will work?
It doesn't tell you much though............. MilesAhead would probably be a better source of info if you want to attempt a new record.   :D

Cuffy

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2014, 10:38:48 PM »
I just remembered............
BCDEdit is another good tool to use playing dual boot roulette.  :D

http://www.sevenforu...bcdedit-how-use.html

Google will turn up an abundance of links for this product.
 8)

MilesAhead

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2014, 11:07:33 AM »
VistaBootPro used to be freeware.  Very easy to use.

But multiple OS on a single drive is going to be hairy(if even possible) with GPT etc..  If you dumb everything down to legacy MBR you lose huge HD support.  I'd need to read up on it but my impression is with GPT multiboot means multiple physical drives now.

Easier to just use the drive drawer pattern.

Edit:  Even though I saved some money by having the 486 built for me by a coworker who did builds as a sideline, by the time I added a Toshiba 2x CDROM the cost was around 5 grand.  (The CDROM as standard equipment  was not yet in effect.  I was a 2x early adopter.) So it was worth it to buy books and spend some time to put multiple OS on rather than just buying machines.  I didn't have space for a workbench.  That limited my options as well.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 11:15:18 AM by MilesAhead »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Dual Boot questions
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2014, 08:32:25 PM »
Wow, I "sorta" got what I wanted, I got a lot of comments, and confirmed that I need an expert on hand whenever I do this!

In some ways it feels a shade simpler than all this, so I'm not sure what I'm missing.

I have an entire second HD that except for a few misc backups, was purposely not used so there's your second "clean drive". Then you/we/techie just flips which is which and loads Win 9 when it comes out later this year.

I think I'm seeing technical drive letter problems, but does that stop everything from loading? Can't you just manually navigate to the old C/User/Desktop/Shortcuts and double click them and let them load? Or do they all break because of that drive letter problem?

My broad goal is to treat the new drive like a semi-fresh primary drive just like a new computer with arguably mixed strong/weak hardware, and the OS will never know and never care. Then limping along a little, I manually can go back and look and say "Oh, I had that and that and that", without guessing or running two whole comps on my desk.

I really tried hard back in '06, to plan for the future, so there's say a 1 in 3 chance the hardware will run Win 9, then you just flip the drives, yay it's a (now slightly aging) Win 9 comp, and off we go.

Does that make sense to anyone?