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EagleWing

Windows 7 dual booting

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:unsure: What I am considering doing is the following: Using two hard drives (both SATA II) One will be for Windows 7 and the other will be for Vista and XP. The Vista/XP HD will be partitioned (2 partitions). My question is: Is it Possible to setup my computer where I can do a triple boot, meaning a menu that provides me with the choice of booting into either Win7 or Vista or XP?

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I've never tried three O/S's, but it can be done.

You should always install the oldest O/S first, so start with XP, then install Vista, then 7.

Not really sure why you want Vista and 7, there's not that much difference between them. I'd probably just go for XP and 7, but it's up to you.

Also, keep in mind that some Windows 7 versions also have XP Mode if you have the appropriate hardware (If you have a particular program that won't run on Vista/7).

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If you're going to be booting across multiple hard drives, I'd recommend using Grub (with a dedicated Linux partition) or grub4dos. Using grub, you can hide drives on the fly, set drives as the boot drive on the fly, and dynamically switch hard drive locations.

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I've never tried three O/S's, but it can be done.

You should always install the oldest O/S first, so start with XP, then install Vista, then 7.

Not really sure why you want Vista and 7, there's not that much difference between them. I'd probably just go for XP and 7, but it's up to you.

Also, keep in mind that some Windows 7 versions also have XP Mode if you have the appropriate hardware (If you have a particular program that won't run on Vista/7).

I am aware that the oldest O/S needs to be installed first. You say that some Windows 7 versions have XP mode, would that include Windows 7 Ultimate? I discovered another thing when I visited this forum while in Windows 7, it would not allow me to login. So I had to reboot to Vista. Any idea what gives with that?

Edited by EagleWing

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If you're going to be booting across multiple hard drives, I'd recommend using Grub (with a dedicated Linux partition) or grub4dos. Using grub, you can hide drives on the fly, set drives as the boot drive on the fly, and dynamically switch hard drive locations.

I am not familiar with grub4dos. I assume that this will work with Windows 7 Ultimate, Vista Ultimate SP2 and Windows XP Pro SP3? Thanks

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It's easy to boot 3 or even 4 OS, but why? At any given time you can only run 1 OS, why not use VM? I'm running windows 7, there's vm to test my deployment, and linux, don't see benefit of dual boot or tri boot. XP mode is accessible for windows 7 pro and ultimate, ensure that your CPU have VT support.

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If you're going to be booting across multiple hard drives, I'd recommend using Grub (with a dedicated Linux partition) or grub4dos. Using grub, you can hide drives on the fly, set drives as the boot drive on the fly, and dynamically switch hard drive locations.

I am not familiar with grub4dos. I assume that this will work with Windows 7 Ultimate, Vista Ultimate SP2 and Windows XP Pro SP3? Thanks

Yes, grub will work with any OS - it has a "chainloader" function which passes control to the operating system you choose.

One advantage to using grub for booting - you can install each OS with its own bootloader, so that if, say, your Vista partition gets messed up, it won't prevent you from booting into your 7 partition.

In order to make use of all of grub's features, you will have to reformat and repartition your hard drive, then install each operating system. Between installing OS's, you will need to boot into a Linux live CD and use a utility called gparted to hide the OS you just installed before installing the next OS - this keeps each OS' bootloader on its partition (and doesn't put the Vista bootloader on your XP partition, for instance). Then, after you've installed all of your Windows partitions, you use grub to boot - I personally have a Linux partition on each of my computers because I like Linux, but many people just install a standalone grub partition.

Here's a post for reading if you're interested:

A Linux way to triple boot itself, XP, and Vista

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If you're going to be booting across multiple hard drives, I'd recommend using Grub (with a dedicated Linux partition) or grub4dos. Using grub, you can hide drives on the fly, set drives as the boot drive on the fly, and dynamically switch hard drive locations.

I am not familiar with grub4dos. I assume that this will work with Windows 7 Ultimate, Vista Ultimate SP2 and Windows XP Pro SP3? Thanks

Yes, grub will work with any OS - it has a "chainloader" function which passes control to the operating system you choose.

One advantage to using grub for booting - you can install each OS with its own bootloader, so that if, say, your Vista partition gets messed up, it won't prevent you from booting into your 7 partition.

In order to make use of all of grub's features, you will have to reformat and repartition your hard drive, then install each operating system. Between installing OS's, you will need to boot into a Linux live CD and use a utility called gparted to hide the OS you just installed before installing the next OS - this keeps each OS' bootloader on its partition (and doesn't put the Vista bootloader on your XP partition, for instance). Then, after you've installed all of your Windows partitions, you use grub to boot - I personally have a Linux partition on each of my computers because I like Linux, but many people just install a standalone grub partition.

Here's a post for reading if you're interested:

A Linux way to triple boot itself, XP, and Vista

I don't like Linux. I did, however, find a solution that allows me to triple boot Win7, Vista and XP. Thanks for your input.

Edited by EagleWing

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