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Nomen

Can Win-7 be installed (and co-exist) on win-10 system?

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If I've got a win-10 system and I want to install win-7 from a bootable thumb drive, will the win-7 installation process correctly configure the (single) hard drive for dual-boot and preserve the existing win-10 setup?  Would I have to create a new partition on the existing hard drive first to do this (and can that be done from win-10)?

 

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34 minutes ago, Nomen said:

 will the win-7 installation process correctly configure the (single) hard drive for dual-boot and preserve the existing win-10 setup?

Certainly NOT. :ph34r:

34 minutes ago, Nomen said:

Would I have to create a new partition on the existing hard drive first to do this (and can that be done from win-10)?

Not really "have to",

You could alternatively use a Windows 7 installed to a .vhd,

For the Windows 10 (already installed) OS the .vhd will be just a (large) file, and you wouldn't need to modify the partitioning.

jaclaz

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As jaclaz says you must install the older OS first when you install multiple Windows versions for multiboot, so much I know.

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12 hours ago, HarryTri said:

As jaclaz says you must install the older OS first when you install multiple Windows versions for multiboot, so much I know.

Well, there are two (distinct) issues.

Microsoft installers are (obviously) backward compatible but not necessarily forward compatible.

But besides that (which may be worked around with a trick or two, restoring the BOOTMGR, etc.) the real issue is that since the .wim based approach to install you (we, everyone) were deprived of the possibility of changing the name of the main Windows folder, which is now "Windows".

Some earlier versions could be (with some small changes/tricks) installed in theory on the same volume in multi-boot (though it made no real sense and represented what we - highly specialized technicians ;) call "looking for troubles").

BUT as said the good news :) are that starting from 7 there are ways to install the OS entirely inside a .VHD (native booting of it may need a "high profile" version of Windows 7),

jaclaz

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Oh, I didn't realize that the OP wanted to install both OSes on the same partition (which Microsoft always said that it isn't supported).

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6 minutes ago, HarryTri said:

Oh, I didn't realize that the OP wanted to install both OSes on the same partition (which Microsoft always said that it isn't supported).

To be fair ;) if we actually went with ONLY what Microsoft says it is supported and follow ONLY what their support literature and people say, we could well close MSFN.ORG for good :w00t::ph34r:.

The issue does not revolve really about what they do or don't support,  it revolves more around how difficult they made it in NT 6.x+.

(in NT up to 5.x it was doable and also relatively easy, issues had traditionally been revolving around what MS - and many other programmers/software vendors - "assumed")

jaclaz

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Well, I once tried to install Windows XP on Windows 98SE in the same partition and it was catastrophic, of course I have probably done some mistakes because Widows XP looked for their files in the Windows 98SE systemroot (Windows) folder...

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17 hours ago, HarryTri said:

Well, I once tried to install Windows XP on Windows 98SE in the same partition and it was catastrophic, of course I have probably done some mistakes because Widows XP looked for their files in the Windows 98SE systemroot (Windows) folder...

Well, as an anecdote only, many years ago and only as an experiment I had a system running in the same partition:

1) Windows NT 4.0 in D:\WinNT (default)
2) Windows 2000 in D:\Win2K (renamed from the default "Windows")
3) Windows XP in D:\WinXP (renamed from the default "Windows")

The issue with %SystemRoot% in those systems could be easily solved by simply changing the name of the Windows directory at the time of the install.

The problems were the changes needed to move the "user folders" from root to within the main folder, i.e. I had D:\WinNT\Profiles (good) but I moved the other "default" folder "Program Files" under D:\WinNT, with Windows 2000 there was the need to do the same for "Documents and settings", *like*:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/236621/cannot-move-or-rename-the-documents-and-settings-folder

Here you see a comparison of the "default" folder structures:

https://installmate.com/support/im9/using/pages/typicalpaths.htm

 

Since Vista (if I recall correctly) the %SystemRoot% diretory is hardcoded to \Windows, and though in theory it should be possible to change that post-install using a PE and and a few tens/hundreds (offline) Registry edits  there are other possible issues, with the "Users" folder and the "virtual redirections" in the filesystem, that have only become "worse" in Windows 7, partially off topic, but JFYI:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-files/why-is-documents-and-settings-folder-hidden-and/2a163c13-c5d9-4a2e-843a-c910f968a89c?tab=MoreHelp

 

jaclaz

 

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I just can't believe that a situation where someone acquires a pc/laptop (as in my case, a refurbished Dell 6230) with win-10 pre-installed (and no win-10 install media) and wants to install win-7 so the pc is dual-boot - I can't believe that isin't a more common situation than it appears to be, and hence the process of doing that wouldn't have been worked out by now, with youtube video's, etc.  

I would think that we're way past the ancient days of "you have to install the older OS first because the older OS is really dumb and is *really different* than the newer OS.  I can't believe that Win-7 would find a win-10 installation so foreign or strange such that even if win-7 were installed to it's own empty partition that it couldn't make it self compatible in a dual-boot way with a pre-existing win-10 install.  Why on earth would MS not anticipate that situation (for power users, developers, etc) and not bestow that ability on win-7 and later versions?  (installation interoperability and compatibility I'm talking about). 

If MS wants to really push win-10 adoption (even on older PC's as in this case) then why make it hard or impossible to seemlessly install win-7 (for those that have the media and key and insist on running it) on a system that already has win-10 (to give a working dual-boot configuration)?  Because the alternative is (apparently) to give the user no choice but to wipe away the win-10 install when he's installing win-7 - and thus the pc is now win-7 only (because the user either doesn't really care enough about win-10 or even have win-10 media and spend the time to put win-10 back on).   So MS loses - the system is now win-7 and they've lost a win-10 system (with it's app store and future potential revenue stream).

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@Nomen

With all due respect, there are NO issues whatsoever with having a Windows 7 in a .vhd, and there are no issues whatsoever in reducing the now senselessly large partition that is used by windows 10 and creating a new partition dedicated to Windows 7.

About .vhd boot, Installing it is straightforward and - at the most and in the worse case - you need to restore the previous BOOTMGR and \boot\BCD (then re-add the .vhd booting option). Those that have the media and the key and a non-OEM license of Windows 7 of an adequate version (which are a surprisingly small number)  can do it straight. Those that have not the adequate version need to use a couple workarounds, there is no need of any workaround if you go for a separate partition. Multibooting Windows (any version) on  a SAME partition has never been supported, and for the reasons - among others - expressed before even if possible (with a lower or higher level of difficulties) it has never been advised by anyone,  there are reasons that make it a sub-optimal choice.

...life sucks ...

 

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz

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> With all due respect, there are NO issues whatsoever with having a Windows 7 in a .vhd

Yes there are.  (1) I don't want to have buy 8 gb of new ram (2 x 4) to replace the 4 gb (2 x 2) that are in this particular laptop to be able to run win-7 in a vhd without the hard drive thrashing all time and (2) running any OS in a virtual environment is a huge comprimise in terms of not being able to access and utilize fully the hardware of the host machine to it's fullest / best capability.  And then having to wait for the host OS to boot and then boot the desired virtual OS every time I want to use it.  And I don't even know if the particular version of win-10 on the laptop in question supports vhd. 

> Multibooting Windows (any version) on  a SAME partition has never been supported, and for the reasons

That is not the situation I am contimplating or wondering why MS doesn't / can't support.  I am fully prepared to carve a second partition out of the existing hard drive and have win-7 installed on it.  I am just wondering if I will end up with functional dual-boot machine if I do that, and if not, what I'd have to do with the boot record or mbr in order to get dual-boot win-10/win-7 working.  I stand by my supposition that wanting to install win-7 on a machine that came with win-10 pre-installed (while keeping the win-10 installation) can't possibly be a rare thing.

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The GUI setup is backward compatible. Not forward compatible.
The win 7 GUI setup won't do the desired result.

Windows 7 does request a legacy graphic card, not a gob only one, May fail at current hardware.
Testing at a VHD file would be the first step. No, this is not running a virutal machine.
Use the win-10 diskpart, dism /apply-image, bcdedit and bcdboot.
This can be done from the running win-10.

If it's works, you may keep it.
If it's complaining a license error, congratulation: Win 7 does work. Continue to a seperate partition.

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9 hours ago, Nomen said:

> With all due respect, there are NO issues whatsoever with having a Windows 7 in a .vhd

Yes there are.  (1) I don't want to have buy 8 gb of new ram (2 x 4) to replace the 4 gb (2 x 2) that are in this particular laptop to be able to run win-7 in a vhd without the hard drive thrashing all time and (2) running any OS in a virtual environment is a huge comprimise in terms of not being able to access and utilize fully the hardware of the host machine to it's fullest / best capability.  And then having to wait for the host OS to boot and then boot the desired virtual OS every time I want to use it.  And I don't even know if the particular version of win-10 on the laptop in question supports vhd. 

> Multibooting Windows (any version) on  a SAME partition has never been supported, and for the reasons

That is not the situation I am contimplating or wondering why MS doesn't / can't support.  I am fully prepared to carve a second partition out of the existing hard drive and have win-7 installed on it.  I am just wondering if I will end up with functional dual-boot machine if I do that, and if not, what I'd have to do with the boot record or mbr in order to get dual-boot win-10/win-7 working.  I stand by my supposition that wanting to install win-7 on a machine that came with win-10 pre-installed (while keeping the win-10 installation) can't possibly be a rare thing.

Look, to all practical effect, the Windows 7 in the .vhd is entirely "disk based", NOT Ram based, it does NOT need any addtiional RAM,  itis not in ANY way "virtual" and has EXACTLY the same access to hard disk as one installed normally.

And of course the version of 10 (which is NOT booted when Windows 7 is booted from .vhd)  is totally irrelevant, the version of Windows 7 matters, officially only Ultimate and Enterprise, though as said there are alternate ways for other versions.

If you are not aware of these capabilities,  you should really document yourself before going astray with your pre-conceptions.

Meet the wonderful world of native .vhd booting (BTW info posted here since 2009):

 

jaclaz

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On 21.1.2018 at 4:25 PM, Nomen said:

If I've got a win-10 system and I want to install win-7...
can that be done from win-10)?

 

Which win 10 system do you use? Which hardware, chipset, graphic card?

Does the new Win10 machine uses BIOS/MBR or UEFI/GPT?

First step: Validate Win 7 booting.
Boot a Win 7 DVD (or the USB stick).
Do you get the installation GUI? Good, abort the win 7 installation, reboot to win 10.


UEFI assumed at a new win 10 system:

md c:\vhd
.
diskpart.exe
create vdisk file=c:\vhd\w7.vhd maximum=16384
select vdisk file=c:\vhd\w7.vhd
attach vdisk
create par prim
format fs ntfs quick label=Win7
assign letter=W
.
DISM.exe /Apply-Image /ImageFile:d:\sources\install.wim /Index:4 /ApplyDir:W:\
.
mountvol.exe s: /s
bcdboot.exe W:\Windows /s s:

If you use BIOS, then don't use mountvol. Assign the drive letter S: at diskpart to the partion with the file \boot\bcd

Disable Win10 fast startup at a multi boot machine.

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