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How to set-up two Win7-installs on one machine


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#1 whocares

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 08:29 PM

Hi guys,

 

I want to set-up a multi-boot-machine with win7 for work, win7 for games and ubuntu in addition. The old-school-way was creating three primary-partitions for the three OSses and installing grub as bootloader. Grub then switches the boot-flag and the hidden flag of the partitions, depending on the OS-choice in the menu.

 

I already installed Vista on partition 2, win7 on partition 1 and ubuntu on partition 3. My problem is that vista can't get bootet anymore, after win7 was installed on partition 1. When I try to chainload vista, bootmgr and /boot are missing on partition 2. I guess win7 removed vista's boot-ability.

 

Since I don't wanna keep vista anyway, I decided to replace vista on partition 2 with another win7-install. Now I'm afraid if I installed win7 on partition 2, partition 1 was not bootable anymore. So is there any way making this setup possible nevertheless?

 

The whole hdd is mbr, not gpt. Reinstalling grub was no problem after win7-installation. I just need to know how to stop win7-setup fiddling around with the boot-process.


Edited by whocares, 03 April 2017 - 08:31 PM.


#2 ReTokener

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 11:21 AM

Hi whocares

is cloning your system to part.2 an option for you?

 

T.



#3 misty

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 11:33 AM

Set the target partition as active and hide the other partition(s) before installing Windows 7. The BCD store and boot files will then be created on the new Windows 7 partition - resulting in a completely self contained system.

Once Windows 7 is installed, go back to using Grub - possibly reinstalling it (if it was installed to MBR it will probably have been overwritten).

I have used this approach many times with Grub4Dos - although in my case Grub4dos is installed to a VBR - not the MBR.

One thing I have observed with this approach. Although Grub4Dos is able to successfully boot Windows by chainloading bootmgr and the BCD store - the BCD store is not kept open. In fact there does not appear to be any system BCD store in use.

Misty

#4 whocares

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 02:06 PM

Thank you misty. That was the answer I was looking for.

 

@Retokener: Yes, I thought of cloning already but I was unsure if the partition-info was somehow written into the win7-boot-process. I was afraid win7 from partition 2 was booting win7 from partition 1 nevertheless because the installation of the original was done on partition 1.

 

@misty: I don't know what BCD-store is. Actually I'm still a WinXP-user in daily-life. Is it somehow related to the boot-folder Win7 is creating? The win7-setup is not for me but for somebody else.



#5 misty

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:11 PM

@whocares

I don't know what BCD-store is. Actually I'm still a WinXP-user in daily-life. Is it somehow related to the boot-folder Win7 is creating?

For some information re the BCD store - see here.

Although seemingly unrelated, see also here.

Misty

Edit - the information in the second link can be used to rebuild Windows NT6.* boot files.

#6 alacran

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:52 PM

@ whocares

I think it is better to have a separate boot partition, small primary active partition lets say 350MB as in Win8 (just in case, 150MB is minimum for Win7), then all Windows OS's you install are going to be in same BCD on this partition and also grub4dos mbr (grldr.mbr), I use to put grldr and menu.lst on the root of second primary partition to easy editing menu.lst, actually I have installed this way Win7 on second primary partition, then used an extended partition with some unalocated space where latter installed Android x86 on Fat32 logical partition, latter Ubuntu on its own ext3 or ext4 partition who installed its own boot manager Grub2, then the boot order was Grub2 from it you can boot Ubuntu or Windows boot manager, then from Win bootmanager boot Win7 or several VHD's or call grub4dos with more than 10 options to boot Android x86 and several WinPE's

So for your case, I suggest (MBR partitioned disk) :

1 Primary active partition 350 MB (I use 1 or 2 GB for latter use)
2 Primary Partition NTFS (Win7/8x) size: up to you (I recommend no more than 50 GB for office work)
3 Primary Partition NTFS (another Win7/8x) size: up to you
4 Extended Partition (rest of disk)
5 Logicall Partition NTFS for Documents (can be seen from any OS's), you may install games here in order to have Win7 partitions as smaller as posible (smaller back up's), also here you can save your OS's backup's in a folder as I do.

6 Unalocated space inside the logicall partition (for Ubuntu) during install you can create and format partition(s), also it will install Grub2 as main bootloader for itself and make an option for windows boot manager.

 

alacran



#7 whocares

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:39 AM

Thanks for the BCD-Link!

 

I did as misty suggested and it worked perfectly! I hid all partitions but partition 2 and installed Win7 on it. Afterwards, I used my super grub disk hybrid to load ubuntu. In ubuntu, I reinstalled grub2 to the mbr with something like 

sudo grub-install /dev/sda

...and everything works as predicted!

The super-grub-disc is just awesome and finds any OS installed on the system automatically. An old version of the disc belongs to my collection of repair-discs since a couple of years. It's really a must-have.

 

Regarding to the boot-partition...naaah...I never needed one and don't see a reason to change it. Only thing: Grub2's savedefault doesn't seem to work. I wonder if this is due to a lack of an own boot-partition. Also possible: When one of the two Win7s get loaded all other partitions are set hidden. Maybe that's the reason grub doesn't write the last chosen option to disk. But anyway...that's another story.

 

My problem got solved really quick here.

 

Thank you very much!



#8 genetix

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 04:39 PM

Hmm, why not modify grub4dos, grldr file last 10 lines directly to either chain load Windows bootmgr or add grldr to BCD and have direct boot to debian or any other OS. Ideally, if there would be any issues ever loading "any partition" or "kernel" you could just add timeout for grub4dos and use command-line to do emergency boot what ever is available for booting (even external drive with installations or live systems).

 

Nice you got everything working.

 

@alacran

 

Your partitioning tactic has one flaw there as when you have 4 primary partitions(In this case 3 primary partitions and extended parittion counts as one) microsoft NT operating systems are stuck like next sunday. I'd suggest skipping the 3rd primary and using rest as logical after 2 primary partitions to not get hangs by NT4.xx-10.x.



#9 Zoso

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 05:09 PM

hi all,

just passing through but something caught my atten..

I'd suggest skipping the 3rd primary and using rest as logical after 2 primary partitions to not get hangs by NT4.xx-10.x.


what type of hangs and what is this mean: NT4.xx-10.x.?

i always use three primaries and multiple logicals and sometimes encounter odd issues so i was curious.

'whatcu talkin'bout willis'?

lol

#10 alacran

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:25 PM


@alacran

 

Your partitioning tactic has one flaw there as when you have 4 primary partitions(In this case 3 primary partitions and extended parittion counts as one) microsoft NT operating systems are stuck like next sunday. I'd suggest skipping the 3rd primary and using rest as logical after 2 primary partitions to not get hangs by NT4.xx-10.x.

 

Please elaborate a little more about your comment, I have been using 3 primary and 1 extended with several logical partition for long time without any issue.

 

alacran



#11 alacran

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:49 PM

Regarding to the boot-partition...naaah...I never needed one and don't see a reason to change it. Only thing: Grub2's savedefault doesn't seem to work. I wonder if this is due to a lack of an own boot-partition. Also possible: When one of the two Win7s get loaded all other partitions are set hidden. Maybe that's the reason grub doesn't write the last chosen option to disk. But anyway...that's another story.

 

That boot partition is required if you latter want to encrypt the drisk, also if for any razon you latter want to change MBR partitioning to GUI without reinstalling everything, you need a minimum free space of 500 MB before the OS, so it is prevention not waste of space.   I use a minimun of 1 GB, sometimes 2 if I want to put some boot.wim, small VHD, or WinPE's in it, avoiding the risk that some one may erase it, as that partition is hidden and people do not see it.

 

alacran



#12 whocares

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 12:29 AM

I see...

 

My grub-problems got solved, by the way. It turned out the first line reading "savedefault" was only present in the ubuntu-menuentry. After correcting both Win7-entries, grub remembers the chosen OS now. Still don't know where grub is saving the choice.

 

The thing with the NT-slowdown when using 3 primary-partitions makes me curious as well. I've heard a primary partition gets written to the outer rings of an hdd, hence an additional speedup for the OS, installed on it. Maybe three primary-partitions are too big to guarantee a speedup for all three of them. In this case 1st primary was fastest and 3rd primary slowest.

 

But anyway, what genetix said sounds like a bug in NT. How do I know if I suffer it? When you ask me...a system is always too slow...


Edited by whocares, 06 April 2017 - 12:31 AM.


#13 Zoso

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 03:26 PM

I see...

My grub-problems got solved, by the way. It turned out the first line reading "savedefault" was only present in the ubuntu-menuentry. After correcting both Win7-entries, grub remembers the chosen OS now. Still don't know where grub is saving the choice.

The thing with the NT-slowdown when using 3 primary-partitions makes me curious as well. I've heard a primary partition gets written to the outer rings of an hdd, hence an additional speedup for the OS, installed on it. Maybe three primary-partitions are too big to guarantee a speedup for all three of them. In this case 1st primary was fastest and 3rd primary slowest.

But anyway, what genetix said sounds like a bug in NT. How do I know if I suffer it? When you ask me...a system is always too slow...


genetix wrote "hang" which could be like a freeze or halt upon boot up somewhere, which i run into sometimes when setting up a multi partitioned, multiboot HDD.

figured it worth asking for clarification.

anyway, glad you got your set up working.




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