Advice on Vista 32bit / Windows 7 64bit Dual boot

#1
My machine's hard drive had 4 partitions: Vista - Recovery - Linux - and swap. I was experimenting with a 64bit distribution of Linux to see how my machine (Compaq Presario AMD dual core 3GB 2.3Ghz machine) would behave. Vista came preloaded on the drive in the first partition but was only the 32bit home premium version. I wanted to make use of all those extra bits! :brows:

Today, I purchased Windows 7 Ultimate. I'm a heavy Windows user/developer so wanted the best of both worlds - 32bit and 64bit. I needed space on my hard drive to install it.

I first tried using Vista's disk management tool to shrink it's partition size but kept receiving errors. Figuring that I already had a backups of the Vista OS and of my data I decided to blow away the other 3 partitions. Vista wouldn't let me. This lead me to downloading and burning the GParted rescue disk.

Rebooting my machine with the GParted CD allowed me to execute GParted and delete the other 3 partitions. I then created 1 big partition which would become home to the Windows 7 64bit OS. I marked the partition as ntfs, applied all changes, then shutdown the computer.

Turning the computer back on I quickly switched out the GParted CD with my shiny new Windows 7 64bit DVD. It installed without a hitch. However, upon next reboot it did not recognize my Vista partition as bootable ( no boot loader menu)! What was I to do? EasyBCD to the rescue!!!

I was back into my fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate where I downloaded the latest EasyBCD beta (after registering, of course) and saved it to my desktop. I then ran the setup program which installed EasyBCD onto my Windows 7 partition. Note: Even though Windows 7 was on my second partition, because I booted into Windows 7, it assigned the drive letter as C: and the Vista partition as D:.

I then ran EasyBCD, added a new entry for Vista ( D: drive, remember?), saved my changes and rebooted. Looking at my new boot loader menu was a very satisfying feeling.

I can't say enough how easy EasyBCD made it for me to do dual booting! It would have taken me a heck of a lot longer ( and probably more errors and frustration ) to use the Windows bcdedit.exe program (a console only application, btw). EasyBCD was the perfect tool for the job. So good that I had to write this post! Many, many thanks for creating this for the masses!!!

ps: EasyBCD beta 2 build 100 was used in this particular case.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
Hi Ray!

Thanks for sharing your story with us - glad we could help. :smile:

Oh, and welcome to the community :smile: