Dual boot Windows 7 with Windows 7

#1
I need dual boot advice to install two independent instances of Windows 7.
Is it possible and how to install?
I try hiding partition after first install but on second installation Windows 7 freezes!
It seems to me that only one Windows 7 could be on any HDD in PC?
I can do it with two instances of Windows XP with OSL2000 boot manager, and also with only one Windows 7 instalation!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
You can install completely independent W7s on different HDDs, but if they share a HDD, they must share a BCD. Just Install the second system without hiding the first, and it will automatically dual-boot itself with the existing W7.
Follow the first embedded link in the sticky thread for an excellent guide to multi-booting.
 
Last edited:
#3
Yes, but they can share viruses also, and I want one for Internet and another to be 100% sure not to be exposed in any way. Is there a solution for this situation?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
If you never connect one of the systems to the net, it won't be in any danger.
The moment you select one or other system from the boot menu, there is no connection between them. Nothing you do on one will affect the other except by explicit intent on your part.
You can protect each system with a free copy of the MS anti-malware system, and if you are truly paranoid, you can hack the registry in each OS, so that the other OS partition(s) are offline.
I quad boot W7, Vista, XP and Ubuntu. I use only free AV, and I've never had a virus make it onto any one of the systems.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
If an install is infected the most it could do is leave infected files on the other OS's partition (it can't directly infect a sleeping system), but with regular scanning of your computer for viruses you'll have no problems. If you are purposely infecting a system it should be in an isolated system such as a VM with no direct access to the host system.
 
#6
If you never connect one of the systems to the net, it won't be in any danger.
The moment you select one or other system from the boot menu, there is no connection between them. Nothing you do on one will affect the other except by explicit intent on your part.
You can protect each system with a free copy of the MS anti-malware system, and if you are truly paranoid, you can hack the registry in each OS, so that the other OS partition(s) are offline.
I quad boot W7, Vista, XP and Ubuntu. I use only free AV, and I've never had a virus make it onto any one of the systems.
Nice hack, but even with this partitions/installations share same partition for loading!?:shame:
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
As Terry stated the only thing that is shared is the bootloader. This enables you to multiboot and most viruses wont touch the boot files but if they do its a simple fix with startup repair from your Vista/Win7 disc.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
The MBR IPL locates the "active" PBR which loads bootmgr, which reads the BCD.
You choose a system
From that point on the OSs are completely separate.
If something corrupts the elements in the boot chain from your online W7, it still hasn't corrupted anything in your offline W7.
The boot chain can be fixed in a minute by booting the W7 DVD and "startup repair".
Still nothing has been able to corrupt your "safe" system.
You really mustn't succumb to paranoia.
The only way to guarantee the safety of a system is never expose it to the internet.
The best way to do that if you really are paranoid, is have 2 HDDs and only connect one at a time, using a case with hot-swap HDD bays. Boot one for internet use, keep one which has no browser or network capability, and never connect a USB stick to it. (someone could attack your PC with a virus on a flash-drive)
 
#9
I am a little paranoic with that, but understand me - one of OS is for DAW and one crash leed me into days of recovering. I alredy realize idea of hot-swap but don't like it.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
As I said in my first post, if you're using 2 HDDs it's easy.
Just Install W7 to each one with the other disconnected. They each get their own boot files with no menu option.
Use F8 to interrupt the BIOS at power up and override the default boot drive when you want to choose the secondary W7.
Use the offline hack on each system and neither can see the other to access it.

Any dual-boot option with a menu has a common path at some point, albeit very short and insignificant and easily repaired as described in post #8.
Even if you use a 3rd party boot manager like grub, with a hide option, you still have that initial common path.
I would still assess the risk as "nil" in either case, but if you're not convinced, buy another HDD.
Your risk of a crash through power-cut or software bug massively exceeds any possibility of infection via a second OS set up as previously described.
 
#11
Thanks Terry for your advices, I could try hiding one from another with offline hack, but I will be shure if one partition automatic hide from another (like two windows xp primary partitions with OSL2000).
 
#13
VM is not suitable for my work. I would have two W7: first for "every day" usage and second will be dedicated to DAW. On that second OS many security options will be turned off and many services too, becouse it's function only for music production. Now you understand that if something goes wrong with first OS and if second might be also damaged that means days and days of work to build that machine!!! First OS is easy to rebuild - 3-4 ours.