Dual boot with Win Vista & 7


Distinguished Member

I have setup a dual boot between Windows Vista & 7. However, my previous boot manager (Grub4Dos) had been replaced by the Windows boot manager.

May I know is there any conflicts if I use Windows boot manager instead of grub4dos manager? As I heard last time that dual boot between Windows Vista and XP using windows boot manager will cause some issues relates to system restore point etc.?

Secondly, how can I use back my Grub4Dos manager to handle dual booting? Currently my Vista is in the C: and Windows 7 is in the F: .

Grub4Dos boot manager is stored in the C: (Vista OS).

Pls advise :smile:
Hi abcat, welcome to NST

Grub4dos isn't a needed bootloader for Windows. What happens is Windows bootmgr passes control over to ntldr (The previous boot manager for Windows) which than will boot XP as normal when you select its entry in the menu in the background where you never notice unless you have more than one legacy entry.

Now in regard to restore issues, this is a common problem. There are two solutions. You will need to apply them for Vista and Windows 7 in order to protect thier restore points from XP:

a) Download and run Vista HnS. This should be a real simple click and forget proccess choosing which drives are Vista and which are XP. For Windows 7 you'll want to mark it as a Vista partition. You'll need to run Vista HnS from Vista.

b) The first option usually works, but in the event it doesnt for you Microsoft has provided a registry fix found here that you do in XP.

Under either circumstance, you will no longer be able to exchange data from Vista/Win 7's partition while you are in XP.
If you're just using Vista and W7 there's no problem.
It's XP that messes with the new format restore points from Vista and later.
If you're not using XP you won't get any restore problems.
It's best to use the BCD to directly boot either system, rather than putting Grub back.
Grub will just put an extra step into the boot (and chainload to bootmgr), so you'd do better to let it load directly.
Grub4Dos is used in HnS (which I use), but there it has a purpose, i.e. hiding restore points from XP.
If you're not hiding anything, it just adds an unnecessary extra step to the boot, and slows it down.
Hi to all of you, thanks for the replies :smile:

May I know can HnS hide either OS like Grub4Dos and assign the boot OS into C:\ instead? Currently when I login to Windows 7, it is assign to F: which I think I will face issues if I install some software.

As my previous setup using Grub4Dos are able to hide drive and set the other drive as root and chainload the boot manager, but somehow I can't find any boot manager file for Windows 7? For XP is ntldr, vista is bootmgr how about Windows 7?

Pls advise :smile:
W7 also uses bootmgr (slightly different version - you'll see the animated startup screen) and the BCD, just like Vista.
That's why you can just add an entry to Vista's BCD for W7, and it will boot fine (though you won't see the startup animation)
If W7 installed as F: you're stuck with F.
If you install W7 again, booting it from the DVD, not runnning setup from Vista, It'll install as C:
If you can't see bootmgr on W7, it's because you installed it from Vista and it just used Vista's without needing to create one for itself.
(multiple Vistas use a single BCD/bootmgr)

HnS uses Grub4Dos, but you can't use it to hide Vistas or w7 from each other, only from XP.
You can modify the menu.lst subsequently to do just about anything you want, but HnS UI won't run in the first place if you don't have an XP to hide from (that's what it was written for)
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Currently I am able to see the W7 startup animation. Is it normal?

Yup, I have installed the Windows 7 from Vista into F: partition as I thought I can use Grub4Dos to boot from the boot manager and hide the partition.

You mean if I remove my F: and install the W7 back to the previous F: partition by booting into DVD, I can have a C: for my W7 and Win Vista depending on which option I choose from the windows boot menu?

TIA :smile:
Yes I have Vista as C: which thinks W7 is I:, but when I boot W7, It is C: and thinks vista is I:

If you see the animated startup, then W7 updated the Vista boot with its version when you installed it. No problem. Either one can boot the other.
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oh cool! I will give it a try. Btw, if I want to hide the other operating system drive, can I use this method or HnS instead of using Grub4Dos?
Method 1

To keep Windows XP from deleting restore points of the volume in Windows Vista, add the following registry entry under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\Offline registry subkey in Windows XP:

Value name: \DosDevices\D:
Value data: 1

Note If the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\Offline registry subkey does not exist, you must manually create this registry subkey. Create this registry entry when you have installed Windows Vista on the "D" partition in Windows XP.
Grub4dos is a part of HnS, so yes, but I'd recommend using HnS because it greatly simplifies configuration.
He can't use HnS if he doesn't use XP Jus. (the UI won't have anything to do). But he can use Grub4Dos directly to create the menu.lst that HnS would have created if it had been designed to hide Vistas from each other.
Abcat, the registry zap might work. Give it a try. It'll either successfully hide one from the other or it won't. I used it on XP to try hiding Vista before I came here. It didn't work for me, but it didn't do any harm (it's still there, doing nothing).
We've never worked out what governs whether it works or not. (It worked for Justin).

However, you don't need to hide W7 and Vista from each other. They won't do any mutual harm if they're both C:
The issue with 3rd party software on an OS that isn't C:\, is that some of it is extremely stupid and will install some files on c:\program files\common files if it can see one, even if you've installed the main program to F:\adobe....
You could try hiding C: from your W7 if it's still F: using the zap, but if you reinstall and make W7 C: too, then you don't need to hide anything.
Yup, HnS doesn't seems to have any option for W7, I thought of whether can I just mark F: (W7) partition as XP but I did not try.

I tried the registry tweak on my Vista and my computer still show F: but however, when I double click it, it shows F:\ is not accessible. The device is not ready.

I think the I will reinstall my W7 again using bootable DVD instead so that both of the OS can use C drive.

I have some more question regards to Windows 7, will they still release other Beta version or RC version and how long does it valid. As I really feel like switching to Windows 7 as I find it faster than my Vista.
If you try to pretend that W7 is XP to HnS, it would try (and fail) to load it with NTLDR.
The zap sounds like it worked for you.
You can still see the hidden drive in Disk management (as unavailable), but if you open explorer, it shouldn't appear. If you can't see a c:\ drive from W7 in explorer, you're safe to carry on using W7 as F: and save yourself the bother of a reinstall.
W7 Beta will stop working on Aug 29th. Remember it is only a Beta, so you shouldn't be thinking of relying on it as your main system.
Actually you do see the drive in my computer, it just doesnt show your contents when you click on it. You should refrain from removing the letter for the drive, as this will break the fix. Like Terry said there's no reason to hide W7 from Vista restore point wise, but for isolation from the stable everyday OSes what I do is in W7 i've removed the letters from my other Windows partitions in disk management so that they cannot be accessed since W7 is still in beta. At least this way, you aren't left with the extra letters in my computer that the registry fix would leave you with.
That's interesting Jus.
I didn't realize that the drive stayed semi-visible using the MS zap (It didn't work for me at all).
When you flip the hidden bit (with HnS or grub or gparted etc), the drive disappears from explorer completely, though the space it occupies (with the volume label) still shows in disk management, with none of the flags, just "unavailable".
Yeah with the registry fix it causes Windows to consider those drives "offline" like they arent powered yet Windows still acknowledges thier there. You can still access the drive, but because its offline as far as the OS is concerned any data on it is inaccessible.

I've seen the fix fall through a couple of times on my system where Windows forgot on reboot to leave it offline though, so sometimes it can be accessed. Regardless, when it works it does a good job of protecting the restore points since Windows doesn't touch partitions that are offline.