Triple Boot advice please

#1
Ok, First post here.
Drive 0: Windows XP SP3
Drive 1, Partition 1: Windows Vista SP1
Drive 1, Partition 2: General Data Disk.

Easy BCD 1.7.2 - Everything works fine - dual booting, no problems.

Before I jump of the deep end...

I want to shrink my data partition (I can do that ok), and then install Windows 7 so I can triple-boot between XP, VIsta and Win 7. I have just upgraded to the latest Beta2 version of EasyBCD...

Can anyone offer any advice or warnings before I dive in and screw up my system?

Thanks in advance,

John
 
#2
Hi John. Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.
Probably the easiest way to do what you're trying to do is to set the future Win 7 partition to "active" from Disk Management, and then reboot right away, enter your BIOS to put your CD/DVD drive first in the boot sequence, save the changes, insert your Win 7 DVD, and exit, thereafter pressing a key to boot from the installation DVD. Once you get into to the setup, make sure to select the partition you already created for Win 7 to install it there.
Now, once the installation completes, simply install EasyBCD on there, and use it to add entries to your Win 7 BCD to boot Vista and XP.

From then on your Win 7 partition will be the partition that contains the boot files needed to boot into all 3 OSes from your Win 7 BCD.

Cheers,

Jake
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
Thats a great idea cool but when the time comes to get rid of that partition he'll be coming back to us when he can't boot his system...

So what you can do John:
a) Follow Cool's advice, but when the beta testing period ends in August and you want to reformat its partition for other purposes or extend your data partition with the free space, set the partition that was active before as active again. I would reset the active flag and than when you are safely in Vista delete W7's partition.
b) The current active partition should be fine. Keeping it this way well give you the benefit of not having to re-add entries for XP/Vista. Just boot from W7's DVD and install to the desired partition.
 
#4
Thats a great idea cool but when the time comes to get rid of that partition he'll be coming back to us when he can't boot his system...

So what you can do John:
a) Follow Cool's advice, but when the beta testing period ends in August and you want to reformat its partition for other purposes or extend your data partition with the free space, set the partition that was active before as active again. I would reset the active flag and than when you are safely in Vista delete W7's partition.
b) The current active partition should be fine. Keeping it this way well give you the benefit of not having to re-add entries for XP/Vista. Just boot from W7's DVD and install to the desired partition.
Good point, but I can't say I agree completely with point b). :wink: The reason why I suggested to set the future Win 7 partition to "active" before the Win 7 installation is so the boot files of Win 7 will be installed to a separate partition than Vista's, so nothing is replaced or otherwise affected on Vista's "system" partition. :wink: Doing it the way that I suggested will give him the benefit of having Win 7's boot files being placed on its own respective partition, so no harm will be done to Vista's boot. Then, once the time comes to remove (or format) the partition, he can simply set the former "active" partition to "active" again, and he will be able to boot into Vista using Vista's BCD, with his BCD the exact same way he left it.

Of course, like you noted, that will mean having to add a couple entries to Win 7's BCD once he boots into Win 7 the first time, before he will be able to get into Vista or XP again, but with EasyBCD, that part should be a breeze. :smile: And then again, if he needs any help with that, there is always the forums...

Jake
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
Vista won't be effected by Win 7. They use the same bootloader and when time comes to get rid of the beta all one would need to do is remove Win 7's entry in EasyBCD.
 
#6
But it seems like it would most likely replace Vista's BCD and bootmgr with its own when doing that...:wink: Not to mention, you would probably lose all the entries that exist currently in Vista's BCD.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
You don't. I've installed W7 on my system without changing the partition I boot from. All it'll do is rename the ntldr entry back to its default but its working properties remain the same.
 
#8
Hmm, ok. If you say it works...
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
I installed W7 to my 2nd HDD, booting from the DVD, expecting it to see the Vista "system" BCD and add an entry, but it installed itself completely independently creating its own BCD with just a W7 entry in its own partition. As soon as the DVD was removed at the final completion of all the setup, W7 was not a bootable option.
A quick add to Vista's BCD had it running immediately, but the fact that it had installed its own BCD and bootmgr enabled me to chain it from HnS as described in another thread.
I don't know whether its the fact that its a Beta, but they seem to have designed it to slide in without touching anything else.
 
#11
The way I would do it is to boot up XP and then run the install from xp and install 7 on the new partition.That way 7 will automatically be added to the boot menu.
Mike