Triple-Boot Questions

#1
First real post, so I hope this is posted in the right place! :smile:

I'm building a PC to use for a home recording studio. I would like to experiment with a triple-boot configuration (XP, Vista Business Edition, Windows 7 Professional). I am planning to use a 150 GB Western Digital VelociRaptor for the system drive, partitioning it into three 50 GB partitions (one for each OS, naturally). I will do clean installs of each OS starting with XP, then Vista and finally Windows 7, activating and installing all updates and drivers to each OS before proceeding to the next one. Questions at this point are:

1.) Is this a viable plan? (Any pitfalls or helpful suggestions?)
2.) Is a 50 GB partition sufficient for each OS, or should I use a different scheme?
3.) Will each OS be "self-contained" on the drive it was installed to? (For example, if XP is installed on drive C:, will its page file reside on the same drive?)

The VelociRaptor will only be used for the three Operating Systems. No programs will be installed on it, and no data will be saved to it. I will be using two 500 GB Seagate Barracuda hard disks in a Raid 0 configuration to install all programs to, and a 1TB Seagate Barracuda hard disk will be used for data storage, with external hard drives for backup only. All internal drives are SATA, all external drives are either eSATA or USB. All drives will be formatted as NTFS. Next questions:

1.) Will all three OS's be able to "see" the other hard disks, both internal and external?
2.) If I use the same program under two different OS's, does it have to be installed under each OS, or will just one installation suffice?

I apologize in advance if these are simplistic (or just plain stupid) questions. This is new ground for me, I'm afraid.

Thanks in advance for any help that can be offered concerning my planned setup.
 
#2
1.) Is this a viable plan? (Any s or helpful suggestions?)
2.) Is a 50 GB partition sufficient for each OS, or should I use a different scheme?
3.) Will each OS be "self-contained" on the drive it was installed to? (For example, if XP is installed on drive C:, will its page file reside on the same drive?)
1.) Yes, this plan sounds good. If the Win 7 installer doesn't detect Vista and XP automatically, when you install, you can use the [thread=642]latest EasyBCD beta build[/thread] to add the other entries, and you'll have your multiboot.
2.) Yes, that's more than enough space.
3.) yes, each OS will install all of its files on the partition you install them to (with the exception of the boot files of each system, which will go automatically to the "system" "active" partition, which will most likely be the XP partition).

1.) Will all three OS's be able to "see" the other hard disks, both internal and external?
2.) If I use the same program under two different OS's, does it have to be installed under each OS, or will just one installation suffice?
1.) Yes, all 3 should see all partitions/hdds in your system.
2.) You will need to install the same program in each OS (one installation will not suffice). The reason is, the registry. Yes, I wondered the same thing myself when I first started multibooting Vista and XP, but the sad thing is, the programs must be installed in each OS. There is no way to run the programs from each OS, because a lot of the programs will put its stuff in the registry, which can't be accessed from another Windows install on the same computer. It would be neat if there was a way to pull it off, but AFAIK, there is not, and it does suck. :wink: Who knows...maybe someone will come up with a solution for that in the future.

Jake
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
If you've got some very old apps, or some newer ones designed to install portably ( e.g. Opera, Maxthon), the installs don't use the registry, and an install on one can be executed with a simple shortcut from another.
For the vast majority of apps though, as Jake said, you'll need a fresh install on each system (though they can each share data files )
The major problem to consider is XP's habit of corrupting Vista and W7 restore points.
You'll need this