Multiple Operating System

in Techie Stuff
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starMstarM Forumite
1.5K Posts
Hi,

I currently have a Windows 7 installed on my PC. Is it possible to install a 2nd operating system on same PC example when switched on it will give option to run Windows 7 or 8?

Also question for my brother - he just bought a new laptop - he did not get a Windows 8 setup CD with it. Is it possible to install the setup files to CD/USB direct from the computer? and how?

Thanks
MS
«1

Replies

  • tonyh66tonyh66 Forumite
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    No you cannot use setup files from another computer, because generally they are computer specific (dell won't have asus drivers etc) and some are deleted after the install is finished.
    Also you cannot use your brothers windows 8 CD (even if he had one) as that would be software theft.
    Go and buy windows 8 if you want it.
  • Quiet_SparkQuiet_Spark Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    tonyh66 wrote: »
    Also you cannot use your brothers windows 8 CD (even if he had one) as that would be software theft.
    Go and buy windows 8 if you want it.
    Assumption is the mother of all fu(k up's, the OP has NOT said he (or she) wants to use their brothers copy of Win 8 at all.
    Understeer is when you hit a wall with the front of your car
    Oversteer is when you hit a wall with the back of your car
    Horsepower is how fast your car hits the wall
    Torque is how far your car sends the wall across the field once you've hit it
  • starMstarM Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    Please read post clearly before posting.

    1). I asked is it possible to have multiple operating system on one machine? Windows 7 & 8.

    2). The 2nd questions is for my brother - I will not be using his CD, I have my own - Thanks. He is just worried in case if something goes wrong with the machine he will not have the setup CDs. So their a way in which he can download the setup files to CD/USB?

    MS
  • IcyEarsIcyEars Forumite
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    Forumite
    1) Yes, it's called multi-booting. It's relatively easy to setup (lots on Google) but does normally require repartitioning the hard drive which can be destructive (i.e. delete data) depending on how it is done.

    Lots of research on Google before trying it, make sure you have the installation media for the OS's you want to install (Windows 7 & 8) and make sure everything is backed up before trying so if it all goes wrong, it doesn't get lost.

    Dual or multi booting uses a boot loader of some description which gives you the menu's to select which OS you require. Windows comes witha built in bootloader if you are using Microsoft only OS's but if you experiment with Linux then you may require a different one. Again, ask Google.

    Finally, the installation order can be important. Boot loaders may not recognise previous OS's, so install the older one first then the newer one to ensure the Bootloader recognises all OS's (i.e. Win 7 and then Win 8)

    (Just as an aside, my laptop has 6 partitions and 4 operating systems on it so you are not limited to just two!).

    2) Normally, there is an option on new PC's to create recovery media from the OS on the machine (some PC's come with blank disc and a program starts up which request you to use the disk to burn recovery disks).

    These disks can be used to set the PC back to the state it was when you received it and first turned it on (i.e. back to factory settings). They are not the same as a Windows 8 disk from MicroSoft as they will have the software (free\trialware) and drivers specific to the PC\Laptop.

    If the option to create a recovery CD is not automatic, sometimes there is a program on the computer (installed by the manufacturer) that can be run to create it. Google\PC manual would be the place to check this.

    Finally, ring the manufacturer's helpline and they would be able to advise.

    One other option is that the computer has a recovery partition installed on it which can be entered by pressing a key as it boots up. This can then be used to restore the PC back to factory settings (in effect the recovery CD's are on the hard disk). This option is one to consider in relation to question 1 as repartitioning the hard drive may wipe out this recovery partition.
  • LumLum Forumite
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    starM wrote: »
    Hi,

    I currently have a Windows 7 installed on my PC. Is it possible to install a 2nd operating system on same PC example when switched on it will give option to run Windows 7 or 8?

    Yes, but you'll need to create a separate partition for Windows 8, or if you are unable/unwilling to do this then install a second hard drive.

    So long as you install Windows 8 after Windows 7, and install them to separate partitions/drives it will set them all up for you and give you a nice boot menu, though I would strongly suggest reverting back to the old-style boot menu as it is much faster for booting Windows 7.
  • edited 31 March 2013 at 11:32AM
    bluesnakebluesnake Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    edited 31 March 2013 at 11:32AM
    starM wrote: »
    Hi,

    I currently have a Windows 7 installed on my PC. Is it possible to install a 2nd operating system on same PC example when switched on it will give option to run Windows 7 or 8?

    there is another easy way, but your 'new machine' will have about 30% less cpu horses that it currently does. However on most modern machines this 30-ish% is rarely noticed. Another note is that any weird hardware like CCTV cards, usb3, are not supported. Only 2 usb ports are accessible.

    The generic name is hypervisor - a virtual pc. Sun systems has a free, good one called VirtualBox. You can install multiple operating systems on it, install the same operating system multiple times, supports most flavours of windows and linux. Yes, there is a learning curve, but if you get it wrong, nothing is lost as you do not overwrite files on your pc or change the boot sector.
    starM wrote: »
    Also question for my brother - he just bought a new laptop - he did not get a Windows 8 setup CD with it. Is it possible to install the setup files to CD/USB direct from the computer? and how?
    Maybe, as this is manufacturer dependent, you have to look at their ways of creating a boot cd. I would look at macrilum reflect (freee version) as an alternative should thing do wrong.
  • johnmcjohnmc Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    IcyEars has a good explaination.

    You can easily setup multiple boots on the one machine. When you boot it will throw up a list of operating systems. Simply select the one you want.

    I have a need to have 2 operating systems running at the same time so have installed the virtual PC bluesnake refers to.

    Instal VMware player (Google it) and then, in that environment, instal the second OS.

    In either case you will need the original installation disk.
  • securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    bluesnake wrote: »
    there is another easy way, but your 'new machine' will have about 15% less cpu horses that it currently does. However on most modern machines this 15-ish% is rarely noticed. Another note is that any weird hardware like CCTV cards, usb3, are not supported. Only 2 usb ports are accessible.

    Normally, people want to use one OS as the main one and the others for special purposes. In which case, you run a Type 2 hypervisor when you want to run the secondary OS. The price you pay is a load of RAM: while you're running the second OS, the first OS is hosting the hypervisor, so you need RAM for both. But the upside is that the other 90% of the time, there's no virtualisation involved.
  • bluesnakebluesnake Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    johnmc, thought the VMplayer only let you run existing vm's, rather than create them.

    I have done multiple boot partitions, and found for me that the partition was often a necessary space waster.

    used fdisk, grub and MS boot.ini files, just were too messy especially after a few installs and 3 os versions, things got nasty and time consuming sorting out boot partitions, boot order, and disk that no longer boot.

    The big downfall for virtual machines is as securityguy said ram and cpu usage making both computers more sluggish, but often still very usable and in many cases unnoticeable, expect a 30% hit. There are many plus sides.

    here is a simple tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fmNM0piWZ0

    here is a more advanced tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C_HYPuF6Hc

    my 7 year old laptop 4 gig ram will run all the x32 os i have given it, but can't use some of the features listed in the more advanced tutorial.
  • IcyEarsIcyEars Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    VMWare Player now allows you to create machines as well as play existing ones. Has had the ability afaik since they retired VMWare Server.

    Like you say the RAM and CPU usage affects the performance and experience using VM's, so it largely depends on what you want the Win 8 machine for. It's certainly an avenue to explore before repartitioning and multi-booting.

    Setting up MutliBoot has become much easier in recent incarnations of Grub and other boot laoders. Even Windows built-in boot loader is easy to use since the moved away from using the boot.ini files and there are some good config tools out there for it (BCD Edit, etc).
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