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Dual boot Windows 7 32 AND 64 bit editions? RRS feed

  • Question

  • For some reason, I didn't see the 64 bit version of RC1 when it first came out, so what I did was install and configure all my apps on the 32 bit edition.

    Problem is, it only sees 3.2Gb of my 4Gb of memory.  I'd also be interested to know, for real, whether Sony Vegas Platinum 9 runs really well, or has loads of problems in 64 bit Windows 7. The answers are divided on that, so best way to find is to do!

    Rather than delete everything, start again, load up, register, run and find it's not for me, then have to do it all over AGAIN (I'd imagine some licensing servers might start to questions things, too!), I thought perhaps dual booting 32 and 64 bit windows would be that way forward.

    Right now, I've got one gigantic partition of 900gb, a 97gb unused partition, and a 100mb reserved partition windows put in.

    Will it work? I was thinking of:
    Shrinking the Win7 32 bit partition to 100Gb, system only.
    Making another 100Gb partition for Win 7 64 bit
    Then making a 750Gb data partition.

    Does this sound about right, and most importantly, is it going to dual boot OK?

    I've seen people asking about dual booting everything except this, so apologies if it's a FAQ!
    Saturday, July 11, 2009 6:38 AM

Answers

  • Your plan sounds ok. Just make sure you shrink the current boot partition with Windows 7 and create the two new partitions BEFORE you start installing Windows 7 x64. If you do that you should be fine and the system will be able to dual boot so that you can test the x64 OS. I do not know if the license for RTM allows you to do this, but I think it is not an issue as your are running both installations on the same hardware. This is identified when you activate the license.
    Ray
    Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:36 AM

All replies

  • Your plan sounds ok. Just make sure you shrink the current boot partition with Windows 7 and create the two new partitions BEFORE you start installing Windows 7 x64. If you do that you should be fine and the system will be able to dual boot so that you can test the x64 OS. I do not know if the license for RTM allows you to do this, but I think it is not an issue as your are running both installations on the same hardware. This is identified when you activate the license.
    Ray
    Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:36 AM
  • OK, I'll go for it! I was just checking that the dual boot system that installed on my older XP machine (5 years old and runs Win 7 perfectly!) would also install. I guess I'd have
    Windows 7
    Windows 7
    in the boot menu?

    OK, fingers crossed, going to do this in about 5 hours time, so if anyone has any doubts, speak now :)
    Saturday, July 11, 2009 8:37 AM
  • I have a system that dual boots both 64 and 32 bit Windows 7.  I took the "easy" way out and installed the 32 bit system in a  bootable Virtual Hard Disk.  Everything lives in one partition.  The VHD is just a big file.

    There's a ton of information and step-by-step guides to walk you through the process.

    Cheers, PW.
     
    Saturday, July 11, 2009 12:36 PM
  • Hi,

    I have win 7 32 bits alredy installed on my computer. I did an upgrade, had vista before. Everything works fine and win 7 is much faster than vista. But I want to try the 64 bits in dual boot and can`t find anywhere how to do it. is this possible or is it too complicated? Please somebody explain step by step.
    Tuesday, January 5, 2010 1:53 PM
  • I have used this route and installed Win7 32bit on a VHD running in W7 64bit. Works fine but the 32bit version won't let me activate it. Any ideas?
    Monday, February 8, 2010 11:57 AM
  • Windows 7 in a VHD is only supported for Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise Editions. What edtion are you installing in the VHD?
    Ray - Author of Windows 7 for XP Professionals
    Monday, February 8, 2010 12:46 PM
  • I don't know why your 32bit Windows 7 won't activate.

    I went the dual boot route using the Release Candidate of Windows 7.  It'll be "crippled" in a month or so, and die in June.  The "real" Windows 7 license is good for only one install, so you'll need to choose between 32 and 64, or buy a second license if you wish to use both.

    Cheers, PW.
    Monday, February 8, 2010 12:51 PM
  • As far as I know, the Release Candidate of Windows 7 is the Ultimate version only.  That's why I can boot from a VHD.

    Currently, Microsoft is offering a 90 day trial of the Enterprise edition.  That should boot from VHD too, but I haven't tried it yet.  The link's on the TechNet home page, but it doesn't seem to work.

    Cheers, PW.

    Monday, February 8, 2010 12:59 PM