• Dual booting 7, 10 and sharing files

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    I have been drafted into a local IT role for a few that chose to go straight from XP to Windows 10, without much knowledge of XP or any OS. I know almost nothing past Win7, but it’s time to start learning. I recently installed 10 pro to a seperate SSD. My Win7 was installed with MBR, Win10 via UEFI and GPT so it boots differently, with 2 more internal HDDs for data storage. When I want to use Win10 the other drives are physically disconnected thus rather inconvenient. I have not moved the default Win7 user files, libraries, etc.(the “MY” folders), rather the Win7 libraries include folders already on the other drives. I need to dual boot, I can’t run Win10 all the time due to very restricted bandwidth. Win10 pro updates will be set to the longest delay, WSUSoffline is my preferred method. I run full backups of everything once a month via Macrium, Win7 every week, Win10 is just a test run so re-installation would not be an issue.

    I have found almost nothing here on dual booting so I read everything I could find on sevenforums and tenforums, and still have a few questions. I am pretty sure that some regulars here dual boot. I would prefer whichever OS is booted becomes “C”, and no funny stuff like chkdsk running every boot.


    1.      If all 4 drives are connected and boot via UEFI/OS to Win10 (GPT), will it harm the Win7 boot/MBR?
    2.     Assuming a Windows GUI dual boot requires this via elevated command prompt : “bcdboot X:\windows /X /addlast” (X=the other Windows drive), from which OS should it be done?
    3.     Would it help to reinstall Win7 via UEFI first, then reinstall Win10 to the other drive while running 7 via the setup.exe inside the Win10 sources folder?
    4.     Finally and most important, if I get dual boot running without the need for switching in BIOS/UEFI, GRUB, or other bootloader, what is the best way to share the folders/files on the 2 storage drives between both operating systems?
    5.     This computer is not on a network/homegroup, doesn’t share anything with other computers, and has no other users (other than 2 operating systems = 2 users). Would setting permissions for “Everyone” be a bad idea, if not, should that be done on both 7 and 10?

    Almost off-topic:
    My Steam library is on one of the storage drives which will be very hard to share as gamsaves are stored all over the place, many are on the C drive in odd places and cannot be changed. I do not expect to share Steam between the 7 and 10, it will be much easier to continue using it on 7 until 2020.

    Viewing 16 reply threads
    • #119862

      Well its a sort of “Good news, Bad news Scenario” Win7 x64 (amd64,64bit) will run quite happily on GPT with UEFI absolutly fine. However if there are any USB3 ports involved it gets tricky and involves modifying your install media thus http://codeabitwiser.com/2014/03/how-to-install-windows-7-with-only-usb-3-0-ports/ It also can not use “Secure Boot” which must be disabled in the BIOS. Any install would probably involve installing in “Legacy” mode initially. Until the first updates arrive (specifically the M$ Drivers) to bring it up to full working order under UEFI and then switch to UEFI, taking care not to enable “Secure Boot” in the process.
      As I note you have many disks there you may apply Win7 using DISM from your Win10 installation and then the simplest of CMD’s (where X=disk of choice) “bcdboot X:windows” (see illus. below for correct syntax, HTML here hates CMD’s) and thats it. It really shouldnt be a problem running Win7 & Win10 on seperate disks if they are all booting UEFI & GPT. I have to say that they probably wont all live happily after if you mix MBR/x32 with GPT UEFI x64 but there shouldnt be a CHKDSK running when switching OS and that may well solve it. But it may involve a drastic back up and reformat of the Win7 there as an easy way out sorry to say.

      They all run quite contentedly on the same laptop. I know its the same disk but I dont forsee any problems with Multi-disk’s providing they all have the same file system for ease.

      Hope this helps a bit theres plenty of reading out there if I can find any relevent links I will post them. 🙂

      DISM Apply & add to BCD Rec


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      • #119872

        Ohh forget to mention file sharing is really easy if you use the same login and user name for all installations, the first time it may dwell for about 5 mins but they should all see each other, my Win7x86 machine and Win10, Win8.1, Win7 x64 all network and files share with out a problem between each other and the network here. I never use “Home Group” networking here mainly because of old habits and more flexibility setting some shared file permissions 🙂

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    • #119926

      Thank you, that’s very helpful and about what I expected regarding reinstall of 7. I’m surprised this topic hasn’t been covered here extensively. As one of the many Windows 7 diehards here, I still find it prudent to start leaning how to tweak 10 for my future needs as moving to it is likely inevitable. For some reason my posts at Tenforums disappear awhile after posting, so no help there so far.

      There’s good and bad news in many ways, this Z68 system is old enough to have plenty of USB2 ports and secure boot isn’t even an option. I can clone 7 to an external and copy over files as I discover they are missing. I am surprised that file sharing is so simple though, from what I’ve read it would involve taking ownership. I use a local (admin) account, no Microsoft account, Onedrive, bitlocker, etc.

      I am glad to learn sharing isn’t an issue but I assumed the difference between users was more than just their name. So much for logic! Won’t the drives need to be included a shared folder, or is using the same user name all it takes?

      Thanks again. I can’t try this until reinstalling 7, it’s going to be a long weekend. I have WSUSoffline but all the programs and their updates over a 250KBps connection and 450MB/day limit…

    • #119941

      File sharing between partitions/disks is easy the “dwell time” normally happens first time, I am guessing just to authenticate on the same machine and once its done its instantaneous access first time every time. My Win10 is on the biggest partition and so I keep most of my files, doc’s, Music and pictures on there and rather than move the files etc and Home folders I either “shortcut” to them or say point Windows Media player to go looking there for the tunes and Windows takes it from there. Way quicker than duplicating seperate Docs, Music, Pictures all across the individual OS’s and quick too but as a useful back up tool you can duplicate files etc to the various OS’s and or recovery media as a useful quick recovery should one OS or Partition or even Disk fails. Its flexible that way. 🙂
      Networking file sharing etc is simple. The golden rule is if both computers can see each other your half way there, trust me if they cant Windoze networking can make it an “all-nighter” trying to fix. Basically the easy way after confirming they see each other is to set file permissions as so (nope no dragging to shared folder) I would imagine you would know that you never chare the “Root” of your drive be it C: , D: etc unless you want to. I just share my user folder as per illus below gives me the flexibility that I need.

      Basically go advanced or find now set acces quota, level of acces, click the single user figure and it should spring in to the box thats greyed and tweak to satisfaction. Theres loads of other advanced file settings and access types and permissions but for home use or single or even simple file sharing in workgroups it works, Yeah I can do complicated but unless you have a plan or strategy for that you will find your self in a “real pickle” or worse your machine open to all (not good 🙁 )
      MSCONFIG typed in the run box gives you access to controlling all your boot rec’s in a one stop GUI windows solution as well as bcd cmds

      MSCONFIG and other tools

      How it all looks

      Basically Windows has all the tools and theres really no need to download any fancy UTILS to make it all work.
      Dual Booting has never been so easy, its just that Windows doesent advertise all the little tools or tricks it can do. XP and Win2k used to co-exist fairly happyily together, occasionally needing the odd intervention with a replacement copy of the infamous “boot.ini” about once a year and it was fine, Theres even a way to “chain load” XP in to BCD but its way beyond me, even if I had the inclanation lol any Probs give me a shout, unfortunatley at work right now and they have the annoying habit of actually wanting me to work doing thier related computer stuff lol (the very nerve ha! 🙂 )

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    • #120008

      I am very familiar with sharing folders over a network, be it via homegroup shared folders or individual folder permissions. I stopped doing this at home however, as I seem to be the only one concerned with security (I treat all network connections as public). As stated previously, each drive is imaged regularly to external drives (only plugged in at backup time), OS drives only contain installed programs and the media/settings files required for the programs to run. My worst fear, beyond a house fire, is reinstalling all those programs and getting updates over my terribly slow internet. What’s new to me is dual booting, treating one machine like it’s a network. I guess it’s not really different at all.

      From your first image above, it looks like you chose to give Everyone (Users, Groups, Built in) the change and read permissions. Did I miss something in that image?

      The second image is as expected, once the OS installs all boot properly. The third image is also self explanatory. The only time I’ve use a non-MS bootloader (GRUB) is when dual booting Linux and XP which I still do on a netbook (the XP never sees the internet). If possible, what I really want to see after boot is something very similar to this until the boot timer runs out:

      Windows 10 and 7 boot screen

      That means 10 is in charge of the bootloader, 7 is in charge when it looks GRUBby black and white. Sorry, but I happen to like my GUI OS to boot GUI and my command line OS boot like a terminal. Thanks again BobbyB. Windows 7 reinstall via UEFI begins in ~12 hours, cloning the old 7 to external drive before lights out. Good luck at work.

      Has any of this been covered here yet? I can’t be the only one with questions. Tenforums has been no help so far, they moved my post to a new topic and the only answer was “I disconnect my 7 drive when using 10”, that’s not dual booting and nothing about sharing folders.

    • #120025

      LOL nope I wasnt sharing with every one I was trying to fit all the steps in there on one screen, probably easier than writing/typing it all out, or so I thought.
      Done the GRUB thing with Unbuntu 1604 LTS and i’ll be darned if it didnt manage to write its self in to the BCD data. Which as, you probly know, is stored on the NVRAM (firmware) as well as BOOTMGFW in sys32 windows. Not content with getting it out of the BCD with /delete {guid} cmd every reboot it appeared again the only way to “flush it” was delete and recreate the Boot partitions manually (not for the faint hearted lol) Not really a big fan of GRUB after that.
      Yeah I prefer the Blue screen laboured many years with the old Win B&W boot selector screen.
      Cant think of anything to suggest further really, only save to say got me fingers crossed here and hopefully see you on the other side 🙂

      Just a thought Post-install you have no doubt been following the trials and tribulations of Windows 7 update in here so just in case some one else is watching or you want to speed up the “apres-install” update process as your on limited or sedate Bandwidth data cap

      Windows6.1-KB3138612-x64 1st
      Windows6.1-KB947821-v34-x64 2nd
      (just the KB numbers, ignore the other stuff the M$ “fluff” and my reference, I generally use these two as I like to pick and choose the updates avoiding the real “howlers”)

      (both should be installed with any network off, can be added to the install image using DISM or ran from the desktop. These speed up the update retrieval rate from the best part of a day and a half to about 20mins yeah really not joking lol!!)

      or theres this page by our very Knowledgble resident experts too numerous to name

      http://wu.krelay.de/en/ (theres a few other tips and tricks in there as well and they work well definately a keeper bookmark as I did 🙂 )

      or theres kb3125574 (aka Win7SP2) must be preceeded by kb3020369, that will take care of a huge chunk of updates from about north of 220 on average to about 55-60 roughly as we are on the Cummulative updates since Oct 2016. Big problem with this if you dont want the “Snoop” telemetry alas they come bundled in there, so just a thought 🙁

      you got me thinking now did I leave file sharing set as every one? Hmmmm! better log in to Win8.1 and check (old age is a terrible thing lol 😉 )

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    • #120033

      Sharing folders over a network is much more logical to me, there’s only one admin. Those Win 2000 Server MIS classes were far from from future proof, as expected. In practice on the job, I spent more time installing software and running CAT wire than anything else, found new profession(s), and lost interest. I never tried dual booting back then. If dual boot sharing Win7/10 it’s the same as permissions on a network group, that’s acceptable. So who’s the admin setting group permissions on one computer, the Win10 admin or the Win7 admin? Dueling admins don’t mix well, one admin per group was my limited understanding. I’m probably making this look harder than it is before trying. Tomorrow, time willing.

      I’ve taken a XP off of a dual boot GRUB, ditched the GRUB and got Windows running again without reinstall, but that was XP days and it was very sketchy. A few third party tools were used in trial by failure mode. I’ll get a Windows dual boot going once it’s all GPT, no third party software crutch this time. I swear!

      As for updates, I have a retail 7 (not 7SP1) that I recently installed as an experiment. Using WSUSoffine/USB, it was installed and up to date in under 4 hours. Security only or quality rollups, my choice (quality rollups was faster). Afterwards, no “important” updates other than MSRT found via WU either way. Dotnet and all. It’s quick and dirty, far from a service pack, but it works unattended. http://wu.krelay.de/en/ is already one of my bookmarks but scheduling the download time and MS inevitably updating/superseding their updates turns an unknown timetable of manual research and file retrieval a job for which I am not paid. I can get paid for helping the new bees with Windows 10, thus my dual boot dilemma.

      BTW, don’t get in trouble at work helping me and thanks again for the all the advice!

      I gave up on MS snooping, other than Win10 store/ads, Cortana, and the other bandwidth hogs I’m still learning about. Google already has me by the mobiles. Being here is just for my knowledge and internet bandwidth limitations, nobody I know seems to care about snooping and they all have high speed ISPs.

      When this thread is resolved, maybe somebody here could write a comprehensive guide on dual/multi booting (7/8/10) and multi-boot file sharing? Tenforums is getting on my nerves, an implied TL;DR vibe. I read that Woody was banned and I’m about to ditch that place with less than Ten forum posts. Ha!

    • #120097

      Yeah on occasion I “pop on over” to 7,8,10 forums and while theres some awsome howto’s, well illustrated articles generally its a “hotch potch” of “well this worked for me” suggestions and the occasional nugget of good stuff in the mix. I read through Kari’s big article on SYSPREP and it was a good article but definately a TL;DR for most folk. So I thought I would submit a slimmed down easy to use SYSPREP that most could use with out the complexitys of creating unattend.xml’s, ADK or even WAIK (both huge downloads) and more more importantly without spending forever “slaving over” basically a Home machine, but was rejected. Ah well no worries. I use SYSPREPed images here as a backup all fully updated and with Office installed updated as well, backupped Docs etc are stored off the machine. So pretty much should the unthinkable happen I am up and running in way under an hour. Just under half an hour if I use imagex (win7) or DISM (all). Of course the customisation little toys and other stuff take a little longer but you got a working machine right then and there which is a life saver if the “clocks ticking” and drastic failure always happens when your in need, not when you have the time to indulge M$’s little software anomolies.
      Yeah the Windoze snooping is problematic to me as well. Not really a big fan of it at all 🙁 Prety much I have learned to live with it. Anything I regard as personal or sensitive I keep off the machine it only resides there while I am working on it then off to a “stick” or another disconnected from the net machine. The current “pet peeve” (home & Work) is reducing the amount of advertising, been messing around with additions to the “HOSTS file and of course ADBLOCKERS, some success but if you load the HOSTS file up with to many dommains it slows the browsing down obviously, and dosent remove M$ ads in the APPS which seem to default to bundled generic AD’s. Seriously what do I need with a “Skidoo” for? its the middle of summer here. lol
      Occasionally will use the kb3125574 (SP2) merely as an expediant.
      Thx for your concern it was friday a Boss free day so the laptop and more important the tunes come to work. 🙂

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      • #120111

        “… but if you load the HOSTS file up with to many dommains it slows the browsing down obviously”

        There’s a workaround I use – HostsMan for installing/updating the hosts file + disable the DNS Client service (Tools > DNS Client service). System wide (malware etc.) lists in the hosts, adware/privacy lists in the browser Add-on (I use uBlock Original). http://www.abelhadigital.com/hostsman

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    • #120227

      Good news, bad news.

      I tried leaving 7 as it was and plugging in the Win10 drive, no harm done but dual boot had to be done via BIOS. I reinstalled 7, UEFI/GPT. This made no difference to choosing the boot drive in bios, other than it was choosing one UEFI Windows rather than UEFI for 10 and boot to SSD for 7. I could not see the win7 drive from 10, or 10 when running 7. I decided to reinstall 10. I tried to do that while running 7 (see sources folder reference above) but failed, I had to unplug the 7 drive and run the 10 install as if it was solo.

      I tried the bcdboot commands but get no result. In bios I can choose between two UEFI windows but it doesn’t specify the version, picking 7 or 10 was trial by failure. I added the Macrium PE rescue to the Win7 boot so I see the Win7 black and white bootloader (unless I decide to remove it from msconfig later):

      No hint of 10 here, but if I hit escape it boots to 10. So I can dual boot without touching bios but not the way I would like. I can see the 10 drive from 7 and vice-versa. I haven’t tried file sharing yet, I would like to get to the Win10 GUI boot manager first. This would likely be easier if 7 and 10 are on the same drive, I do have plenty of room for both on a 250gb Samsung SSD but this practically unused Sandisk SSD sits here like money burning a hole in the pocket. Any advice for bcdboot commands? Need any more info or screenshots?

    • #120235

      Successful dual boot with Win10 boot manager GUI achieved!

      Maybe it had something to do with changing the OS drive letters, I gave 10 the letter X when running 7 and S for 7 when running 10. The default was giving the second OS a D, messing up the optical and storage drive letters. Anyways, all it took after that was “bcdboot x:\windows”. It’s a bit odd that BIOS is or was set to boot to Windows 7 before the “bcdboot x:\windows” entry yet I get the Win10 boot manager, but I’m not complaining.

      After another all-nighter of program and driver installs I’ll tackle file sharing.

    • #120243

      Excellent!! yeah I should have mentioned the old Win “swapreoo” with the drive letters, you’ll already know that whatever OS you boot in to it sees its self as the C: drive, further compounded by the fact should you ever boot in to a WinPE or WinRE before entering DIKSPART at the X: prompt, then LIST DISK, It’ll show the disks as I guess the system see’s them, to work on the disks or partitions at that level, SEL DISK 1 OR 2 etc, LIST PART or LIST VOL, (OBTW these arent the full cmd’s but its abbrev’s that windows accepts at cmd prompt not sure how that works but easy typing) for that state of play on the seected disk. I use VHD’s quite a bit with new Win10 versions rather than turn “it loose” on a perfectly fine working OS so I just create a “Native Boot VHD” and attach then proceed as normal to install. It just shows up as unpartitioned space but with out the hassle of partitioning HDD’s and even the BCD is taken care of.
      Generally I shy away from using X: but hey if it works what the heck, as the floppy is all but dead probably A,B, can be freed up as letters to use, I normally use V: for a VHD, but if I install as above I just let the system assign the letters. Puzzles me why you would have to assign letters but hey you got a working system.
      Sort of a an old fashioned type here when re-installing stuff copying and restoring. I use it to “well I never used it last time why put it back in there?” excuse. You’ll probably hit that at about 0300am lol, hey dont Junk it because when you delete it you’ll find you need it the day after, always works that way round here and you cant find it any where on the Web lol.
      Any ways glad it worked out for ya and as for writing a definitive guide well its a good idea but theres that many “if’s, but’s and and’s” and different combinations out there it would end up being a book lol 😉 (after all look at all that stuff above this post)

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    • #120306

      I knew I wasn’t going to be the one to write any sort of guide on dual booting 7 and 10, that’s been done plenty already. However it does seem to require a few things that the guides don’t mention, like matching boot manager types. I have a theory that dual booting with 2 OS drives makes it more complicated than using 1. What I haven’t found anywhere is a guide/tutorial on dual boot file sharing, which seems an obvious addendum to dual booting.

      I haven’t gotten to file sharing yet since I might reinstall 10, again. Maybe it’s just my old computer or maybe it’s like this for any multiboot system on separate drives, but when booting to the 10 boot manager and selecting 7 my PC has to reboot to get to the drive with 7. It’s no big deal but it’s bugging me a bit. I can understand why this would happen, but does this also happen when all OS are on the same drive? I wouldn’t think so, but this is all very new to me.

      If having 7 and 10 on the same drive would eliminate the reboot, this is a good time for reinstall. I’m still getting 7 back to “normal”, 10 is only up to date with almost no programs or system tweaks. Using build 1703, 10 installs fast and there are very few updates so not much time is lost. After years of use my old Win7 disk space usage was still under 30GB, there’s plenty of room to shrink this 250GB drive to fit Win10. I fully understand the need for sysprep in some situations (especially 7 or 8 with Office) but this is just one computer here, getting it all running exactly as I want and then making a clone for backup is all I really need. I have no desire to experiment with Win10 builds, I prefer playing with Linux distros (which would be an excellent use for the second SSD).

    • #120365

      Yeah Win10 is probably the prime candidate of the 2 as its quicker to get up and going 2-3 updates and your done. XP & Win2k used to file share on seperate drives. I found one of my old home made projects in the closet Sunday. Home built with 4 drives in it the largest of which is 40gb, but of course we have moved on since, although I cant see there being much difference. I cant recall if there was a special trick to it only possibly a difference in firmware, ribbon cable(s), bad slot, motherboard, jumpers and dip swotches on motherboard. Ohh wait a minute! Do you have the jumpers on the drives set as master & slave???? c: is normally the master and any subsequent is slave and no two brands have exactly the same config. i.e WD could be pins 2-4 or Seagate 1-3 for example for slave drive’s, you would have to check that one. because I think you mentioned you disconnected one to run the other. So assuming the SSD doesent have jumpers (the ones I have seen dont) and the other drives are “Spinners” it may be that they have to be set as “slaves” Definately research that one and it may involve trial & error (it wont fry or shouldnt fry anything worst that used to happen is it wouldnt boot) I seem to recall Win2k & XP did. You probably know this already.
      Your really going to hate me for this!! but I found this today https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/windows/deploy/mbr-to-gpt Sorry about that 🙁
      Well Sunday was a disk day round here the mega reliable triple boot laptop well errrm didnt, its been erratic last few days and gave up “The Ghost” so wasnt pleased! turns out it was a cluster right at the start of the drive probaly in the boot area, 1st symptom Win7 lost its ability to boot UEFI (black greyish fuzzy line top of Black “Boot splash screen”) sure sign Probs. ahead. Hard reboot and win10 wouldnt fire at all win10 sad screen, not good! Win RE & PE sticks and even Win10 DaRT, nah-da. Popped in “Minitool” (linux) boot disk, ran a surface scan “gotcha” 1 red dot!
      Bad disk, grounded pickups, debris in side.. its toast, Bit of “GoogleFoo” and wrote “0’s” to the affected part not the full disk, “Et Voila” trashed Win10, but backed up and managed to save 8.1 Pro & 7 Pro parts., Read the SMART log its been failing/or like that for a while. Sure learned a lot this weekend like disks on average ship with a handful of faults and your allowed to rack up a handful of them, P & R tables, and somthing I didnt know some times data can actually render an undamaged cluster useless until you force a write to it of either 1’s or 0’s or both. Strewth this machine is 17 years old former XP now Win7 “daily driver” and here my new lappy is barely over a year and a half.
      Give me a desktop back again at least I can have the back/side off and fix it 😉

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    • #120378

      Just a comment here on the original post regarding the GPT vs MBR question.

      When I installed Win 10 to a UEFI GPT C: drive last year, wiping and replacing my Win 7 boot disk, my secondary D:\data HDD which was MBR (non-boot), continued to be detected and operated as usual.

      So am I correct in assuming that it was just a drive letter conflict from within Win10 with the former Win 7 C: drive?

      A book that I found really helpful a few years back when I made the leap from XP to Win 7 was “Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out” by Mike Halsey.  That goes way beyond the basics, and has helped me with Win 7, 8, and 10.

      I haven’t needed it yet, but I noticed that he has a new book out “Windows 10 Troubleshooting”.  The preview looks good here: https://www.amazon.com/Windows-10-Troubleshooting/dp/1484209265/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

      It has similar content to the Win 7 book, but appears to be a major revision for the new OS.

      Windows 10 Pro 22H2

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    • #120423

      I haven’t used a jumper on a HDD since the days of EIDE/PATA ribbon cables. AFAIK, the main uses for a jumper on a modern SATA drive is to slow it down to SATA 1 (1.5 Gbps) or SATA 2(3.0 Gpbs), on WD drives enable spread spectrum clocking, and probably some combo used at the factory for testing/trouble shooting. I don’t think any SSD has room for a jumper. Slave/master/cable select options went out with EIDE drives.

      I knew about the various methods to convert MBR to GPT, one of many reasons I keep minitool partition wizard around. It also has a handy feature of writing 1’s, 0’s, or both to the whole drive. I considered converting, but there’s nothing like starting fresh. While 7 doesn’t suffer the same slow down over the years like XP or 98, especially when using a SSD, I still find it snappier and worth the trouble. Over the years there had been many program and hardware installs/uninstalls, likely leaving a bunch of leftover dll’s and other junk behind.

      Before installing 10 or reinstalling 7, I had 7 on C, optical D, storage on E and F. After 10 install and 7 reinstall, 7 and 10 properly ran as C when used but the other drives did not match, 7 put 10 on D while 10 put 7 on F. Maybe it didn’t matter and there was another unknown problem,  but that would have been confusing for me to use anyways.

      As for the restart to get to 7 when booting to Windows 10 boot manager (msconfig setting 10 as default), apparently that’s just the way it is. If I want to see the pretty GUI boot manager, I’m stuck with a reboot to get to 7 and 10 will load if I don’t touch anything. The only solution is to make 7 the default and use the text based Win7 boot manager. See http://winaero.com/blog/avoid-two-reboots-with-windows-10-and-windows-7-dual-boot/ and https://superuser.com/questions/504084/how-do-i-set-windows-7-as-default-os-but-retain-windows-8-boot-screen for reference. Since I use 7 most of the time and will likely continue to do so until I have 10 on a very short leash, I’m going to use 7’s boot manager and a very short timer.

    • #120516

      TL;DR? Skip to last paragraph 😉

      So far, I haven’t found a need for any file sharing permissions. I can add/remove/change files from 7 and 10 without a hiccup. The fear that there would be CHKDSK on boot or similar problems was based on various posts on a few forums, and it was an issue for me when I first connected the reinstalled 7 (UEFI/GPT) and previously installed 10. After wiping 10 and reinstalling it, with only that drive connected same as before, everything just works. I cannot explain how this works and don’t intend to repeat the process.

      Modus operandi is clone and/or image the OS drive once a month just before windows updates, which is currently necessary for both 7 and 10 unless I decide to put them on the same drive. Now’s the time to decide, Win10 v1703 updates are starting to grow. One single dual boot drive clone would be convenient, until 2020 when the plug is pulled on 7.

      If I was an admin for more than the 3 computers here, I would use SYSPREP. As it is now, reinstall is very rare if not from a clone and I only have a shared 450MB daily internet allowance at 250KBps top speed for updates, unless I do that between 2am-7am at the same speed but free download allowance. Taking a 10yo Ubuntu netbook on a 30 minute drive to a friends house with high speed internet once a month to download the standalone monthly patches is the preferred method, or a 10 minute drive to Starbucks or McD’s which I have no other use for than their internet.

      I miss living in the city, except for the rent which is an average of $1250/month for a one bedroom apartment. Please pardon the pity-party rant but my neighbors on all sides have highspeed yet no ISP will run any cable to my house other than landline phone, no matter the cost. You’d think I was was in a sparsely populated section of Wyoming or a Dakota but I’m 40 miles from Dell headquarters, fiber-optic lines are running over the end of my driveway. No AT&T Uverse available and all wifi hotspot options are faster but capped lower than the satellite services. I can’t even stream a low-res 5 minute youtube video without multiple pauses.

      I guess this Win10 question thread is done, dual boot achieved and filesharing is remarkable easy. Thanks for the help!

    • #120826

      Hey no worries sounds like you got it “sussed out” there, its kinda hard unless I get my “paws” on the actual machine. Normally with an HDD I take it out the silvery packet glance at the back if there aint Jumpers on it just “slap it” in assuming its cable select. thats probably why I couldnt recall seeing any on the box of SSD’s in the corner of the office (all of indeterminate use and all inventoried alas 🙁 )
      We are out in the “Sticks” here but the net aint bad but similarly to your good self I have 3-4 happy streamers here so any downloading or speedy “interweb” use is a no go until they all go to bed. Dont think ours is fibre but it would be nice if they could get round to it, the phone bill sure costs enough 🙁

      Well sorry I couldnt be of more help but it sounds like you’ve got it all figured out 🙂

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #121012

      Sorry to pull a Columbo, but, there are a couple of loose ends I’d like to tie up.

      I can confirm the results of my links 3 posts ago, using the Win7 Boot Manager to get to Win10 does not require a reboot. In reverse, using the Win10 BM (pun?) does require a reboot to get into Win7. Someday, I might prefer or more likely require Win10 as the primary OS in which case everything will be extremely GUI. Until then, it’s a text boot manager for me.

      As for suggestions to those in my previous situation, if Win10 is installed via UEFI mode after Win7 installed via MBR, there will be problems. I couldn’t even see the Win10 drive from 7, or vice-versa. Changing an active MBR OS drive to GPT isn’t the same as installing it via UEFI. Getting around this would likely involve more than a simple CMOS reset, I would bet unplugging the Win10 drive then pulling and replacing the motherboard battery is required. I’m just guessing.

      As for Win10Pro, even with Shutup10, DisableWinTracking, and all updates deferred for maximum time allowed, running it without opening a browser for one hour ate half my 450MB daily allowance. Expletive deleted. From now on the network adapters will be disabled on WIN10 in this house, which will be very inconvenient come Win7 EOL in 2020.

      • #121020

        IMHO I’ve found dual booting to be a major problem.  Since acquiring a CPU that supports hardware virtualization, I have become a big fan of running a secondary OS as a virtual machine (VM).

        So my plan now is now to install my OS of choice on the bare hardware, then use a VM hypervisor such as VirtualBox, or VMWare Player, to install any secondary OS.

        So far this method kills dual booting for me.  No rebooting required to switch between OS.  Yeah!!!  Just click …



        Both are free for personal, non-commercial use.


        Windows 10 Pro 22H2

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #121023

          I began my switch to Macs five years ago. I still have three Win7 (one desktop, two laptops) on bare hardware, but all the rest are in Parallels VMs. Three-finger slide sideways on the touchpad and I switch between full screen Mac and fullscreen Windows of my choice (XP, 7, 8.1 or 10). Or I can run the Win applications directly on the Mac.

          In my younger days, I built or bought the top end OEM and tweaked and changed hardware. And even I’m still computer savvy, I really enjoy the “it just works” of the Mac now and not having to hassle with Win stuff in my every-day life.

          Except on AskWoody!!!

          • #121028

            Yes, a VM would be the way to go, if it weren’t for a few factors. I can keep the Win10 running on this PC whenever I upgrade to a new PC, no telling when that is. No reinstall required, which is a week+ long event with my ISP when all programs and updates are considered. I forgot the exact current stats, but I am in a serious ISP minority H-E-double-L, living in this otherwise lovely place.

            It was proof of concept, proof of the Windows boot manager concept. This thread is concise compared to what I found on 10Forums who kicked my first ever post to a new thread where there was no help at all.

            • #121091

              Yes VMs on either Windows or Linux hosts works well, if your host PC hardware is up to date (supports virtualization, and at least dual core) and you have enough RAM.  8GB RAM seems to be the magic number.  I have a laptop with 4GB that works OK,  but if I want to work in a VM, I need to close apps in the host OS down to free up memory.

              I have installed Windows 7 and 10 and several Linux distros on bare metal PC’s.  Then using VirtualBox, I have installed Windows guest VMs on Windows hosts, Linux guest VMs on Windows hosts, Linux guest VMs on Linux hosts and Windows guest VMs on Linux hosts.

              All the above have performed great!

              Sorry, no Macs here…yet.  🙂

              Windows 10 Pro 22H2

            • #121101

              Another thing you can do if re-installing an OS into a VM is too problematic, the Disk2VHD utility can clone an existing disk partition onto a VM.

              I tried this a couple years ago as a “proof of concept” with my Windows 7 boot partition, and it worked.


              The only hoop I can recall jumping through was determining if this would cause Win 7 to seek re-activation.  Not an issue if you won’t be running two copies.  It seems that there may be a method to work around this, by duplicating the disk ID when you make the copy.  But it has been a while and I don’t recall the details.

              Windows 10 Pro 22H2

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