How Do You Dual Boot Two Operating Systems?


Quick Answer

To dual-boot two operating systems in Windows 7, access the Disk Management settings window via the Control Panel, and create a separate hard drive partition. Insert the installation disc of the secondary OS you wish to install, and use the Custom option to modify and complete the installation process.

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Full Answer

  1. Access the Disk Management settings window

    Click on the Start button, and select the Control Panel option. Click on the System and Security link, and select the Administrative Tools option. If the Control Panel elements are listed as icons, click on Administrative Tools immediately. Double-click on Computer Management, and select the Disk Management option from the navigation bar on the left.

  2. Create a separate hard drive partition

    Right-click on your main hard drive, and select the Shrink Volume option from the drop-down menu. Type in the desired size of the new partition expressed in megabytes. Make sure that there is enough space to accommodate the secondary OS, and click on the Shrink button. Right-click on the newly created volume, and select the New Simple Volume option. If you don’t wish to alter the size you set previously, click on Next. Assign the drive letter of your choice by selecting it from the drop-down menu, and click Next. Select the NTFS file system, and type in the desired name for the new partition. Click Next to initiate the procedure.

  3. Install the secondary OS

    Make sure that the secondary OS is a newer version of the primary one. Insert the installation disc, and press any key when prompted to initiate the setup procedure. Choose the Custom (Advanced) option, and select the newly created partition as the destination. Follow the installation wizard instructions to complete the process. When you restart the computer, you should have the option of choosing which OS to boot.

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