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ComfortablyNumbFlag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Dual Boot Windows 2008 Server and Windows 7

Hi Experts,

I've got a Dell machine with two hard drives. I plan to wipe the machine and install Windows 2008 Server and Windows 7 on it.

Instead of creating a dual boot, is it conceivable to install an OS on each hard drive and just amend the boot order in bios?

Cheers,
Numb
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sfossupport
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You could do that but why would you do this. Are you testing?  Have you looked at virtualization. You can install
a base OS ( windows 7) and then use virtual box and install windows 2008 here ). This way you could have both running at the same time.
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If your BIOS supports it.  I would suggest you consider virtualization if you are trying to setup a network... You could run both on a Hyper-V install or ESXi.  
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vivigatt
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You can also dual boot by booting Windows 7 and/or Windows 2008 R2 to a VHD file. This is not virtualization, BTW.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/knom/archive/2009/04/07/windows-7-vhd-boot-setup-guideline.aspx

You can do a dual boot by chaning the boot order in the BIOS, but why would you? It's easier to do a traditional dual boot. If you are really doing Windows 2008 and not 2008 R2, I would install 2008 first and then Windows 7, because Windows 7 is newer. If you are installing 2008 R2, it shouldn't matter which order you install them in.
It doesn't matter which order you install them.. have a working system here. And yes you can use the boot order in the bios to change o/s but it is more of a pain than a benefit. If you have the base boot partition (normally hidden recovery partition) the O/S can be anywhere (not limited to 1st hard drive 1st parttition(
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sealy1986

Hello ComfortablyNumb,

My configuration is very similar to your proposed future setup so maybe I could lend some advice. I have two 500GB internal SATA 7200RPM HDDs in my machine. One is Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate, the other is Windows Server 2008 Enterprise 32-bit. I currently use Server 2008 Enterprise as a workstation as my primary OS due to its reduced memory footprint, application responsiveness, and reliability. I use 7 for my Media support such as recording my favorite shows through my TV tuner card. The way I setup my box was as followed:

1. First install Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate on HDD #1.
2. Install desired programs on Windows 7 64-bit.
3. Configure Windows Updates, settings, etc.
4. Install Windows Server 2008 Enterprise on HDD #2.
5. Configure settings, updates, etc.
6. Install programs.
7. Install Dual Boot Pro via http://www.vistabootpro.org/

Dual Boot Pro (formerly Vistabootpro) allows me to select HDD#1 as a bootable OS. It will then create a boot entry in vista's bootmgr allowing me to select between each OS on boot up.

Here's an image of the program: http://www.lancelhoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/vista-boot-pro.jpg

Pretty simple and straightforward. Install 7. Install 2008. Install Dual Boot Pro. Add boot entry for 7 to 2008. Done.
You do not need any 3Rd party boot manager.
Recent Windows OS (Vista and above) will detect the "dual boot" configuration when installed and add the necessary entries in the BCDs.
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ASKER

Thanks for all your suggestions. After asking the question I discovered VHD, went down that route to find you needed Win7 Ultimate for it towork - typical Microsoft!

Thanks again and Happy New Year!
vivigatt,

True, for the most part. However, Windows Server 2008 does not enumerate the disks to add boot entries automatically.  Even if you install 2008 first, followed by 7, when you eventually boot into Server 2008 its BCD store will contain no logical path to the 7 installation and upon a 2nd reboot your Windows 7 installation will appear gone.
@sealy: It seems that you are right. My experience come from dual booting Vista and XP/2003, Vista and 2008...

But manually adding the correct BCD entries should just fix the "multiboot with no 3rd party boot loader"

Check this thread for instance:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itproinstall/thread/efcc5507-ba69-4055-8d92-1a1e17f53813
@sealy: It seems that you are right. My experience come from dual booting Vista and XP/2003, Vista and 2008...

But manually adding the correct BCD entries should just fix the "multiboot with no 3rd party boot loader"

Check this thread for instance:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itproinstall/thread/efcc5507-ba69-4055-8d92-1a1e17f53813
Thanks for your reply.

Aah, but thats the beauty of 3rd party boot managers. It puts the laziness back in IT and makes your life much more simpler. Aint that the truth?