Is There An Easier Or At Least Different Ways Or A Means To Boot Between Two Or More Operating Systems On The Same Computer Without Going To BIOS Each Time To Select The Boot Device Priority Option?

Hello. I have a question to ask you. I am using a Windows 7 64-bit operating system and a Linux Ubuntu v.11.10 64-bit operating system.


Is there an easier or at least different ways or a means to boot between two or more operating systems on the same computer without going to the BIOS each time to select the boot device priority option?    

Let me share with you my hardware and operating systems' configurations and setups:

I have a single desktop PC (tower computer) with two operating systems on it; namely a Windows 7 64-bit operating system and a Linux Ubuntu v.11.10 64-bit operating system. It has several internal physical hard drives with one physical hard drive dedicated with its own partition for each operating system – again, my Windows 7 64-bit and Linux Ubuntu v.11.10 64-bit. When each operating system was installed, they were installed on their own hard drives without any other hard drive connected. Therefore there is no shared booting processes occurring. The all my physical hard drives are always connected via SATA data cables to the motherboard. In order for me to change the operating system I desire to use, I have to change it in BIOS boot device priority settings to either hard drive that contains the particular operating system.

I have heard it is easier, more dependable, and more efficient method/process where I can use a USB memory stick drive or memory card arrangement to boot where I an select the operating system I wish to run and the memory stick drive or memory card arrangement boots the appropriate internal hard drive that has the desired operating system on it.  In addition, I hear that there 'MANY' other methods to handle multi operating system booting like several Linux program options that are freely available without a cost associated with them. Yet, I am not familiar with 'ANY' of these different methods.

Could you please provide me your own personal instructions and/or some well documented and described resources/references with good instructional and detailed webpage(s) on how to setup a boot memory stick drive for Windows 7 64-bit and Linux Ubuntu v11.10 64-bit OR any other method you would like to share with me on the method/process. I am new to this that is why I am asking for detailed and well written instructions.

Let me add too that I am now curious as to what I set the BIOS boot device priority accurately to when I use other methods/processes besides using the BIOS for my selective operating system booting like using a USB memory stick drive or memory card arrangement? Please explain what I need to do here too.  

Please reply.

Thank you!
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Actually I wrote that it was painless to change your config so that it boots a USB stick.  This doesn't risk any of the boot loaders.  But the correct way is to modify your default boot loader so it has a menu. Sorry, it scares the heck out of me to walk somebody through the process as there are a lot of variables with multiple disks and I don't want to risk your data.   If you are willing to do a fresh reinstall of LINUX (after backing up everything) then this process can be automated so it finds the windows HDD and then you get a boot window on the LINUX HDD that lets you select what you want.

Google multiboot ubuntu, and there are several instruction sets.
Shawn ConstableStaff IT EngineerCommented:
I would run you Linux OS on A Virtual Machine.  Depending on what version of windows 7 (Enterprise / Ultimate) you get Virtual Workstation for free from MS.  You can also run run Vmware workstation or even Vmware player.  

The only caviot is make sure you have enough RAM to support running both OSs at once, really the VM is not that slow esp if you run Linux on the VM.
Or, carve out a partition and configure it as FAT32.  Then this can be read/written by both operating systems.  Depending on what you are doing, then a virtual environment may not be a viable solution for you.
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BazingerooAuthor Commented:
@ dlethe, sconstable, & nobus:

Hello. Nice to meet you, sconstable. Nice to see dlethe and nobus again!

I want to thank each one of you for your comments.

I am going to close this question/thread at this time.

>  dlethe: Yes, I know the issues that can result from juxtapositioning  two distinctly different operating systems increased the difficulty with  the Linux boot loader in combination with the Windows boot loader. I see you can have negative consequences since I see Linux tends to dominate over Windows in most of not all controlling circumstances.

I kindly respect your personal concern for impeding issues with your response. Thank you! However, please let me evaluate the source's instructions since I review the content of the sources BEFORE ANY actions like functions are conducted on my systems.    

However, you providing me a recommended, valid, and trustworthy weblink to this topic would of been more helpful with the appropriate cautions and warnings where needed within the source. That is the basis of my question/thread here. If you had given me an answer and warned me at stages of the source's well intended instructions or even provided me a general warning in your comment, that would of been greatly appreciated.  You get 50 points for your sincere concerns of high regard towards my issue.

> sconstable: Yes, you have an answer . However, I am interested in having them run as real independent operating systems in case of catastrophic operating system failure of one of them like resulting from a hard drive failure. I am not looking any potential alternatives, by creating a centralized   booting with what I already have installed in terms of operating systems. However, I failed to address this in my initial post and your response is an answer in a more vague sense to me how really what I meant. Therefore, you cannot be found negligent in your comment where I am. Yes, I have 8 GB of RAM and Windows 7 64-bit and a virtual machine inside like VMware installed 'should not' be an issue installing a Linux Ubuntu v.11.10 64-bit. 100 points for an answer that works, but not the answer I am looking for based on MY failure to clarify.    

 > dlethe: I do not understand how using some unallocated or creating space from some already used space for a partition has anything to concern my issue regarding my booting issue by getting into either operating system or easier access as I have mislead sconstable, but his answer applies to the lack of my nonexpressed incompleteness of what I truly wanted. The operating system shared booting is the focus of the issue here, not the created FAT32 partition to which to create. I do not follow you. If you are thinking If I were to share the  operating systems in some capacity and you intention is to place either operating system one on that FAT32 partition, then that is not possible for either operating systems. To my understanding,  Windows 7, Vista, and even Windows XP can only be installed on NTFS volumes or partitions. For the latest versions of Linux systems, extended file systems (ext4) work only for them to my understanding as well.  I will give you 25 points for attempting a thought since I was not clear enough for some experts as I alluded to sconstable; but still your answer does not apply here.  

>nobus: You are the only one that has a working answer and solution with your program suggestion/recommendation after careful review of your weblink. It even does more than what I need. I never knew such a complex program that is functionally and feature loaded exists for both Windows 7 and Linux Ubuntu. A very nice find. The price is fair (est. $40) -- 'a lot of bang for your buck'! Your answer is the Accepted Solution. You will earn the remaining 325 points.

Thank you all for your time and effort in assisting me!!!
not only that  - it is rock solid, and allows creating on the same system several different OS systems, independent of the other!
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