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Multiple Boot OS Software

Posted on 2013-01-24
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Last Modified: 2013-02-07
Hi Everyone,

I have a solution already for my MAC, mainly what's already available with bootcamp.  To dual boot my system, although I can't find anything that will support tripple or quad boot.

My question is for software that will allow me to fairly easily boot the system into either Windows7, Windows8, WindowsXp, Linux, PcBSD, OpenIndiana.  I don't want to use these in virtualization software like vmware/virtualbox/etc.  I'd like to be able to boot them on baremetal.   This is for your typical PC hardware (with BIOS/EFI options), not on a mac which I think would involve other things.

I recall a long time ago seeing software that did this rather well, but they all seem outdate now, and I can't find a good source for this.  I can't imagine I am the only one who would like to do this.

For solutions, I am ok with open source, or commercial applications.  Anything that can do this and work well consistently.

Many thanks for any help guys.
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Question by:metazend
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by:Thomas Grassi
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rindi earned 500 total points
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Those Os's you mentioned all have boot loaders capable of this, although I'm not that sure what BSD and OpenIndiana uses.

Generally for Windows, you need to install the oldest OS first (XP), and after that the next (Windows 7), then Windows 8. That way you can boot from all of those OS's. After that, it depends on what boot loader is used by the other OS's, and their installer. With Grub Windows and other OS's normally are picked up and added to the menu. With Lilo I'm not sure.

There is also Bootit-bm you could use. This is a good tool for cloning/imaging/partition manipulation, and it includes a boot loader and a special mbr extension (EMBR) which allows you to many primary partitions on your MBR disk:

http://terabyteunlimited.com/
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by:metazend
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@trgrassirj55 thank you.

@rindi  I took a closer look at it considering I got the suggestion from you.  I had seen it before, but I had mistaken it for a "fake" company.  Sounds strange, but the screenshots made me think some guy put the site together and is just trying to make a quick buck.  Looks like it's pretty powerful, and just has an ugly UI, which is fine so long it works as advertized.  I will try it out and post results.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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if you are using Windows 8.0 you will be able to use and Boot from VHDs on Bare Metal, because they have similar boot loaders.

You Linux/Unix are the difficult ones to maintain on a single disk.
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by:rindi
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Yes, the interface isn't very nice, but it is very powerful. The trial version runs nicely, I used it on a "museum" type PC where I installed DOS (with Windows for Workgroups), Win95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP. Once of it's nice features is that you can make those partitions you don't want another OS to see invisible.
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by:metazend
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As promised, posting an update after using the software.

Great recommendation rindi, thank you.  Very powerful software, I should have paid more attention to it before.
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