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Setup NEW Win7 System But Keep OLD Win7 Running!

Posted on 2013-12-11
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Last Modified: 2014-01-07
I use my existing Win7 system heavily 5-6 days a week. Now 4 years old and getting buggy, even after several Upgrade Re-Installs.

I would like to set up a New Win7 system that I can build up over a few weeks, while continuing to use my Old system.

I want to take time to clean out a lot of old Apps, Docs, and Backups.... and when I get to the point that I like the New Win7... make it primary.... killing the Old!

Any ideas for the best approach??

I have a couple of excess internal HD's... on a Mac Pro, 4 HD's total, and I am running my Win7 in Boot Camp.

My existing systems (Mac OS 10.9 & Win7) are on stand-alone separate HDs.

Is there any way to create the New system in Boot Camp along side the Old, but in a separate drive, or must I create the New and move it over later, after wiping the Old!

I do have a 3 System license for Win7.
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Question by:mtnhome
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15 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39711694
Btw.... I tried this earlier and got feedback but ran into Licensing problems. Had to get a 3 system unused Win7 license from a buddy.

Also, am not at all sure how to make this work within Boot Camp.

One would think that many people would like to do Clean Installs, with gradual transfers of Apps and Docs.... without having to blow-out the Old system.... and bet everything on the New working!!

Tks
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 39713264
Fresh install and data migration using USMT tool seems the best way ATM.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39713444
You can install Windows 7 without a product key and use it for several months. Whenever the trial period runs out it'll tell you it isn't genuine and nag you for activation, at that point you can open a CMD prompt as administrator, and issue "slmgr /rearm" (without the quotes), and after you got a message that this was successful, reboot. After that the not genuine message disappears, and you can use the OS for a further trial period. You can repeat that 3 times. Only after those trials are used up will you need to activate the OS with a valid key. So you really have ample time to use the OS in trial mode without activation. Apart from that, as you are using the OS on the same hardware as your original Windows 7 installation, and you can't use both simultaneously, you shouldn't have license problems even with both being activated with the same key at the same time.

I don't know MAC's or bootcamp, but as far as I know, all bootcamp does is to select the partition and OS you want to boot the system from. It's nothing but a boot manager. So there should be absolutely no problem adding a further partition for a further OS and install you new Windows 7 OS on that newly created partition, and then run either of them. Once you are satisfied with the new installation, just remove your original Windows 7 partition and change your bootcamp to also remove that entry...
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39713890
Thanks for the feedback.

My big issue is where and on what do I install the New Win7 system... and once installed be able to gradually copy over my files and install my applications over a period of weeks. Most importantly, I want to do this while keeping my Old Win7 system running and working, with full access to the New from the Old... ie being able to see and copy the files and apps... or booting into the New to make sure everything is up and running.

My preference would be to install the New System on a new internal HD while keeping the Old also on a separate internal HD, or partition (I have 4 HD's on a Mac pro)... with the ability to boot into either and access files on the non-booted system.

Essentially, I would like to setup a dual Boot (2 Win7 systems) within Boot Camp on separate HDs (or partitions) with the ability to access the 'non-boot' system.

As for the licensing, I think I'm in good shape with the 3 licenses... or as suggested, I can stay with the single license and have access to both systems for several months.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 39713993
I found articles on doing it with Boot Camp; but, almost all of the said rEFIt was a better option: http://refit.sourceforge.net/#download
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by:rindi
ID: 39714086
You can't boot both OS's at the same time. You either have to boot one or the other. You should be able to use your MAC's disk utility to repartition your internal disks, so you get an additional partition on one of those disks. Or you can add another disk and partition that with the disk utility. Once you have that new partition you should be able to install your new Windows to it and add it to bootcamp the same way you used when you installed the old Windows.

To transfer data from one installation to the other, I would just use an external disk and copy the data from your old windows over to that disk, then boot into the new Windows and copy the data back. The software you'll have to reinstall anyway, so for that you'll just need the install CD's, DVD's, or links to their downloads, and for commercial software you'll also need the activation or registration info.

On normal (not MAC hardware), you can also access the partition that contains other OS's, so on those you could directly access the data from your new OS, but that can be dangerous as you could without knowing delete files on the original OS that could break that OS. So even if this were possible on the MAC with bootcamp too, I wouldn't recommend it. I'd definitely transfer any data via external disk, or via the network.

Personally though, I'd also recommend thinking of installing your new Windows as a VM inside your MAC OSX. You could use Parallels or Oracle's VirtualBox for that. This would have the advantage of you being able to run your MAC OSX and Windows at the same time, and even more OS's, provided you have enough RAM.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39720307
I know I can't boot 2 systems but I wanted to make sure I can load 2 systems into Bootcamp. Tks

I tried VM and Parallels 3 years ago and had lots of problems.
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Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 39720381
Did you checkout REfit.  Its Public domain and gives you far more options than Bootcamp:
http://refit.sourceforge.net/#download
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39721189
I did. Saw it was no longer supported.
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Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 39721302
And didn't follow the link to rEFInd? http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39721336
I did... and found that Mac support would be minimal!
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 39762565
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

The question has either no comments or not enough useful information to be called an "answer".
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39761939
Whatever!
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Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 39762566
I think either using bootcamp or a VM should be no problem.
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