Dual boot or VM - or Bootit ?

i have a new system i7, 16 Gb ram and a Samsung EVO 850 - 500 Gb SSD
since i found no better options in windows 10 - and like windows 7 much better (but i DO need the windows 10 for customers sake), i am thinking of putting both OS on the SSD, but i am unsure what would be the best in my case: simply dual boot (the boot time is only a slight drawback here) - or use a VM for Win10, or even use Bootit-BM

another question is that - if i have working installs - can i use an image of both for this setup ?
of course, putting a windows 7 image on the SSD is easy - but how do i get the dual boot then - or VM ?
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Luis MouraCommented:
I will use a VM with windows 10
If you have Windows 7 already installed, you can just install Windows 10 besides that to a further partition. It'll automatically create your Boot menu. Another option, if you don't want to partition the disk, would be to install Windows 10 to a VHD file. At least for the professional version this works fine, and also that will automatically create your boot menu. Here there is one "Gotcha" though. VHD files don't support upgrading Windows 10 to a new build, so if a new Build of Windows 10 is released (like the November build), you'd have to install the fresh build to a new VHD file.

Virtualization would also be no problem, but If you take that path I'd do it the other way round. Install Windows 10 as the host OS (provided it is Windows 10 Pro), and then add the Hyper-V feature and install Windows 7 as a Hyper-V guest. As Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor you should get better performance with it than with Oracle's VirtualBox or VMware's Workstation Player, which both are type 2 hypervisors.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You haven't mentioned the edition of Windows.  If you get a corporate version running Enterprise for both 10 and 7, you could use Boot to VHD (Native Boot) so that you have the full performance and feature set of both OSs and a dual boot.  Otherwise, Hyper-V alone is worth using Windows 8 or Windows 10 - Windows 7 doesn't support it.  I'd use one of those and put 7 in a VM if you really want to run 7 year old software.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I use Virtual Machines via VMware Workstation. That way I do not have to dual boot to do what I want. With VMware Workstation, I can run Windows 7 (or any other machine) in Unity mode and use whatever all at the same time.

I set up my Windows 10 machine to be very, very close to Windows 7. It works the same way and supports the same applications.
nobusAuthor Commented:
it is Ultimate for both

but with each OS update, with a VM i need to reinstall afresh - that's a considerable drawback

i'm really looking for the why of each, drawbacks, and pro's.

nobody mentioned Bootit
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I see the drawback of having to install Windows 7 as a virtual machine (or whichever machine you want as guest) as a much lower productivity cost over a very short period compared with shutting down and booting the other system every time you want the other one.

but with each OS update, with a VM i need to reinstall afresh  <-- No. Such never happened to me. I built my Windows 7 guest machine 4 years ago and never had to reinstall it. I started VMware Workstation with V1 and now use V12 and never had to reinstall any guest.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Can't be Ultimate for both.  There is no such thing for Windows 10.

but with each OS update, with a VM i need to reinstall afresh - that's a considerable drawback
Huh?  This doesn't make sense to me.  What exactly are you talking about?

nobody mentioned Bootit
I haven't tried to dual boot in at least 5 years... probably more like 10.  No point.  Windows 10 works fine, Hyper-V for VMs is great, what exactly is the point?
I've never heard of having to install freshly in VM's with each update. How did you get to that info? It is only when you use VHD files you are booting to, if Windows 10 releases a new build you need to install the new build to a fresh VHD. But normal Windows updates still work for the older build, you just can't upgrade the build.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have done the Build 1511 upgrade AND (for now dumb reasons) a fresh install of Windows 10 about 3 weeks ago. No impact to VMware Workstation or to Virtual Machines.  The whole virtualization structure survived the Window 8.1 to Windows 10 upgrade.

I would (and do) use Windows 10 as the host and Windows 7 as the guest. As noted, with Unity mode, you can make the whole thing transparent.
I don't see any point in mentioning BootiMG. It isn't needed for dual booting.
nobusAuthor Commented:
lee - i only assumed, when i upgrade the win7 ultimate to win10 that it will be ultimate also

this is what rindi posted " VHD files don't support upgrading Windows 10 to a new build, so if a new Build of Windows 10 is released (like the November build), you'd have to install the fresh build to a new VHD file."

and rebooting with shutdown is less than a minute -  so it does not hinder much
That is VHD files you boot directly into, not for VM's. VM's can be normally upgraded to new builds. When you upgrade Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 10, you'll get Windows 10 Pro. You can also run Windows 7 Ultimate directly from VHD's.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Haven't used Native boot since Windows 7.  But from what I'm reading there are workarounds.  https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/08973370-2f39-4b39-94bb-f58418171b49/upgrading-native-boot-installation-of-windows-10-to-newer-builds-reusing-vhd-disk-in-native-boot?forum=WinPreview2014Setup

Keep in mind that all the info I was able to find involved Preview editions of 10 - the current releases may not have this problem.  Bug again, I'd do 10 on the hardware and 7 in a vm under hyper-v if you need it.
I had tried one of those workarounds, and after that the OS wasn't activated anymore.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
so?  Reactivate.  You're breaking a license as far as I know.
nobusAuthor Commented:
when will some one post a clear answer?
that was a nice discussion - but it does not help me
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You asked:  Dual boot or VM - or Bootit ?

Bootit has nothing to do with the first two. Forget that.

Of the first two: Use a Virtual Machine because it is vastly more productive in a working environment

I use VM's and I do not use dual boot.
nobusAuthor Commented:
ok  - but answer the rest also : how to set it up

i asked :
another question is that - if i have working installs - can i use an image of both for this setup ?
 of course, putting a windows 7 image on the SSD is easy - but how do i get the dual boot then - or VM ?

what steps would you take?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Set up your Windows 10 Pro host machine.
Obtain and install VMware Workstation 12.
Have a DVD with a license for Windows 7 Pro.

Run VMware, File New Virtual Machine, follow the Wizard steps and insert the Windows 7 DVD at the point of starting the machine.

If you want to use an existing machine as a virtual machine, download and use VMware Convertor (free). You can run this in the Windows 7 machine and create a virtual machine.
Why do you need an image? Just install the 2nd OS to another partition and you'll automatically get a boot menu from which you can choose what to boot from.
nobusAuthor Commented:
>>  Why do you need an image?  <<  because i have them, readily installed awith all software and updates - that is a very nice reason, don't you think, to move from one system to the other
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
It is easier to install an operating system as a VM, even if just to practice.

However, you can P2V a machine (Physical to Virtual) with VMware Converter. I have used Converter to convert one VM to another VM.
You can also restore your images to other partitions, then use EasyBCD to add the restored OS to the boot Menu.

nobusAuthor Commented:
i assume i could also use the paragon disk manager software for this?

Rindi - is there no free software for this?
EasyBCD is free. Actually you can also use the Windows Built in bcdedit to edit the boot loader, but that is much more complicated and you run it under a CMD prompt. All EasyBCD does is provide you with an easy to use GUI frontend for bcdedit.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The tools I have laid out are easy to use and not expensive.

You said "I DO need the windows 10 for customers sake, but I like windows 7 much better"

If your only reason to have a Windows 7 machine is to avoid Windows 10, then I would argue that your motives are suspect.

Windows 7 was very good - Windows 10 is better and faster. It is easy to use, has only one mode with a Start Menu, supports absolutely everything I use and need and is very reliable. I miss nothing and it is faster than Windows 7 (on the same computer).

You might consider adapting instead of going to all this trouble. I have a Windows 7 machine with Office 2010 to support clients. All my heavy duty work is done in Windows 10.
nobusAuthor Commented:
i found nothing faster and better on windows 10 - i have been testing it for my different needs
and windows 7 is still supported for 4 years more for all i know

why would my motives be suspect??  i don't understand that at all
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows 7 is dying out and Windows 10 is here to stay. I need to lead my clients, not follow.

I like the integrated search, task view, and the higher level of security.

Perhaps "suspect" is the wrong word. What I meant was what I said above. I need to lead not follow.
nobusAuthor Commented:
>>   I need to lead not follow.   <<  another WHY ?
i am very happy to leave other people as they are - i'll only try to teach them if they ask for it; and then even cautiously

but i'm already happy you did not mark me as a "criminal " - one way or the other

there are lots of problems with the W10 - eg banks that don't accept banking from edge
devices that won't work anymore, people not finding their programs the way they knew

personally - i can understand why MS changes everything with each new version (so it is hammered home that it is different) - but they seem not to realise what productivity loss they are causing - teaching + learning time with that

also - typing in search to find a software is much slower than selecting it directly from a menu; and if you don't lnow the exact name - you're in trouble

most benefits as i see it are for mobile device users

sorry for the venting of my feelings - but the negative things have to be said also

back to my question now
Can i use the paragon software, and use the images from installed systems to make a dual boot, say using bcdedit ?
nobusAuthor Commented:
no more input??
nobusAuthor Commented:
ok some things still are unclear on the use of VM or VHD
-do i have to boot into them, or can i switch from one system to the other when running ?
i have read you boot into VHD - right ?
-how does virtualisation come into it? (note i never used these)

it still is a bit fuzzy for me - so if anybody cares to  clear things up a bit ?
A VM is a Virtual Machine which you start from a HyperVisor that is running on a host PC which is running another OS. So you are running an OS as a VM at the same time as the host's OS.

A VHD is just a file. Since Windows 7 (maybe even since Vista), you have been able to install the OS as a VHD file directly to a PC and boot directly to that OS. There is no VM or HyperVisor present in this scenario.

Advantages of booting to VHD files:

You don't have to have a primary partition for every OS (you know about the 4 primary partition limit for MBR disks).

The file can be set to a dynamic size, which means that if the OS is shutdown, the file only uses the amount of space used by the files within that file (If you install to a separate partition you need to create a partition size which will have plenty of free space so you can work with the OS). This saves on disk space.

You can just copy the VHD file and you have a backup of the OS. You don't need to run a specialized backup utility.

Some hypervisors also use VHD files for their VM's, but just because they use the same file type doesn't mean it is the same thing. A VHD you boot into directly by the PC uses completely different drivers than the virtual hardware of a Virtual Machine VHD, you'd get BSOD's and license violations.
nobusAuthor Commented:
ah- i think i 'm starting to follow
so the VHD maybe a file made on another system (with it's own drivers, that you move to another sytem to be used there, while with a vm - you need to use the motherboard drivers etc...on which you run it

and you can switch while running between the host and the VHD , or VM ?
No, it's more like the opposite. The VHD file you install directly on the PC. If you boot to the Windows installation media, and when you get to the point where you select where you want to install the OS to, you can bring up a CMD prompt via ctrl+F10. From there you can start diskpart. You can now create a VHD file, format it and attach it, and then you can switch back to the installer, do a refresh, and the VHD file will show up as a possible destination, along with the normal HD and partitions. You can then select that file to install the OS to, and it gets installed just like normal. When the first part is done the PC boots directly to that VHD and goes on with the installation. When ready you can then install the PC's chipset and other drivers just like normal. It is just another way of installing the OS.

For a VM on the other hand you must have an OS already installed and running on the PC. You then start a HyperVisor from within that OS, like VBox, VMware Workstation Player, or Hyper-V (which is included in Windows 10 Pro). This HyperVisor then acts like a virtual PC, with it's own virtual hardware. This Virtual Hardware is emulated, and can look completely different from the actual hardware of your real PC. The HyperVisor used includes virtual driver for that emulated hardware which have to be installed inside your VM. For example in VBox it is called "VitualBox Additions", in VMware Workstation Player "VMware Tools", and Hyper-V "Integration services". Some OS's already have the integration services included with the OS, so you don't have to install them separately (an example is Windows 7). You then install your Guest OS inside the HyperVisor, while your Host OS is running. You can run more than one VM as a Window at the same time, as well as the host OS. You just need to make sure your PC has enough power to run them all simultaneously.

A VM you can easily run on another PC, as the Virtual Hardware will look the same to the VM there as on the original PC, but you will still have to make sure you meet the licensing requirements.
nobusAuthor Commented:
i am still waiting for someone to comment on Bootit-BM
also - a list of the steps needed for setup would be nice
Bootit-BM isn't needed in any of these situations. Windows has it's own boot-manager and as soon as you install a 2nd Windows to a free primary partition it will be added to the boot manager and menu. With esaybcd you can easily edit that menu.

Bootit would only be needed if you don't have enough free primary partitions, but for just 2 OS's that isn't a problem.

With today's UEFI BIOS and support of 64bit Windows OS's to boot from you also don't have the 4 primary partition limit per disk which you had with MBR disks, so also that makes bootit-BM irrelevant.

With Virtual Machines you don't need a boot manager anyway.
nobusAuthor Commented:
that's what you keep telling me rindi - and it is appreciated, but i wanted also the view of someone who favors it

btw - you don't have a list of the steps needed for setup would be nice  - with VM, and VHD
nobusAuthor Commented:
no list of the steps to follow?
I thought I had done that. Just make sure you have an empty primary partition and install your 2nd OS to it as if it were the only OS. It will (or should) automatically recognize that there already is another OS there and will add the two to the boot menu so you can choose at bootup from which OS you want to boot from. Really very simple and straight forward.

If you restore an OS as 2nd OS from your backup, restore it to that empty partition. When done, you can try using Paragon's rescue kit. It should be able to recognize the two OS's and adapt the boot menu to show both OS's. If not, you can use EasyBCD from the OS you can boot into and add the 2nd OS to the boot loader.

For VM's, just install the hypervisor you have chosen to use, start it, then install the VM inside that. Or use VMware's standalone converter to convert an existing OS on a PC to a VM. You can then just add that VM to your VMware Workstation Player.
nobusAuthor Commented:
the first paragraph i s setting up a dual boot - right?  i know how to do that
>>  For VM's, just install the hypervisor you have chosen to use,   <<  i don't know what hypervisor, or how to choose it

that's why i asked for a list -  not tekst - for how to set both up : VM and VHD
With Windows 10 Pro you have Hyper-V included as a feature you can add within Programs and Features. In order to be able to add that feature your CPU must support SLAT and VT technologies (the VT technologies have to be enabled in the BIOS usually, and they are also required for the other Hypervisors if you are going to run 64 bit guests).

VMware Workstation Player is a free HyperVisor you can install within your OS, but you are only allowed to use it privately.

Oracle's VirtualBox is also free and can be installed within your OS. It can be used for businesses as well, not just privately. Both of these 2 HyperVisors are very easy to use and setup, and are similar in their performance and features.
nobusAuthor Commented:
i see i won't get a list of steps- but thanks anyway
I don't know what further steps you need. You just install the hypervisor, start it, and then and then you use the menu system and wizard it provides to install your VM from the iso file of your installation DVD. It is pretty straight forward and easy.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Pretty much the same with VMware Workstation. Start it, New Machine, and follow the wizard.
nobusAuthor Commented:
>>  You just install the hypervisor  << where do i find it? - you know that - i don't

same for John - sorry guys i apologise for not being as fluent with these topics as you both are
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I was not trying to be dismissive or difficult, but one of the values of Virtual Machines is that you can build or import one, and experiment. If it fails, just learn and do it again. That is mostly how I did it. Then if you have specific questions, we can certainly help.

And Hyper-V is part of Windows 10, you just use use the add programs and features within the control panel.
nobusAuthor Commented:
since i did not get a list, but only explanations - i close this unsatisfied, since i could not make my mind up from it
but i got a lot to think about
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks. May I suggest (if you are still considering) that VMware Workstation and Virtual Machines is the best and most flexible way to go. Good luck in working out a future direction.
nobusAuthor Commented:
thanks John - i'm still a bit undecided
i would have thought the choice was simpler
Why don't you just try it? VM's are easy to setup and try out.
nobusAuthor Commented:
i guess it's the only option left - so n°38 then
nobusAuthor Commented:
i can't even find the software i need to download from VMWare - or how to set up virtualbox, so it's difficult to start
Just download virtualbox and install it. Then also download the virtualbox extensions. Then start Virtualbox as Administrator, click on "file", "Preferences" and in the "Extensions" section add the Virtualbox extensions. When done close VBox again and open it without Admin rights. Again go to preferences and now configure the settings for your requirement. For example you can change the display language, or change the default folder where your VM's will be located (VM's can get large and use lots of space, so you should select a partition where you have plenty of space).

Then click on "New", give the VM you want to install a name, basically just follow the wizard for setting it up. You can change the allocated size of RAM, or make the virtual disk larger etc.

When that part is finished it will appear as a VM in the list. You can now select it and click on Settings. Under Storage click on the empty CD icon, and in the Attributes section there is another CD icon to click on. Now choose "Choose Virtual Optical Disk file". Now you can select the iso file of the OS you want to install.

After that just start the new VM and the installation should start.
nobusAuthor Commented:
>>  Just download virtualbox and install it  <<  that's the problem - under downloads there are maybe 50 different ones
It's the top of the list, VirtualBox 5.0.16 for Windows hosts, and Extension Pack is the first one in the next section, under All supported platforms.
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