Add partition to existing unpartitioned drive to dual boot? 18 replies

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Oblivious

I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

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30th December 2002

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#1 9 years ago

I feel silly asking, but before I waste a few hours needlessly...

So I want to try windows 7 on my laptop but want to leave everything else as is. Currently I have XP running on the 250gb drive, single partition. Can I create an image of that drive, format it, and create three new partitions and then flash that image back to a new, smaller partition? Thus, keeping my old XP intact and allowing dual booting of win7...?

I'll be moving music/video and the dozen or so games off to my desktop before imaging and then ultimately to a third laptop partition so hopefully hacking the registry with the new drive letter will keep all the games happy (working). I was thinking of going with partitions of 40/50/160gb for XP/win7/Storage.

I knew I should have partitioned the laptop drive back when I threw it in...

Thanks. :)




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

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1st January 2005

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#2 9 years ago

Just use a partitioning tool to create a partition on the drive for the W7 install. They recommend at least a 20GB partition for W7. You can download GParted free, but I couldn't get it to work when I tried it, so I used Powerquest's Partition Magic instead, which is very easy to use and works quite well. You can use PM in the OS or make a bootable disc with it. When you use it in the OS, you're really only selecting changes in it's GUI for certain major changes, then it applies them on reboot when you select apply changes.

With your spec, W7 should run much better for you with games than it did for me, esp if you have 64 bit hardware and use the 64 bit version. You may even get better frame rates than you did in XP. Just make sure you understand that the two OSes do not share registry keys, which means you'll have to do many dual installs of apps/progs and/or reinstall ones already installed on the other OS. They aren't full reinstalls though, just main info like registry entries, directory paths, Prefetch and such.




Oblivious

I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

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30th December 2002

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#3 9 years ago

Ahhh... so no adding registry entries from XP to "cheat" and use the same game installation in win7 then? Any luck with installing a game back over itself? I mainly wanna just play with the OS a bit as my laptop is far from a gamer. If I like it, I may dual boot it on my desktop.

What worried me about splitting my existing OS partition is Partition Magic 8 doesn't recommend doing that.

I ended up... --removing drive from laptop and added to desktop --moved games/music/video to a desktop drive --cloned the remaining stuff on laptop drive (7GB) to an old 40GB drive using XXClone --formatting the laptop drive --set up 3 new partitions using Partition Magic --cloning the old 40GB drive back to the new 40GB partition on laptop drive.

I'm currently copying 133GB of files back over to the 160GB partition and in a little bit, Ill toss it back in the laptop and cross my fingers. :lookaround:




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

50 XP

1st January 2005

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#4 9 years ago

Oblivious;4934538Ahhh... so no adding registry entries from XP to "cheat" and use the same game installation in win7 then? Any luck with installing a game back over itself? I mainly wanna just play with the OS a bit as my laptop is far from a gamer. If I like it, I may dual boot it on my desktop.

What worried me about splitting my existing OS partition is Partition Magic 8 doesn't recommend doing that.

I ended up... --removing drive from laptop and added to desktop --moved games/music/video to a desktop drive --cloned the remaining stuff on laptop drive (7GB) to an old 40GB drive using XXClone --formatting the laptop drive --set up 3 new partitions using Partition Magic --cloning the old 40GB drive back to the new 40GB partition on laptop drive.

I'm currently copying 133GB of files back over to the 160GB partition and in a little bit, Ill toss it back in the laptop and cross my fingers. :lookaround:

What I did was with bigger files like games, I just ran the install again while in the other OS, which only reinstalls the key features I mentioned that the new OS does not have info on. So you're not really making a second separate install. Then with smaller files like security progs, archiving tools and various apps, I would just use the prog's exe to make another complete install in the Program Files directory of that OS'es partition. If you do it that way I recommend going bigger than 20GB for your W7 partition though.

I also didn't have a problem separating the partition the XP OS was installed on into two partitions. Are you sure what you read about PM 8 didn't actually say they don't recommend trying to install two OSes on the same partition, which isn't really possible as it will erase the existing partition/OS?

With PM I wouldn't describe it so much as a "cross your fingers" operation, but I found there were some odd restrictions, like not being able to resize either of the two partitions that have an OS on them if they're the only partitions on the drive. For instance I tried to make my 20GB W7 partition bigger after I realized it was easier with lots of progs to just to do a 2nd install, but PM would not let me shrink the XP partition to make more room for the W7 partition.

I ended up deleting the W7 partition, then resized the XP partition to take up the full drive again to start over. I have found the drag method actually works better when doing that vs entering what size you want the drive to be though. For some reason when I entered the full size of the drive to resize it to it would not work. I don't recall if I tried the drag method when initially trying to resize the XP partition though.

I came away understanding why many don't like dual boot setups, and understand now why most use it only for testing purposes. Report back with you results and we'll see how it goes. ;)

PS: My neighbor friend would love your avatar, she's a Tweety Bird freak. She might not like your sig though. :p




Oblivious

I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

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30th December 2002

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#5 9 years ago

Well, that was fun...

My first try was unsuccessful, It wouldn't boot and Im in no mood to try all the boot fixes. Luckily, after moving files and before doing anything drastic, I put the drive in my desktop and made a backup image with Acronis True Image.

True Image only reloads images onto an empty drive though, not a partition, it will delete any and all partitions prior to image restoration. My image restores the whole 250GB partition, regardless of how empty it was when the image was made. No options to trim it down.

...So next, I tried this:

--I used the backup image and loaded it onto a 40GB drive. --I made a new image of that 40GB drive --I loaded this new image onto my 250GB laptop drive. --[Windows then showed it as a 40GB drive] --I used Partition Magic to create additional 50GB and 160GB partitions. --I popped it back in my laptop and presto, everything is working and I show 3 HDDs.

Next up is putting all the files back and loading on windows7. I've had dual boots in the past, but always on two physical drives, and they worked fine once setup properly. This will be my first go at doing it on a single drive.

I think I'm past the worst of it. I imagine I could have gone about this another way but at least I ended up where I wanted to be, no harm done. lol

P.S. - Looney Tunes are the greatest. :)




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

50 XP

1st January 2005

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#6 9 years ago

Well good that you got it going. In my case I had two OS partitions on one drive, and on the second drive my games.




Oblivious

I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

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#7 9 years ago

Sucks that I downloaded 64-bit windows 7 since apparently my CPU is not 64-bit. My last 3-4 desktop CPUs are but I never bothered to check the laptop. That sounds odd to me though, is my 2-3 yr old Core Duo T2400 really 32 bit only?

Guess I'll get the 32 bit version. This sure is taking longer than expected. lol Time to run to the girlfriend's house and use her light speed internet as 30 min sounds better than 6-7 more hrs waiting to get started.




Bs|Archaon

I would die without GF

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15th March 2006

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#8 9 years ago
Oblivious;4935277That sounds odd to me though, is my 2-3 yr old Core Duo T2400 really 32 bit only?

Yup the Core Duo doesn't support 64-bit.




Oblivious

I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

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30th December 2002

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#9 9 years ago

^^Figures... lol

So I got the right version of win7 and it installed fine, dual boot works. Only issue now is I can't find a proper video driver.

Does anyone know a windows 7 (x32) driver that will work for the Go7400? Already tried the two in bold below...

I tried the one off nvidia's site, it gave me a 179.48 Vista beta driver for use with my card and windows 7. I got that "no hardware found" message upon driver install. I then tried the most recent one from laptopvideo2go, 186.11 Win7x32 as well as adding the modded inf file, and it seemed to go through the installation fine, but it didn't ask to restart and upon doing so, nothing's changed.

I'm starting to think I wasn't meant to play with windows 7. :(




Bs|Archaon

I would die without GF

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15th March 2006

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#10 9 years ago

Does your laptop manufacturer provide a Vista driver for it on their site? If so I'd give that a try. Personally I've never managed to get anything except the driver available on Sony's site to work with my laptop.




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