Dual-Boot Vista/Windows 7: Sharing Folders and Programs?

vbimport

#1

Hello,
My laptop came installed with Vista Home Premium – 32 bit, which was at the end of its cycle. It has worked very well, runs very smoothly, and I like it. I also have the full-version of Windows 7 Professional – 64 bit and have dual-booted it along with Vista. My goal is to be able to use either operating system with both having access to folders, files, and programs stored in a central location. I installed the MiniTool Partition Wizard to repartition my hard drive, then installed Windows 7 in order to experiment a bit.
Here is what the first partitioning (which I know is not correct) looks like in order of appearance:

Vista
boot view:
Local Disk ©
117 GB free of 265 GB
Expansion Drive (D)
156 GB free of 465 GB
RECOVERY (E)
1.24 GB free of 10.8 GB
DVD RW Drive (F)
Windows 7 (G)
7.18 GB free of 22.0 GB
My Passport (H)
381 GB free of 465 GB

Windows 7 boot view:
Windows 7 B[/B]
7.17 free of 22.0 GB
Local Disk (D)
117 GB free of 10.8 GB
RECOVERY (E)
1.24 GB free of 10.8 GB
Expansion Drive (H)
156 GB free of 465 GB
My Passport (I)
381 GB free of 465 GB
DVD RW Drive (F)

What (if possible) would be the process so that I can use either OS to access my folders, programs and such? I wish to alleviate having to download duplicate programs, or having to duplicate my “Users” folders and files for Windows 7. I also want to keep the factory installed RECOVERY (E) partition where it is. Would I need to do a clean install of Vista, then reinstall Windows 7? I have spent hours reading various forum threads and tutorials, yielding very mixed opinions, so I felt that it would be prudent to ask for suggestions which address my particular situation.

In a nutshell, can I put Vista and 7 on two separate partitions, everything else on a third, and have either OS be able to access all of the data from the third?

Thank you for your valuable time,
Eric


#2

Here’s the problem we don’t even know what your hardware specs are on your laptop to start with??? Also Windows 7 will more then suffice to run vista programs and you can even load vista drivers x64 otherwise x86 if that is the only drivers for it and it will work in W7 environment. What your doing is just wasting valuable space for two very identical programs of which one is more up to date and what your trying to do would be suffice to load from W7. You don’t specify why you need dual boot and you wanted access from one folder to another would be more problematic then helping. Rather move all to one partition with a separate folder for you and doing what you doing duplicating is just more work. One O/S and going with W7 and moving over your data and saved work folders to the new O/S setup would say you the time and headache of having a dual boot since from the read you don’t really need dual boot. Copy you data and saved folder data to a ext flash or HDD and do a Clean install with W7-but before doing this look-up the manufacture site and get all the correct drivers for W7 that works for your laptop and save those to a flash stick and then after O/S reinstall then load your drivers and customize your O/S to your liking and then you be only using one O/S and there you can create multiple users if you need. Alot of info but unless your doing software testing in Vista and Windows 7 environment I would say don’t go dual boot. One O/S especially the newer Windows 7 would suffice for single user.


#3

As mentioned, it’s unlikely that anything which runs in Vista won’t also run in Win7. It’s also true that Win-7 Pro offers the virtual machine option with a simple download from MS. so you can also run XP or Vista in that. (XP is also a free download for this purpose).

I would just do a full image of the existing HDD and then do a fresh install of Win-7. Most likely you won’t even need to look up drivers unless you wish to.


#4

[QUOTE=CDan;2622968]As mentioned, it’s unlikely that anything which runs in Vista won’t also run in Win7. It’s also true that Win-7 Pro offers the virtual machine option with a simple download from MS. so you can also run XP or Vista in that. (XP is also a free download for this purpose). [/QUOTE]

Did I hear you say vista program drivers won’t load in W7?? That is a confusing statement to read. I loaded vista drivers when I couldn’t find W7 drivers and it worked just fine on my Windows 7x64 Ult installs. This is on older laptops that could take W7 but didn’t have any newer drivers other then Vista for them.

[QUOTE=CDan;2622968]I would just do a full image of the existing HDD and then do a fresh install of Win-7. Most likely you won’t even need to look up drivers unless you wish to.[/QUOTE]

That is a false assumption to make if ever. It’s not most likely it you will have to update the drivers regardless. We shouldn’t dismiss and tell users they don’t when they need to get the latest drivers to match the O/S they are using.


#5

Thank you for the suggestions. Here’s the story in brief: I went from the [B]Apple Macintosh [/B]world ([B]G4[/B]) to the [B]Windows[/B] world with my current HP laptop ([B]G60-235DX[/B]). It came installed with [U]Vista Home Premium 32 bit[/U] - [B]Pentium® Dual-Core CPU T4200 @ 2.00GHz[/B], 2000 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s) - (now [B]SP2[/B], BIOS version [B]F.65[/B], and all driver and Windows updates) and other factory programs which I like to use from time to time. I know that XP still has a legion of loyal fans, and that Vista’s early missteps doomed its “first impressions” giving it a bad rap, but Vista was my first Windows based OS and want to keep part of my PC as it came from the factory. I treated my vintage muscle cars the same way - leave them the way the factory made them, except for updating items which were technology restricted (bias-ply to radial tires, shocks, rubber to poly bushings, points to electronic ignition, etc.). I simply like the way Vista looks and functions compared to Windows 7, especially for my routine daily use, but I need Windows 7 to utilize the [B]8 GB RAM[/B] (presently [B]3 GB[/B]), and more properly utilize my audio and video editing software, e.g. Adobe Premiere requires a 64 bit system to operate. Nutshell - I like Vista and need 7.
With that said, I have everything backed up to external drives and discs.
[B]1.[/B] What is the “[B]virtual machine[/B]” option and how would I run Vista with it? Would I simply boot W7, then run Vista from there?
[B]2.[/B] How do I do a “[B]full image[/B]” of Vista and put it into W7?
[B]3.[/B] How should I repartition my HDD - currently at 3 partitions?
Someone from Microsoft suggested that I set up data folders on a separate partition and download programs for both OS, but I am not sure how much space to allow for on each OS. I’m not even sure if I can go more than 3 primary partitions without having to use a logical drive .
I apologize for the length and I do value the time and advice of those here. It is very important that I do not mess this up.
Eric :slight_smile:


#6

Consumer level laptops like the G60 will never achieve “classis oomputer status” like a classic car.

But if you wish to preserve your original vista for some bizzare sentimentality physically remove the vista drive and store it someplace safe
then install windows 7, either on a “virgin drive” or install windows 7 as an “upgrade” rather than a clean install on a new drive with a cloned copy of
your original vista system.

“dual boot” systems have issue that the person setting them up usually only discovers later…

And one of those issues is that once a computer is setup as "dual boot"
the BOOTLDR will forever waste time as startup or reboot “looking” for that “other” operating system


#7

[QUOTE=Eric Holtz;2623405]Thank you for the suggestions. Here’s the story in brief: I went from the [B]Apple Macintosh [/B]world ([B]G4[/B]) to the [B]Windows[/B] world with my current HP laptop ([B]G60-235DX[/B]). It came installed with [U]Vista Home Premium 32 bit[/U] - [B]Pentium® Dual-Core CPU T4200 @ 2.00GHz[/B], 2000 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s) - (now [B]SP2[/B], BIOS version [B]F.65[/B], and all driver and Windows updates) and other factory programs which I like to use from time to time.[/QUOTE]

Also you can upgrade the CPU to a Dual 2 Core CPU which would help improve your computing needs but not any gaming needs but that should be one avenue you should look into.

[QUOTE=Eric Holtz;2623405]I know that XP still has a legion of loyal fans, and that Vista’s early missteps doomed its “first impressions” giving it a bad rap, but Vista was my first Windows based OS and want to keep part of my PC as it came from the factory.[/QUOTE]

Then you obviously have dismissed many complaints and never fully understand what problems it caused and upgrades that were said but never fulfilled and never worked. Vista doomed itself and has no one but Vista-M$ to blame. And nothing remains forever. XP has it’s loyal base for a good reason and it has nothing to do with Vista.

[QUOTE=Eric Holtz;2623405]I treated my vintage muscle cars the same way - leave them the way the factory made them, except for updating items which were technology restricted (bias-ply to radial tires, shocks, rubber to poly bushings, points to electronic ignition, etc.).[/QUOTE]

There is no comparison here at all and for someone to do that is just mind boggling.

[QUOTE=Eric Holtz;2623405]I simply like the way Vista looks and functions compared to Windows 7, especially for my routine daily use, but I need Windows 7 to utilize the [B]8 GB RAM[/B] (presently [B]3 GB[/B]), and more properly utilize my audio and video editing software, e.g. Adobe Premiere requires a 64 bit system to operate. Nutshell - I like Vista and need 7.[/QUOTE]

If you didn’t carefully study W7 it does all what Vista does and more it is a Vista aka 2.0 which improved by margins one can’t explain here for the vast majority of users and new users. Vista-X86 and W7x86 will never go above 3 Gigs of Memory to use above you have to get W7x64 to even benefit from 8gigs or more and even then the software has to be x64 to use that much memory and if you load x86 apps you can forget using memory above 3 Gigs as the processor won’t access memory above 3 Gigs. So you want 3Gigs of memory usage or more you will have to pony up the money and get W7x64 O/S to begin to access and use that large of RAM and even then the apps must be x64 to use that amount of RAM and don’t forget the CPU has to be x64 to begin to use memory above 3Gigs. So no x64 O/S forget about using RAM above 3Gigs.

[QUOTE=Eric Holtz;2623405]With that said, I have everything backed up to external drives and discs.
[B]1.[/B] What is the “[B]virtual machine[/B]” option and how would I run Vista with it? Would I simply boot W7, then run Vista from there?
[B]2.[/B] How do I do a “[B]full image[/B]” of Vista and put it into W7?
[B]3.[/B] How should I repartition my HDD - currently at 3 partitions?
Someone from Microsoft suggested that I set up data folders on a separate partition and download programs for both OS, but I am not sure how much space to allow for on each OS. I’m not even sure if I can go more than 3 primary partitions without having to use a logical drive .
I apologize for the length and I do value the time and advice of those here. It is very important that I do not mess this up.
Eric :)[/QUOTE]

Neither of these steps would improve your computing experiences rather it would stifle any meaning learning you would gain using the new W7 O/S. And a new CPU that is Dual 2 Core would do more to improve your computing experiences then what you doing here. Also Allen makes a good point you don’t have classic and does it even come close to a game laptop anytime soon. Rather you should reinstall a clean W7x64 to take full use of the 8Gigs and reinstall your apps which hopefully you got them as x64 apps to begin to use memory larger then 3Gigs. Virtual machine is best left to testing software running to see how it works a fully fledged O/S running is more stable and better utilization of your computer resources. All you need is one partition unless your doing some kinda storage in those that shouldn’t be touched or formatted but if for some unforeseen crash happens your hard drive dies and or won’t work or boot those partition are a lost including any data on them.


#8

Thank you for the advice and suggestions. I do not engage in gaming ever, so a gaming set up is moot for me. I am involved in audio and video editing and achieve very good results as is. I have Windows 7 x64 already installed and yes, my CPU has 8 gigs available. I have Vista on one partition, Windows 7 on another, and data on a soon-to-be third.