Question

Dual-Boot Installation - 2 copies of Windows

By nwgilbert ·
I am setting up the dual windows on my laptop. The laptop has 2 drives (ssd 256gb and hdd 1tb).
I am wondering if someone can give some advice on how the dual-boot windows installation should be achieved.
The purpose of putting dual boot windows on this laptop is that we run a server at local events from time to time. We have noticed that if we use the laptop (one operating system) for both personal use and the server, the applications installed on Windows used for general use, interferes with the server.
To avoid this, we want to create a second installation of Windows which will have server data only and be used for this only (no personal use). The other copy of Windows (which already exists) will be used for general use.
I have some initial questions as listed below:
1. Would you agree the best way for us to do this would be dual-boot?

2. Can I dual boot 2 x Windows 10’s?
or does it need to be Windows 10 and another version of Windows such as Windows 7?
Windows 10 already exists on the laptop from factory.

3. The current Windows is installed on the SSD as it came factory loaded like this. I need the second installation of Windows (used for Server only) to also be installed on the SSD. This is because the server will need the power of the SSD to run efficiently. Would it be possible to split the SSD into 2 partitions? Could there be any complications around this?

4. If I split the SSD and have 2 partitions on the SSD each with a Windows copy,
Will I be able to access the 1tb HDD drive (also in the laptop) from both Windows copies from within Windows?

5. Is dual-boot Windows difficult to achieve? How should I install the second copy?

Any advise would be really appreciated on how I can best achieve this.
Look forward to hearing from you.
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All Answers

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RE: Can I dual boot 2 x Windows 10’s?

by OH Smeg In reply to Dual-Boot Installation - ...

Yes you can.

(i)The current Windows is installed on the SSD as it came factory loaded like this. I need the second installation of Windows (used for Server only) to also be installed on the SSD. This is because the server will need the power of the SSD to run efficiently. Would it be possible to split the SSD into 2 partitions? Could there be any complications around this?(/i)

Yes you can split the SSD provided there is enough space on it with something like Partition Magic.

(i)If I split the SSD and have 2 partitions on the SSD each with a Windows copy,
Will I be able to access the 1tb HDD drive (also in the laptop) from both Windows copies from within Windows?(/i)

No reason you shouldn't be able to unless you specificially set it up not to.

(i) Is dual-boot Windows difficult to achieve? How should I install the second copy?(/i)

No not at all but it is different to setting up a single version of Windows and you would need the installation hardware if you are attempting to use the supplied install media you could have some problems as most doesn't allow you to chose where to install the OS.

You also need to remember to install the different versions of Windows to different partitions as you can not run 2 versions of Windows from the same partition and the loading will be slowed down because you'll have the Dual Boot Option show up every time you boot the unit.

The biggest thing to think about here is IS THAT SSD BIG ENOUGH to support 2 different OS's? Even Compressed it may not be big enough to support 2 installations of Windows 10 as 10 is pretty big and SSD are not.

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Response 2x Windows 10 installations

by nwgilbert In reply to RE: Can I dual boot 2 x W ...

Thanks for all your replies.

Server needs to be on SSD because it requires data to be processed quickly.

Regarding issues with the SSD space not being enough to split partitions for 2 windows installations, I've been told that we only require 30gb of space for the server data. Let's push that to 50gb to be on the safe side.

I've read online that Windows 10 64bit OS install requires about 20GB.

In my drive detail for the SSD it says
Capacity 227,570,348.032bytes (227gb).

If I split the SSD for a second partition as follows:
Partition 1 - 157GB - For personal use - Can use the HDD for additional storage once it runs out.
Partition 2 - 70GB - For server use only

I don't think VM is possible due to how we run the server. The server runs docker. Seems safer option to dual-boot Windows 10.

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Fast Startup disable

by nwgilbert In reply to Response 2x Windows 10 in ...

I read somewhere "Multi-booting with the same OS on both partitions is not a problem. However, Windows 8.x/10 come with Fast Startup turned on by default, and that can interfere with dual-booting and cause data corruption. Make sure you disable Fast Startup on both installations."

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OK if you have that much space it will work

by OH Smeg In reply to Response 2x Windows 10 in ...

You can use Partition Magic to split the SSD it's probably the easiest for someone who doesn't do things like this often.

As for Fast Boot Not an Issue I have noticed as the main unit I use here has several different OS's but in the Windows Ones the lowest is XP, 7, and 10 as well as a couple of Linux/Unix OS's without any problems though I do used a different Drive for each OS.

The only thing I will say about Windows OS's is that a lot of any program you install gets installed into Windows Itself so if you have a lot of software to install you may run into problems even if you specify the HDD for program installation and then if you have the same program on both Installations there will be issues as the same thing applies the same Program File will not remain as you left it if you use it on both OS's while you can do this it will cause issues as any changes you make in one OS will be reflected when you run the other. I personally keep things like this on their own drives so there is no chance of something going wrong on one OS causing problems on another.

But provided you are not planning on installing much I would stick it all on the OS Partition and let things go as they need to.

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iReboot for rebooting into desired partition and more

by glnz In reply to OK if you have that much ...

After you get the dual-boot running, if you want to be able to control which partition boots when you hit Restart, check out the handy free utility iReboot. It's been VERY useful on my dual-booting Win 7 Pro 64-bit / Win 10 Pro 64-bit Dell desktop.
Also, for more guidance on setting up dual booting, check out 10 Forums and look for some pinned threads on that subject.

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