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Is it possible to install two instances of Windows 7 on two separate HDDs in one PC?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Two different installations of Windows 7, each on a different HDD connected to the same mobo - is it possible?
post #2 of 11
Yes, it's called dual-booting, Google for details.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know about dual-booting, but you say it's possible with two instances of the same OS? I thought dual-booting can only be done with different versions of Windows (for example 7 & 10, or XP & 7).
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake3 View Post

Yes, I know about dual-booting, but you say it's possible with two instances of the same OS? I thought dual-booting can only be done with different versions of Windows (for example 7 & 10, or XP & 7).

It is possible with two instances of the same OS, yes smile.gif
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

It is possible with two instances of the same OS, yes smile.gif

So I just proceed the same way? I boot from the install media (CD/USB) and choose to install it on the other HDD? Then what am I going to see on the dual-boot screen when choosing which OS to boot - won't there be some form of conflict?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake3 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

It is possible with two instances of the same OS, yes smile.gif

So I just proceed the same way? I boot from the install media (CD/USB) and choose to install it on the other HDD? Then what am I going to see on the dual-boot screen when choosing which OS to boot - won't there be some form of conflict?

The MBR will be written to the "primary" disk on first install, and added to on the 2nd install. Upon booting up, you will be presented with a Windows version of GRUB, with two options that say "Windows 7".

Once in an operating system, you can edit the names and preferred boot order vis MSCONFIG, under the BOOT tab. You will not be able to boot from your 2nd OS without the primary HDD installed in the system.

If you would like both HDDs to run separately, unplug all other HDDs and install so a 2nd MBR will be created, and select your boot HDD from your motherboard's boot select menu on startup.
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyadCK View Post

The MBR will be written to the "primary" disk on first install, and added to on the 2nd install. Upon booting up, you will be presented with a Windows version of GRUB, with two options that say "Windows 7".

Once in an operating system, you can edit the names and preferred boot order vis MSCONFIG, under the BOOT tab. You will not be able to boot from your 2nd OS without the primary HDD installed in the system.

If you would like both HDDs to run separately, unplug all other HDDs and install so a 2nd MBR will be created, and select your boot HDD from your motherboard's boot select menu on startup.

Yep, +1
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys so much, both of you, I actually thought it's not possible and even if it was, I thought I'd run into trouble for sure. I've got just a few more questions.

1. Is it possible for this to be done if the first install is MBR and the second is GPT - and how is it done precisely?

2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyadCK View Post

If you would like both HDDs to run separately, unplug all other HDDs and install so a 2nd MBR will be created, and select your boot HDD from your motherboard's boot select menu on startup.

About that - I've tried it in the past and there was a problem. I ended up getting a countdown from 10 to 1 and "To skip disk checking, press any key within 10 second(s)" message every time I try to boot into any of the two OS. How do I avoid that and at the same time make two independent HDDs bootable from UEFI?

And one more question, do you know if I can install Windows 10 OEM version if I change the mobo of my PC (I know the key is tied to the serial number of the mobo) but before that I've connected my MS account to it? I know I can call MS support and they can transfer my Win 10 key to the new system after I tell them the S/N of the new mobo, but AFAIK this only works on normal retail copies, and not an OEM one. So is connecting a MS account to that Win 10 installation a viable option of transferring my Win 10 OEM key to a new system (including a new mobo)?
post #9 of 11
1) Only if you have two completely separated HDDs. GPT replaces MBR, it does not work with it.

2) I've never run into that situation.

3) http://www.ghacks.net/2016/06/23/windows-10-license-microsoft-account/

OEM keys may be special, but it looks like MS is attempting to automate the reusing of keys by disabling the copy on the "old" system when it activates the new one. Not available in normal builds just yet.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyadCK View Post

1) Only if you have two completely separated HDDs. GPT replaces MBR, it does not work with it.

2) I've never run into that situation.

3) http://www.ghacks.net/2016/06/23/windows-10-license-microsoft-account/

OEM keys may be special, but it looks like MS is attempting to automate the reusing of keys by disabling the copy on the "old" system when it activates the new one. Not available in normal builds just yet.
1. Now that I think of it, that's what I did back then, and I think that was the problem. I did two separate installs on two separate HDDs (each of them disconnected while installing the other) but the first install was MBR and the second was GPT, and that should have been the problem.

2. Is it possible for MBR to be converted to GPT (Win 7 install) and not lose any data during the process?

3. Thanks for this interesting piece of info. I'll look deeper into it when I have some more time. But I take it there's no definitive info inside the article considering OEM keys, correct?
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