Windows 7 forum

General discussion

Can I dual boot Window 7 64-bit with Windows 7-32 bit?

by shawndh / September 26, 2010 12:14 PM PDT

First, let me explain why. I work for a client that only supports 32-bit OS Windows and my main computer is 64-bit. I'm currently using the computer I built to be a HTPC for work since it's 32-bit Windows 7 system. I'd like to take the HD out of the HTPC and just install it into my main computer at my desk and dual boot them.

I'm assuming that if I could dual boot them, I'd have to install Windows all over again and buy a new product key, MB drivers and all that (yea, looks like a new install). Anyway, I'd love some direction on setting up a dual boot without screwing up my current system. It's really annoying without a KVM switch (they don't work anyway) and I really need the space back on my desk. I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to accomplish this.

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May I ask a question?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 26, 2010 9:00 PM PDT

I will be no good with technical questions, but an initial question.

What is it about your 64 bit Windows 7 that is incompatible with your client? It isn't clear why you need to have a 32 bit Win 7 installed on this computer.

I gather HTPC means Home Theater PC.


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Yes you can dual boot 32 bit and 64 bit ...
by Edward ODaniel / September 27, 2010 1:37 AM PDT

Windows 7 BUT and this is a very big BUT, they MUST be installed on separate partitions or drives.

Here is a prety much step-by-step tutorial for dual booting Win 7 and Vista and since both use the BCD rather than the old boot.ini file the steps are the same for Win 7 32 bit and 64 bit.

The two Operating Systems will both show up on the boot menu screen as Windows 7 which is not intuitive as to which is 32 bit and which is 64 bit so you will likely want to take a look at this link on changing the name in the boot manager -[2]=General%20Tips

It will NOT work to place the drive from your present computer into the work computer as Windows does not allow itself to be so casually moved from one computer to another. It will require a fresh install.

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Thanx for the info. I didn't think of it like that.
by shawndh / September 27, 2010 2:08 AM PDT

Windows 7 and Vista are very similar and use the same boot files. I'll research into this.

Also (for the other poster)I have no idea why 64-bit is not allowed. It's banned for use on this particular project. Something about their software not working well with 64-bit. Sounds like someone needs to get off their @ss and do a software update. We're kinda p!ssed about it.

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Just FYI. I ended up setting up the boot like this....
by shawndh / October 5, 2010 2:35 PM PDT

I downloaded this program called EasyBCD 2.0 that allowed me to configure my BCD file for dual booting.
I then disconnected the HD to my 64-bit copy of windows and installed another clean HD.
Next installed Windows 7 32-bit on that drive and ran all updates.
I then connected the other HD and booted the computer and it would just boot to the new drive with the 32-bit OS.
Then I ran the EasyBCD program from the other drive and fixed the boot records so my 64-bit OS would be the main and my 32-bit the secondary, with 5 seconds to choose which OS to boot to. I was also able to easily rename the files "Windows 7 32-bit" & "Windows 7 64-bit".
Now it works great! Nice little piece of freeware.

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Neat work
by MDFlax / October 5, 2010 8:30 PM PDT

That's great, and thanks for telling us how you got on.


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by royaditya / June 17, 2011 6:41 PM PDT

No you cannot !
according to my expirence you can dual boot two os in same pc but that should have ether 32bit-32bit or 64 bit-64bit
no os can be dual booted with different platforms tis can consume many cpu memory and your time
it is very difficult to install two os of different architecture in different platforms!
i hope you understand!
windows 7 32bit with windows vista,xp,etc 32bit is possible but not 64bit!, the architectures are different!
thank you please reply if there is any doubt!!

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Not sure why
by Jimmy Greystone / June 17, 2011 10:42 PM PDT
In reply to: hello

Not sure why you felt the need to drag up a thread about 8 months old for this, because it is very much possible to do. It just requires, as Edward already mentioned, that they be installed on different partitions/drives, which is something you should be doing as a general path of fewest problems anyway. Trying to have two versions of Windows, or any OS really, on the same drive/partition is just asking for difficulties later on.

You can't have both running at the same time without using some kind of VM program, and in the case of a VM, then certain combinations to not work. Like you cannot have a 64-bit guest OS on a 32-bit host OS, and you can't have a 64-bit guest OS on a 64-bit host OS. However, this is all a completely different scenario.

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ya ya
by royaditya / June 18, 2011 1:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Not sure why

i didnt see the time when this thread was posted i was just researching on information about my os wheather i can dual boot my processor, meanwhile i saw this thread and just to time pass i replied to this thread!
thank you!

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