Windows 7 and Vista (and XP) Simple Multi-Boot Guide
Microsoft had gotten a lot of people's knickers in a bit of a knot late last year during WinHEC when it first started providing copies of its next operating system, Windows 7, to developers and hand selected media.
Fast forward a few months and this week Microsoft finally introduced its public BETA of the Windows 7 operating system, in the Ultimate flavor, which MS claim is basically the equivalent of Vista Ultimate. Now everyone gets a shot at it. We got our hands on a 64-bit version product key (32-bit is also available - check here for tips!), downloaded the 3.15GB ISO install file from the Microsoft servers and got down to business, working with the almost final version of Windows 7.
As always, it pays to be cautious when working with BETA software, but so far Windows 7 is rather polished and we haven't experienced many major issues. Actually, we're quite impressed by the responsiveness of the OS, which is one of the major things Microsoft said they would work on.
In this quick and simple guide today, we are going to show you how to multi-boot Windows 7, Windows Vista AND Windows XP. Actually, the method we use will probably work for booting other operating systems as well, such as Linux Ubuntu and others. This guide will assume that you have Windows Vista SP1 (yes - the service pack must be installed, too!) already installed and you are prepared to upgrade that install to Windows 7 (W7) BETA, as per the requirement from Microsoft.
It's going to mean installing Vista again once W7 has been upgraded, but this is the safest, quickest and easiest method we have found. We do know there are many software applications out there that allow you to setup dual booting, but this method doesn't require any additional software at all and just works!
Go grab yourself a tea or coffee and then hit the next page as the guide begins!