Multiple Boot Windows 7, 8.1 & Linux Mint???

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by Seng, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Seng

    Seng MDL Novice

    Sep 15, 2012
    Hi Guys!

    I am interested to make my computer to have multiple boot OS. :confused:

    Which would let me to select the following to boot when computer startup:
    1 - Windows 8.1
    2 - Windows 7
    3 - Linux Mint

    Anyone have some suggestion about it?
    I've google it but replies was most in dual boot instead of triple boot.

    Thank You.:D
  2. eydee

    eydee Guest

    The cleanest method is creating a boot partition for each of them and always hiding the others. So during the installation of an os you only have 1 visible (and active) partition. This will force all of them to use their own partition for their boot sector instead of the first one.

    After you finished you can use a boot manager in the mbr to launch them. I recommend boot-us, it's easy to use, has many features and is free for non-commercial use.

    Be careful with linux, newer distros started a most stupid approach of installing grub into the mbr and not letting you use a boot partition. This can be overriden though!
  3. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
    The most cleanest solution is to use for each OS it's own HDD! Install each OS with only that specific HDD connected, all others disconnected. done all the installs, use the BIOS Bootmanager with it's Hot-Key, mostly F11 or F8 and choose the HDD/OS you like to start. The most used HDD/OS set as default boot HDD
    Using that way has also the advantage that you'll have some OS for start the machine even if one of those HDD's goes down. If you use to install all OS's on the same HDD or even use the Windows own Boot Manager the HDD goes down, you're out of all none will working!

    Anyway, it's your choice How To.....! I use that procedure for years with no problems!
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  4. Rock Hunter

    Rock Hunter MDL Senior Member

    Dec 6, 2011
    I dual boot and I have 6 hard drives in my box. My SSD is my Windows disk. The others are for photos, videos, music, etc. I don't use Linux so I can't comment about what a mix of Windows and Linux is like.. Perhaps somebody else here has some experience with that combination.

  5. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
    #5 pisthai, Mar 9, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
    At my Office I've one computer which has 8 HDD's with 6 different OS's installed. These are:
    • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
    • Windows XP Professional
    • Windows 7 Ultimate
    • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
    • Debian 7.3 Wheezy full GUI installation (3 DVD's)
    each on it's own HDD using the BIOS Boot Manager for booting. The Mainboard is an ASRock 990FX Fatal1ty with EFI BIOS, AMD 1100T 6 Core and 16GB Memory. The main default OS id Windows 8.1. There isn't EFI installed because of the need to use the BIOS Boot Manager.

    I don't mind to wait a little bit longer with booting, just need to be able to switch shortly from 1 OS to any of the others. That works perfect with BIOS boot! I would never use again multi-boot from one HDD! That I was stopping in 2003/4 after have several downs of HDD's and was need every time full installation of all OS's again! Since the change I had 3 HDD's down bot could used the machine with no problem from one of other HDD's and could carry on working. The data all times on 2 different HDD's and also backed up every 3h to DVD'd in the past and since about 2½ years to 50GB BD's

    As we've a quite unstable electricity in Thailand, I wouldn't use SSD's! I had try them and within a few month 3 were gone because of the bad power system. The normal SATA HDD's are not that sensitive against power problems.
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  6. BigW

    BigW MDL Member

    Apr 25, 2010
    Since Windows 8 which has a neat Hyper-V-Virtualisation I don't dual boot any more, because it disrupts my workflow, if I have to reboot everytime I need another OS. Now I have only one Windows 8(.1) install on my pysical PC and several other OSes in Hyper-V. I've only to bring up the connection with the Virtual-Instance and I can work with it without rebooting.
  7. eydee

    eydee Guest

    That's not clean at all. BIOS boot menus have no option to hide/restore HDDs on demand, so while the install is clean, once you boot an os, the system drive of others' will be visible. That would be a drive letter hell... Of course you can always unplug and replug HDDs every time you boot a different os, but that's a pain.

    A boot manager (like what I recommended) can be configured to hide certain paritions when you boot an OS, so they can be invisible to each other even after install. That's why it's cleaner. You can even configure it to hide system partitions and keep data partitions visible for each os.
  8. tgquan67

    tgquan67 MDL Novice

    Aug 15, 2012
    If you want to install 3 OS to 1 hard drive then
    1. prepare at least 3 partitions
    2. install windows 7 to one of those 3 partitions
    > after that windows 7 boot manager is installed
    3. install windows 8 to another partition
    > after that windows 8 boot manager is installed with 2 options to boot into Windows 8 or Windows 7
    4. (optional) enable legacy boot menu on windows 8
    5. install linux mint
    > after that grub is installed with 2 options to boot into linux or load windows 8 boot manager (which in turn gives you 2 windows options)
    I think that is the fastest and easiest way to install and boot in to those 3 OS.
    If anything happens to the boot menu then you can fix the windows part with a windows DVD, then fix the grub from any linux live CD with the application named "boot repair"
  9. goro14

    goro14 MDL Novice

    Feb 13, 2014
    U nuts 'pal'(thus between qm):wacko:
  10. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
    Fine that's your choice!

    Should I say: hopefully one day your master HDD, which has the Boot Manager running get down (what way ever) and you couldn't start any of you OS's?!

    Anything has at least 2 sides:
    • a good one
    • a bad one
    and the questions for each user would be what would be the best for him!

    I for my part need to be able to access all required data on my computer with any or one of the available OS's, even if one of them is going down! And for to get that working , I use the way I see as the most cleanest and secure way as explained in my other post!
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  11. eydee

    eydee Guest

    Well, it's so dangerous that linux uses this method from the beginning of time, except that LILO/GRUB won't hide/unhide partitions on demand...

    Looks like you don't understand the whole thing. Having boot sectors in each partition means you can install a standard DOS/windows MBR to any HDD, set any partition to active and the partition will boot fine. You can also install GRUB anywhere and configure it with the existing partitions and it will boot each one just fine. The issue you mention is such an issue that can even be fixed using a DOS floppy disk or anything that can fix the MBR.

    Having multiple HDDs is indeed good to prevent losing multiple systems on the same disk. But that's off topic really, and if we're really paranoid we could just use separate HDDs for each file... Damn, I even use RAID0 without having a backup. If one of my HDDs goes down, I lose data on both. It doesn't matter these days when we keep sensitive data separately (e.g. encrypted in a cloud) and anything else can be downloaded again from the internet.

    You can actually combine the 2 methods as well. Having 4 OS on each HDD while all of them has its own boot manager. You select the HDD through the BIOS, then boot the appropriate OS using the manager.
  12. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
    As I wrote, it's fine if you like to work so, that's just up to you and it's your own personal choice! And it's also up to you for to admit that I didn't understand the whole thing in your eye's. That didn't matters for me, it just matters for me that I clearly understand for myself what I'm doing and how I like to work!

    And beside of that, from what you're writing, what I understand is, that you loose multiple OS's in the way you use if an HDD which multiple OS's goes down while for me just ONE OS goes down if an HDD fails. And that's what matters for ME! Could you understand and accept that! Thanks.
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