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Re: La Machine Est Morte, Vive La Machine!

Hello Carl,

>It's an HP Envy 700xt (4th Gen Intel Core i7-4790 processor quad-core
[3.6GHz, 8MB shared cache]) with 8GB RAM and a 2TB SATA hard drive. It
comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 installed, but I've also bought
licensed copies of Win 7 Pro, both 64- and 32-bit.

This is a machine that is best suited for running Win 7 64-bit. For
32-bit, lesser machines would do equally well. Performance-wise a 64-bit
operating system is the way to go. If you try running 32-bit XP on it,
you will see what I mean. There is no going back to that kind of system.
In fact, I would completely ban XP (even virtualized), and run a copy of
W2K instead where 32-bit Windows is needed.

>I'm thinking of setting up a multiboot system with, say, three
partitions: Win 7-64 in one; Win 7-32 in another; and, who knows, maybe
one of the Linux distros in the third. My basic question is, how best to
do this?

The best would be, of course, to forget about it, skip this phase
altogether. It has been tried by others, me included, and I think only
very few people still use it. My advice: do not multiboot with a machine
that has all this power. It does not make any sense. You can virtualize
everything you need, and you are better off doing so. In every respect,
including setting it up properly, backing it up, restoring a setup with
less partitions, etc. You can easily manipulate virtual machines, copy,
delete, backup and restore them at will with your machine intact. This
is not so with a multiboot setup.

OK. If you did not take my first advice, then I will try to give some
hard-earned guidelines of setting it up. It is best to use Windows 7 own
resources to set up alternate Windows installations. The tool you need
to manage this is: EasyDCD (free edition will do the trick!)
http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/ (Read the documentation well before use,
use with caution!).

>I'm thinking along the following lines: First, install Win 7 Pro-64
over Home Premium in the existing partition. Then create the two new
partitions, and install Win 7 Pro-32 in the second. (Let's leave what to
do with the third partition until later.) My first question is, should I
use Windows to create the multiboot system, or is there an external
partitioning utility that's preferable?

If I were you, I would not install Win 7 Pro over Home Premium, I would
save that for some other purpose, perhaps for running a virtualized Win
7 Pro under Linux (or on a Mac). After all, Win 7 Pro gives you the
right to virtualize XP (using MS Xp mode or under VMwware), and that is
the main difference vis-à-vis Home Premium. But you can virtualize W2K
without activation, and it is much better than XP.

>Second, I'm crestfallen over the prospect of not being able to run Xy4
full-screen. I've become somewhat used to running it in a window at work
-- I have no choice, as I lack the network privileges to do otherwise.
But at home I'm wondering whether I should downgrade the video drivers
to enable DOS full-screen in my Win 7-32 partition. Anyone here tried
this? What are the pros and cons?

I would not downgrade anything. You can run Xy4 full-screen in virtual
machines, if you wish to do so (at least in VirtualPC 2007).

>Once I get XyWrite running satisfactorily in the 32-bit partition,
I'll probably play around with virtual 32-bit environments in the 64-bit
partition. When I do I'll no doubt have further questions, even after I
reread the volumes you all have written on the subject in this space. It
was all academic for me then, so a lot went in one ear and out the
other. But I'll be all ears now.

To experiment, you could leave the primary operating system as is, and
add 32-bit Windows 7 in a second partition, and perhaps a current Linux
distro to the setup. You will be needing a good partioning program to
accomplish this. I use Acronis Disk Director, but Paragon has a free
tool that might be just what the doctor ordered:

And remember: DOS is alive and kicking in Virtual PC 2007, vive le roi!

Best regards,

Kari Eveli
LEXITEC Book Publishing (Finland)

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