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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: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/pm-express/

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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