1.    31 May 2016 #1
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    California, USA
    Posts : 159
    Windows 10 Pro

    Joined two Win installed in boot menu, one seems to "depend" on other


    I'm not sure that I'm describing this right, so please help me out with the description if necessary.

    I have two Win 7 installs that I plan to upgrade to Win 10. Each is on a separate physical drive, one SSD and one HDD. Thanks to good advice in this forum, I used bcdboot so that both of them are included in the same boot menu.

    OK, so my TEST install was active and my PRODUCTION install was not active. Or so I thought. As an experiment, I changed the drive letter of the PRODUCTION install from C: to K and Windows complained, saying that Drive C was being used.. And then Skype shut down. (Huh?)

    So what happened?

    My goal is to have two (... or three) Win 10 installs that are all included in one boot menu for convenience, but which should be isolated from each other. That way, I can do experimental downloads and general testing without messing up my PRODUCTION install.

    x509
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  2.    31 May 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Under normal conditions, whichever Windows you are booted into at the time gets the C: drive. When you attempted to change the PRODUCTION install from C: to K:, it was in use - because that is why it was C: to begin with - because that is what you were booted into at the time.

    Let's say you have a second Windows installation that is currently D: drive. When you run the bcdboot D:\Windows command to add it to the boot menu, it does not actually add the D: drive letter to the boot menu, it adds the GUID of the partition that is marked as D: drive to the boot menu. Then when you select that Windows to boot into, it gets C: drive letter. It does not retain the D: drive letter that it had when you added it to the boot menu.

    Best thing to do is to add volume labels to your partitions so you always know exactly which partition has the C: drive letter at the time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    01 Jun 2016 #3
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 1,929
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10

    My goal is to have two (... or three) Win 10 installs that are all included in one boot menu for convenience, but which should be isolated from each other.
    Each would have to be on it's own partition or drive...
    Each should have a different VOLUME Label and Boot Menu Description
    No matter what OS you boot that OS will be C: 0 the other will be assigned a different drive letter...

    You could also create VHD's of the other two test OS's...
    And then you will be booting into a Virtual Hard Disk and the boot menu will use the vhd volume name..

    Basically there is no reason to install three versions of windows 10 on the same pc...
    One OS and one VHD for testing purposes I can see...

    But, with a disk in GPT format - you can boot 128 different OS's...
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    01 Jun 2016 #4
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 6,405
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyhi View Post
    Each would have to be on it's own partition or drive...
    Each should have a different VOLUME Label and Boot Menu Description
    No matter what OS you boot that OS will be C: 0 the other will be assigned a different drive letter...

    You could also create VHD's of the other two test OS's...
    And then you will be booting into a Virtual Hard Disk and the boot menu will use the vhd volume name..

    Basically there is no reason to install three versions of windows 10 on the same pc...
    One OS and one VHD for testing purposes I can see...

    But, with a disk in GPT format - you can boot 128 different OS's...
    This is a good guide.



    Guide: How to install Windows 10 using VHDs


    Edit : Just discovered that you cannot upgrade Windows 10 on a vhd - only clean install. This is a major limitation.
    Last edited by cereberus; 02 Jun 2016 at 09:23.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    01 Jun 2016 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Assuming, of course, you have purchased a separate license for each install of Windows you have activated at the same time to keep everything nice and in compliance with the EULA.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    01 Jun 2016 #6
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    California, USA
    Posts : 159
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Assuming, of course, you have purchased a separate license for each install of Windows you have activated at the same time to keep everything nice and in compliance with the EULA.
    I do have two legti Win 7 licenses through an MS partner program.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    01 Jun 2016 #7
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    California, USA
    Posts : 159
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyhi View Post
    Each would have to be on it's own partition or drive...
    Each should have a different VOLUME Label and Boot Menu Description
    No matter what OS you boot that OS will be C: 0 the other will be assigned a different drive letter...

    You could also create VHD's of the other two test OS's...
    And then you will be booting into a Virtual Hard Disk and the boot menu will use the vhd volume name..

    Basically there is no reason to install three versions of windows 10 on the same pc...
    One OS and one VHD for testing purposes I can see...

    But, with a disk in GPT format - you can boot 128 different OS's...
    Guys,

    I appreciate all the replies.

    It turns out that I was making things unnecessarily complicated. Instead of doing two completely separate installs, I COPIED one install into free space on another drive. Even using bcdboot, apparently I didn't eliminate all dependences.

    So I erased that copy, and did two separate Win 7 installs, nothing fancy, no updates, etc., and then the drive naming worked exactly as everyone said it would. Thanks.

    x509
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 


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