Since Windows 7 was announced, everybody is excited to try the new computer operating system, which has come from the Microsoft stables. There has been a frenzy to download it, but most of us want to dual boot it with the existing operating system we have. Most of us either have Windows XP, Vista or Ubuntu on our systems.
If you are of the opinion that it will take a lot of your time to dual boot the system then you are mistaken. There are just a couple of steps which you will have to undertake to get the system in place and running.
Download Beta Version
This is the foremost step you will have to undertake. Download its fresh copy and burn it to a DVD to carry out a fresh installation. You can make use of different tools for this task.
Partition the Hard Drive
Before you start with the actual installation, you will have to partition your hard drive. Since you are currently using Windows XP it does not have a partition tool. Hence, you will have to download third-party partitioning software. There are numerous options available. You may want to opt for open source software. Most of these software are able to handle all kinds of partitioning tasks. When you partition XP, you will have to ensure you free up at least 16 GB of disk space, as that is the minimum system requirement.
Now that the space has been freed up, it is time for installation. Insert the disk and reboot your system, for which it is necessary, that you have enabled booting from your DVD drive in your system BIOS. These days most of the PC's have this option enabled by default. After the DVD boots up, there are some fairly easy installation steps, which you will have to follow with the help of the installation wizard. When you are choosing installation type, select Custom (advanced) option and then choose the partition you have just created. You will have to take utmost precaution at this stage. If you make the wrong choice of partition here, it could mean wiping your other Windows installation completely. Hence, be sure you have selected the right partition.
Once you have selected the partition, you can relax as the installer does its work. The installer will make Windows run through certain installation bits and in the process restart a few times. After some time, you will be asked or prompted to set up your account, enter the license key, and set up Windows. Now do not relax and keep an eye on new features, such as home group along with the password, etc.
Well, for working with Vista you will have to undertake the same steps as mentioned in dual booting of XP, just for a small change you will have to make in one step, that is the partitioning the drive. Unlike XP, Windows Vista does come with disk partitioning tool. To find the tool, you will have to go to Control Panel → System and Maintenance (If you are in the Classic View, then ignore this step) → Administrative Tools → Computer Management.
When you launch 'Computer Management' tool, you will have to click on 'Disk Management' under the heading 'Storage' in the sidebar and then have the system partitioned. But make sure that the new partition does have at least 16 GB space, as that is the minimum requirement for the operating system. The steps before and after partitioning the system remain the same as mentioned in XP.
You can also dual boot Ubuntu with Windows 7. This may seem as an unusual composition, but they work in absolute harmony with each other. In other words, the users of Ubuntu will not be deprived of trying the latest operating system from Microsoft.