What is easiest way to partition / multi-boot

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TacticDesigns
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
What is easiest way to partition / multi-boot

Hello,

What is the easiest way to partition a HD to multiboot.

I want to run Windows XP (For my old Epson scanner. I have software that works with XP, but not Win10).

I want to run Windows 10 on it. (It's a really old laptop, but Win10 actually works on it.)

And I want to start learning Linux.

Is there a program I can use to set this up?

I will be installing on a new SSD that I am buying specifically to do this.

Thanks in advance!

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,209
Re: What is easiest way to partition / multi-boot

I think this should do it:

  1. Install Windows XP. During setup tell it to only use a small portion of the drive.
  2. Install Windows 10. During setup make a partition for it that doesn't use all of the remaining space. Don't upgrade the Windows Xp, install new to different partition.
  3. Install Linux using the remaining free space on drive. Most modern distros will detect the other installs and add them to its bootloader for selection. You could also skip this step and install Linux as a virtual machine running on top of windows using free Oracle Virtual Box. This is ideal if you want to try out multiple distros. You can also run Linux from a USB drive no problem.

If this was a desktop, the easiest way is a hot swap hard drive caddy or Sata dock.

Keep in mind that since all of these are on the same computer, getting malware on XP could affect Windows 10. So make sure to set Windows XP to never connect to the internet or network. If it were me, I'd buy a second POS $100 computer that I only use with the scanner and it never connects to the internet or has any data on it. Scan to a thumb drive and move them to your main computer for editing.

sacentre Senior Member • Posts: 2,043
Re: What is easiest way to partition / multi-boot

TacticDesigns wrote:

Hello,

What is the easiest way to partition a HD to multiboot.

I want to run Windows XP (For my old Epson scanner. I have software that works with XP, but not Win10).

I want to run Windows 10 on it. (It's a really old laptop, but Win10 actually works on it.)

And I want to start learning Linux.

Is there a program I can use to set this up?

I will be installing on a new SSD that I am buying specifically to do this.

Thanks in advance!

Take care & Happy Shooting!

It's a piece of cake. I use AOMEI Partition Pro but there are many other free utilities you can use to create/edit partitions.  Create a partition in unused space.  It'll most likely be designated "D:" by default  but I think you can change this if you like.

Once the new partition is created, you install the new OS - Linux or whatever exactly the same way as if your were installing on C: drive.

The next time you boot, Windows Boot Manager will show you a menu with the option to choose which OS to boot to.   Assuming you choose Win 10 as your default (you can change this easily), it will automatically boot to this unless you choose otherwise.

Things get a bit complicated when it comes to setting up external hardware devices like Bluetooth mice/keyboards but wired are no problem.

Have fun.

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TacticDesigns
OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Re: What is easiest way to partition / multi-boot

tkbslc wrote:

I think this should do it:

  1. Install Windows XP. During setup tell it to only use a small portion of the drive.
  2. Install Windows 10. During setup make a partition for it that doesn't use all of the remaining space. Don't upgrade the Windows Xp, install new to different partition.
  3. Install Linux using the remaining free space on drive. Most modern distros will detect the other installs and add them to its bootloader for selection. You could also skip this step and install Linux as a virtual machine running on top of windows using free Oracle Virtual Box. This is ideal if you want to try out multiple distros. You can also run Linux from a USB drive no problem.\

+1

Thanks for the reply.

I forgot I could probably boot Linux from a USB stick. Although this is an old laptop, I think it might be new enough to boot from USB stick for Linux.

If this was a desktop, the easiest way is a hot swap hard drive caddy or Sata dock.

Keep in mind that since all of these are on the same computer, getting malware on XP could affect Windows 10. So make sure to set Windows XP to never connect to the internet or network. If it were me, I'd buy a second POS $100 computer that I only use with the scanner and it never connects to the internet or has any data on it. Scan to a thumb drive and move them to your main computer for editing.

+1

Yes. I don't plan to connect to the Internet with Window XP. WinXP would be Strictly for using with my Epson Scanner.

I have an old HP Mini 110 that I am currently using as a stand-alone computer to use with my Scanner. But the screen is really small and annoying to use.

This is an old computer that we had lent out and I just got back.

Win10 works on it, but sometimes slow. I already tossed in 4GB of ram that I had lying around from another dead laptop. So I was thinking of tossing in a SSD drive to see if I could get it working a bit faster with Win10.

Since I was buying a new SSD the thought crossed my mind . . . why not set up for WinXP (Scanner), Win10 (To use as a vacation computer), Linux to learn it.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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TacticDesigns
OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Re: What is easiest way to partition / multi-boot

sacentre wrote:

TacticDesigns wrote:

Hello,

What is the easiest way to partition a HD to multiboot.

I want to run Windows XP (For my old Epson scanner. I have software that works with XP, but not Win10).

I want to run Windows 10 on it. (It's a really old laptop, but Win10 actually works on it.)

And I want to start learning Linux.

Is there a program I can use to set this up?

I will be installing on a new SSD that I am buying specifically to do this.

Thanks in advance!

Take care & Happy Shooting!

It's a piece of cake. I use AOMEI Partition Pro but there are many other free utilities you can use to create/edit partitions. Create a partition in unused space. It'll most likely be designated "D:" by default but I think you can change this if you like.

Once the new partition is created, you install the new OS - Linux or whatever exactly the same way as if your were installing on C: drive.

The next time you boot, Windows Boot Manager

So this is the Win10 Boot Manager can help me with this?

will show you a menu with the option to choose which OS to boot to. Assuming you choose Win 10 as your default (you can change this easily), it will automatically boot to this unless you choose otherwise.

Things get a bit complicated when it comes to setting up external hardware devices like Bluetooth mice/keyboards but wired are no problem.

Have fun.

+1

New Blank SSD, so I can try it a few times to figure out a configuration that works for me. LOL.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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bmoag Veteran Member • Posts: 3,141
Re: What is easiest way to partition / multi-boot

Most scanners of that vintage will work with Vuescan as long as they can be connected via USB to a Win 10 machine, there are no Win 10 SCSI solutions.

Since this is a laptop the scanner must be USB based.

Running multiple OSes and what is described as an old and slow laptop is up to the OP but inserting hot needles under fingernails may yield the same satisfaction. Many older core duo, and anything older than that, will not be able to use an SSD in AHCI mode and so the SSD will be no faster than a mechanical drive. That can be checked in the BIOS.

If I were the OP . . .

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TacticDesigns
OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Re: What is easiest way to partition / multi-boot

bmoag wrote:

Most scanners of that vintage will work with Vuescan as long as they can be connected via USB to a Win 10 machine, there are no Win 10 SCSI solutions.

Since this is a laptop the scanner must be USB based.

Running multiple OSes and what is described as an old and slow laptop is up to the OP but inserting hot needles under fingernails may yield the same satisfaction. Many older core duo, and anything older than that, will not be able to use an SSD in AHCI mode and so the SSD will be no faster than a mechanical drive. That can be checked in the BIOS.

If I were the OP . . .

+1

Good point on whether this old laptop will be any faster with the SSD.

But that is not my primary reason for wanting to try out the SSD with this laptop.

As I mentioned in another post, since Win10 works on it, I was thinking of repurposing this as a vacation laptop.

Somewhere to back-up my pictures to. And if anyone wants to surf the web they can.

I could use the 160GB HD that is already in it for that. But it is old-school / mechanical.

But I was thinking a SSD would be more durable for vacation / camping.

If the computer gets dropped or kicked around a bit, the SSD drive might be a bit more durable.

That is what got this all started.

And then I thought . . . if I'm already considering a SSD, why not a bit bigger and try to get WinXP and Linux on there as well?

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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TacticDesigns
OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Might just keep it Win10.

TacticDesigns wrote:

Hello,

What is the easiest way to partition a HD to multiboot.

I want to run Windows XP (For my old Epson scanner. I have software that works with XP, but not Win10).

I want to run Windows 10 on it. (It's a really old laptop, but Win10 actually works on it.)

And I want to start learning Linux.

Is there a program I can use to set this up?

I will be installing on a new SSD that I am buying specifically to do this.

Thanks in advance!

Take care & Happy Shooting!

Ok.

I got the SSD and installed Win10, WinXP and Linux Mint . . . but I think I might just make this laptop exclusive Win10.

The 2GB -> 4GB + SSD has seemed to make this computer more responsive. Perhaps the 4GB means less thrashing. Maybe the SSD means no need to park the heads and thus waiting for the heads to unpark?

But issue with Linux. I tried Ubuntu, because I've never tried that version. But it didn't run. Just a blank screen. I then tried Linux Mint. It installed, but then when I try to run any programs it locks up.

Kinda more hassle than I thought it would be.

I've got another old desktop that I was planning to swap to Linux anyway . . . so that might be the way I learn Linux.

But this laptop is running Win10 great!

I'm going to wipe the SSD drive and just make this a Win10 machine for vacation / camping and be done with it. (ie. K.I.S.S.)

Thanks for the help everyone.

I guess it was just not meant to be. But at least I tried . . . so I can stop thinking, "will it work?" LOL.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,209
Re: Might just keep it Win10.
1

Oh yeah 2gb is just not enough anymore for modern OS.  Doubling to 4gb would make a world of difference.   And with the SSD if you have to swap memory to the c: drive at least it will still be fast.

TacticDesigns
OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Re: Might just keep it Win10.

tkbslc wrote:

Oh yeah 2gb is just not enough anymore for modern OS.

+1

Doubling to 4gb would make a world of difference.

+1

'just can't go crazy running lots of big programs all at once. LOL.

But for vacation / camping all I need is Faststone.

And with the SSD if you have to swap memory to the c: drive at least it will still be fast.

+1

I'm amazed at how well it is working.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,315
Another approach...
1

If you mostly run W10, and just run XP for legacy purposes, and linux for learning, then another approach is to use Virtual Machines such as VirtualBox.  This has the advantage that W10 is always running, and you can have windows open with multiple other operating systems running at the same time.

I have different VMs for W7 and XP for occasional legacy purposes, Ubuntu (linux) for developing Wordpress websites, W11 for evaluation...

Here for example, I have W11 in one window, Ubuntu in another, both running under W10:

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,209
Re: Another approach...
1

Simon Garrett wrote:

If you mostly run W10, and just run XP for legacy purposes, and linux for learning, then another approach is to use Virtual Machines such as VirtualBox. This has the advantage that W10 is always running, and you can have windows open with multiple other operating systems running at the same time.

I have different VMs for W7 and XP for occasional legacy purposes, Ubuntu (linux) for developing Wordpress websites, W11 for evaluation...

Here for example, I have W11 in one window, Ubuntu in another, both running under W10:

This is a great solution, but keep in mind each VM requires RAM to run like it's a full OS (because it is!).  Since OP only has 4GB on his laptop, things could be pretty tight for running extra OSes on top of Windows 10.   As long as nothing was running on Windows 10 but virtual box and he didn't give the VMs more than 2GB and only ran 1 VM at a time, it could work.

Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,315
Re: Another approach...
1

tkbslc wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

If you mostly run W10, and just run XP for legacy purposes, and linux for learning, then another approach is to use Virtual Machines such as VirtualBox. This has the advantage that W10 is always running, and you can have windows open with multiple other operating systems running at the same time.

I have different VMs for W7 and XP for occasional legacy purposes, Ubuntu (linux) for developing Wordpress websites, W11 for evaluation...

Here for example, I have W11 in one window, Ubuntu in another, both running under W10:

This is a great solution, but keep in mind each VM requires RAM to run like it's a full OS (because it is!). Since OP only has 4GB on his laptop, things could be pretty tight for running extra OSes on top of Windows 10. As long as nothing was running on Windows 10 but virtual box and he didn't give the VMs more than 2GB and only ran 1 VM at a time, it could work.

Quite right, I'd missed the bit about the amount of RAM available!

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Allan Brown
Allan Brown Veteran Member • Posts: 3,113
what about Win 7?

This should be in response to Simon Garrett's post

-

Sorry for hijacking the thread but...

I have a new Win 10 desktop and I want to install Win 7 to a new partition for similar reasons to the OP's.

My version of CorelDraw (X3) will not run under Win 10 but works very well under Win 7.

I tried many methods of doing this but Win 7 will not install. It goes to the Starting Windows screen then hangs.

From what I have read is that Win 7 does not have the drivers etc. for newer computer hardware. Files that supposedly contain these drivers are no longer available.

I have tried loading Win 7 onto a stick with no luck.

One poster (Simon Garrett ) mentioned VirtualBox.

Will this allow me to install Win 7 to a) the same partition as Win 10 or b) the new partition already created by me (Drive F)?

What about the missing drivers etc? I presume Win XP will also have that issue.

thanks

Allan

TacticDesigns
OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Re: Another approach...

Simon Garrett wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

If you mostly run W10, and just run XP for legacy purposes, and linux for learning, then another approach is to use Virtual Machines such as VirtualBox. This has the advantage that W10 is always running, and you can have windows open with multiple other operating systems running at the same time.

I have different VMs for W7 and XP for occasional legacy purposes, Ubuntu (linux) for developing Wordpress websites, W11 for evaluation...

Here for example, I have W11 in one window, Ubuntu in another, both running under W10:

+1

This is a great solution, but keep in mind each VM requires RAM to run like it's a full OS (because it is!). Since OP only has 4GB on his laptop, things could be pretty tight for running extra OSes on top of Windows 10. As long as nothing was running on Windows 10 but virtual box and he didn't give the VMs more than 2GB and only ran 1 VM at a time, it could work.

+1

Quite right, I'd missed the bit about the amount of RAM available!

+1

Yes. This is an old laptop. It might take more than 4GB, but I'm not willing to buy anymore DDR2 laptop memory. LOL. I happened to have the 4GB laying around from an old laptop that died. So 4GB is all this laptop will ever have.

As for Linux . . . I was thinking of making a live USB stick installation to try it on an old desktop computer I have.

And WinXP will remain on my old HP Mini 110 (1 GB), and I'll just attach an old VGA tube monitor I have laying around to it.

But thank you for the idea!

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Re: what about Win 7?

Allan Brown wrote:

This should be in response to Simon Garrett's post

-

Sorry for hijacking the thread but...

I have a new Win 10 desktop and I want to install Win 7 to a new partition for similar reasons to the OP's.

My version of CorelDraw (X3) will not run under Win 10 but works very well under Win 7.

I tried many methods of doing this but Win 7 will not install. It goes to the Starting Windows screen then hangs.

From what I have read is that Win 7 does not have the drivers etc. for newer computer hardware. Files that supposedly contain these drivers are no longer available.

I have tried loading Win 7 onto a stick with no luck.

One poster (Simon Garrett ) mentioned VirtualBox.

Will this allow me to install Win 7 to a) the same partition as Win 10 or b) the new partition already created by me (Drive F)?

What about the missing drivers etc? I presume Win XP will also have that issue.

The question I have with regards to WinXP is . . . how does the connection to a USB scanner work? Is it pretty painless to get that to work?

Take care & Happy Shooting!

thanks

Allan

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Billiam29 Senior Member • Posts: 2,292
Re: what about Win 7?

Allan Brown wrote:

Sorry for hijacking the thread but...

I have a new Win 10 desktop and I want to install Win 7 to a new partition for similar reasons to the OP's.

My version of CorelDraw (X3) will not run under Win 10 but works very well under Win 7.

I tried many methods of doing this but Win 7 will not install. It goes to the Starting Windows screen then hangs.

The same mechanism in your BIOS that you used to try booting off a USB thumb drive for Win 7 might also be capable of booting off another SSD or hard drive you dedicate to Win 7. The BIOS for some desktop machines even have “boot manager” features you can enable specifically to facilitate this every time the system powers-on or restarts. I use such a feature on my PC to present a 5 second prompt where I can choose between booting off my m.2 Windows 10 SSD or a 2.5” SATA SSD I have dedicated to Linux.

This option of course requires that you’re willing to invest in an additional drive for the purpose or have a spare drive on hand. It does, however, negate the need for muti-OS portioning, editing boot manager entries, or running virtualization software. That may or may not be worth the additional physical drive to you but it’s at least worth considering.

If you do pursue this option, just keep in mind it may be safest to physically disconnect your primary Win 10 SSD/hard drive while you install Win 7 onto the additional one. That way there will be zero risk of the Win 7 installation doing anything to the boot configuration on your main drive.

Allan Brown
Allan Brown Veteran Member • Posts: 3,113
Re: what about Win 7?

TacticDesigns wrote:

Allan Brown wrote:

This should be in response to Simon Garrett's post

-

Sorry for hijacking the thread but...

I have a new Win 10 desktop and I want to install Win 7 to a new partition for similar reasons to the OP's.

My version of CorelDraw (X3) will not run under Win 10 but works very well under Win 7.

I tried many methods of doing this but Win 7 will not install. It goes to the Starting Windows screen then hangs.

From what I have read is that Win 7 does not have the drivers etc. for newer computer hardware. Files that supposedly contain these drivers are no longer available.

I have tried loading Win 7 onto a stick with no luck.

One poster (Simon Garrett ) mentioned VirtualBox.

Will this allow me to install Win 7 to a) the same partition as Win 10 or b) the new partition already created by me (Drive F)?

What about the missing drivers etc? I presume Win XP will also have that issue.

The question I have with regards to WinXP is . . . how does the connection to a USB scanner work? Is it pretty painless to get that to work?

Take care & Happy Shooting!

It depends on if the scanner is TWAIN  compliant or not. Even if it is compliant, it still may need drivers. I have a scanner like that.

I can scan with the scanner and Win XP / Win 7 / Win 10 but I need the drivers so that TWAIN can see it then allow for adjustments.

My flatbed is also TWAIN compliant and I can use it without drivers but the drivers allow for better control.

Note that from CS6 onward, Photoshop does not use TWAIN and makes life more complicated.

Allan

Allan Brown
Allan Brown Veteran Member • Posts: 3,113
Re: what about Win 7?

Billiam29 wrote:

Allan Brown wrote:

Sorry for hijacking the thread but...

I have a new Win 10 desktop and I want to install Win 7 to a new partition for similar reasons to the OP's.

My version of CorelDraw (X3) will not run under Win 10 but works very well under Win 7.

I tried many methods of doing this but Win 7 will not install. It goes to the Starting Windows screen then hangs.

The same mechanism in your BIOS that you used to try booting off a USB thumb drive for Win 7 might also be capable of booting off another SSD or hard drive you dedicate to Win 7. The BIOS for some desktop machines even have “boot manager” features you can enable specifically to facilitate this every time the system powers-on or restarts. I use such a feature on my PC to present a 5 second prompt where I can choose between booting off my m.2 Windows 10 SSD or a 2.5” SATA SSD I have dedicated to Linux.

It looks like my boot manager does not have this option as such. With the Win 7 installer on my F partition, I can set the boot manager to see, ask and boot from drive F. It then goes through the initial installation of Win 7 then hangs at the Starting Windows screen.

Also, how can I actually create a Win 7 drive for that computer? I do have a Win 7 drive for my laptop but it is setup for the laptop and it does not work with the desktop.

I looked at some ideas such as Tiny 7 but it seems that is no longer available.

This option of course requires that you’re willing to invest in an additional drive for the purpose or have a spare drive on hand. It does, however, negate the need for muti-OS portioning, editing boot manager entries, or running virtualization software. That may or may not be worth the additional physical drive to you but it’s at least worth considering.

If you do pursue this option, just keep in mind it may be safest to physically disconnect your primary Win 10 SSD/hard drive while you install Win 7 onto the additional one. That way there will be zero risk of the Win 7 installation doing anything to the boot configuration on your main drive.

I had thought about this but I decided that it is not worth my while as my Win XP / Win 7 laptop runs CorelDraw perfectly.

Allan

Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,315
Re: what about Win 7?

Allan Brown wrote:

This should be in response to Simon Garrett's post

-

Sorry for hijacking the thread but...

I have a new Win 10 desktop and I want to install Win 7 to a new partition for similar reasons to the OP's.

My version of CorelDraw (X3) will not run under Win 10 but works very well under Win 7.

I tried many methods of doing this but Win 7 will not install. It goes to the Starting Windows screen then hangs.

From what I have read is that Win 7 does not have the drivers etc. for newer computer hardware. Files that supposedly contain these drivers are no longer available.

I have tried loading Win 7 onto a stick with no luck.

One poster (Simon Garrett ) mentioned VirtualBox.

Will this allow me to install Win 7 to a) the same partition as Win 10 or b) the new partition already created by me (Drive F)?

A VirtualBox Virtual Machine (VM) creates a virtual disk (or disks) for the VM that is just a .vdi file on the host machine.  No separate partition or disk needed, the virtual drives can go on any drive with enough space.

What about the missing drivers etc? I presume Win XP will also have that issue.

Well, I run both XP and W7 in VMs on a modern machine with a fairly modern processor (AMD 3900X, launched late 2019).

thanks

Allan

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