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I would like to create multiple setups on Windows, that is, when I'm working with my computer I have some programs opened, after that I would like to change the setup/user to the "gaming setup" where the previous setup would hibernate and the computer would have all the resources free for me to play. I could have opened multiple tabs on firefox on each setup and they would be there when I come back.

I understand that Windows's switch user would make the programs run when I'm with the other user and that's not what I want. So, is that possible?

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2 Answers 2

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It sounds like you want two copies of Windows on your system. This would, theoretically, do exactly what you want (the hibernation files stay separate between Windows installs, so one can be hibernated while the other runs), but on the other hand, it would mean you have to reboot a lot.

Here's how to set it up:

  1. Backup your system and be prepared to format your hard drive. Store the backup on the internet or in the same room as your keys and life insurance policy. Make sure that you have unicorns patrolling the hallways at all times.
  2. Reinstall Windows. But this time instead of taking the whole drive, make a 60 or so GB (more or less, depending on how much hard drive space you have and how much space your games take) partition for your gaming setup and make another partition with the rest of the space for your regular Windows. Install on the big one first.
  3. Now pop the Windows 7 CD back in and install on the other partition. At boot now, it should let you choose between the two, but they probably have the same name.
  4. Somehow, boot into the game partition one (the smaller one that you installed second). You can probably tell by going into Computer and then checking the size of the drive with the Windows logo on it.
  5. When you find the right one and booted into it, hit Win+R and type in msconfig. Go into the Boot tab and you should be able to rename one of the two entries. Reboot to see if it works.
  6. Recolonize. If you used Windows' built-in backup and you have enough space after shrinking the partition, you can probably restore it from backup. Toss the backup back into the heavily unicorn guarded safe.
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Thank you. The disadvantage is that I would have many duplicated space. Is there a way to have some shared programs (one instalation), like skype, office, etc.? –  Roberto Feb 6 '11 at 16:05
    
Is it legal to install and activate two Windows copies from the same DVD? –  Helbreder Jun 20 '11 at 9:23
    
Yes, so long as you use two different product keys. –  digitxp Jun 20 '11 at 17:55

I do not know of anyway to do this exactly without having multiple copies of windows. You could however have different bat files that launch a different set of programs and kill certain currently running ones. Here is a crash course on Bat files if needed.

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