I use acronis true image to mount images to my primary partition and it works great. lets say I have 3 partitions on my hard disk and all of them each is 600 GB. In the 3rd partition I keep files (documents, pictures etc), on the first partition is my primary partition where the operating system runs (windows 7).
And in the 2nd partition is empty. I have an image of my primary partition and I save that image in my 3rd partition (50 GB is the size of the image so it fits in the partition number 3) and in an external hard drive.
I know it is possible to install a new operating system in partition 2 such as windows xp but the only problem is that once I install that how could I tell the computer to boot from partition 1? is there a way to switch back and forth just like it's possible in the mac?