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When I bought a new computer, I reinstalled windows on the larger hard drive it came with, but kept the old hard drive as well. I'm keeping the old Windows installation on the hard drive in case I need saved passwords or other data only accessible after signing in.

On the boot screen, it gives me the option to boot into the installation I'm currently using, or the "recovered" installation. Attempting to boot into the second one fails anyway. Is there a way I can automatically boot into this installation while still maintaining the possibility of booting into the old installation?

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Yes.

  1. Start menu
  2. Right click "Computer"
  3. Select "Properties"
  4. On the left side, click on "Advanced system settings" 5.In the "Advanced" tab, click on the last "Settings" button under the "Startup and recovery" category
  5. There you can either: A. Select "Windows 7" in the dropdown list and uncheck both checkboxes to boot straight to Windows 7 B. Select "Windows 7" as default and lower the timer to something like 5 seconds, enough time to select your other installation
  6. Press "Ok" and voilà
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Thanks, I'll give this a shot in a second! –  mowwwalker Nov 22 '12 at 6:52
    
YES! Thank you so much! –  mowwwalker Nov 22 '12 at 19:36
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I would suggest that you try EasyBCD, which is free for personal use. It allows you to edit your Windows 7 boot configuration.

Once installed click on Edit Boot Menu, select the boot entry you no longer need and click the Delete button.

You may also backup your current configuration using the BCD Backup/Repair button.

I have used this software many time without any problems.

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