Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have recently acquired a second SSD, and decided I would utilize a multi-boot setup to increase my productivity. One drive is for "work" (only contains Windows 7 and software needed for work) and on is for "play" (contains Windows 7 and anything else, games, etc.).

I have my "Play" drive set to boot by default, and I can select my "Work" drive from by BIOS boot menu when needed, but I have been continually frustrated when I forget to press the boot menu key during boot!

I have done some research, and it looks as though there are boot-selector programs that run before any OS gets to start. The most popular one I found is GRUB.

Can I use GRUB for what I am trying to accomplish? I do not use Linux.

share|improve this question
    
Shouldn't the default Windows bootloader automatically ask you which OS you want to use on startup? However, yes, GRUB is a great solution as well. –  Marcus Chan Feb 2 '13 at 5:31
    
If you want to "increase your productivity" shouldn't you have the work drive set to boot by default? :-) –  terdon Feb 2 '13 at 14:15
    
@MarcusChan, I'm not sure why it's not asking. They are each installed on a separate drive with separate installs and are not connected in any way (except that, as storage drives, they are obviously visible to one another), so I'm not surprised, but I am new to multi-booting. –  Atlantic Feb 3 '13 at 5:49
    
@terdon I probably should, huh? I'm just worried that I'll end up using it to surf the web! This is a psychological experiment :) –  Atlantic Feb 3 '13 at 5:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The second Windows installation should have been detected automatically. I am surprised that you don't see the Windows boot manager on each boot.

Anyway, yes, you can do this with GRUB but using the Windows bootloader is much easier. GRUB needs to chainload Windows and configuring it is harder than for Linux systems. Plus, you will probably have to boot from a Linux live CD and use a chroot environment to even install GRUB. As far as I know there is no Windows version of it. So, unless you also have an active Linux install on your machine, I highly recommend using the Windows bootloader.

First of all, make sure that one Windows install can see the other. Click on the Windows button and search for msconfig. Now, select the boot tab and check if you can see two Windows installs (I only have the one installed, yours should list two):

enter image description here:

If you can see two installations, make sure the timeout is set to a reasonable value (not 0).

If you only see one OS, you will need to tell the Windows bootloader about the second. Download and install EasyBCD and use it to add the second Windows install to your primary Windows's bootloader. The tutorial I linked to is using two Windows 7 and Windows XP but the principle is the same.

share|improve this answer
    
I love finding out new tricks! While the second drive did not show up in msconfig, I was able to use EasyBCD to add it to the bootloader. It was extremely easy and only took a few clicks. I'm probably going to spend some time figuring what else I can do with this program! Thanks. –  Atlantic Feb 3 '13 at 5:42

If you're not using Linux, just create a bootable USB stick with EasyBCD and add an entry for each Windows installation to it. It'll do exactly what you want, and should be a net total of 3 point and click operations.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the tip and the link. I will read some more information on the program to see if I can benefit from the bootable USB feature or not. EasyBCD is looking pretty nifty so far! –  Atlantic Feb 3 '13 at 5:44

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.