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Is it possible to dual boot a 32bit vista and 64bit vista? I'm running Home Premium and I do have a 64bit Ultimate version, I just don't want to risk the reinstall and not get all my drivers working. So I wondered if I can try the install in dual boot mode?

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Yes of course, you will need a separate hard drive or partition on which to install the second version.

During the installation of the second version of vista Windows will wipe your MBR only allowing you to boot into that second version of windows. To get around this install GRUB as the bootloader (guide here) after installing the second version and you then you should be fine.

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No issues with the license, presumably? Given that only one of the versions is running at any one time. And does this apply to Windows7 as well? (Windows 7 also comes with 32bit and 64bit versions in the same product package). – therobyouknow Aug 13 '10 at 9:00

Well there are many ways to accomplish that, one of the easiest is to have two hard drives, one for each installation. perform an install on the first drive with 32, then perform another install on the second hard drive with 64.

Unfortunately they have made the vista and windows 7 installers a little picky as to which drive an have a version of windows installed so when you are installing the second copy of windows that drive will most likely need to be configured as the primary master if using ide drives, sata doesn't really have that issue. Once you have the second installation booting set the drive order back to it's original configuration and boot to the 32bit version of vista download the free version of vista boot pro, install it then use this guide to get you going.

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Yes, this is fine and it should work without problems - however, you should (I think need to) use a different partition or you start to get problems as the User, Program Files and Windows Folders will have inconsistencies.

However, I highly recommend you take an image of your hard drive, or use Windows Backup to do this, then do a fresh install. If the worst comes to the worst, you can restore from that image.

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I have Acronis true image, but somehow I don't trust it to restore when everything fails... hmm. Is this mistrust valid? – Tony The Lion Jan 6 '10 at 22:46
If you don't trust your imaging software, you shouldn't be using it!... Personally, for a single machine, the Windows backup is free and works fine - However, Acronis software is rock solid and it is very trust worthy in my books! – William Hilsum Jan 6 '10 at 22:53

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