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Installing Multiple Operating Systems

How would it feel if you could have more than one operating system installed on a single computer? There would be no freezing, no conflicting applications, and the system won't stop responding and fade white right in front of you. To install multiple OS, up to 8, there are third party software applications that could effectively do that. Examples of such software are zBoot and partition magic. Any software of this sort is known as boot or partition manager.

Using a Third-party Partition Manager

Things Needed:
  • A computer
  • 2 Hard drives (If you don't want to partition your existing drive)
  • Operating Systems
  • A partition manager software (i.e. partition magic)

Step 1 - Add a New Hard drive or Partition an existing hard drive

Add a new hard drive to the system and install the third-party partition programs on it. If your Windows OS shows only one drive then you need to partition your hard drive (that is, if you don't want to add another hard drive). The third party software you use will have a tool to do this. Keep in mind that your hardware will be split up between the different operating systems at sizes you determine. This is why we recommend multiple hard drives or 1 large hard drive.

Step 2 - Install the Operating System

Follow the installation instructions of your third party software to properly install the operating systems. The software should have a step-by-step process for this.

Without a third-party partition manager

First, make sure your hardware supports the operating systems that you intend to use. Next, to actually achieve this, you need to install one Operating system on a partition (i.e., C: drive) and the other on the second partition (i.e., D: drive). After successful installation of multiple operating systems, on start-up, you would be asked which operating system to start. One thing to remember is that you must ensure that you save files and programs to the appropriate drive as files will not be accessible from one OS to another.

Using more than one operating system on a computer requires dual booting. However, you can only use one operating system at a time. If you decide to use an application that allows you to install multiple OS, please note that such applications are best for multiple versions of an operating system and not a combination of totally different makes of operating systems. For example, installing Windows XP and Windows 7 on the same pc. Before attempting to install multiple operating systems on your machine, ensure that you back up all your data.

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