There could several reasons as to why someone would want to have two operating systems running on their computer. The reasons varies depending on how some of the software’s and/or applications are still not compatible with Windows 7 and work with Windows Vista or simply that you are not ready for full Windows 7 but want to have a feel before you fully install or you just want to get the kick from having your computer run two operating systems and find it amazing that you can dual boot your computer using Windows Vista (or any previous version of windows) and Windows 7.

Partition or separate hard disks

Here is what you need to know, you can use the user-friendly Partition feature available in your Windows Vista to separate space in your single hard disk for Windows 7. Alternatively, if you have a second hard disk you can choose not to spilt one hard disk space between two operating system and have two operating systems run in two different hard disks. There is no particular befit difference between the two, if you are unhappy with the either of the operating system you can un-partition your hard disk or if on different hard disk delete the operating system you are least happy with from its particular hard disk.

Steps to partition

Before you begin make sure you have backed up all your important files and programs either on your external hard disk or network server. You can backup using the backup tool available in the Windows 7 operating system DVD. Windows Vista has its own inbuilt partitioning tool, and you find it and set the partition following these steps:

  • From the Control Panel (click Start button your desktop and select Control Panel) choose System and Maintenance, if you on the Classic view, otherwise you can select Administrative tools. Here selectComputer Management.
  • In the new window click on the tab Storage and then click on Disk Management. This will open windows with all your hard disk drives displayed.
  • Select the Drive you want in most cases it is the C:/, right click on the drive select the option “Shrink Partition”. This will free up some space in your drive where you have Windows Vista running from. This will give space for Windows 7 to run from.  Remember you would need at least 16GB space freed for Windows 7 to be installed

Installing Windows 7

The nest steps are easy, you can insert the Windows 7 operating system DVD and install it after restarting the computer onto the space you have freed. But you have to remember to select the Custom (Advanced) option to install your Windows 7 so that you can choose where to install the operating system.

Once you are through the installing you will now have windows 7 and Windows Vista and you computer will be dual booting. When the Computer boots you can opt to run using either Windows 7 or Windows Vista.