How to Dual Boot Windows 7 32-Bit with Windows 7 64-Bit - Part 1
How to Dual Boot Windows 7 32-Bit with Windows 7 64-Bit using a single new hard drive. Although it does not matter which version (32-Bit or 64-Bit) of Windows you install first, (or even two 32-Bit or 64-Bit versions) for this article the 32-Bit version will be installed first, followed by the 64-Bit version.
You could of course install two 32Bit versions or two 64Bit versions, however a 32Bit / 64Bit dual boot environment gives you the best of both worlds.
You will need two separate Windows 7 product keys, even though the “Full” retail version of Windows includes both the 32-Bit and 64-Bit DVD installation media you have only one product key. Therefore you need to purchase an addition product key. Since purchasing a product key is no less expensive than buying a retail “boxed” version of Windows 7, I suggest you opt for the boxed product as this provides you with a spare set of media should the original media become damaged.
The new drive will be split into two separate “Primary” partitions and both formatted NTFS. However before installing Windows the drive will be tested to insure there no issues such as bad sectors. After the 32-Bit version of Windows 7 is installed, the second partition will be created and additional drive tests will be conducted as you can never be too careful or in a rush to complete the installation of Windows without insuring you have a good hard drive.
Note: If you were to skip installing a second version of Windows 7, you would have a traditional single boot computer with free (Unallocated) space available located at the end of the drive for whatever use you choose.
Backup Strategy: After you have installed both versions of Windows 7, In part 2, I’ll show you a simple and effective means of protecting both Windows and your data files.
Hard drive test utilities (Bootable CD) for use prior to installing Windows: Anywhere from 5 to 20%, (depending on the manufacture) of new hard drives are defective. Start by testing your new hard drive using the manufacture's utility.