Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yes, You Can Make a Dual Boot Windows PC; Windows 8 Is Ugly

Instructions on how to install Windows 7 on a system that already has Windows XP are here, from Microsoft.  I think that this might be the smartest strategy: create a partition on my hard disk for Windows 7 Pro, install it in the other partition, verify that it works adequately on this PC, and only then scrap the Windows XP partition.

Or perhaps replace the Windows XP partition with an Ubuntu Linux partition.  I had to get the tires replaced on the TrailBlazer yesterday at Wal-Mart, and while waiting, I wandered into Office Depot.  The salescritter, once I explained that I was killing time, was quite prepared to show me Windows 8 -- and if this is the future from Microsoft, Linux looks better and better.  Windows 8 makes a PC look like a metastasized cell phone.

8 comments:

w said...

MS is emulating Mac OS X in that the assumption is the future is toward mobile and touch screen computing hence the UI changes. Now for the consumer market problem makes the most sense but for the business/professional computer user not so much.

John Cunningham said...

I have heard too many tales of woe from mates using Win8. go with Ubuntu, I put it alongside Win7 and it is awesome the Ubuntu that is.

CVHJ said...

The stated intent is to get to a common OS and interface across mobile, tablet, and PC's. While Windows 8 was a poorly executed step in the interface direction it was a nice step in the OS direction. With the advent of 8.1 (a free upgrade for licensees of 8) there have been significant improvements on the UI front (not everything is right, even still) and it will run even on many machines that were originally came with XP.

PhaseMargin said...

Personally, I triple boot between Mint (yet another Linux distribution, and better looking than Ubuntu), Win7, and XP. You have to be a little careful in the GRUB menu to hide the unused Windows partition (either XP or 7), but other than that it works well.

Put me in the Windows 8 is ugly category. 8.1 is better, but I still am not a fan of the interface for serious use. For casual use it's ok, but for serious computing it sucks for apps that like many windows like Matlab.

SJ said...

So Microsoft finally admitted that dual-booting a system might be desirable?

My guess is that these multi-boot instructions tell the Installer to add an entry to the boot.ini file in the partition containing NTLDR.

I wonder how booting from the "D:"/second-partition will affect Windows internal assumption that it is running from the C:-drive?

w said...

The market growth is in the handheld devices so they don't seem to care about the rest of us that do actual work on a computer.

CVHJ said...

SJ asked about booting from the D: drive vs. the C: drive:

In my experience the bootloader simply alters the assigned letters. The partition identified as D: when booted in W7 is changed to be identified as C: when booted in W*, and vice versa.

hga said...

While I don't know how much 8.1 improved things (limited, from bits I've heard), here's the best commentary I've come across on the original 8 from Jakob Neilsen:

"Windows 8 on mobile devices and tablets is akin to Dr. Jekyll: a tortured soul hoping for redemption. On a regular PC, Windows 8 is Mr. Hyde: a monster that terrorizes poor office workers and strangles their productivity."