Can I install 32- bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise and Ubuntu 11.04 on different partitions on the same computer?
Question by Dan /

I have an HP Probook 4321s currently running Windows 7 Professional (32 bit). It has 4 GB RAM and runs a 1 GB ATI graphics card.

The current Windows 7 Pro resides on the 50 GB C drive. There is another D drive which has 550 GB of hard disk space. I would like to re-format the 550 GB partition into three partitions (about 50 GB, 50 GB, and 450 GB) so that I can install more operating systems myself.

I would like to install a 64-bit Windows 7 Enterprise on one partition, a 64-bit Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal (when released next week) on the other drive, and leave the 450 GB for storage of all other stuff to store as and when necessary.

Please help me with these questions:

1. Is it possible to install two instances of the same version of Windows, but still of different flavor, e.g. Professional and Enterprise on the same hard disk but on different partitions? If possible can one of them be 32-bit and the other 64-bit without any clash or incompatibility issues running the computer?

2. If I install Ubuntu on the other partition, can I install 64-bit Ubuntu and run smoothly, while another partition runs the 32-bit Windows 7 Pro, and hopefully, another partition runs 64-bit Windows 7 Enterprise?
Or would you advise installing all three with 32-bit? I would like to try 64-bit operating systems since my specifications are enough.

Thanks in advance for your opinion!

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Answers (3)
  • Arjun Aug19

    what can repace window-7 64bit wiht mack operating system

  • Mike

    In general there shouldn’t be any problem to have them operating side by side. Just keep in mind that Windows doesn’t dual boot by default so when installing another version all others installed prior to it will disappear from the boot menu.

    What you have to look out for is the Master Boot Record which doesn’t allow more than 4 Partitions. To work around this issue you will have to create one extended Partition in which you can create various logical Partitions.

    While Linux will operate from any and all partitions Windows does have to be installed in a primary partition so the number of installed versions is limited.

    Of course you can always add a second Hard Drive and put some Windows installations there.

    • Dan

      Thanks Mike!
      So I am gonna go ahead partition my New Volume D (545 GB) into three partitions and install a 64-bit Windows 7 Enterprise on one, a 64-bit Ubuntu 11.04 on another and leave the third (largest) one for storage and back-up.
      This makes the machine a Windows 7 Professional (32-bit), Windows 7 Enterprise (64-bit) and Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal (64-bit) hybrid.
      Would that affect the snappiness and overall running of the computer? Of course, I will be booting into only one at a time ( no Virtual Machines).
      Please correct me if I will be doing anything wrong in this plan of mine ! :)
      Thanks a lot!!

      P.S.: I had once an experience of installing Windows 7 on the Drive D: of a machine whose Drive C: had Windows XP. On boot-up the Screen would show : Windows 7 and Earlier version of Windows, from where I would select the OS to boot into.

      Also I once had an experience of installing a Linux distro on a computer that had XP and Windows 7 already on it. At boot up it would let choose between: Windows and Linux, from where selecting Windows would then in turn take to Windows 7 or Earlier Version of Windows for another selection between XP and Windows 7.
      At that time it looked like the boot loader was able to recognize and didn’t have any issues.
      Thanks again and will keep up-to-date with your opinion before I go ahead Sir!!