Dual booting Win7 and Win8 without reinstalling programs?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Bobbyloujo, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Bobbyloujo
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    Member Bobbyloujo I am a millipede, I am amazing.

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    Okay, I'm dual booting Windows 7 and Windows 8. They are installed on two different partitions on the same hard drive. I have a crap ton of programs on my Windows 7 partition. What I want is for the Windows 8 installation to recognize those programs so that they come up under All Apps and stuff. Is there anyway to maybe make Windows 8 recognize not only its own Program Files folders but also the ones on the Windows 7 partition?

    I hope you understand what I'm saying, haha.
     
  2. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    Not really, no. You could copy shortcuts over, but the registry info is in the first partition so the programs won't be able to access it normally, so for programs that rely on registry data (most programs), they'll either start up with no saved settings (as if you had just installed them clean), or will refuse to start at all as they will think they haven't been installed properly (and/or, for paid programs, won't be able to access the license info in the registry).
     
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  3. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    What Rydian said although I should note http://portableapps.com/ exists and covers most computing needs and beyond that, assuming you do not need ultra high performance for games and such, why not head down the path of virtual machines as those amount to just a file and files themselves can quite happily be used across multiple operating systems.

    There are ways you can combine applications in a kind of virtual machine-sandbox hybrid but I do not know them that well, they quite often take serious effort to set up as the whole reason for using registry and such is often so you do not have to operate in a vacuum, they are not that well developed and most people that would consider such a thing probably have a terminal server, can chat up their software vendor as they are already paying a fortune or just use a virtual machine (maybe with a remote database/file store).
     
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  4. Bobbyloujo
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    Member Bobbyloujo I am a millipede, I am amazing.

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    That's a bit of a bummer :/

    Actually, I did stumble across something where a guy managed to move his Program Files folders to a different partition. I wonder how complicated it would be. Maybe I could create a third partition to the put the program files on, combining both Win7 and Win8 Program Files folders, and have both Windows 8 and Windows 7 share one folder. Let me see if I can find that page again...

    I couldn't find the same one but here's a thread talking about something similar: http://www.daniweb.c...-separate-drive
    So, do you think it'd be possible?
     
  5. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    Even if you copied the program files folder over, the registry problem would still happen. And no you can't just copy over the 7 registry to 8. While you could go through and copy all the individual entries from the 7 registry to 8, at that point you might as well just install the programs again, it would take less time.

    That thread is talking using a single OS (not multiple), and is talking about where to install programs, meaning the install process would be run under his OS (and thus the registry entries would be created there properly), so it's a totally different case than yours.

    Some programs can be copied and run as-is, but believe me, reinstalling your programs will be LESS effort than trying to find and use a workaround.
     
  6. Bobbyloujo
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    Member Bobbyloujo I am a millipede, I am amazing.

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    Bummerrr. I have almost 90GB worth of programs.
     
  7. Maxternal

    Member Maxternal Peanut Gallery Spokesman

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    If you're worried about space what KINDA worked for some programs with me (this was with XP and Vista beta) was to re-install all the programs in the new operating system and when they asked where to put the installation, tell it to install them in the exact same folder where the other one was, installing on top of the other one.

    Even this, though, is prone to errors.
    - The registry entries might change with use and in the old OS you would have a brand new install with used registry entries. If you tried to back the folder up before installation and put the used one back, the new OS would have the opposite problem.
    - When I tried this, my biggest problem was with folder permissions. The programs didn't have permission to alter their own files because they were created with a user in a different OS.
    - This could just make it not work in one OS ... or ... it could corrupt it in such a way that it will not work in either anymore.

    By all means it would take up as much time if not more to do this as just installing a separate copy of everything so if you're not desperate for space I'd say it's not worth the effort and headache.

    For those few programs that don't actually need to be installed, you could always start copying over all the shortcuts and test everything. Keep what works and that way you've saved yourself at least A FEW installations.
     
  8. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    That's not that bad of a suggestion, actually. I wouldn't have thought of that in order to save space, I would have recommended just transplanting any saved documents over after a normal install.
     
  9. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    Actually if we are heading down that path is there are Windows 8 upgrade method* of any form? In that case take a backup of the Windows 7 install (whether you want whole partition or documents are on a separate drive/partition probably boils down to preference although many better programs will use the documents and settings/users folder rather than registry or install folders), upgrade to windows 8. slice up the drive into various partitions and then restore the old windows to a new one and redirect accordingly (whether you want to go whole hog and change program files location or case by case will be left to you- some things will have environment variables hardcoded to their install directories on a given partition) and note that the repair install options of many programs will probably help here.

    You will probably encounter a divergence of registry values and such at some point but done correctly this will probably get you running.

    Also when you say 80 gigs although I am not going to dismiss it outright I will pose the question of what is taking those 80 gigs- assuming you are not dealing with games most of the time if that happens it is because something used the install directory to hold downloaded/simple assets or was badly coded and stores user data in the install directory.

    I would still be inclined to head down the virtual machine path (I have little experience with them but you can migrate/convert an existing install to an install although in Windows be prepared for fallout with WGA and such for as far as it is concerned you have replaced everything).

    *old but relevant/amusing youtube video
     
  10. Bobbyloujo
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    Member Bobbyloujo I am a millipede, I am amazing.

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    The larger portion is probably games. I do have a lot programs though. I don't use every single one of them on a day to day basis but they are nice to have installed for when I do need them.

    As for the upgrade thing, I'm not sure if there is an option like that or not. I'll have to do some experimenting on my old laptop today after work.
     

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