Bootloader tweaking utility EasyBCD makes dual booting between Windows, Linux, and even OS X an easy task, and the latest version updates with support for Windows 7 and newer Ubuntu versions with grub2.
Once you’ve installed the application, you can easily edit, rename, reorder, add entries, and customize just about anything in the bootloader sequence for any number of installed operating systems. You can access a set of tools that will let you back up, restore, and repair your bootloader, and even change your boot drive.
The new 2.0 release of the application comes with a slew of changes, the most notable including Windows 7 support, bootable ISO images, and adding bootable USB drives to the bootloader. It’s well worth a look if you’re setting up a dual-boot configuration.
Can’t decide whether you should commit your spare thumb drive to Windows recovery, Ubuntu, or some other live-booting OS? Run MultiBootISOs on your USB drive, and you won’t have to choose—you’ll just choose between them at start-up.
The folks at PenDriveLinux.com have created a Windows tool for creating what is basically a GRUB multi-OS bootloader on your USB drive, along with a nice long list of systems that work with it. All you have to do is grab an ISO file of the system you’re adding to your drive, then drop the whole ISO file onto the drive (occasionally with special instructions). There’s all the usual Linux cohorts—Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, etc.—but also some great rescue tools and utilities, like the GParted partition disc, Ophcrack password reset, and virus scanners. You could even load a Windows 7 installation DVD onto your thumb drive, if you had the room.
I tried out PenDriveLinux with Damn Small Linux, Ubuntu, and Gparted on one USB drive, and it worked like a charm. If you find trouble booting up, check out the page text for tips on creating a Master Boot Record on your thumb drive, and fixing other problems that can crop up.
Windows 7 is drawing raves from pretty much everywhere these days–many of which are the result of direct comparisons to its oft-derided predecessor, Vista. Windows 7 definitely seems to have Vista beat as far features, security, and ease of use go, but what about speed concerns?
We’ve seen some conflicting reports, in terms of system boot time, so these two guys decided to put the two OSes to the test. They loaded Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and Vista Ultimate 64-bit on two otherwise identical Lenovo Thinkpad T400s. Which system booted up faster?
The above video captures the second boot for both systems. They rebooted both computers a handful more times, and retried the test later in the day. You can see the decidedly different results below.