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Dear Deirdre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_system
http://windows.microsoft.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIOS
http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/dual-boot-windows-7-ubuntu.html

Is it possible to install multiple Operating Systems in a single machine viz Server, Workstation, Laptop, Mobile Devices ?.

For example : Microsoft Windows and Linux.

Will this approaches also work ?.

1. BIOS program option to load Windows 7 or Linux on boot up with Two Hard drives installed in the machine. Hard Drive 1 has Windows 7 installed, Hard Drive 2 has Linux Os Installed instead of installing two Os in a single Hard Drive.

In the Bios Setup program indicating Hard Disk 1 or Hard Disk 2 as Os Booting Drive. If User selects Hard Disk 1, System will boot Windows 7.0, If User selects Hard Disk 2, System will boot Linux.

Here there will be additional cost of a Hard Drive installation in the computer.

2. If the above approach do not work because of technical reasons, Can we have multiple BIOS chips in the machine ?.

Choice given to user for loading BIOS 1 or BIOS 2 using two different function Keys, for example F10 or F11.

Pressing F10 will give the BIOS setup for Loading Windows 7 OS.
Pressing F11 will give the BIOS setup for Loading Linux OS.

IF BIOS 1 is selected during startup, Windows 7 OS will boot, IF BIOS 2 is selected during startup, Linux OS will boot.

In Both the cases, there will be two hard drives in the machine.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
There are a number of ways to install operating systems in computers. Microsoft doesn't make it easy, but Linux does.
A program like Lilo, installed when Linux is installed permits you to select which operating system you will start on boot.
Now, with many processors supporting virtualization, it's also possible to run a program such as Virtual Box, which lets you run multiple operating systems at the same time. You can have Linux running in a window in Windows, or Windows running in Linux. This works well because you can copy and paste between applications in Windows and Linux.
Virtual Box also runs on the Mac, but Apple has another program called Parallels permitting the same thing.

Modification of the Bios is not necessary to use multiple operating systems and the selection of the operating system is better done with something like Lilo. The reason for this is that the Bios only needs to know of one boot sector. Then a small app in the boot sector will allow the user to select which operating system they wish to load. And if this is too inconvenient, then programs such as Virtual Box make the process even easier.

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Deirdre Hebert

Expertise

I can answer most questions regarding electronic components, what they are and how to use them.

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I worked for a number of years in the electronic component testing industry, designing and building automated test equipment for the electronic manufacturing industry.

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Numerous technical manuals for the equipment we built.

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UNH, CCAF and others

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General Electric, Motorola, Ford, Sensonor and others.

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