Dual boot system, also referred as multi-booting system is a computer system wherein two operating systems are installed on the same hard drive, allowing the user to choose the either operating system to be loaded during the startup. At startup, a boot manager program lets the user to choose which one to load. However, some computers will be configured to load a specific OS at start time.
Example: A dual boot Windows system provides an option to load either Windows 7 or Windows 8 or other Windows OS at startup. Also, the Linux and Mac OS X users can install Windows to create a Linux / Windows or Mac / Windows dual boot configuration.
These Dual boot systems are often used by computer enthusiasts, those who would prefer to use different operating systems for different tasks or want to run OS-specific applications. And the Software developers use dual boot systems for testing their software on multiple operating systems.
Tools for Dual-booting:
To create a dual boot system, one needs to install a custom boot manager or boot loader. Actually it is a small program that loads the boot sequence before the OS loads.
Reasons for Dual Booting:
Testing the New Operating System
This is the most feasible reason for why one need to dual boot. As and when a new OS version is released, it is likely to contain bugs and compatibility concerns with both the hardware and software. Hence, dual boot is a best way to check out whether the new OS will work with the hardware and software of the system without compromising on its current configuration. Dual boot is more helpful for network administrators or computer technicians, before deploying a new operating system.
Testing Application Compatibility
Dual boot can also be utilized in determining the compatibility of an application with your present computing environment. With this one can easily ensure whether the application is compatible with both systems or not before deleting the previous setup.
Multi User Environment
Dual booting is a good way of making a single computer useful for multiple persons. For example, in a home setting it will allow the user to keep the work confidential when the system is being shared with the other user.
Important Note: In the proces of dual booting your hard drive, in case your hard drive fails, you will lose all your data.. But, there is no need to worry, you can easily perform failed hard drive recovery by making use of the link provided.
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