Follow up on Windows Dual Boot Article
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  1. #1
    DJTT Scribe Mod smiTTTen's Avatar
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    Default Follow up on Windows Dual Boot Article

    There have been a lot of comments on the post about creating a dual boot Windows system for Traktor. I wanted to start this thread to provide some additional information on the subject and also to answer any questions people might have.

    First off. I should have entitled the article “Windows Optimization Part II - Dual Booting” and been clearer that this is a series of articles discussing options for Windows optimization. I started this series with the script as I considered it to be easy to implement and minimally invasive. This second article was intended to show people how to create a dual boot environment with the third article looking at what you can do to optimize one or more of those partitions. The article did however read like it was a one-off complete guide and I know this frustrated people. I will be much clearer going forward!

    Each of these articles are designed to provide you with options. It is rare that there is only one way to solve a specific problem in Windows and the dual boot method is just one option that has proven to be very reliable. I made the decision to provide a certain level of detail around this option rather than summarize multiple options where there wouldnt have been the opportunity to provide any useable detail. We may cover these other options in more detail in the future.


    Shrink Volume


    Some of you commented on why I didn’t show how to shrink an existing partition, rather than deleting the existing partition and creating two (or more partitions) from scratch. Shrinking an existing volume certainly eliminates the need to back up your data and go through two Windows installs so it’s certainly an option worth considering.

    There can be issues shrinking volumes when data exists on the drive that is unmovable. If Windows is unable to move certain chunks of data, it cannot create a new volume from an existing one. You may see data that is reported as unmovable when performing a defrag on your hard disk. The shrink option will check to see if there is unmovable data so it’s worth looking at prior to doing everything from scratch as I showed in the video.

    Here’s a very quick video showing the Shrink Volume capability in Win7. There’s no sound as it’s just a quick screen cap that I took while writing this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaZ8MRfnzxQ

    RAID
    It was suggested that perhaps RAID could be used as an alternative to dual boots. RAID is an industry standard redundancy model and provides different fail over and performance benefits depending on how it is configured. RAID does however require multiple physical disks which is rarely standard with most laptops. RAID is also designed to provide protection at the hardware level. Should a drive in a RAID array fail, the other drives will keep the system going until the faulty drive is replaced and rebuilt. My goal in the article was to provide a solution that enabled the user to switch operating systems should something fail at the software level and this is not something that RAID would be a fit for. The article also (albeit briefly) discussed the ability to run two boot partitions for different uses and again, RAID could be used for hardware redundancy but would not add any value at the logical level if the goal was to deliver two independent operating systems on the same machine.

    Virtual Machines
    There were multiple comments on using a single partition with a virtual machine. In fact, I used Oracle’s Virtual Box to set up the demo used in the video as it allowed me to show the install process. Virtual Box is free and very easy to use. Check out Virtual box here

    In the scenario where the user is looking to run two different setups for different purposes, this is a great solution. You would install the Traktor etc on the local Windows system and then create a virtual machine for everything else. In the scenario where a Traktor backup was needed, this woudn’t be a viable solution as Traktor and virtual machines don’t play well together due to driver and latency issues.

    The one area where virtual machines really win is when it comes to backups and rolling back. With a VM you can take a snapshot of your machine at a given point and easily roll back to it. Additionally, VMs exist as just a few files which make them very portable and quick to restore.

    Multiple User/Boot Profiles
    There were some great suggestions and really helpful information posted in the comments section about about using a single partition and multiple profiles. Windows 7 has certainly made it much easier to segregate environments within a single machine. As a personal choice I have not gone down this road. This is not to say it’s not a good option it’s just that I would rather put the work in upfront and create two separate environments and avoid some of the potential administrative overhead going forward. I am also not sure (as I have not set it up, nor tested it) how individual users might be effected should a central resource such as the registry encounter an error.

    If someone out there has this running it would be great to get some additional feedback on how the system would work both in a primary-backup scenario as well as two separate environments for different uses.

    Wifi and Drivers
    We recommended that you you have your drivers to hand and used a wired net connection where possible. As mentioned in the comments, Win 7 is the first OS that enables Wifi set up as part of the install. Win 7 also does a far better job with assigning drivers than any of its predecessors. Having said all that, I took the “be-prepared” approach much like most Djs would went playing at a gig. Better to assume that the Wifi might drop out or the drivers might not be available and be wrong, than the other way around.

    Separating Application and Content

    Someone suggested creating two partitions and using one for the operating system and applications and the other for your music etc. This certainly provides the benefit of protecting your music should Windows become infected with a virus or encounter some other serious error. It won’t however provide you with a back up boot option or allow you to optimize each partition individually given that there is still only one operating system installed.

    “Older” Systems
    The two optimization articles published so far are not aimed exclusively at people with older or lower spec machines. These articles are aimed at anyone who wants to dedicate the greatest amount of resources they have available to Traktor. Whether these articles will be of any value to you will be based solely on how well your machine is performing with Traktor. If your machine works fine then these articles are not for you but for many people, it’s simply not an option to dump their existing machine and go out an buy a high spec PC or Mac.

    Hopefully this has helped provide some additional clarity on the article. Please use this thread to ask follow up questions or provide additional relevant information on this subject. If you have commentary outside of that please start a separate thread so that this thread remains useful to anyone looking for help on the subject.

    Thanks,
    SmiTTTen
    Beats By Dre is like audio flu for your balls.

  2. #2
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    great follow up... i am still on xp (old school but i love it) i use a dual boot profile and can say it is very good when loading a profile for internet and then quickly loading a profile with alot of hardware turned off. Then main issue is that you can still fill your user profiles up with crap if you are lazy like me and end up just using one user profile.

    to be far thou.. in dj boot with the dvd drive and internet turned off i can still run traktor 1.2.7, 2 midi fighters and a mpd4 with no problems and that is on a audio unhappy toshiba satellite pro a330
    Last edited by jamthrax; 10-20-2011 at 04:54 PM.
    Macbook Pro 2011 :: Xone 22 :: Technics 1200 :: Denon DNS3700 :: 2x Midifighter ::Akia MPD24 :: Kaoss Pad 2 :: Audio 6 :: KRK Rockit 5 Darkstar :: Roland Sh-101 :: Traktor Scratch Duo :: Ableton live 8


  3. #3

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    Hi! I have a new xps 17 i7qm coming today, and i decided to try the dual boot system with my traktor 2 + s4. However.. i was talking to my friend the other day i and told him about this dual boot system and he said that it wouldnt be a good idea because when you make a lot of partitions you make your hard drive work much more looking for your files... is this true???

  4. #4
    DJTT Scribe Mod smiTTTen's Avatar
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    No, not true.
    Beats By Dre is like audio flu for your balls.

  5. #5
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    Hi.

    Planning on making dualboot win7 to my new comp. Just one thing im wondering... I have one copy of win 7 (1key). Is it possible to make dualboot with one windows key and still keep both installations genuine and working? Or do i really need two copies (2 different keys)?

  6. #6
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    So I'm reading the article and the comments and I really need to completely reformat and install a dual boot windows 7 on my laptop in order to perform properly. My computer has a dual core 1.3ghz processor and I get skipping every once in a while with traktor and my NI Audio 2. Yes, I know my laptop sucks! :P

    My question is this - what sizes do you recommend to make the partitions? In the comment section you suggested doing 3 partitions, 2 of which to boot from and a 3rd to store your media(music) to be accessed by both boots. Should I keep the dj boot partition at around 20-30gigs(you say windows needs about 12 gigs) and just use the extra space to install traktor, torq, drivers, ni service center, and itunes? I have a 500gb HD(so give or take 450gb of space to separate into the partitions, if I were to do a 3 different partition set up I might want 200gb for the media partition and then the bare minimum for the traktor/torq partition and the remainder for my normal computer usage.

    I consider myself computer literate to a degree and have built my own PCs and reformatted numerous times, but the dual boot is a new concept to me.

    When using the windows7 disc to create multiple boot partitions, is this a separate process from creating a partition not related to booting(the 3rd music partition)? Should I be creating this after 'installing' windows the 2nd time and using one of the boots to manually create a partition during regular windows 7 usage?

    I plan on using the tips from the first optimizing article to maximize the efficiency of my dj boot partition and just want to make sure that when I do this the first time I do it right all the way through

  7. #7
    DJTT Scribe Mod smiTTTen's Avatar
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    It's hard to say if dual/multi boot is going to solve your problems. I can't say either way whether your laptop is capable of running recent versions of Traktor with that spec. Assuming that you're not in a position to upgrade right now, I would HIGHLY recommend upgrading the internal drived to an SSD. This increases performance all round, especially if the operating systems needs to use drive space as swap memory. Yes, you'll have a much smaller disk but the difference in your machine will be like night and day. I have upgraded every machine in the house over the last 18 months. Regardless of whether you make the upgrade or not, here are the answers to your questions:

    1. I would be allocating at at least 60GB to Traktor partition.

    2. You can share folders across partitions (unless you specifically configure it to prevent that). I would do two partitions as you don't really need a dedicated partition for media. If you really needed a third partition in the future you can use the SHRINK feature in the Win & Disk Manager.

    3. The video explains all of this but in short, when you to get the disk options in the initial part of the installation - delete the existing partitions and then create the # partitions you need. Back your stuff up first. You then select one of those partitions for the first install. When the first install is finished you repeat the same process (minus the deleting re-creating of the partitions) and then select the 2nd partition. If you are a NEXT NEXT NEXT FINISH REBOOT installer like many people, you may well miss these options if you just hammer through accepting all the default values.

    I would suggest going back and watching the video again. It' all there

    Good Luck!
    Beats By Dre is like audio flu for your balls.

  8. #8
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    Default Quidance in creating different user profiles

    Hey there,

    I'd like to try out the option to use two different user profiles cause it seems less risky, especially for someone who's not that skilled in dual partition boots etc.

    But I have not found any great advice in this, only simple tutorials about how to create another user. I'd like to know how to customize these profiles to what they're meant to be used for. If anyone could give me any tips or advice in this it would be much appreciated!

    Cheers
    Sandra

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