Installing a version of Windows in dual boot with another version of Windows is very straight-forward if you know how to partition a HDD/SDD and install Windows. Likewise, installing Windows on a Mac has become much easier, thanks to the Boot Camp Assistant.
In this article, we are going to talk about four very useful but lesser known tools to easily manage your dual boot machines.
Free utilities for dual boot Windows users
EasyBCD: EasyBCD isn’t only useful for dual-boot users but helpful for all Windows users. It lets you add, edit, delete and manage boot entries. In addition to that, you can use this tool to create a bootable Windows USB, boot Windows from VHD, add various ISO files to the boot menu so that you can easily boot from ISO, backup and repair BCD.
The ability to boot from a USB drive even if your PC’s motherboard doesn’t support booting from USB is another very helpful feature of this program. EasyBCD is completely free for personal and non-commercial use.
iReboot: Another excellent software from the developer of EasyBCD. iReboot lets you reboot from one version of Windows to another without having to go through the boring boot menu.
That is, if you have installed Windows 8.1 in dual boot with Windows 7 and switch between these two versions of Windows very often, you can simply right-click on the iReboot icon in the system tray and then select a version of Windows you want to reboot to in order to restart your PC and reboot to the selected version of Windows.
MiniTool Partition Wizard: Not very useful if you already have partitioned your hard drive to create a dedicated partition to install Windows. Partition Wizard Home edition, which is free, not only lets you partition your drive but also lets you convert NTFS to FAT, convert MBR to GPT and vice versa, copy UEFI boot disk, extend system partition, restore deleted partition, rebuild MTR, hide partition, and more.
And if you want to manage your partitions without booting into Windows, you can download Partition Wizard Bootable CD. It’s free!
BootChamp: This tool is for Mac users who have installed Windows on Mac using Boot Camp Assistant. BootChamp is pretty much similar to iReboot software and lets you quickly reboot into Windows from Mac OS X. In short, you don’t need to hold down the Option (Alt) key and then select the Windows partition if you install BootChamp on your Mac. Simply click on the BootChamp icon and then click Restart into Windows to restart your Mac and boot into Windows without having to press a single key.
NTFS-Free for Mac OS X: If you own a Windows PC and also a Mac, you probably know that Mac OS X can only read and write to FAT32, not the popular NTFS. If you want to access and write to a NTFS drive and copy some files to it, you need take the help of some third-party tools.
As you likely know, there are a couple of tools out there to write to NTFS from Mac, but none of them are free. For users who’re looking for a free tool to write to NTFS drive, NTFS-Free for Mac OS X is the ideal tool. The only catch is that, according to the developer of this tool, it lets you access NTFS formatted drives connected via USB port only.