Sorry if this has been asked before .....
I want to explore W7 but not try and use it as my base OS - happy to stay with Vista for the moment.
Can I set up a separate partition or whatever, install W7 into that and then, at startup, choose which OS to use?

Excuse my ignorance

I would be interested in response. Wanted to leave my current windows vista install and create second partition for W7

Put simply, yes you can install win 7 on a different partition and you can select which OS at boot up.

You can use EasyBCD to edit the boot loader, for example set vista as default OS and change selection time from 30 sec to a shorter time.

Hope this helps.

! Don't forget to do a custom install not an upgrade when installing win 7 !

Thanks everyone. W7 installed on separate partition with dual boot on startup. AOK so far!

Sorry if this has been asked before .....
I want to explore W7 but not try and use it as my base OS - happy to stay with Vista for the moment.
Can I set up a separate partition or whatever, install W7 into that and then, at startup, choose which OS to use?

Excuse my ignorance

I did install Windows 7 on my laptop HP9720US.
I took it off only because you have to reinstall windows to get rid of the Beta version and start clean. A virtual drive I am told is the way to go.
Go to Microsoft Virtual drive or find one here on the internet. Then your VISTA is still up and running.
I downloaded Windows 7 RC but have not tried it yet. I have a friend that used Windows XP and added Windows 98 as a test and it worked.
NOTE: ALL new HP's are engineered for VISTA only, so to move up to Windows 7 should be perfect.
Good luck.