Dual Booting Windows 8 with Windows 7


KB ID 0000653 Dtd 21/08/12


In the next couple of months Windows 8 will go RTM. For those of you with Technet, MSDNor Open Value subscriptions you can already get your hands on it. For anyone not wanting to take the ‘plunge’ and reinstall your OS, you can simply ‘Dual Boot’. Then you can get used to Windows 8 in your own good time. If you suddenly find you need Windows 7 simplify reboot and it will still be there.


Create a Partition for Windows 8

1. From within Windows 7 > Start > Right Click ‘Computer’ > Manage.

Manage Windows 7

2. Launch Disk Management.

Disk Mnagement

3. This machine has one large C: (System Drive). I’m going to ‘Shrink’ the volume that’s on it to free up room for a Windows 8 Partition, but first I’m going to rename it so we know what it is > Right click > Properties.

System Drive Properties

4. Call it ‘Windows 7’ > Apply > OK.

Rename System Drive

5. Now Right click > Shrink Volume.

Shrink System Drive

6. Pick the amount to shrink the volume by, Note: Windows 8 needs 20 GB (Minimum) > Shrink.

Resize System Drive

7. Once complete, right click the newly created ‘free space’ > New Simple Volume.

Create New Volume

8. Accept all the defaults and name the volume ‘Windows 8’.

9. Now we have a partition to install to.

New Partition

Install Windows 8

10. Note: To install from DVD the computer MUST be set to boot from CD/DVD before it’s hard drive. This is set in the computers BIOS, how this is done varies from model to model.

BIOS Boot Order

11. Boot the machine and when prompted press any key to boot from DVD. Select your language options > Next.

Install Windows 8

12. Enter your Windows 8 unlock code > Next.

Windows 8 Unlock Code

13. Accept the EULA > Next.

Windows 8 EULA

14. Select CUSTOM.

Windows 8 Custom Install

15. Now you can see why I named the partitions, select Windows 8 > Next.

Dual Boot Windows 8

16. Ignore this for now and let Windows 8 install.

Choose OS to Boot

17. It will run setup then reboot.

Reboot Windows 8

18. At this point Windows 8 will be the OS that boots by default, you will probably want it to be Windows 7 so select “Change defaults or choose other options”

Select Default Operating System

19. Choose the default operating system.

Change Default Operating System

Note: The ‘Change the timer’ Setting changes the seconds countdown shown at boot, as illustrated in step 27 below.

20. Set it to Windows 7 > Back.

Boot Windows 8

21. Now Select Windows 8 to boot into that OS.

Select Windows 8

22. Run through the ‘Personalise’ steps.

Personalise Windows 8

23. I don’t want to login with a Microsoft account so I’m selecting “Sign in without a Microsoft account” > Next.

Sign onto Windows 8

24. Local account.

Windows 8 Local Account

25. Create an account to login with > Finish.

Log onto Windows 8

26. There’s Windows 8!

Windows 8

27. When you reboot you can now choose which OS you want to use.

Note: The seconds counter below is set to the default of 30 seconds.

Select OS to Boot Win 7 or Win 8

28. If you select nothing Windows 7 will boot by default.

Windows 7 Still Working

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

Windows 8 Shortcuts

Windows 8 -“Windows cannot read the <ProductKey> setting from the unattend answer file.”

Author: Migrated

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