Dual Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8

Want to test the Microsoft’s new OS version but don’t want to lose your Windows 7? Then don’t worry, this page guides you in dual booting the Windows 7 and Windows 8 OS.

Windows 8, the latest version of Microsoft range of OS offers you the best touch-screen experience. I believe most of you would wish to at least try new metro-styled features of Windows 8, but not so sure about its efficiency and hence, doesn't want to change completely from Windows 7 to Windows 8. And your Windows 7 is also working fine with its wide range of user-friendly features. So, don’t want to lose even your Windows 7.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry much about this; you can easily install Windows 8 alongside of your Windows 7. It’s just a matter of configuring dual boot environment for your Windows 7 and Windows 8 OS. Before proceeding, make sure you have the data backup of your Windows PC. Just follow the easy guide to perform this dual booting procedure.

Step 1: Create a partition for Windows 8

The first step is to create a partition to install your Windows 8 OS. Basically, the minimum storage space required for Windows 8 is 16GB to 20 GB; I would suggest you to allot at least 30GB to 50 GB of partition space for Windows 8 for the proper and effective functioning of this OS. Thus you need to create a partition of at least 30 GB for side-by-side Windows 8 installation.

To achieve this, type “Disk Management” in the “Start” button’s text box. Then, click on the “Create and format hard disk partitions” option that is present at the top of the Start panel. This opens the Disk management Utility. It shows all the available partitions along with its sizes. From the list right click on the partition with largest size and select “Shrink Volume” from the context menu.

After which you will receive a "Querying Shrink Space" dialog, and then another dialog indicating the available free space that can be squeezed out will be displayed. Now, enter the size and click on “Shrink” button. This creates an unallocated section with the size opted by you at the bottom of the drive. Now, right-click on it and choose “New Simple Volume” option and rename it with a memorable name. Don’t change any other settings. After completion of the process, the partition will be formatted which might take just few minutes.

Step 2: Get the Windows 8 installer

Now, you need to download the Windows 8 installer from Microsoft’s official site. Depending on your PC download either 32-bit one or 64-bit. Make use of the Windows 7’s included Disc image burning Utility that creates the DVD installer from ISO file after downloading it. However, you cannot create the dual-boot system by starting the installer within the same drive or partition while running Windows 7; hence you have to boot the installer to upgrade disk or USB drive.

Step 3: Install Windows 8 OS

Now you have to install the Windows 8 OS. First connect the USB device or slot the DVD, which you prepared in Step 2 and then restart your PC to begin the installation process. To do this, you will have to change DVD’s / USB’s boot priority in the BIOS.

Click on “Install Now” option and enter the product key and accept the license. After which select “Custom Install” option (not Upgrade), which offers you a list of available partitions / drives. Then select the new partition which you created and click “Next” on it. Be care full while selecting the partition.

Then, the installer starts installation process and reboots the system. Once, it is done you will receive the dual-boot menu that allows you to select the OS to load. After few seconds, Windows 8 will be loaded by default. You can change this default OS by clicking in “Change defaults or choose other options”, which is at the bottom of the screen.

Now, you have completed the dual-booting process for Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can even use your troubleshooting tools like resetting, refreshing PC and can access the other options like system recovery and command prompt.

Before performing all these procedure and starting the installation and all other stuffs, first and foremost take the backup of your entire Windows data. As this process includes formatting, partitioning there are huge chances of losing your vital data. In such circumstances, if you don’t have the data backup what will you do? Don’t get tensed, just make use of the Remo Recover Windows Pro edition software, which can help you restore all your vital files by performing Windows recovery.

Important Note:

  • Before starting the process take the data backup
  • While selecting the partition in Step 3 to install Windows 8, make sure you are selecting the right partition
  • If you are using the USB drive, make sure, your computer supports booting from the Flash drives.
Dual Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 was last modified: June 27th, 2013 by Tony Landry

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