[Guide] Dual-Booting Windows 8 and Windows 7

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NabhanKhan100

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2012
81
28
Earth
I was searching on this site for a way to dualboot and found nothing. I know many of you are looking for a way to dualboot these two awesome OS(es?). Well look no further. I found a way to successfully dualboot on a website but it's directions are partially inaccurate and incomplete so I decided to write my own method based off of that website. (I will also provide a link to that site at the bottom of this post)

If ^that^ was too much for you too read, here's the condensed version:
  • I found the method online
  • I'm simplifying it

So here it is:

Step 1: Download Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant

Click Here: http://web.esd.microsoft.com/W8DL/W...C5B1D8956B5B1D8/Windows8-UpgradeAssistant.exe

Step 2: Open the downloaded file (if you think I'm going to slow, skip down to Step )

Step 3: Click Run, and if you're not an administrator, type in the admin password, then Click "Yes" when you get a popup saying the Microsoft want access to your hard drive

Step 4: It'll check your "apps"(programs) and devices for compatibility(It might take up to 15 mins. depending on how many "apps" you have. This step doesn't really matter(or apply) to us.

Step 5: Do something/anything

Step 6: Click Next. Select "Nothing"

Step 7: Click Order and fill out your information. Click Checkout.

Step 7.5: Write down your product key on physical paper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Very Important)

Step 8: It'll now say: "We're getting a few things ready"

Step 9: Fill out the details it asks for, then click Next

Step 10: On the next screen choose your payment method

Step 11: Fill out that information, then click Next

Step 12: You'll arrive at the "Confirm your Order" screen. At the bottom click "Buy"

Step 13: Now it will say "Processing your order". Then it will download Windows 8 for you(This might take a while, it depends on your internet connection speed), then make the files it downloaded ready to upgrade your computer.

Step 14: There will now be three options under the title "Install Windows"

Step 15: Select "Install by Creating Media"

Step 16: Now you can either select Usb Flash Drive or ISO file

This is where it branches off
If you select ISO Image, it will ask you where you would like for this to be saved. Then it will prepare the image and be done in maybe 3 mins or so

If you selected USB Flash Drive then I'm sorry :( I have no idea what to do. If someone could help, I'll include them in the credits

Step 17: (for ISO)
Click the ISO you downloaded and insert a DVD(one of those 4.7 gb ones) into your drive

Step 18: Click Verify Disc to be careful or, if you prefer speed, directly Click "Burn"

Step 19: If you are doing this on a laptop it might sound like your laptop is going to explode, but it's not. I'll take around 15 mins. It'll eject your DVD after it's done

Step 20: Press "Start" button and type "diskmgmt.msc" and click the first option that comes up

Step 21: It might take a while to fully load up. Right click your main(and/or biggest) hard drive and select the fourth option, "Shrink Volume".(It'll take while to load).

If you are on a 32 bit computer enter at least 16384.

If you are using a 64 bit computer type at least 20480. Press "Shrink"

Step 22: Right click the created hard disk and click "New Simple Volume"

Step 23: Click Next, Next, then assign a drive letter then Next, Select "Format this volume with the following settings" then assign a name. For file system select "NTFS", then check "Perform a quick format". Then click next, then Finsh

Step 24: Shutdown your computer (Advanced users can sip down to Step 27)

Step 25: Go into BIOS. I cannot help you with this as every computer is different

Step 26: Once in BIOS, change the boot order. Save and Exit.

Step 27: Shutdown your computer

Step 28: Insert the DVD.

Step 29: You will get a message: "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD" Press any key..

Step 30: It will install then you will get to the Personalization Screen (colors, Accounts, etc.)

Step 31: You are done :D Enjoy! :D:D:D

Credits:

dansou901 http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=4588971

The website I kept blabbing about: http://mashable.com/2012/11/08/dual-boot-windows-8/

I found a video covering Steps 16-19 but after that it's something else: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=MQCgVuSHMP0&NR=1

If your Shrink volume Option is very low check out this article and follow it's directions:http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/resize-a-partition-for-free-in-windows-vista/


If you want to give me pointer or tips on how to improve this guide, go ahead, please, don't hesitate
 

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Last edited:

GoodDayToDie

Inactive Recognized Developer
Jan 20, 2011
6,066
2,931
Seattle
Wait, it was that hard to find the steps of
1. Download or pick up a copy of Win8 and put your license key somewhere you can get at it.
2. Reboot your computer from install media.
3. Re-partition your disk.
4. Install to the new partition.
???

Dual-booting Win8 with another OS is no different than it has been with previous OSes. In fact, so long as you stick to NT 6.x versions of Windows, it's pretty trivial. As for re-partitioning, you can do that before rebooting, as you listed, or you can do it from the OS install environment. That option is actually faster, and might allow a greater amount of shrink, because there's no concern over whether file handles are in use. You'll need to select the Advanced options, though.

As for creating a bootable flashdrive, there's a tool somewhere to do it for you but the steps are actually quite simple.
1. Make sure it's formatted FAT32. Reformat it if needed.
2. You'll need to mark the Flashdrive's partition as bootable.
2.1. Open CMD as admin.
2.2 Run diskpart.
2.3 List Disk to find he disk number of your flashdrive.
2.4 Select Disk # (where # is the number you found in 2.3).
2.4 List Part to find the partitions on the flashdrive (there's usually only one).
2.5 Select Part # (where again, # is the partition number from 2.4).
2.6 Active (this command marks the selected partition as "active" meaning bootable).
2.7 Exit.
3. Copy the install files onto the flashdrive.
3.1. If you downloaded the install media as an ISO, you'kl need to get the files off of it. You can do this by mounting the ISO, by opening ISO in a program like 7-Zip (my preferred option), or by burning it to a DVD.
3.2 Once you have the files, just copy them from the root of the install "disk" (whether a physical DVD, mounted ISO image, or image you are exploring in 7-Zip) to the root of the flashdrive.
4. You now have a bootable flashdrive ready to install Windows from. You can use it on any computer that can boot from USB.

A few more tips:
* If you have Bitlocker enabled on your current OS, suspend or disable it before running the second install! Otherwise, you'll have to enter that horribly long Recovery Key value. The best way is to suspend BL, which is nearly instant to do or undo, and very easy:
** CMD (or Powershell) as Admin -> manage-bde.exe -protectors -disable C:
* If you have a Linux dual-boot already, and have configured GRUB to chain-load the Windows loader (which is the usual approach), you will need to re-install GRUB after installing Win8 because Win8 will overwrite the GRUB stage one loader in the MBR. If you instead have the Windows loader set up to chain-load GRUB, you're fine; installing win8 will add a new entry to your BCD (bootloader menu) but won't interfere with the existing one for loading GRUB.
 
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  • 1
    You left out the part where you have to partition your disk. Otherwise it will simply overwrite your existing Windows installation.

    You wrote you were going to dualboot, right?

    Sent from my Liberty using xda premium
    1
    Wait, it was that hard to find the steps of
    1. Download or pick up a copy of Win8 and put your license key somewhere you can get at it.
    2. Reboot your computer from install media.
    3. Re-partition your disk.
    4. Install to the new partition.
    ???

    Dual-booting Win8 with another OS is no different than it has been with previous OSes. In fact, so long as you stick to NT 6.x versions of Windows, it's pretty trivial. As for re-partitioning, you can do that before rebooting, as you listed, or you can do it from the OS install environment. That option is actually faster, and might allow a greater amount of shrink, because there's no concern over whether file handles are in use. You'll need to select the Advanced options, though.

    As for creating a bootable flashdrive, there's a tool somewhere to do it for you but the steps are actually quite simple.
    1. Make sure it's formatted FAT32. Reformat it if needed.
    2. You'll need to mark the Flashdrive's partition as bootable.
    2.1. Open CMD as admin.
    2.2 Run diskpart.
    2.3 List Disk to find he disk number of your flashdrive.
    2.4 Select Disk # (where # is the number you found in 2.3).
    2.4 List Part to find the partitions on the flashdrive (there's usually only one).
    2.5 Select Part # (where again, # is the partition number from 2.4).
    2.6 Active (this command marks the selected partition as "active" meaning bootable).
    2.7 Exit.
    3. Copy the install files onto the flashdrive.
    3.1. If you downloaded the install media as an ISO, you'kl need to get the files off of it. You can do this by mounting the ISO, by opening ISO in a program like 7-Zip (my preferred option), or by burning it to a DVD.
    3.2 Once you have the files, just copy them from the root of the install "disk" (whether a physical DVD, mounted ISO image, or image you are exploring in 7-Zip) to the root of the flashdrive.
    4. You now have a bootable flashdrive ready to install Windows from. You can use it on any computer that can boot from USB.

    A few more tips:
    * If you have Bitlocker enabled on your current OS, suspend or disable it before running the second install! Otherwise, you'll have to enter that horribly long Recovery Key value. The best way is to suspend BL, which is nearly instant to do or undo, and very easy:
    ** CMD (or Powershell) as Admin -> manage-bde.exe -protectors -disable C:
    * If you have a Linux dual-boot already, and have configured GRUB to chain-load the Windows loader (which is the usual approach), you will need to re-install GRUB after installing Win8 because Win8 will overwrite the GRUB stage one loader in the MBR. If you instead have the Windows loader set up to chain-load GRUB, you're fine; installing win8 will add a new entry to your BCD (bootloader menu) but won't interfere with the existing one for loading GRUB.
    1
    Probably, yes. It could just as easily be done with a script that invokes Diskpart and 7-Zip, though.
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