Guide to Dual Booting Windows 8 and Windows 7

MobilityDigest have published this handy guide to dual booting with Windows 8 and another operating system.

The steps seem relatively simple and goes as follows:

Step 0: Acquire Installation Media

Download Windows 8 Developer Preview from Microsoft and burn the ISO image to a DVD.

Step 1: Backup your files

Step 2: Making Room for Windows 8

You will need  around 20 GB of storage, with around 7.5 of that taken up by Windows 8.  You  will need to repartition your hard drive to give Windows 8 room to install. From Windows 7 you can use Disk Management to shrink the C drive (Right click on “Computer” > Select “Manage” > Select “Disk Management”). For Vista and XP user, you will need to get 3rd party software(like Acronis), to do it.

Step 3: Installing

Restart the computer and insert the installation media you created in Step 0. When prompted, hit a key to boot from CD (make sure your bootloader is set to boot from CD before the hard drive or this will not work). Click all of the accept/install/continue buttons and check all the appropriate boxes. DO NOT click “UPGRADE” when prompted. You will choose to the clean install. Select the unallocated partition you made in Step 2. Double check that this is the correct partition by checking the partition size and free space(the numbers should match). Highlight the correct partition and continue on. Wait while Windows 8 does the rest of the work.

Step 4: Bootloader Setup

After the installer finishes, it will restart and take you to the bootloader. Windows 8 should’ve automatically detected your previous OS and added it as a tile below “developer preview”. Below that should be an option to configure additional option, click on that. You will now be able to select your default OS, as well as the auto-select duration for the bootloader. Windows 8 appears to integrate the bootloader with the OS so if you choose your old OS from this screen, the system will restart and you will be taken to the original bootloader instead of the flashy windows 8 bootloader.

That’s it. You should be able to see all the files from your previous OS, within Windows 8, as long as it’s in a format that Windows recognizes.

Read the original guide at MobilityDigest here.

How many readers have already installed Windows 8 on their PCs? Let us know your experience below.

  • Anonymous

    i’ve got ubuntu  installed within windows 7 (using wubi) so i’m dual booting at the moment, if i install windows 8  using above method can i still boot with ubuntu? i tried installing windows 8 using virtual box within win7 but unsuccessful (got oxffffff errors, restart computer , think it’s my notebook an old lenovo t61 with c2d 7200, 3 gb ram, 256 graphics)

    • Kunwar Preet Singh

      same question about ubuntu pls somebody give an answer

      • Knockerman

        yup it does work

        • Kunwar Preet Singh

          thanx alot installing now….

    • Knockerman

      yup it does

  • Ruzzy

    Any suggestions on a tablet to buy and put windows developer build on? 

    • Adrien Di-Santo

      I have the Asus EP121. If you don’t mind having only 2 touch detection at the same time, it’s perfect with it’s 4gb of ram, core i5 and 64gb of ssd

  • Knockerman

    i just installed windows 8 with my current version of 7 and ubuntu already setup, not actuaaly checked the ubutu part yet but about to now will update this in a few mins if ubuntu is ok.

    • Knockerman

      ok just completed the restart and my ubuntu is intact, make sure you select the option to use windows 7 as the default os then you will on the restart have all 3 os as an option to run. woohoo!!!

  • Paul Bendall

    You don’t need to re-partition if you are already running Windows 7, just create a VHD drive and then use this to install Windows 8. It maybe a bit more tricky intially but more transparent than repartitioning.

  • Charliefr3sh

    Anyone tried playing pc games on Win *? Games like Dirt 3, F3ar, Crysis 2 and the like?

  • Charliefr3sh

    Anyone tried playing pc games on Win 8? Games like Dirt 3, F3ar, Crysis 2 and the like?

    Sorry for double post, had to edit my post.