This thread is about how to set up dual-boot with Win7 (or Vista, although I have no idea why anyone would want to use Vista) and Win 8, if Win7 or Vista is installed first.
But what about if Win8 is installed first? I bought a PC with Win8 installed, and would like to add Win7 (I have installation media, and license), and perhaps even XP as well (triple boot). Does that not work? Does one have to start with the lower version, then add the higher versions?
Since the computer came with Windows 8 preinstalled, it's most likely using UEFI. If so, then you could either use another drive or shrink Windows 8 partition to install the other OS (say Windows 7) for a dual/multi boot setup.
However, you would need to create say a bootable UEFI Windows 7 installation DVD or USB to use to install it.
UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows
Thanks for the info, Brink. Yes, the computer has UEFI. I have already disabled SecureBoot in the BIOS, and one or two other things that I thought might interfere with booting into other OSes.Good to know that Win 8 can go first. I actually may do a clean install of both OSes (in which case it could go in any order), but I think the following might also be a reason to install Win 8 first. I recall reading somewhere in these forums that Win8 will only install its system reserved and winre partition with the recovery options, if it is installed first, on an unpartitioned drive. I definitely want the Windows recovery partitions (but not the manufacturer one), so that sounds like a reason to install Win 8 first.However, I would also like the Win 7 recovery options (system reserved partition), in case I have any problems with that OS. In installing Windows 7 second, with the UEFI-bootable Win 7 disk or drive, will there be any problem with getting the Win7 system reserved partition as well?Also, if possible, I would like to install the Acronis pre-boot partition. (Works like booting from the Acronis CD, but one doesn't need a disc). I am surmising that one would install that last correct, after the Windows installations? (By the way, I have used EasyBCD before, and created a dual-boot Win7-WinXP, also with the Acronis recovery boot option (which comes up first on booting, before the choice of OSes, with a message to press F11 to boot to it), but that was non-UEFI, and also a couple years ago, so I don't recall how I did it.)
You can install Windows 7 x64 in dual boot first or second.
Follow Step one to five in this tutorial:
Downgrade Windows 8 to Windows 7
Warning ,you must have the uEFI/BIOS firmware settings in Step Three set.
Also take note of the note about Dual booting.
Than follow this tutorial: (installing in uEFI mode.)
Dual Boot Installation - Windows 8 and Windows 7 or Vista
If you make two windows System Reserved/Recovery partitions, you will have problems using the Repair tools.
The only issue would be that you would need the manufacturer partition to be able to do a factory recovery with, unless you created a factory recovery DVD/USB to use instead.
Either way, using the factory recovery media would restore the system back to how it was. I'm not certain that you will be able to use retail Windows 8 installation media with an OEM key like you could with Windows 7.
If that's the case, you would need to install Windows 7 afterwards. I don't know how the Acronis partition will work in the mix.
Thanks, theog.As both Brink and yourself said that one could install Win7 second in a dual boot, why would one "downgrade win8 to win7"? Why not just add on Win7, as the second boot. Also, why would there be a problem with having the system reserved partition for both OSes? The Win8 recovery tools only work on Win8, correct, and the Win7 tools only on Win7? Therefore, as one would want to be able to recover from problems in either OS, it certainly would be better to have both. Is that not possible?
There would only be one system reserved partition. I would recommend installing Windows 8 first to have it's partition instead.
As for Windows 7, you could create a System Repair Disk to use for it as needed instead.
Thanks, Brink. I doubt I would ever want to restore to factory. That is why I want to do clean installs. However, I agree, before deleting the manufacturer recovery partition, good to back it up, to make the discs, etc., just in case one ever needs it.I backed up that partition with Acronis to an external HDD. I also was planning to make the manufacturer recovery disks, but I have not yet found how to do that. However, I did make the Windows 8 recovery drive (on a flash drive), using the recoverydrive command. When it asked me whether to include the manufacturer recovery partition, I chose yes. So I figure that does the same thing, in case I ever want to restore to factory (using the Reset command, after booting from that flash drive), if I delete the manufacturer recovery partition on the HDD. But I am not likely to ever do that (restore to factory). Yet I agree, always good to have that option backed up before deleting it. Not good though, to delete the Windows recovery partitions (system reserved, etc., my laptop seems to have two, although much smaller than the manufacturer recovery partition), as those have very useful recovery options on them, which can also be accessed from a bootable recovery disc or flash drive, but much more convenient to be able to boot to those options without having the disc or flash drive with one. (That is why, if possible, I would like to have those options available for both OSes.)