Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Installing Windows 7 to dual boot

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8

    Installing Windows 7 to dual boot


    hello, I have new pc that has windows 8 pro installed. I would like to dual boot with windows 7 because certain software for work is not compatible with win 8. I was reading that I can create a vhd from windows 8, boot to the windows 7 installation media and install win 7 to the vhd, then I have the option to select win 7 or 8. Am I missing something here or is it as easy as this? Also do I need Win 7 ultimate or will he professional one work? I do not want to partition the hard drive.

    would this tutorial do what I need?
    -http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/2953-virtual-hard-drive-vhd-file-create-start-boot.html

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  2. #2


    Posts : 9
    Win8


    The guide seem to do what you wont to do. But you should now what you are doing because this could f*** some things up. And you have tried starting those programs in compability mode?
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  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8


    No luck in compatibility mode. I dont have anything saved/installed on the pc so I can always reinstall. Hope it works.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 9
    Win8


    Good luck then.
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  5. #5


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I use VMware for Win8 as guest and Win 7 as host. And that works great. But you can also do it the other way around. Just specify Win7 in the setup. VMware Player - Install Windows 8
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  6. #6


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    VMware does give you the advantage of running 2 OS's side by side but does have to share system resource, for example: Memory and does run slower. If you decide to install Windows 7 for dual booting, here's a 5 easy steps using imagex, a program from Windows Automated Installation kit (WAIK) :


    1. Create a partition, assign a letter and format it.
    2. If your Windows 7 is an ISO, mount it. If your Windows 7 is a DVD, put it in your DVD Drive.
    3. Open elevated command prompt and type as follows:

      imagex /apply E:\sources\install.wim 1 F:\

      where E: is your DVD drive/Mounted Drive and F: is your partition that you want to install Windows 7, so you need to change these 2's accordingly

    4. Type: bcdboot F:\windows =====> Again, change F: to the drive letter that you assigned your partition.
    5. Reboot your PC, you should have a dual boot menu for Windows 7 & Windows 8


    If you no longer want to have this option in your boot menu, use MSCONFIG (boot tab) and delete the unwanted entry

    Here's the zip file for imagex:
    Installing Windows 7 to dual boot Attached Files
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  7. #7


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I don't really notice any real performance hit from VMware - and I am even running from an external USB attached disk. See for yourself in this demo.

    But the advantages of being able to run the two systems side by side are priceless.
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  8. #8


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I don't really notice any real performance hit from VMware - and I am even running from an external USB attached disk. See for yourself in this demo.

    But the advantages of being able to run the two systems side by side are priceless.
    Yes, I did see the demo a while back, and i agree with you it does have the advantage for running side by side so that you don't have to reboot to switch OS but to me it's only good for testing environment, For normal production environment, I think it's better to have these 2 separated. What happens if for some reason you have problem with Windows 8 and it's unbootable ? then there goes with your VMware.
    BTW, you did not notice any slowness because in your demo, you just switch back and forth between the 2 but if you have some application running in Windows 8 and try to do something with Windows 7 then you'll probably notice it.
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  9. #9


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I am not an advocate for VMware and don't get any pay from them. I only use 1 system for real work and the other occasionally. And for that environment, the virtual setup is ideal.

    Regarding problems - one advantage of the VMware setup is that you can easily backup the system at any time. Just copy the VMware folder to a safe place. And if the thing goes on the blink, you just bring in the backup folder. Beats imaging - but it takes appr. 40% more backup space because it is not compressed like an image file. No big deal with the acres of disk space we have nowadays.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Adelaide
    Posts : 1,338
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Linux Mint 17.1 MATE (64 bit)


    The VHD will use your physical hardware (drivers will need to be installed).

    The VM will use the VM Manager's virtual hardware and drivers.

    If you have multiple HDDs you can reduce the chance of slowdowns, by running your VMs from a different HDD to your OS.
    We used to get VM "lock ups" at TAFE, because everything ran from one HDD and sometimes multiple programs would "battle" for HDD access.

    I have my VMs on a separate internal HDD and I don't experience those "lock ups".
    If you have a SSD, you probably won't get "lock ups" either (I don't have one so I can't be sure).
    Last edited by lehnerus2000; 16 Feb 2013 at 19:05. Reason: Spelling
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Installing Windows 7 to dual boot
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