Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 7 and 8 dual boot and storage options

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows

    Windows 7 and 8 dual boot and storage options


    I have a Lenovo y500 with Windows 8 installed on its stock 1TB hard drive. I am getting an 128gb mSATA drive later this week and plan to install windows 7 on it and use it as my primary OS.

    My plan:
    1. Restore the laptop to factory settings (Windows 8 installed on the 1TB drive)
    2. Disconnect the 1TB drive and attach the new mSATA SSD only.
    3. Install Windows 7 on the mSATA SSD.
    4. Reconnect original 1TB drive with windows 8 and then use BIOS boot menu to choose which disk to boot from. (new SSD for Win 7, old 1TB drive for Win8)

    This seems to be the easiest way to set up dual booting without messing around with the MBR. I dont mind switching boot drives in the BIOS when I need to.

    My question is: With this setup, can I create a separate partition on the original 1 TB drive and use it for storage / program installations for both Windows 7 and Windows 8?
    Last edited by Hypnagogik; 23 Oct 2013 at 14:22.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5
    Windows


    It would look like this:
    128gb SSD = Win 7 boot drive
    1TB HDD = 128gb Win 8 partition, ~800gb partition with separate folders for Windows 7 and Windows 8 programs and general storage.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    This may work, you should try it and see if you can choose which OS by selecting which Drive to boot from using Boot Choices Menu. But I don't think this will give you a choice in the Windows 8 Boot GUI, on the Windows 7 drive, you will get the Windows 7 Dos bootloader. The Win 8 drive will bring up the Windows 8 Boot GUI, which may or may not show the 7 installation.

    The only thing you can do is try it, see what it does, it may work as I suggested or when you attach the 2nd Win 8 drive, and boot to 8 one time, it may locate windows 7 and add it to the BCD.

    I installed Windows 8 to 2 machines, as a fresh install to a 500GB HD on one machine, that machine also had a 320 GB IDE Drive with Windows 7 installed. The IDE Drive has to be the first drive in the boot order else it will not boot, because Windows 8 installed the Boot Loader for 8 to the Windows 7 Drive, not on the Windows 8 drive. So that system spans 2 disks.

    On this computer, I had 2 Windows 7 partitions, I updated the main one to 8. So on this machine, if I boot to the main drive, it's 8 with a choice to boot to 7, if I boot the the 2nd drive, it's Windows 7 with NO choice to boot to 8.

    Kind of confusing, I think it was because I updated this machine and fresh installed to the other while the Windows 7 drive was installed.

    But on this machine, each drive has it's own OS bootloader. The other machine is the one that has the Bootloader for both OSes on the IDE drive.

    So to bypass the confusion factor I made for myself, I would do it as you suggest, install fresh Windows 7 onto the 128Gb'r only, then add the other drive in, and try booting from each drive, see what it does. If it does not work as you want, you can reformat the 128 drive and install Windows 7 while the Windows 8 drive is in. Or, you can just use Bootrec /Scanos and BCDedit to add both OSes to the Boot GUI. I use a 3rd party program to do it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5
    Windows


    Ok thanks. Going to give it a shot this weekend probably.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Ok, be careful - Do it your way first, after 7 is installed and booting attach the original drive, then boot to 8. Reboot, and see if 7 gives you the Dual Boot option.

    Either 7 or 8 will make a dual boot, I would stick with the 7 Boot Menu, it gives you easier access to Safe Mode.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5
    Windows


    I tried this and everything seems to be working well. I did lose access to Linux Mint which I had installed on its own partition on the 1TB drive. Not sure what happened, but the GRUB launcher doesnt show up now if I set the BIOS to legacy support and boot from the 1TB drive (how it used to work). Not a huge concern though, was planning on trying to run linux in a virtual box anyway.


    Otherwise having Windows 7 on the SSD and 8 on the HDD seems to work just fine as long as they are installed separately. I just manually set the BIOS to legacy support or UEFI depending on which OS I want. Doesnt seem to be any problem using a shared storage partition for both either.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    No it wouldnt. The Grub launcher depends on the Grub Partition (that little 100mb partition) being the first partition on the first drive in the boot order, but it has to also be in the first available SATA or IDE slot. Maybe if you reversed the drives arrangement.

    But if it is working good and that does not matter, then don't do it - You can try to reinstall Mint.

    Now, do you get option to load 7 or 8 from the Bootloader - On either or both drives?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5
    Windows


    No windows bootloader. People seemed to be having a lot of issues with it and I just wanted to avoid it alltogether. Right now it just boots straight into whichever drive I set it to in the BIOS. I am OK with that though. I dont plan on switching back to Windows 8 very often, just wanted to have the option.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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