Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Dual Boot (Win 7 + Win 8.1)

  1. #1


    Posts : 37
    Windows 7

    Dual Boot (Win 7 + Win 8.1)


    Hello!

    I have a laptop with a 500 GB HDD with Windows 7 OS. I use it primarely for the audio production but have problems with latency. It was said to me that Windows 8.1 would be a better OS for the audio production. So I would like to try if this is true.

    I would like to set a "dual boot" configuration (old Windows 7 and new Windows 8.1) rather than use VMware since performance would lessen that way - I need all the resources available.

    So I would take 60 GB from my HDD and dedicate it for the Windows 8.1 installation where I would test my audio interface, audio programs etc. I have a couple of questions though:

    1. Could Windows 7 and 8.1 interfer between each other? What about the "hidden" partitions?

    2. What about security? I would like to run Windows 8.1 without internec access, no anti-virus, so I can use all the resources. Can a potential threat go from Windows 8.1 to Windows 7 (if I would get some malware in some way)?

    3. How to set dual boot in such way that when booting one option (Windows 7) is always selected except if I press a key at a certain time (and select Windows 8.1)?

    4. How can I completely hide other drives in Windows 8.1 (only after the boot up in the Disk Management or is there another, better and more secure way)?

    5. How to completely deny access to the internet (by disabling the network adapter (NIC) in the Windows 8.1 Device Manager or is there another, better way)?

    6. Is it possible to later completely remove the new OS (Windows 8.1), remove it's boot option (so that the PC directly boots into the Windows 7, just like before) and also reclaim the HDD space that was taken by Windows 8.1?

    Thank you!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5
    Win 8.1


    First! What's the make of your Laptop and how much ram has it got ?
    Now your questions
    1/ could do but most likely wont (I dual boot win 8.1 and win 10 no probs so far)
    2/ Turn off your internet before installing win 8 the set it up with Local account, after you can access the net if you wish.
    3/ you can make win 7 the default OS, so unless you click on win 8 in the dual boot screen it will load win 7.
    4/ win 8 will see the other drive but wont access it unless you want too.
    5/ don't set up your internet access in win 8 and it wont be able to connect .
    6/ Yes just delete your win 8 partition, then edit your boot config and remove the reference to win 8 (someone can hep with that when you want to ).
    OR......OPP 2
    forget all of that do a full back up of your HD, (I use "Macrium"
    CREATE a rescue cd or usb (using macrium) test it!
    make a copy of the audio install software you use on to usb or cd.
    Then clean install win 8 (without internet access) and try it, if you don't like it reinstall win 7 from your back up .
    myself would go with opp 2
    Hope this helps

    WhiteWolf
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 37
    Windows 7


    Hello, WhiteWolf!

    My laptop is a Sony VAIO Inter Core i7 with 6 GB of RAM.

    1. They could interfer? In what way and how can I avoid this for sure?

    2. How does a local account help in this case? Also, could malware "travel" from the Windows 8.1 to the Windows 7 (or vice-versa)?

    3. Will it go straight into the Windows 7 if I don't press anything? Would that be possible? And only give me a choice if a key is pressed?

    4. So how can I safely and securely deny access to all the Windows 7 drives? I really want to totally separate the installations.

    5. Understood. Plus I'll disable the NIC and the WiFi device in the Device Manager to be sure.

    6. Option 2 won't be the right solution for me as I would need to test this setup for a long time. So I have to have a dual-boot of both operating systems. So is it difficoult to get rid of one OS when not needed anymore? I would like to make it so like it was never there - like it's now (only Windows 7 with lots of free disk space and booting automatically into Windows 7).

    Thank you for your help!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    1) with both OS's installed on same disk, different partitions - one OS will have access to the others partition..

    2) a Microsoft account requires internet access a local account does not

    3) yes if you set windows 7 as the default OS with a timeout

    4) you can't - unless you remove win7 disk

    5-6) set up a second disk with windows 8.1 and swap between disks (kinda ruins the long term approach)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 37
    Windows 7


    1. What if I disable the drive names (C, D etc.) in the Admin. Tools, Comp. Manag., Disk Management? Then the drives can't be accessed from the other OS., right?

    2., 3.: OK.

    4., 5., 6. I won't be removing disks, that's way too tideous. It's a laptop computer. I am interested in how Windows 7 will see Windows 8.1 drives and vice versa. When I boot into Windows 7 will the C drive still be the windows boot drive and see the Windows 8.1 drive as a drive with a letter F (in my example) and when I boot in Windows 8.1, what will the boot (Windows) drive be, also C? And the Windows 7 drive will be seen as D (since I'll only use one partition in 8.1)?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    you can remove drive letter - but that does not mean the drive can not be accessed..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    There are third party programs that can hide other partitions/drives.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 37
    Windows 7


    Hm, is that really neccessary? Am I safe if I just disable the drive letters in the Disk Management?

    Please answer my second paragraph from my previous post - how will each OS see the other OS' partitions and if both boot partitions will be marked as C in each OS respectively.

    Thank you!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Bellzemos View Post
    Hm, is that really neccessary? Am I safe if I just disable the drive letters in the Disk Management?

    Please answer my second paragraph from my previous post - how will each OS see the other OS' partitions and if both boot partitions will be marked as C in each OS respectively.

    Thank you!
    Each partition/disk you BOOT from will have letter C:, If you boot from one disk with two partitions and boot to let's say Win7, that partition will be C:, if you Boot to W 8 that partition will show as C: and other one will have another letter.
    If you have one HDD and CD/DVD, you boot W8 and it will be C:, CD/DVD will end up being D: with your other partition probably E:
    Boot to W7 and it will be C:, CD/DVD D: and other partition E:.
    It's best to give each partition a distinctive name and you''l know which one is which.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 37
    Windows 7


    That sounds great, that's how I imagined it. I have only one 500 GB HDD. I have C (Windows 7 boot) and D partition on it plus another no-name (hidden) 100 MB partition which is needed to install Windows 7 (I guess). E & F are DVD-RW drives and G & H turn on when I plug in 2 of my USB keys.

    Now I will take about 50 GB off from the D partition and create a new partition (no idea what will Windows 7 name it, G or maybe I). Then I would install Windows 8.1 on that partition. But Windows 8.1 also creates an additional no-name (hidden) 300 MB partition. Will the space for that particular partition be taken from the 50 GB that I will dedicate for Windows 8.1? Could that 300 MB hidden partition in any way interfere with the 100 MB hidden Windows 7 partition? I don't want that of course.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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