Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Clean install of Windows 8 on a multi-boot computer

  1. #1


    Posts : 15
    Windows 7

    Clean install of Windows 8 on a multi-boot computer


    I have 3 hard disks of 2 TB each with plenty of space for partitions. I run a multi-boot manager with a number of Windows OSs including Windows Vista and Windows 7, along with a number of Linux distros.

    I would like to install Windows 8 in its own partition, not upgrade Windows 7. I am willing to pay the extra money to by Windows 8 Pro. I have a number of questions about installing Windows 8:

    1) Can Windows 8 be installed on any of my 3 hard drives, as opposed to just the first hard drive ?
    2) Can Windows 8 be installed on a non-primary MBR partition ?
    3) Can Windows 8 be installed on a GPT partition ?
    4) Will a Windows 8 clean install wipe out the rest of the hard disk on which I install it ( I have heard rumors of this ) ?

    I am trying to make the installation of Windows 8 as painless as possible without affecting the other OSs I already have installed and without Windows 8 interacting with any of the other OSs in any way. I can unplug two of my hard drives as necessary, clear out my third hard drive, install Windows 8 on that th

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  2. #2


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener
    I have 3 hard disks of 2 TB each with plenty of space for partitions. I run a multi-boot manager with a number of Windows OSs including Windows Vista and Windows 7, along with a number of Linux distros.

    As for Windows , Linux will most likey need to be install last.

    I would like to install Windows 8 in its own partition, not upgrade Windows 7. I am willing to pay the extra money to by Windows 8 Pro. I have a number of questions about installing Windows 8:

    1) Can Windows 8 be installed on any of my 3 hard drives, as opposed to just the first hard drive ?

    YES.

    2) Can Windows 8 be installed on a non-primary MBR partition ?

    primary MBR partition

    3) Can Windows 8 be installed on a GPT partition ?

    With a uEFI BIOS, & a clean unformat HD Drive YES.

    4) Will a Windows 8 clean install wipe out the rest of the hard disk on which I install it ( I have heard rumors of this ) ?

    Always best to install with only one HD Drive pluged in.

    I am trying to make the installation of Windows 8 as painless as possible without affecting the other OSs I already have installed and without Windows 8 interacting with any of the other OSs in any way. I can unplug two of my hard drives as necessary, clear out my third hard drive, install Windows 8 on that th
    Have fun.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    1) Can Windows 8 be installed on any of my 3 hard drives, as opposed to just the first hard drive ?
    2) Can Windows 8 be installed on a non-primary MBR partition ?
    3) Can Windows 8 be installed on a GPT partition ?
    4) Will a Windows 8 clean install wipe out the rest of the hard disk on which I install it ( I have heard rumors of this ) ?
    1) yes and no and maybe. It depends on what you are using to multiboot. Are you using a third party tool or LILO or grub or what? It's possible, but your strategy depends on many factors.

    2) I believe so, but you probably have to use the 8 boot manager.

    3) yes, but only if you have a UEFI bios.

    4) no. It installs in whatever partition you choose.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    With a uEFI BIOS, & a clean unformat HD Drive YES.
    You can do an MBR install and then convert it to UEFI.

    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    Always best to install with only one HD Drive pluged in.
    How does that answer his question? He was asking about it wiping out his entire drive.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 15
    Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eldiener View Post
    1) Can Windows 8 be installed on any of my 3 hard drives, as opposed to just the first hard drive ?
    2) Can Windows 8 be installed on a non-primary MBR partition ?
    3) Can Windows 8 be installed on a GPT partition ?
    4) Will a Windows 8 clean install wipe out the rest of the hard disk on which I install it ( I have heard rumors of this ) ?
    1) yes and no and maybe. It depends on what you are using to multiboot. Are you using a third party tool or LILO or grub or what? It's possible, but your strategy depends on many factors.

    2) I believe so, but you probably have to use the 8 boot manager.

    3) yes, but only if you have a UEFI bios.

    4) no. It installs in whatever partition you choose.
    1) I am using a 3rd party multi-boot manager and not LILO or grub. I am not worrying about the multi-boot manager as even if Windows 8 takes over the MBR on whatever drive I install it I can still reboot from the 3rd party multi-boot managet start-up CD and have that manager re-install itself to the MBR.

    2) So you are saying that Windows 8 can be installed in a logical partition ? That would be nice if it is so.

    3) OK, understood.

    4) Glad to know that it does not destroy other partitions on the hard drive on which I install it.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 15
    Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    With a uEFI BIOS, & a clean unformat HD Drive YES.
    You can do an MBR install and then convert it to UEFI.

    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    Always best to install with only one HD Drive pluged in.
    How does that answer his question? He was asking about it wiping out his entire drive.
    Yes, I am concerned that a Windows 8 install will wipe out the rest of the data on the hard disk on which I install it. Of course I have all my partitions backed up but still it is a pain to copy them back if the Windows 8 install wipes them out. It would be so much better if it just left alone all other partitions and installed itself into whatever partition I tell it, since I can pre-create a partition for it. I assume if I create a big enough NTFS partition for it and during the install of Windows 8 tell it to install itself there that it will use that partition. Afterwards I can tell my multi-boot manager to boot into that partition for Windows 8 ( it already boots Windows 7 this way ).

    The other main question is if Windows 8 must be on my first hard drive or not in the BIOS order of hard drives, when my multi-boot manager boots into the partition ? Another answerer said that this was not necessary and I hope that is so, but I had heard that Windows 8 may not boot-up in its own boot-up code if it finds itself on the second or subsequent hard drive.
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  7. #7


    Which boot manager are you using? - Some boot manager will let you hide partitions

    I think the install will only alter the contents of the partition selected for the install, and you can choose where to put it. I have not had more than one disk connected during an install.

    Other partitions will not be altered.

    Even on the install partition directories that are not part of Windows will likely be unaltered. One directory on my c:\ drive remained when I used the upgrade software and selected 'delete all'.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 15
    Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by machare View Post
    Which boot manager are you using? - Some boot manager will let you hide partitions

    I think the install will only alter the contents of the partition selected for the install, and you can choose where to put it. I have not had more than one disk connected during an install.

    Other partitions will not be altered.

    Even on the install partition directories that are not part of Windows will likely be unaltered. One directory on my c:\ drive remained when I used the upgrade software and selected 'delete all'.
    That sounds good. I really would like it that the install does not wipe out non-Windows partitions on the drive in which I install Windows 8

    I think I must still disconnect two of my hard drives so that the install does not try to do anything with them. If I absolutely knew that I could install Windows 8 on a hard drive that is not my first hard drive and that the Windows 8 installation would not touch any of my other hard drives I would not need to do this.
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Clean install of Windows 8 on a multi-boot computer
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