Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Dual Boot - Install Win 7 on Pre-Installed Win 8 System

  1. #11


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I noticed one problem when you dual boot Win7/Win8 - it takes a LOT longer to boot into Win7 because you have to go thru the Win8 bootmgr. That annoyed me a lot and was one reason why I chose the virtual way which is more convenient. Not sure whether your customer would like to have a slow boot for Win7 for 1 1/2 year.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I noticed one problem when you dual boot Win7/Win8 - it takes a LOT longer to boot into Win7 because you have to go thru the Win8 bootmgr. That annoyed me a lot and was one reason why I chose the virtual way which is more convenient. Not sure whether your customer would like to have a slow boot for Win7 for 1 1/2 year.
    I believe Option 1 I described will create independent boot disks. The boot "option" would be via setting the boot device in BIOS or via F12. Cumbersome yes but it will allow him to try out Win8 without being committed to it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Right, making 2 independent installations and switching via the BIOS is a much better option - and it is faster. Plus you do not have to unravel the bootmgr if you want to get rid of one of the systems.

    I had tried that too, but virtual is still a tad more elegant - especially when you like to run the several systems side by side all day long. I actually usually run 3 systems side by side - Win7, Win8 and Mint Nadia. The 2 latter ones from an external SSD attached via USB3. Reason: My Win7 host SSD is only 60GB and too small to hold all 3 systems, but I have 8GB of RAM so they fit easily into RAM. Then I also have Ubuntu and Zorin in virtual - but those I run rarely.

    When I am back in Germany in May, I will have a 128GB internal SSD and 16GB of RAM. Then I have more possibilities.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    Right, making 2 independent installations and switching via the BIOS is a much better option - and it is faster. Plus you do not have to unravel the bootmgr if you want to get rid of one of the systems.

    I had tried that too, but virtual is still a tad more elegant - especially when you like to run the several systems side by side all day long. I actually usually run 3 systems side by side - Win7, Win8 and Mint Nadia. The 2 latter ones from an external SSD attached via USB3. Reason: My Win7 host SSD is only 60GB and too small to hold all 3 systems, but I have 8GB of RAM so they fit easily into RAM. Then I also have Ubuntu and Zorin in virtual - but those I run rarely.

    When I am back in Germany in May, I will have a 128GB internal SSD and 16GB of RAM. Then I have more possibilities.
    I was hoping no one would spot a glaring "gotcha" in my option 1 plan... thanks.

    This GUID/GPT/Secure Boot has been more of a learning curve than I expected but I am wading through it. One issue I am having is with the Dell 8500 BIOS, I can boot directly into the BIOS and there turn OFF Secure Boot but doing that switches the UEFI setting to Legacy Mode. Everything I have read thus far indicates, to my muddled mind, that I need to have the system configured for UEFI with Secure Boot OFF, NOT Legacy Mode.

    EDIT: That was easy. I am not sure why other info, including Dell's own described more involved methods (using the graphical interfaces) that made it seem more complex. In my case, for the Dell XPS 8500 desktop, do a cold boot (not a restart) and press the F12 key as it boots. The boot option menu appears. One of the options is to "Change Boot Mode". Select that and choose the desired UEFI/Legacy/Secure Boot option variant desired. NOTE!!! USING F2 TO DIRECTLY ENTER BIOS SETUP WILL NOT PROVIDE ALL PERMUTATIONS.

    Am getting ready to try something from a Dell site.

    Which leads me, WHS, to giving you a big THANK YOU for your tutorial on using Macrium Reflect as well as your PE/Macrium ISO download from the Skydrive.

    I have used Acronis True Image 11 for years but was stumped yesterday when I realized it was not GUID/GPT compatible and I had no way to image my existing Win8 unstallation before "experimenting".

    So, THANK YOU WHS, you saved my bacon.....!

    P.S. I have 120GB SSD which I will install Win7 on since it will be his primary OS. You are getting a 128GB SSD. Is it possible (or advisable???) to partition and SSD and dual boot Win7 AND Win8 from it?
    Last edited by Muad Dib; 07 Mar 2013 at 12:25.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


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


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I noticed one problem when you dual boot Win7/Win8 - it takes a LOT longer to boot into Win7 because you have to go thru the Win8 bootmgr. That annoyed me a lot and was one reason why I chose the virtual way which is more convenient. Not sure whether your customer would like to have a slow boot for Win7 for 1 1/2 year.
    I find the Windows 8 Bootloader is fine.


    Dual booting two HDD's.

    HDD 3 is WinXP.

    Click image for larger version


    HDD 3 is Linux.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Still experimenting.... and learning.

    Decided to leave the Win8 HDD connected and install Win7 on the SSD.

    Works fine except that the boot manager is the old style Win7 text screen allowing a choice of Win7 or Win8.

    I would like to use the Win8 boot manager (loader).

    One person in another forum said he did a "reinstall" of Win8 from within Win8 and got the Win8 graphical boot manager back. He though the Win8 "refresh" would work just as well.

    Is there not a "BCDEDIT" tool that would or a simple Win8 repair boot function without using the "Refresh" or "Reset" operations the do far more than needed?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Muad Dib View Post
    Still experimenting.... and learning.

    Decided to leave the Win8 HDD connected and install Win7 on the SSD.

    Works fine except that the boot manager is the old style Win7 text screen allowing a choice of Win7 or Win8.

    I would like to use the Win8 boot manager (loader).

    One person in another forum said he did a "reinstall" of Win8 from within Win8 and got the Win8 graphical boot manager back. He though the Win8 "refresh" would work just as well.

    Is there not a "BCDEDIT" tool that would or a simple Win8 repair boot function without using the "Refresh" or "Reset" operations the do far more than needed?
    1) To keep App's.
    Refresh Windows 8 - Create and Use Custom Recovery Image

    2) When doing a Refresh, Refresh will delete App's
    Refresh Windows 8

    Click image for larger version

    3)Some say that
    Automatic Repair - Run in Windows 8
    will work, tested some time ago, give up after running 10 times.


    4)Not tested, but I can see Reset may work.
    Reset Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    theog, I had an awful time with the double boot win7/win8. It took very long to boot into win7. Both systems were on a SSD and I am used to 15 sec boot times. But that was more like 40 sec. That's why I started my whole virtual drive with VMware player. Now both systems boot fast even when Win8 sits on an external SSD.

    Muab Dib, I am glad you could make some use of the Macrium facilities I provided. At least I know that this work is not done for the bin.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


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


    Put my test SSD, back in the box, boots to fast 1.5 sec with Windows 7 in UEFI mode. No time to enter BIOS if need.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Having a heck of time with "Refresh" and "Reset" options.

    I created a custom recovery image on the HDD's 3rd partition. Took a while but it finished.

    1) Tried to do a Refresh within Windows 8 - it could not find the files.

    2) Tried a Reset within Windows - it could not find the files.

    In both cases it message was to insert the Windows 8 DVD, reboot and try from there. Dell supplied a "Windows 8 Recovery Media for Windows 8 Products 64-bit" DVD. I booted from there and tried a Refresh - could not finf the files.

    I have the "Factory Backup Discs" that I created using Dell Backup before I started changing the Secure Boot settings.

    I also have a full HDD image (all partitions) made using Macrium (thanks WHS) that I made to an external USB drive.

    Other than those I don't have any other source for the "files" that the Win8 Refresh and Reset functions are looking for.

    The system seems to be running fine with the dual boot options available - using the Win7 Boot Manager.

    I checked my partitions - Win7 installed on the SSD in a single partition. Win8 is on the HDD with multiple partition .

    Still checking....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Dual Boot - Install Win 7 on Pre-Installed Win 8 System
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