Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


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

  1. #1

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


    I am setting up a new system for client. I would like to add Win 7 in a dual boot so client can test drive Win 8 while still having Win 7 Enterprise 64-bit as a fallback. My personal system is a triple boot Win XP, Vista and 7 system but I have no experience with Win 8 yet.

    Target System Configuration:

    Dell XPS 8500 with Win 8 64-bit pre-installed on 1TB HDD.
    Am adding a 120GB SSD (Kingston HyperX)

    I will shrink the 1TB Win 8 partition, create a "User Data" partition and move all user folders to the User Data partition (docs, pics, Outlook data folder, etc, etc)

    1) Can I setup a manually switched OS boot using BIOS setting by

    a) Installing the SSD
    b) Disconnecting the 1TB Win 8 drive
    c) Boot Win 7 Installation CD and Install Win 7 and apps ON THE SSD
    d) Reconnect the 1TB HDD
    e) "Move" the Win7 User Data folders so they point to the User Data partition

    Choosing which OS would be done via entering BIOS and changing boot device order.

    OR.......

    2) If I leave the 1TB Win 8 HDD connected....

    a) Boot Win 7 Installation CD and Install Win 7 and apps ON THE SSD
    b) "Move" the Win7 User Data folders so they point to the User Data partition

    Will I get the Win7 boot option screen? In other words will the Win 7 install recognize the Win 8 OS partition exists?

    If not can I use EasyBCD to manually modify the boot option to see/recognize both OSes?

    Any ideas will be appreciated....

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


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


    Welcome to EightForums.

    I am setting up a new system for client. I would like to add Win 7 in a dual boot so client can test drive Win 8 while still having Win 7 Enterprise 64-bit as a fallback. My personal system is a triple boot Win XP, Vista and 7 system but I have no experience with Win 8 yet.
    I take it this a Pre-installed with Windows 8 Pro.

    1) Downgrade to Windows 7.
    Downgrade Windows 8 to Windows 7
    Warning you must have the uEFI/BIOS firmware setting in Step Three set.


    2) If Using a USB Pendrive on a PC with a uEFI BIOS.
    USB Pendrive need to be formated to FAT32 as in
    UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows
    Take note of Step 11 for Windows 7.
    Also you will need to use a USB 2.0 port, as there are no USB 3.0 drivers in Windows 7.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thanks!

    I had just stumbled across some of the posts you mention. Looks like I need to brush up on UEFI....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    The original motivation for EFI came during early development of the first Intel–HP Itanium systems in the mid-1990s

    uEFI/bios firmware has been around a long time.
    I don't recall encountering it in retail desktops before Windows 8.

    One of the posts you listed includes the Dell Specific version of the "downgrade".

    How to Downgrade from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 7 Professional - Dell

    I will have to experiment but those instructions should work fine with my Option 1 listed above. Not sure what it will do in Option 2 if I leave the 1TB Win8 HDD connected.

    Edit: The "Technical Note: UEFI BIOS vs. Legacy BIOS " link you listed is a very well done brief. Thx!
    Last edited by Muad Dib; 04 Mar 2013 at 16:12.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    I don't recall encountering it in retail desktops before Windows 8.
    Most used in Business, like HP
    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/su.../c01717787.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by HP
    • HP EliteBook Mobile Workstation, Notebook PC and Tablet PCs (8530p,
    8530w, 8730w, 6930p, 2530p, 2730p)
    • HP Compaq Notebook PCs (6735s, 6535s, 6735b, 6535b, 6730s, 6830s,
    6530b, 6730b, 2230s)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    One easy option you have is to install either system in virtual on a Win7 or Win8 host. I am running Win8 on a Win7 host that way, but it can also be done the other way around. Have a look here:

    VMware Player - a Windows 8 Demo - Windows 7 Support Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    One easy option you have is to install either system in virtual on a Win7 or Win8 host. I am running Win8 on a Win7 host that way, but it can also be done the other way around. Have a look here:

    VMware Player - a Windows 8 Demo - Windows 7 Support Forums
    Good idea for you or me. Not for the intended client though. He would just get lost. I think I will give it a go on my system though!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Hmm, why would the client get lost. Once set up, it is much easier to operate than a dual boot.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    Hmm, why would the client get lost. Once set up, it is much easier to operate than a dual boot.
    Trust me.....

    I have sent him some videos, etc on Win 8. He is not interested in adjusting to Win 8 at this time. For those who just want email and web surfing a desktop with 2 icons on it will suffice...

    The dual boot will allow the Win 8 installation to remain in place but "hidden" should he decide to get adventurous.

    He retires in about 1.5 years so the next person in that position will have it available should they prefer it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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