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Installing Windows 8 as dual boot...

  1. #1

    Installing Windows 8 as dual boot...


    I've been playing with Windows 8 RP using VirtualBox. But now I'd like to install it on my Windows 7 machine in a dual boot scenario. My box has one hard drive with two partitions. The first partition is C: and the other is D:. I assume I can install Windows 8 on the second partition and leave Windows 7 intact. But I guess Windows 8 will be have D: as the system drive. My second partition mapped to E: initially because the DVD drive was D:. That means Windows 8 might see the second partition as E:.

    Has anyone else done a dual boot w/ Windows 7 & 8 on separate partitions like this?

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  2. #2


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Skallal,

    Sure, you can dual boot Windows 8 on the second partition. While in Windows 7, it will show the same drive letter it is now. While in Windows 8, it will show as C: and Windows 7 will have a different drive letter. The tutorial below can help give you more information on how to do this if you like.

    Dual Boot Installation - Windows 8 and Windows 7 or Vista

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
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  3. #3


    Toronto, Canada. Born in the U.K.
    Posts : 691
    Win 10 Pro + Win 7 Ult SP1 (x64)


    Or do what I did and use step 6 - by installing using Advanced options from my Vista partition all the drive letters are preserved.
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  4. #4


    While I was waiting for an answer to my post, I did some Google searches and I tried a VHD dual-boot installation. I always thought VHD drives were restricted to VMs. So I found some articles on VHD drives for Windows 8.

    Then I realized I could convert my VirtualBox VDI drive to a VHD drive. So I was able to convert my VirtualBox environment over to a dual-boot VHD installation. I am sure a VHD, is not as efficient as a real hard disk partition. That it is certainly a lot faster than a VirtualBox VM.

    I use the iPad a lot and wondered how a Windows 8 tablet would compare. There is an iPad app called Splashtop Win8 Testbed. It allows me to use Metro UI gestures on the iPad. It is a remote desktop type of solution, where the iPad is the client, and the Windows 8 box is the server. The iPad is simply a remote UI and does not actually run Windows 8. It requires a Wi-Fi connection over a LAN. It works surprisingly well, but it certainly is not a substitute for a real Windows 8 tablet. This set up runs a lot better since moving from VirtualBox to a dual-boot installation.

    That said, I think the VHD drive is a nice compromise between a VM and a native partition. I only wish I had known I could boot from a VHD drive earlier.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    That's great news Skallal. I'm happy to hear that you got it setup the way you wanted.

    I agree. A VHD is a nice compromise. For those interested in the same:

    Boot from a VHD using Windows 7 - Windows 7 Forums

    OR

    Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with
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  6. #6


    Now I am thinking of yet another step. The VHD is working fine, but it has a 20 GB limit. I am thinking of creating a physical partition on the hard drive and copying the contents of the VHD to it. I remember using partition cloning software a few years back. I am hoping there is an easier way.
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  7. #7


    I'm a little late, Skallel, but I used Windows 7 to go online and find detailed (but easy) instructions on how to create another partition, and I installed Windows 8 with no trouble. When I'm in Win 8, it insists that it is on Drive C (actually, it is) while Win 7 assigns it to a different drive. But that hasn't caused me any problems.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by skallal View Post
    Now I am thinking of yet another step. The VHD is working fine, but it has a 20 GB limit. I am thinking of creating a physical partition on the hard drive and copying the contents of the VHD to it. I remember using partition cloning software a few years back. I am hoping there is an easier way.
    Skallal,

    I think it would be easier to do a clean install of Windows 8 to dual boot with Windows 7, then just copying what you want from with the VHD to the new Windows afterwards. You'll still need to reinstall all programs and drivers, and setup your account and settings again, but there will be less chance of issues.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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