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

Muad Dib

Power User
Power User
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....
 

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theog

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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.
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/13326-downgrade-windows-8-windows-7-a.html
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
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/15458-uefi-bootable-usb-flash-drive-create-windows.html
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

theog

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

Muad Dib

Power User
Power User
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:

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theog

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

whs

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
Hmm, why would the client get lost. Once set up, it is much easier to operate than a dual boot.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

Muad Dib

Power User
Power User
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.
 

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whs

New Member
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Guru
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

Muad Dib

Power User
Power User
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.
 

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whs

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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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

Muad Dib

Power User
Power User
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.....! :thumb::dinesh:

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?
 
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theog

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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.

Win 8-7-XP-boot001.PNG


HDD 3 is Linux.

8-7-Linux-002.PNG
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

Muad Dib

Power User
Power User
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?
 

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theog

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Gold Member
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.
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/3610-refresh-windows-8-create-use-custom-recovery-image.html

2) When doing a Refresh, Refresh will delete App's
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2293-refresh-windows-8-a.html

Refresh.PNG

3)Some say that
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2843-automatic-repair-run-windows-8-a.html
will work, tested some time ago, give up after running 10 times.


4)Not tested, but I can see Reset may work.
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2302-reset-windows-8-a.html
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

whs

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Vista and Win7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    2xHP, 2xGateway, 1xDell, 1xSony
    Hard Drives
    5 SSDs and 12 HDs

theog

VIP Member
VIP Member
Gold Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

Muad Dib

Power User
Power User
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....
 

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