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Dual Booting Win8/Win7

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#1 techbeck


    It's not that I am lazy, it's that I just don't care

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 15:44

Currently my laptop has Windows 7 installed. I would like to dual boot Windows 7 and 8 but have a couple questions....

In the past when I did dual boots, each OS had a different drive letter. One OS was C:, the other was D:. Is this still the case? It has been a while since dual booted Windows. Basically I want the ability to remove the Win7 partition at some point and switch over to Win8. When I remove the Win7 partition, I want Win8 to be the C: drive. Hope that makes sense.

If I install Win8 to a different partition while Win7 is already installed, will it create a dual boot menu, like it used to several years ago, with an option to choose which OS?

I know there are ways to edit the system drive letter afterwards, but always ran in to issues with things not working properly. I know I can use a VM, but I want to get all my apps/configs/drivers working on a dual boot system for testing and do not want to do a reinstall of everything. Just switch over when I have everything set.

Ideas? Suggestions?


#2 Yusuf M.

Yusuf M.

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 18:38

If you want to install Windows 8 on the same hard drive as Windows 7, then you'll have to create a new partition for Windows 8. You can do this with the shrink feature of Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc). It creates unallocated space which can be used to create a "new simple volume". Of course, that new volume will require a drive letter.

You'll want to create a new partition with at least 30 GB of free space. Once you do that, you can install Windows 8 on the new partition. You'll have the option of booting into Windows 7 or Windows 8 but it will default to Windows 8 if you don't make a selection after 30 seconds.

As for merging your Windows 7 and Windows 8 partitions, it should be possible but don't take my word for it. I have never done it so I may be wrong. You should be able to do it by deleting the Windows 7 partition ("Delete Volume") and extending the Windows 8 partition ("Extend Volume").

That's not all though. You'll need to use the System Configuration (msconfig) tool to make Windows 8 the default OS to boot into and to delete the Windows 7 boot entry.

#3 ShadowMajestic


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Posted 10 April 2013 - 18:43

No, the 2nd installed OS will continue to use the original drive letter scheme.
Win7 on C, Win8 on D. Booting into Win8 will say its primary disk is D.

It will create a dualboot menu. The big clickable mouse controlled GUI. Have not tried making Win7 the primary boot, win8 will boot up a few seconds before showing the boot menu, if you select Win7, it will reboot the entire system directly into it. Which will cause a slowdown on boot time if you want to go into Windows 7.

Try it out like that, see if it fits your need.. and then just go the upgrade path over Windows 7 if you decide to go with Windows 8.

#4 OP techbeck


    It's not that I am lazy, it's that I just don't care

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:36

Thanks for the replies . Dual booting apparently has not changed much.