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Dual Booting Windows 7 and 8, with 8 as Starting OS

Last response: in Windows 8
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March 28, 2013 8:37:13 AM

Hi,

I have an Inspiron 17R SE with Windows 8 Home running from an SSD. I want to partition the SSD with Windows device manager and install Windows 7 Ultimate, so that I can dual boot.

Could there be potential problems if the older OS isn't installed first?

When I install Windows 7, how do I ensure that it's only installed on the SSD, not the HDD?

Thanks
a b * Windows 8
a b $ Windows 7
March 28, 2013 9:01:49 AM

I was running 8 along side 7 for a while. I had an ssd for each, but I see not reason for it not to work.

The windows 7 and 8 boot loaders should be compatible(normally in the system reserved partition at the start of the drive.).

In my case, I just added Win7 to the 8 boot loader and Win8 to the 7 boot loader so no matter what drive i would boot from, I would get an option to select my OS.

Because of how Win8 shuts down, you may have to load 8 to select 7, but if you disable the quick boot feature(logoff + hibernate), you will always get the boot loader first to select the OS you want. Win8 boots fast off ssds without any of this fancy stuff anyway.
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a b * Windows 8
a b $ Windows 7
March 28, 2013 9:11:15 AM

Please dont double post

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1637169/dual-boo...

If you put both on the SSD that they won't entirely be on either of the partitions. Boot files for both OS's will reside on the 1st partition. I'd suggest Easy BCD or put the 2nd OS on the HD, unplugging the SSD data cable first.
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March 28, 2013 9:15:42 AM

nukemaster said:
I was running 8 along side 7 for a while. I had an ssd for each, but I see not reason for it not to work.

The windows 7 and 8 boot loaders should be compatible(normally in the system reserved partition at the start of the drive.).

In my case, I just added Win7 to the 8 boot loader and Win8 to the 7 boot loader so no matter what drive i would boot from, I would get an option to select my OS.

Because of how Win8 shuts down, you may have to load 8 to select 7, but if you disable the quick boot feature(logoff + hibernate), you will always get the boot loader first to select the OS you want. Win8 boots fast off ssds without any of this fancy stuff anyway.


Thanks for the detailed answer. Unfortunately most of it went over my head, as this will be the first time I've attempted to partition and dual boot a drive.

'Should be compatible' makes me uneasy. What if I secure erased the SSD with Parted Magic, installed Windows 7 on the now factory-state SSD, then set up the dual boot with Windows 7 as the original OS?

When installing an OS on a machine with a HDD and SSD, how do I ensure that the OS installs only on the SSD?

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a b * Windows 8
a b $ Windows 7
March 28, 2013 9:21:50 AM

The best way to ensure you do not install anything on the hard drive is to remove the hard drive.

Can you check disk management(Start + R then type diskmgmt.msc) to see how your partitions are currently setup.

You may have recovery partitions and things you will not want to get rid of.

the basics of what you want to do is to shrink your windows8 partition and create a new partition for Windows 7 in the space you make.

Windows is generally good about adding it self to an existing boot loader. If not the user above suggestion of easyBCD is a great one. I used it many times and it is both easy and free. This program lets you tell windows boot loader the location of your operating systems(and you just look my the drive letter from the current os. so if Win7 is f : in win8 you tell it Win7 is f : and it does the rest). It can even go as far as to allow you to remove the need for the boot loader partition(system reserved partition), but i would not mess with that

I say should be because, Windows 8 overwrote my Windows 7 boot loader with its own. and because all prebuilt systems are a bit different. HP does some interesting things, but I have not played with Win8 dells yet.
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June 18, 2013 2:04:06 PM

I have a similar question. A gateway sx2110g was purchased for my church with win 8 x64. I want to install win 7 ultimate x64 removing win 8 (drivers are available) and creating a system image on a separate partition that I create. I want to maintain the ability to go back to factory and this can be achieved by copying recovery partition to flash drive which it will make a bootable recovery environment. (PE) Of course doing this will remove any traces of my win 7 installation and partition customizations.

Now you know what I am going to do with the PC here is the trick... The Win 8 bootable recovery partition USB drive has enough space to accommodate the win 7 bootable repair disk ISO. What I want to do is shrink the Win 8 repair partition (1) on the USB create a new partition (2) and apply the win 7 ISO. Then when I boot from the USB HDD I get a boot menu to select Win 8 or Win 7 repair environments.

Here is my purposed path to accomplish this...
1. Create Win 8 recovery partition bootable USB flash drive.
2. Insert the flash drive in to another computer and use Partition Wizard to shrink partition (1) and create new partition (2) 0x07 (NTFS) with drive letter assignment. (Y)
3. Mount Win 7 repair disk ISO and use Imagex (AIK Tools) to capture (imagex /capture /boot /compress fast D:\w7rep\w7rep.wim) file and then apply (imagex /apply D:\w7rep\w7rep.wim 1 Y:\) it to the new partition on the USB drive. (I am not sure if this will maintain boot ability)
4. Modify bootmgr on USB win 8 Recovery partition to include the Win 7 repair partition on the USB flash drive. This I don't know how to do, may be use bcd edit?
Let me know what you think, Thanks
Harry
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a b * Windows 8
a b $ Windows 7
June 18, 2013 5:54:11 PM

If you want to modify the boot manager I recommend EASYBCD, but do it on the system you plan to use it.

I did a test with using a UBS drive to boot a hard drive partition and it did work(and is a semi interesting way of saying "no using the computer" by just pulling the drive. This is not to say someone would not figure it out).

As far as mounting the Win7 repair disc, I have never tried it. Most systems should have an option to make a set of recovery DVD's. At least then if something does go wrong, you can always bring it back to factory settings.

Also note some of the Win8 systems have the UEFI bios configured in interesting ways. You may have to play around a bit to get it all the way you want.
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