Dual Booting Windows 7 and 8
Hi there, I currently have Windows 8.1 on my desktop but would like to dual boot it with Windows 7 so could I do this by installing a second hard drive on my system and installing Windows 7 to the second hard drive to prevent losing Windows 8?
Yes you can install on a second hard drive but you can also install Windows 7 on a second disk partition and won't lose Windows 8 if you just make sure you select the second partition when installing. If you don't have a second partition you can create it with a Partition Manager like Minitool Partition Wizard, AESSEUS Partition Master, etc.
The installation will probably create the dual boot on it's bootloader and if doesn't you can install a Boot Editor on any of the two Windows to create the dual boot.
You can also install on a second hard drive and use the Boot Editor to create the dual boot.
Best disk partition software
Boot Loader Editor
Right, and to clarify it a bit and add a possible solution I missed before:
In the remote case the Win 8 bootloader is overwritten by the Win 7 installation you can also use the Win 8 DVD to repair its bootloader... but according to paragraph 19 on this linked tutorial on How to install Windows 7 after Windows 8, the dual boot should be automatically created even if Windows 7 is installed after Windows 8 which is not exactly following the normal and recommended installation order of Windows Editions.
How to Dual Boot Windows 8 with Windows 7 if your newly purchased computer or the one you just built has Windows 8 installed. You now want to install Windows 7 as a second operating system.