One of the big barriers to upgrading to Windows 8 is that Windows 7 is so good.

For keyboardand-mouse users, Windows 8 isn’t a hugely compelling upgrade — and without judicious use of
third-party apps to bring back the Start menu and other core Windows 7 features, Windows 8 can
actually make the desktop experience worse.
But what if you want to try out Windows 8? What if you want to take the Metro Start screen for a
spin? (Who knows, maybe you’ll like it.) What if you want to give Windows 8 a chance?
One method you could use is virtualization, where you quite literally have Windows 8 open in a
window on your Windows 7 PC. Virtualization isn’t really viable if you’re looking to truly
experience Windows 8 and everything that it entails, though. For that, you need to dual-boot.

How to dual-boot/multi-boot Windows 8 with Windows 7
This guide assumes that you already have Windows 7 (or XP or Vista) installed. If you’ve
already got Windows 8 installed, and you want to install Windows 7 as an additional OS, this
guide might still work — but no guarantees.
First things first, you should backup any important documents. You shouldn’t lose any files
during this process, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. See our Backup Masterclass for tips on
how to backup your data efficiently and securely.

With that out of the way, hit Start, type
and press Enter. This will open the Disk Management console. You should see a
big (or small) list of all the drives currently attached to your computer.

Find the drive that Windows 7 is installed on (it should be marked as “Boot” or “System”), right
click it, and click Shrink Volume. In the window that pops up, you ideally need a figure that’s
around 50,000MB (50GB). If your hard drive is very full, this might not be possible. In theory
the minimum install size for Windows 8 is around 20GB, but I really wouldn’t proceed without
at least 30-50GB. If Disk Management refuses to shrink your volumes, you may need to try a
third-party tool such as Paragon’s Hard Disk Manager.

Once the volume has been shrunk, a black, “Unallocated” region will appear at the end of the
drive. Right click this and select New Simple Volume. Click through the dialog windows and
give the new volume a memorable name such as Windows 8. Don’t change any other settings.
This process will format the new partition, which may take a little while.

Installing Windows 8
At this point, all you really need to do is install Windows 8. You might opt to install a full
version of Windows 8, or you can grab a 90-day evaluation copy. Either way, you want to slot
the DVD (or USB stick) into your computer, reboot, and begin the installation process. (You may
need to change the boot priority of your DVD drive/USB stick, which can be done in the BIOS).

When given the option, select a Custom install
(not Upgrade). On the next screen you’ll be shown a bunch of partitions/volumes. Select the one
that’s labeled Windows 8 (or whatever you called it). Be absolutely certain that you’ve selected
the right volume, then click Next.
The slick Windows 8 installer will now do its thing. It will reboot once or twice, but eventually
you’ll be greeted with a multi-boot menu that allows you to select which OS you want to load
(Windows 8, Windows 7, or any other OSes that’re installed). Windows 8 will load by default
after a few seconds, but you can change it back to Windows 7 by clicking “Change defaults or
choose other options” at the bottom of the screen. Voilà: You now have a PC that dual-boots
Windows 8 and Windows 7

 minutes, Windows will assist you in burning that file to a DVD.

 10. Open DVD Birner

Click Open DVD Burner and place a blank DVD in the drive.

 11. Burn, Baby

This window will appear. Click Burn, and soon you'll have Windows 8 on DVD.

To do this. where Windows 8 can exist without bumping into Windows 7. You'll be able to choose which one you'd like to use when you boot your PC. click the Start menu. Create a Partition Next. right-click Computer. and after a few seconds you'll see this screen. Click Storage. let's create a separate area on your hard drive. called a partition. 12. . and select Manage. It shows you the drives available on your PC. and then Disk Management.

Shrink That Volume Right-click the hard disk where you'd like to install Windows 8. . It will determine how much space you have. 13. then select Shrink Volume.

you must have at least 20GB. Remember. . Give It Some Space Decide how much space you would like to dedicate to Windows 8. 14.

" Click on that." Do that. . using the defaults. Allocate You'll end up with a disk with a black bar on top. Keep clicking Next until you see "Format Partition. 15. labeled "unallocated.

.I chose "Windows8". Name It Something Meaningful Give your new drive a recognizable name -. You are now ready to install Windows 8 Pro. without affecting your Windows 7 installation. 16.

you'll see a notification like this. asking you to press any key to boot from CD or DVD. When it's booting. . there is no such thing as the "any" key. 17. And no. Press Any Key With your DVD in the drive. reboot your computer.

 18. click "Install Now" and the installation is about to begin! . Off and Running! Choose your language.

didn't you? Here's where you'll be asked to enter it. Enter Product Key You did write down that product key. 19. and then click Next. . Do so.

be sure to click the second choice. Careful! Choose Custom On this screen. 20." This is the choice that lets you do a clean install of Windows 8. "Custom. . rather than an upgrade. Click Next.

 21. and then click Next. Now you can sit back and relax for a while as Windows 8 installs. Be sure you click on the partition you created. . Carefully Choose the New Partition You Created Here's where that recognizable name of the hard drive comes in handy.

Dual Boot Success! . 22.

You can choose either Windows 7 or Windows 8. Click "change defaults or choose other options" and you can designate your comfy old Windows 7 as the default. If you don't select one of them in 30 seconds (and that time is adjustable). 22. . the default is Windows 8. Dual Boot Success! Once the installation is done. here's the screen you'll see after your computer boots.

you can work a little hard drive wizardry to make space for both the old and the new. Fortunately.How to Dual Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 By Anna Washenko — October 28. just so you have something familiar to ease the transition. for its attempt to shake up your PC’s operating system. (You are backing up your files. and plenty of criticism. Make sure you save a copy of your entire hard drive in addition to your regular backups. Step 1: Back up your current system This is always a good practice when you are tweaking an operating system. 2012 Windows 8 has gotten lots of buzz. Here’s how you can dual boot Windows 8 on a computer that already runs Windows 7. right?) Step 2: Create a new partition on your hard drive . The risk of losing data is usually pretty low. you may want to keep your old Windows 7 OS on your machine. but you don’t want files to disappear the one and only time you didn’t back up. With so many big changes.

so you may want to allot as much space as you can take from your existing hard drive. Select “Manage” from the dropdown menu.You’ll need to set aside a separate chunk of your hard drive to house the new OS and everything you’ll run on it. click “Next” and your computer will complete the formatting. Be sure to give the new partition a name under “Volume label. From the Start menu. Windows 8 on its own will take about 20GB of space.” Minimize the hard drive until you have the desired amount of free space. then double-click on “Disk Management.” The top of the Disk Management window displays a list of any existing partitions in your hard drive. click the empty block and select “New Simple Volume. The settings you will need for formatting are NTFS for File System and the default for Allocation Unit Size. Right-click on the entry for your main hard drive. right-click on the “Computer” option. You won’t have to change anything until you reach the “Format Partition” window. After you’ve named the new space in the hard drive. Once you have made the room for Windows 8.” This will launch a wizard to walk you through the final steps.” Titling it “Windows 8″ will ensure that you can find it in the next step. and select “Shrink volume. which is C: for most machines. . but you’ll also need room for all your programs and files.

If you purchase a copy in your friendly local computer store. you can install it either by DVD or by USB drive. Step 4: Install Windows 8 in the new partition This is the most complicated step. Then go ahead and start up your computer. you may need to change your computer’s BIOS settings so that it will boot from the drive with Windows 8 installation files on it. and the next screen will ask which type of installation you want. To do that. the “Delete” key will accomplish this on most PCs. you’ll be using the DVD and DVD drive approach in the next step. put the files on a large thumb drive and use the USB approach in the next step. Depending on your computer’s settings.Step 3: Obtain your copy of Windows 8 Depending on how you want to purchase the new OS. Go to the boot menu and switch the settings so that the first choice for booting up is the DVD or USB drive. If you prefer to download it directly from Microsoft. You’ll first have to accept the installer’s software license. instead of the hard drive. restart your computer and mash a hot key as the machine wakes up. depending on where you’ve stored your Windows 8 files. Choose the Custom option. then select your newly created hard drive .

the one you probably named “Windows 8.” for its location. but you can change that setting under the “Change defaults” link on the launch page. Apple’s Boot Camp can help you perform similar hard drive partitioning to make space for the new Microsoft OS. Mountain Lion. It will default to launching Windows 8 if you don’t make a selection within 30 seconds. Parallels Desktop 8 and VMware Fusion 5 are other popular virtualization programs that allow you to switch between Mac and Windows without needing to reboot your computer. DT Read more: http://www.digitaltrends. check out our guide to Microsoft’s Windows 8 for more insights about whether the OS is a good fit for you. Both products should support the new Microsoft offering as well as Apple’s latest Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on Facebook . The installer will probably take about 20 minutes to complete the task. Dual booting on a Mac If you have a Mac computer that also runs Windows 7. Step 5: Enjoy playing with your new OS You’ll now see a screen asking which operating system you want to use when you boot up your computer. For those of you who still aren’t sure if you want to make the leap to the new OS. the process for adding Windows 8 is the same as for its predecessor.

The only option you have here is to dual boot. You can do this in the disk management MMC snap-in. The only thing that is required in order to dual boot is a hard drive with at least 20 Gigs of free space. but your PC does not support virtualization and you don’t want to have to format since Windows 8 is still in pre-beta and the chances are that there are some things that are broken. it will work with a bit less but this is the minimum we recommend. .msc” into the run box. type “diskmgmt.How to Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 On the Same PC If you want to try out the new Windows 8 but don’t have a CPU that supports virtualization. to do this we need to create a new partition. Dual Booting Windows 7 and Windows 8 To get started we need to logically separate those 20 Gigs from the space that Windows 7 is currently using. check out our guide on how to get all the goodness of Windows 8 along side Windows 7 by dual booting. The scenario: you are in a situation where you have Windows 7 installed and you really want to try out Windows 8. to launch the snap-in press the Windows Key + R to launch a run box.

Once you press enter or click the ok button. From here you can get a nice overview of your hard drives. a MMC will load with the disk management snap-in pre-loaded. .

To shrink the drive right click on the C: drive and select “shrink volume” .You are now going to need to shrink the C: drive by the capacity that you wish your Windows 8 drive should be.

.A dialog box will appear asking you how much you want to shrink the drive by. It asks you how much you would like to shrink in megabytes. so remember that there is 1024 megabytes in a gig so in our example we shrink 20 gigs which is20480 megabytes because 20*1024=20480.

Once you click the shrink button Windows will shrink your drive. . To format the drive with a file system right click on the black space and select “New Simple Volume”. Once it has completed shrinking your partition. you now need to give it a file system. the Disk Manager will display this new space with a black header meaning it is an empty partition.

A wizard will launch this is going to take us through all the steps we need to format the drive. On the welcome screen you can just select next to be asked how much of the unallocated space you want to use. . we recommend you leave the default which will use all the space you set aside if you alter this it may result in some space going to waste.

.In the next dialog it asks you to assign it a drive letter. you can accept the defaults and click next.

.On the format partition step of the wizard you can leave everything at defaults accept for the Volume Label which you should change to something memorable for example “Windows 8” this is important as this is the partition you will have to select at install time.

. Once the format is finished the once black header will now be blue and you are ready to install Windows 8.Click next and finish to initiate the format.

simply insert you DVD or plug in your USB and boot from the device.Installation If you haven’t yet downloaded a copy of the Windows 8 Developers Preview you should head over here and grab yourself a copy. You might have to into the BIOS and change the boot order but since you dual booting pre-beta software we’ll assume you capable of that much. . Once you have either burned the ISO to a DVD or used the USB Download Tool to make a bootable USB you are ready to go. If you see the words “press any key to boot from CD or DVD” quickly press any key on your keyboard to begin configuring the installation.

Once you have selected your languages the your are ready to install Windows 8. . So click the install button to get started.


fill the check box and click next to move on to the installation type. You should choose the custom installation option.After setup has completed you will be asked to accept the license agreement. after you have read it. .

.The next decision you will have to make is a critical one. Choosing the wrong partition to install on will result in data loss so make sure to choose the one that we created earlier.

The installation will start.Once you have selected the partition and clicked next. .

then click on the next button. .Once the installation in complete you will be asked to give your PC a name.

The settings page that you will see next has two options. . we’ll choose use express settings but feel free to choose custom option and specify your own settings. Use express settings and Customize.

The next decision you will have to make is whether you want to log into your computer using a Windows Live ID. We want a local account so we’ll click the link that says Don’t want to log in with a Windows Live ID. . or create a local account.

.Then we’ll choose local account on the next page.

. also choose a strong password and a hint just incase your forget your password. your account will be created and you will be logged in. When you done click next.Type the name that you want to use as a log on name.

. By default it will boot into Windows 8 after 30 seconds of inactivity. you probably don’t want this. To change the default back to Windows 7 click the Change defaults or choose other options link at the bottom of the screen.Once it has logged you in you can restart your PC to see the new OS Selection screen.

Now choose the change default operating system link. .

.And finally select Windows 7.

That’s all you have to do to reap the benefits of both worlds. . you should probably check out our guide to all the new awesomeness it brings. To get started with Windows 8.