Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Creating a dual-boot system with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 computergeek522

computergeek522

  • Members
  • 140 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Canada
  • Local time:05:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:37 PM

So.  I have a laptop that's a few months old.  It came pre-installed with Windows 8.1.  Even after hearing all the complaints about Windows 8, I promised myself that I would give it a fair shot before I went crawling back to a previous version of Windows (most likely Windows 7, as I loved that OS.)

 

Anyway, it's been a few months and, while I don't hate Windows 8, it's not my favourite OS, either -- mainly because there are some programs that I use that don't seem to get along well with it. But visually speaking, I do like 8 quite a bit and I would like to keep it for the majority of what I do  So I was thinking about setting up a dual-boot configuration, and that way I'd have the best of both worlds.  

 

Now, my question is: can I actually install Windows 7 over 8? Or do I have to basically start all over, and then install 7 first before I install 8?  It's not that big a deal, I guess, but if possible I'd love to be able to just put 7 on the system as it stands now without having to fool with wiping 8 and then starting from scratch.

 

Any suggestions/recommendations as to how I can make this a little easier on myself? 


Edited by computergeek522, 12 July 2014 - 12:43 PM.

Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


m

#2 wpgwpg

wpgwpg

  • Members
  • 1,149 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:US of A
  • Local time:06:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:49 PM

 By far the best option is to install Classic Shell.  That gives you back a Start button and menu like we have with Windows 7.  You can download it from classicshell.net and it's totally FREE.  Installing Windows 7 on a computer that came with Windows 8 is problematic because of numerous things.  First, most such computers have replaced the BIOS we've used for decades with something new called UEFI and a different way of formatting the hard drive.  Next you might not be able to get Windows 7 drivers for that computer.  Also there're complex ways of getting around this, but you normally want to install the latest version of Windows last.

 

 Bottom line is like I say, by all means try Classic Shell first.  It's easy to uninstall if for some reason you want to, but it's free and just about everyone who's tried it thinks it's great.  That includes yours truly.

 

Good luck.


Edited by wpgwpg, 12 July 2014 - 12:52 PM.

Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#3 Quevvy

Quevvy

  • Members
  • 172 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:04:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:53 PM

As long as you can partition the hard drive, adding dual-boot capabilities should be fairly straightforward. As far as I can tell, with dual-boots, the OSes don't rely on each other. If you were interested in completely downgrading to Windows 7, that'd be a whole other issue, since downgrades are typically looked down upon by software manufacturers, and most don't even allow it.

 

But dual-booting Windows 7 on a Windows 8.1 computer is very doable. There are prompts to choose where you want to install it once you put the install disc into the computer.


Edited by Quevvy, 12 July 2014 - 12:55 PM.


#4 computergeek522

computergeek522
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 140 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Canada
  • Local time:05:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:58 PM

 By far the best option is to install Classic Shell.  That gives you back a Start button and menu like we have with Windows 7.  You can download it from classicshell.net and it's totally FREE. 

 

My issue is not with the look of Windows 8.  It is with its incompatibility with some of the programs I use.  Classic Shell will not fix that (I've had Classic Shell installed since the day I bought the laptop.)  But thanks anyway.


Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit

#5 wpgwpg

wpgwpg

  • Members
  • 1,149 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:US of A
  • Local time:06:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:16 PM

As long as you can partition the hard drive, adding dual-boot capabilities should be fairly straightforward. As far as I can tell, with dual-boots, the OSes don't rely on each other. If you were interested in completely downgrading to Windows 7, that'd be a whole other issue, since downgrades are typically looked down upon by software manufacturers, and most don't even allow it.

 

But dual-booting Windows 7 on a Windows 8.1 computer is very doable. There are prompts to choose where you want to install it once you put the install disc into the computer.

 How do you get around the UEFI and GPT hard drive formatting and driver considerations?


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#6 Quevvy

Quevvy

  • Members
  • 172 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:04:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:29 PM

How do you get around the UEFI and GPT hard drive formatting and driver considerations?


Well, my Windows dual-booting experience has been the opposite way: pre-installed 7, adding 8.1. So I guess I was overstepping my reach in dual-boot knowledge. (I've also dealt with Linux dual-booting a little, but Windows is a completely different monster.)

 

This looks like a fairly comprehensive guide to doing exactly what you want to do: http://www.pagestart.com/win8dbwin701181301.html

It seems there's a lot of checking of drivers and hardware compatibility that is necessary before starting. Also, there are a lot of security features in Windows 8 computers that you have to disable in order to do this (secure boot, fast startup).

 

However, if you still have a warranty on it, I'd suggest not dual-booting Windows 7, since it may void your warranty. Instead, you could always try a Windows 7 VirtualBox, which would give you the Windows 7 capabilities without possibly voiding your warranty and partitioning the hard drives.



#7 computergeek522

computergeek522
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 140 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Canada
  • Local time:05:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:33 PM

 

As long as you can partition the hard drive, adding dual-boot capabilities should be fairly straightforward. As far as I can tell, with dual-boots, the OSes don't rely on each other. If you were interested in completely downgrading to Windows 7, that'd be a whole other issue, since downgrades are typically looked down upon by software manufacturers, and most don't even allow it.

 

But dual-booting Windows 7 on a Windows 8.1 computer is very doable. There are prompts to choose where you want to install it once you put the install disc into the computer.

 How do you get around the UEFI and GPT hard drive formatting and driver considerations?

 

Well, I actually have the hard drive space question cleared up.  I simply shrank the Windows 8 volume (not by much, mind you...it was 931 GB to begin with and now it's at 750).  Then I formatted the unallocated space left over by the shrink operation and renamed the volume to "Windows 7" so that I would easily be able to differentiate the volumes.  I didn't have a problem there.  I already had that done.  My question was, and always has been, can I install Windows 7 on a system with Windows 8 pre-installed without having to remove 8 first.  :)  That's all.


Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit

#8 Quevvy

Quevvy

  • Members
  • 172 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:04:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:35 PM

My question was, and always has been, can I install Windows 7 on a system with Windows 8 pre-installed without having to remove 8 first.


The quick answer to this is "yes". But there are considerations before installing Windows 7.



#9 computergeek522

computergeek522
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 140 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Canada
  • Local time:05:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:37 PM

 

How do you get around the UEFI and GPT hard drive formatting and driver considerations?


However, if you still have a warranty on it, I'd suggest not dual-booting Windows 7, since it may void your warranty. Instead, you could always try a Windows 7 VirtualBox, which would give you the Windows 7 capabilities without possibly voiding your warranty and partitioning the hard drives.

 

 

Oh man.  I went the VirtualBox route and I am not going there again.  Haha.  It was a painful experience and I'd really rather not speak of it again.  Honestly?  I'd be more willing to wipe my system clean and do the "Windows 7 first, Windows 8 second" route before I'd use VB again.  It's a useful suggestion, though, so thank you for bringing it up.  :)


Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit

#10 wpgwpg

wpgwpg

  • Members
  • 1,149 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:US of A
  • Local time:06:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:38 PM

 Installing 8 in dual boot with 7 I know works.  I've done that on 2 computers I have at home and 4 others I support.  Whatever you do, be SURE to make a full system backup before you start.  To the best of my knowledge, Windows 7 doesn't work when you have UEFI instead of the legacy BIOS, so be sure you check that out before proceeding.  Also be certain you can get the drivers you'll need. 

 

Good luck.


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#11 computergeek522

computergeek522
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 140 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Canada
  • Local time:05:45 AM

Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:41 PM

wpgwpg: Just wanted to say, in addition to thanks for the advice, your sig is too true.  Learned that particular lesson the hard way, and now I backup regularly.  Haha.


Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users