Dual-Boot Windows 8 & Windows 7

Windows 8 installation

    Installing Windows 8

With the advancement in Windows operating system technologies, every Windows user is looking forward to moving on with Microsoft and go for Windows 8 installation. The recently launched operating system is better suited for touch screen input devices, with a user interface which is quite different than the older versions. But upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 8 is what most users are looking for. Still, some users are not willing to leave Windows 7, either because of its user friendly attributes, or due to its compatibility with the hardware on their devices. Microsoft provides an upgrade path for Widows 8, but also has introduced a feature called dual booting, which will surely be a relief to those facing this dilemma.


Follow the steps below to dual boot Windows, by creating a new partition and installing Windows 8;

  • Go to “Start” menu on the main screen of your computer running on Windows 7 and enter “diskmgmt.msc” in the search box. You will be directed to the Disk Management tool page, which shows all the storage devices connected to your system.
  • Choose the hard drive to install Windows 8; the primary hard drive is the normal option.
  • Check the available free space on the hard drive you chose. If your computer has no other dual boot setups installed, it will require the whole drive space. Thus, you might have to shrink an existing drive like “C:”.
  • You can do the shrinking by choosing “Shrink Volume” from the right click menu over the “C:” drive. After the computer finishes checking the free space available, enter either 160000 or 200000 in the “Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB” box; depending upon whether you require additional storage space for files and programs for Windows 8. Select “Shrink” to move on.

    Dual boot

         Moving forward with Windows 8

  • Select “New Simple Volume” from the right click menu over the new unallocated space. Check if NTFS is selected as the file system type and enter a drive name, like “Windows 8”. Leave the rest as default.
  • Place the Windows 8 installation disc in the CD-ROM drive or through USB drive. Restart the computer and boot from the CD after the new drive is formatted.
  • Opt for “Custom” in the Windows 8 setup initialization process.
  • When asked for the drive to install Windows 8, choose the new drive you created earlier, and install Windows 8 following the onscreen instructions.

Remove the installation disc after the installation completes, and reboot the computer. Upon restart, you can choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8 from the boot screen.