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X51-R2, Dual Boot Windows 7 and 8, various questions, adding SSD

Hi there! I am a proud owner of an Alienware X51-R2. So I have my system shipped with windows 8, after that I have upgraded it to 8.1.

First of all I have some strange situation - I have 1 TB HDD in my system and I decided to split it into 2 logical drives using windows 8 tools. It went fine, but after that, when I wanted to get 1 solid partition it didn't let me to do so. It was some windows related problem with partition table or something like that. I know that you cant read minds but that all I can tell being away from my pc. Google's only suggestion was a full format, I am good with it, but I am not sure if I can find original Alienware DVD and totally not sure that I wont lost any hidden partitions and so on. So question is - if you make things go bad can I download some Alienware windows ISO that will install my windows 8 back, add recovery partitions and Alienware software on the go so i can make a full wipe and clean install?

The second question about dual booting. I really miss my windows 7 and have purchased DVD with serial to use it legally on my pc. So I want to install windows 7 as a second OS and have ability to choose which one to boot. There is a lot of faq's in Google how to do so, I am just worried about that hidden and recovery partitions and warranty. one of FAQ says: "Installing Windows 7 may render your Windows 8 “Recovery Partition” useless. Before you start, contact the PC manufacture and obtain the “Recovery media” for Windows 8. Also ask the manufacture’s support team about activation when using recovery media as your new computer may no longer have a product key code sticker, Windows 8 uses a BIOS embedded product key for activation.". 

The third question still about hardware. Does X51 have a space for and extra (i guess it is 2.5?) HDD? I want to have HDD+SSD combo and don't want to disassemble my pc extra time just to look at it.

After a short search I have found this topic. Am I affected by that problem? I am worried to use it.

I have just checked my pc, i have (!) 7 partitons
1) FAT32 (DIAGS) 40MB
4) FAT32 (ESP) 500MB
5) NTFS (PBR Image) 9.6GB
6) NTFS (nowhere) (ESmiley Happy 450GB <- This one is mine
7) NTFS (OS) (CSmiley Happy 470GB <-This one is primary os partition.
Do I need all of them? Are all come with dell? I have true image and remember it had an option to create hidden partition for backups in old versions. haven't switched it on, but they could make it without asking me i guess.
btw first issue about beeng unable to combine C: and E: is connected with "basic GPT"

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RE: Dual boot x51 and various questions. (windows 8 installed, want extra windows 7)

UPD2: I have just checked my pc, i have (!) 7 partitons


1) FAT32 (DIAGS) 40MB

Try keeping this one on the front of this old spinning drive. You could force-boot it if you ever need to. It should be PSA/ePSA Dell Diagnostics (which you need to be able to run, either from here or Bootable-USB).

All the rest you can delete. This spinner will become a non-boot drive.

To setup a proper Microsoft Windows dual-boot, Windows-7 64bit (Dell-OEM) must be installed first. However, that doesn't mean it has to be installed on the first physical drive in the system (likely the boot SSD). You can install it to any drive, any partition near front of drive.

Setup SSD as OS-Boot. In Windows Setup, Full install to BLANK drive (no partitions). Windows7 will create it's own Emergency Partition (pretty useful if you have Pro or Ultimate).

Windows-8 64bit should be installed to it's own partition. See my Favorites Threads for my Posts about much of this.

Properly install the SSD wherever you can.

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1 Nickel

RE: Dual boot x51 and various questions. (windows 8 installed, want extra windows 7)

Thanks for reply!

About partitions - I've made a short Google and it seems all partitions comes from dell, so i guess it is better to save them all. Just for example, if I remove everything but "1) FAT32 (DIAGS) 40MB" and make a clean install windiws 8 oem, will I have my license working, that came with my pc?

"This spinner will become a non-boot drive." spinner stands for hdd? sorry English is not my native Smiley Sad

So for dual-boot i need ether a second (separate) hdd for windows 7 or full format my current except FAT32 (DIAGS) partition? I actually found faq  where it tell step by step how to install w7 after w8 without loosing w8, the problem is with those partitions i guess - i am not sure which will stay and which will be removed during installation and how to keep them all. I can share link but i am not sure if i am allowed to link external sites here.

"Properly install the SSD wherever you can."

So there is space for that inside my x51?

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