Foxfan100
1 Nickel

XPS8300 - dual W7/W10 installations

I am running W7 Ultimate on this machine, and although other posts suggest that it may be OK to install W10 (the W10 update check says that my machine meets requirements), I'm very reluctant to upgrade.

This is because of the conflicting reports on upgradeability and working, combined with some horor stories about reverting to Win7 if the upgrade to W10 fall flat on its face.

I recently swapped my C: drive for a high-capacity SSD, and am using the original HDD, partitioned, for Temp files, Mozilla profiles etc. It still has the W7 boot on it, although obviously no updates have been applied to the system on the HDD, as they've all gone to that on the C: SSD.

My questions are these:-

  1. I understand that an installation ISO for W10 can be downloaded from Microsoft for purpose of e.g. clean reinstalling W10. Is this so, and if so, where do I get it from?
  2. Can the install location of W10 be specified i.e. drive letter? Therefore:-
  3. Is it possible for me to install W10 to my non-booting HDD old C: drive (letter now FSmiley Happy totally independently of my W7 system, and without touching the W7 installation? If so, can I
  4. Use the W10 system on my HDD F: drive, and selectively boot into W10 at startup by choosing F: as the "one-off" boot device.
  5. I would also avoid over-use of my SSD.

If this is possible, and my understanding is correct that W10 is a complete package including drivers, I would then be able to tell immediately whether my system will work with W10 and, if it doesn't, perhaps what it needs to do so.

This would be the best of both worlds, as my W7 default system off C: would be unaffected and would, as usual, be the normal boot. I can then stick with it, or play around with both until I choose which to default to.

I realise that I could perhaps install W10 to a Virtual Machine, but would prefer not to, at least until the above is answered in some form.

Thanks for your help.

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7 Replies
Mary G
6 Indium

RE: XPS8300 - dual W7/W10 installations

You cannot clean install windows 10 for free without first doing an upgrade with windows 7 running. That is how to qualify for the free upgrade. After upgrading and activating windows 10, you will be able to do a clean install--not recommended until you know win 10 works well. You have 30 days to return to 7 before doing a clean install.

However--IMO you should skip the upgrade to 10 and stay with win 7 that is working fine. Wait until you replace the old xps to get windows 10. Your model is not approved by Dell for upgrading to 10 because of lack of drivers for win 10. MS always says everyone can upgrade, but it will not be a good thing to do unless drivers are available.

You cannot dual boot win 7 and 10. After the upgrade the license for 7 is invalid since it was converted to a license for 10. 

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Foxfan100
1 Nickel

RE: XPS8300 - dual W7/W10 installations

Thanks for your reply.

I take on board all you say about the advisability or not of upgrading this machine to W10. Apart from the fact that I need it running perfectly al the time, my RSS feeds from Dell forums are full of stories about missing product keys, disks and whatnot when people try to downgrade or revert to W7 or W8. All in all, it is totally unacceptable in any computing environment that an OS update should be so completely unpredictable to the point where it might render a system unworkable.

I had rather suspected what you confirm, in that W10 will install over W7, even if two discrete disks are available. That being so, the only other way around this is for me to buy W10 and install to a VM, but quite frankly that's probably not worth the expense. I see that W7 will be in some degree supported until January 2020, so I'll stick with it for the time being.

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ieee488
6 Gallium

RE: XPS8300 - dual W7/W10 installations

There is no need to jump onto the Windows 10 bandwagon.

I didn't.

I bought a new Dell in September, and I opted for Windows 7 Pro.

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Foxfan100
1 Nickel

RE: XPS8300 - dual W7/W10 installations

Thanks for the reassurance. Win 7 Ultimate works well for me, and I'm in no rush to enter the world of pain which might be the result of a W10 upgrade. As @Mary G suggests, I'll keep using this, and may perhaps go the W10 route with a new machine (in fact, I'll almost certainly have to).

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ieee488
6 Gallium

RE: XPS8300 - dual W7/W10 installations

 and may perhaps go the W10 route with a new machine (in fact, I'll almost certainly have to).

Not necessarily if you follow the path of the light to Linux. 

For regular internet tasks, I find that current release of Linux Mint to be excellent. I love it.

I can even program Android apps or write Arduino sketches on Linux Mint.

I use Windows just to keep my toe in the water so to speak. I spend 99% of my time at home using Linux Mint on my M6300.

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Foxfan100
1 Nickel

RE: XPS8300 - dual W7/W10 installations

I have, for a long time, used various flavours of Linux in business systems, and spent a lot of time developing applications to run on Linux machines. I even understand BASH!

I have had my "home office" systems set up as dual boot with Ubuntu and Windows and, as you say, the Linux bit is far more satisfactory in most regards. My problem arises with off-the-peg application software, as a number of key program suites I need to use are Windows-only. This is very limiting, but unfortunately is more often than not the case.

Various OS's are analogous to the audio kit in successive generations of my cars. One cassette had a snazzy skip-to-track feature, the next was minus that but had better sound quality, and so forth. One day there may be an operating system that has everything I want and nothing I don't. I can but hope.

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ieee488
6 Gallium

RE: XPS8300 - dual W7/W10 installations

My problem arises with off-the-peg application software, as a number of key program suites I need to use are Windows-only. This is very limiting, but unfortunately is more often than not the case.

That is the crux of the problem.


For me such programs are work-related. Ugh.

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