southwales
1 Copper

Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

Just got a new Dell PC with Windows 8 OS.

 For legacy hardware & software reasons I want to do a clean install of Windows 7 PRO so that I can setup a dual boot configuration of Windows 7 & 8.

At startup the system bypasses the Windows 7 DVD and goes to Windows 8 on the HDD.

I’ve changed the Boot setup (F2) in the BIOS so that the 1st boot device is the “internal ODD”, but it still goes to Windows 8.

Under F12 the Boot Mode is set to UEFI, Secure Boot ON. Not sure but I think I need to change the boot mode setting to “Legacy Boot Mode, Secure Boot OFF”. UEFI is a strange new world to me, if I change this configuration is it opening a Pandora’s box of problems?

Any thoughts about setting up a dual boot configuration or should I look into running virtual software like Vmware or Virtual Box.

 Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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14 Replies
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Exsurgo
1 Copper

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

I am currently having difficulty with this.  From what I know :

If you installed Windows in non-UEFI (Legacy) mode then you will only be able to boot to it in Legacy mode.  If you try to boot to it in UEFI mode it will skip the installation and only try ones that were installed via UEFI.  If you use legacy boot you should be able to get into your Windows7.

I have also read that the Windows7 installation media is bugged with UEFI mode and will not work.  I am trying to get around this atm, and have heard that using a USB rather than a DVD might work.

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

You will need to clean install Windows 7 and then Windows 8.

See my wiki A Clean Install of Windows 7.

Also see here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2011/05/31/installing-windows-7-on-uefi-based-computer.as...

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Mary G
6 Indium

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

Today's computers boot order cannot be changed in the bios. You must use either F12 (on windows 7 computers) or PC Settings on the Windows 8 computer. Select Advanced Startup on the PC Settings page. Reboot and you will see the Boot Menu to boot to a dvd.

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ed_dell
1 Copper

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

Would you please report back with whether you were able to do this? I have an XPS 8500 with Windows 8 but would also like to dual boot windows 7 because my work VPN does not support Windows 8 yet. I have a separate Windows 7 license for this purpose.

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ed_dell
1 Copper

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

Do you have any update on how you might have accomplished this? I am trying to do the same thing on a Win8 machine. I want to install Win7 on a separate partition of my XPS 8500 because my work VPN does not support Win8.  

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Exsurgo
1 Copper

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

Inside Windows 8 I hit the windows key and searched for advanced start-up option.  I selected it and then when the blue GUI boot screen came up I choose to boot from DVD drive.  After that I just followed the installation process.

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southwales
1 Copper

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

Hi ed dell,

I haven’t done the Windows 7/8 dual boot setup yet so unfortunately I can’t tell you how well it works. I’ll probably implement it at some point in the future to explore Windows 8 features.

When I ordered my XPS8500 it came with Windows 8 installed and I wanted to go back to Windows 7 for hardware/software legacy purposes. At this point I’ve installed Windows 7 Ultimate and virtual PC with XP mode to support some older software.

If your PC has Windows 8 installed and you want to setup a dual boot configuration you will have to do a clean install first of Windows 7 as outlined by natakuc4 in his tutorial “A Clean Install of Windows 7” and then follow the tutorial done by Brink at
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2344-dual-boot-installation-windows-8-windows-7-vista.html.

If you don’t have them you’ll need to contact Dell first for your Windows 8 install/driver disks at http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dellcare/en/backupcd_form?c=us&cs=19&l=en...

If you have a newer PC that boots uses UEFI instead of standard BIOS you’ll have to disable secure boot as outlined in Step 8 of the tutorial mentioned above, “A Clean Install of Windows 7”.

Hope this helps.

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ed_dell
1 Copper

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

I find this whole process to be quite confusing. I have many questions, hopefully you or someone can explain.

* If I were to do a clean install of Windows 7 on the system, wouldn't I lose the 3 Dell backup/restore partitions that Dell has put there for recovery?

* Why is it necessary to do a clean install of Win 7 then re-install Win 8? I am wondering if it is possible to shrink the current installation partition of Windows 8, create a new separate partition to install Windows 7 onto. Then, do a repair/restore on the Windows 8 installation in order to fix/repair the boot menu that Win 7 will apparently alter.

This really seems to be something that used to be so easy to do, but the new Windows 8 secure boot, no OS install discs from Dell, Windows 8 product key now a part of the BIOS, etc. is basically making home computing WAY too difficult. 

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

Re: Dual Boot of Windows 7 & 8

This really seems to be something that used to be so easy to do, but the new Windows 8 secure boot, no OS install discs from Dell, Windows 8 product key now a part of the BIOS, etc. is basically making home computing WAY too difficult. 

I know and I am working with Dell to make requesting recovery media easier.

If I were to do a clean install of Windows 7 on the system, wouldn't I lose the 3 Dell backup/restore partitions that Dell has put there for recovery?

Installing another OS or changing the partitions in anyway prevents the Dell factory restore from working, so in a way if you are going to dual boot these partitions all become useless.

Why is it necessary to do a clean install of Win 7 then re-install Win 8? I am wondering if it is possible to shrink the current installation partition of Windows 8, create a new separate partition to install Windows 7 onto. Then, do a repair/restore on the Windows 8 installation in order to fix/repair the boot menu that Win 7 will apparently alter.

Give it a try if you want. In my experience dual boots usually work better older system installed first. I haven't tried installing 8 than 7 but I have done 7 then 8. The reason is that the Windows 8 boot menu might not know the Windows 7 OS is present if it is installed after Windows 8.

If it was present before Windows 8 was installed then the Windows 8 boot menu will know an earlier version of Windows is present and should display the following when you power up.

 

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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