How to Install Windows 8 Alongside Windows 7

We won’t go into your specific reasons, but using two operating systems side-by-side is a handy, and immensely popular practice. While you can peek into the exciting features of the new entry, switching back to the previous version is always kept secure in your “options bag”. To accomplish this, you have two choices; either run Windows as a Virtual Machine using VM apps, or install the new OS as a separate partition of your computer’s hard disk. For the best experience, my advice would be you opt for the latter.

The foremost solution which is always encouraged is checking your PC primary healthiness and restoring any discrepancy that perhaps is bringing about the disturbance:

  • Step 1 : Download Systimizer – PC Cleaner Tool (Compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7 & XP)
  • Step 2 : Click “Scan” to find Windows issues
  • Step 3 : Click “Fix” to eliminate all troubles

Technically, installing Windows on a different hard drive section is called dual-boot, or multi booting. It is a configuration that enables user to start the system from one of the two operating systems that are both incorporated on the same computer. The chosen version is given control typically through a boot management program that overrides the original MBR (Master Boot Record) and loads instead of an OS. This tutorial will walk you through the easy steps involved in installing Windows 8 alongside Windows 7. But first, make sure your computer’s hard drive has at least 30GB of free space available to squeeze in the new partition, and secondly, backup all important files to prevent disasters in case anything goes wrong.

Step 1: Create a new partition

To get started, we first need to create a physical partition on your hard disk. This is done using the Control Panel’s Disk Management tool, demonstrated here:

  • Click Start button
  • Right-click Computer option
  • Choose Manage to launch Computer Management window
  • Double-click Disk Management listed under Storage on the left pane
  • From the graphical list that appears at the bottom, locate your system hard disk (C: in our case)
  • Right-click this drive and click Shrink Volume
  • In the box Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB, specify the size of your new Windows 8 partition (preferably between 30 GB – 40 GB)
  • Click Shrink
  • Right-click the newly created Unallocated block
  • Choose New Simple Volume
  • Click Next till you reach Format Partition window
  • Type Windows 8 partition in the Volume label
  • Finally, click Next

These steps will create the new hard disk partition, which is now ready to house your copy of Windows 8.

Step 2 – Install Windows 8 on Windows 8 partition

Firstly, insert your Windows 8 DVD and reboot the machine. Typically, your computer should boot from the DVD. However, if it does not, ensure correct booting order from the BIOS settings:

  • Enter BIOS screen by pressing F2, F12, or Del key (depending upon your machine) upon system boot
  • Navigate to the Boot section
  • Change the boot order to set CD-ROM Drive as the first booting option
  • Save and Exit the BIOS menu
  • Confirm the configuration changes
  • The computer will restart directly from the DVD

Note: Instructions vary from device to device. Consult the machine manual or contact your manufacturer for more support

 Proceed with the installer, and follow the step-by-step wizard to install Windows 8:

  • Set your language, time and currency format, keyboard or input method. Click Next to continue
  • Choose Install now
  • Enter product key and click Next
  • Read license terms and check I accept license terms
  • Click Next
  • Choose Custom from the list of installation options
  • Locate and highlight the new partition (Windows 8 partition in our case)
  • Hit Next

Windows 8 will start installing on this new partition. The process will take approximately 20-30 minutes, after which you will boot straight into the new OS. If you wish to choose Windows 7 as your default operating system, enter the boot menu and choose Change Defaults or Choose Other Options. Next, hit Choose the Default Operating System. From there, you can set Windows 7 as the default booting option. However, if you feel like meddling some more with Windows 8 that day, simple pick it from the boot menu. Enjoy the new experience and play around to grasp the proper feel.

Related Article:

How to Activate your Windows 8

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