How to Dual Boot Windows 8 and Windows 7

dual boot windows 8 and 7‘Charm’ and ‘Metro’ are buzzing and they are buzzing hard. With Windows 8 out, you’d want to give it a try but there may be a lot of factors that stop you from doing so. Before we explain how to dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8, let’s look at them individually.

Windows 7

After months of testing and public betas, Microsoft released Windows 7 in July, 2009. The operating system was received well and although it had some compatibility issues, developers strived hard and almost all major applications were fixed. There were a lot of changes to the core applications and a service pack was released in 2010. The operating system was available in both 32 and 64 bit versions.

Windows 8

After 3 years, Microsoft released Windows 8. It was a bold and a daring move by the company. The one thing that was common in all versions of Windows, starting from Windows 95 was the Start menu. With Windows 8, the entire layout, design and the functionality has been changed. A new theme called Metro Style has also been introduced. It may take a while before you get used to the redesigned Start screen. If you are a professional, who makes a living by designing or developing content, you may experience trouble when the tool you use isn’t compatible with Windows 8.

Dual Booting

Dual booting is the method by which two different operating systems are loaded on to a hard drive and before the boot sequence begins, a choice is thrown as to which operating system be loaded. Dual booting is the safest way to try a new version of an operating system without disrupting the old, stable version.

Dual booting Windows 8 and Windows 7

As common sense dictates, you need to get yourself the Windows 8 disk and have Windows 7 installed on your computer. The first step that you need to do to dual boot the two operating systems is the creation of a separate partition. You cannot have two different operating systems installed on the same drive. You can either use the Administrator Tools or Partition Magic to create a new partition. This is easy and you just need to follow the on screen instructions. You will have two partitions now, one with Windows 7 installed and the other partition where you’d be installing Windows 8. For easy recognition, rename the new partition as Windows 8.

Once a partition is created, you can install Windows 8 on it. Make sure you burn the Windows 8 image file to a DVD using tools like Nero or ImgBurn. If you are using an ultrabook without optical drives, burn the bootable disk to a thumb drive. You can download the USB download tool from Microsoft’s website and use it to burn the disk image onto a USB flash drive.

You now have to insert the DVD or plug the USB flash drive to your computer and reboot it. While it boots, you have to select the bootable device as the DVD or the USB drive. Now, you will have the Windows 8 setup screen. Select the preferred language and rather than a complete install, select the custom installation option. The custom installation option lets you select only the services you need and this will help you reduce the footprint.

When you follow the onscreen instructions, you will have Windows 8 installed on your computer. During the first run of Windows 8, you’d be asked about SkyDrive and email setup. Once you are done with this, you’ll have Windows 8 up and running. One advantage while dual booting is that you can access the shared files. You also have the choice to either set Windows 7 or Windows 8 as default.

By dual booting, you can have hands-on experience with Windows 8 without having to give up Windows 7.

This is a guest post by Sharon Thomas of, a site that offers savings and current information on dish network internet. Click here for more info as well as services.

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