Dual Booting Windows 8 Upgrade With Windows 7

HMCS
HMCS used Ask the Experts™
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I have an opportunity to purchase from Microsoft a download version of Windows 8 pro for $39.99. I wish to keep my fairly new install of Windows 7 and would like to dual boot it with Windows 8. I need to know if this is possible with this special download upgrade version.

I am familiar with dual booting and beyond when I had Windows XP. I had several Windows XP disks at that time and I was able to do a dual boot using only an upgrade disk - having already in place an install of XP on the machine.

I realize that I must make another partition of the hard drive of the computer I wish to use which is a 1.5 TB drive. I fully also realize that the dual boot order must be 7 to 8 and not 8 to 7.

If this dual boot is possible and feasible I need to know what problems I might encounter with this combination. It has been years since I did a dual boot and it was only with Windows XP to XP !

Any help and suggestions would be appreciated.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
The version of Windows 8 you purchased is an upgrade (I purchased the same upgrade) and you need a base (say) Windows 7 machine operating in order to do the upgrade.

I used a second hard drive (so my main drive is out of the machine), loaded my Windows 7 license, set it up and then upgraded to Windows 8 with its own key. So now both work.

Strictly speaking, I should not use the same Windows 7 license, but (a) the Windows 8 license took over on the upgrade and (b) I do not intend to keep the Win8 upgrade system. Still you need to be careful, and if dual booting, make sure the Windows 7 you use to upgrade to Windows 8 is isolated from your main Windows 7 machine.

.... Thinkpads_User
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
I always advise people use VHD boot to try out Windows 8.  Uses a VHD file like a hard drive partition (this is NOT running in a VM - just using VHD as a drive).

I *think* it may even work with the upgrade media since it could see your Win7 install during the install process.

Instructions are here: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/how-to-use-a-vhd-to-dual-boot-windows-8-on-a-windows-7-pc/4847
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Top Expert 2016
Commented:
To begin, if you activate your windows 8 you technically have invalidated your windows 7 license. You no longer have the right to run the windows 7 package.  If you want to run windows 7 and Windows 8 you need to purchase the full version of Windows 8.

Pet Peeve: I have over the years gone from the non windows environment, to OS/2 to Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.  I do NOT find the absence of the traditional start menu to be a problem.

I don't really take advantage of the Windows Store apps at all.. they remain hidden away behind my full screen traditional desktop apps.

You have to learn to roll with the times.. Originally windows (1.0/2.0/3.0/3.1) placed too high a performance hit on my computers to be viable (back in the 386/386sx days).  Then I missed program manager, but I got over it.

Originally I didn't like the new start menu (metro desktop) but combined with windows search, hit the start key, type a few letters of the program I want, and then select it from the desktop and away I go.. I've tried classic shell, start8, and a few other start menu replacements but after a while I found that I was using them less and less and don't really miss them at all.

Author

Commented:
Well this explains it all. I had no idea that I'd not be able to actually run Windows 7 once I'd activated Windows 8. I don't have the funds to get a full version - so that ends that!  I just saved myself $39 and alot of aggravation. Back in the day with XP I did this and it was ok but times have changed. I'll just stick with 7 and forget 8 ever existed. Thanks a million for saving me alot of time and trouble.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
If you are going to use both systems, you really need additional licensing as we noted above. I am not using the Windows 8 license right now as I will be getting a new laptop soon and get it with Windows 8.

... Thinkpads_User

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the info !

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