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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Need Help Setting Up Dual Boot with Win 7/8



    My system is an HP Envy h8-1410 with Win 8 64-bit on a 1.5TB HDD. (No installation disk, only the DVDs I burned from the recovery image partition.)

    My original plan was to dual boot with Win 7 Pro SP1 64-bit on a smaller drive and use the 1.5TB drive for documents, music, pictures and videos.

    I have already backed up and recovered the Win 8 and it's recovery image partition to a 500GB HDD, using Acronis True Image 2013 and then set up a partition for the Win 7 Pro for which I do have an installation disk. The problem is that Win 7 will not install because the partition and disk is GPT not MBR. Truthfully, I'm not very knowledgeable about the GPT format but have read up a bit on to have a very basic understanding of it. Then EFI vs. BIOS?? Yikes! I have also seen on various sites that this is not an uncommon problem. Reading a few threads here regarding dual booted Win 7/8 has like reading a foreign language. Surely there must be a straight-forward way to accomplish the dual boot. I just need to be told the way in a step-by-step manner ... in English...LOL.

    Is there anyone here that can help me?

    Please note that I dual boot Vista and Win 7 on my laptop which was so easy that it gave me the courage to do this but it's not so simple this time.

    Thanks,
    Kat1110

  2. #2
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    You should be able to install and boot Win 7 64-bit on a GPT style disk with EUFI. What may be preventing you is the infernal EUFI secure boot which is only allowing Win 8. Take a look at this article on how to disable it.

    If it should come to converting to MBR style disk the only way is to completely remove all partitions so the disk is empty and in a raw state.

    It's easy going from an older OS to a newer one as a dual boot because the new recognizes the older and takes appropriate steps. Not so going from newer OS to dual boot with older plus Win 8 is extra difficult if secure boot is enabled in EUFI.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    You might have a look at this post. I was using the Windows 8 Pro upgrade, and so I had to install a sacrificial Windows 7 Pro in order to upgrade to Windows 8, but the specifics of prepping the disk as GPT still apply. Windows 7 will install and run on a GPT disk, but it must have a small EFI partition (100-120MB formatted FAT32) in order to see the GPT disk. You need to use Diskpart (running in Command Prompt with administrator level credentials) from your boot media in order to create the EFI partition. You'll also need a small (30-40MB) MSR partition. These can be created using Diskpart, and then the rest of the disk can be partitioned and formatted NTFS using Diskpart. Once you have prepped the disk, you can exit Diskpart and continue with Windows 7 installation.

    Unless you prep the disk, Windows 7 will not install, but once you have it prepped, Windows 7 will install and boot just fine. Getting your Windows 8 to dual boot, then, is a matter of restoring your image to your Windows 8 partition, and adding the Windows 8 entry to the BCD store. I use the Windows 7 boot loader (don't like the way the Windows 8 bootloader gets so convoluted) and Windows 8 boots and runs just fine.

    Diskpart has native commands specifically for creating an EFI partition and an MSR partition, and it formats them properly during their creation. It also has native commands for creating and formatting NTFS partitions on a GPT disk. You can do all of the disk prep using Diskpart. Be sure to create and format a suitable partition as a target for restoration of your Windows 8 image. The one EFI partition and one MSR partition will serve both OS's - you don't need to create extras for Windows 8.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-04-04 at 06:43. Reason: clarity
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    Thanks to both of you for getting back to me. I really appreciate the help.

    @F.U.N.
    Thanks for thinking of it but the Secure Boot issue reared it's ugly head early in my process when I was trying to change the Windows 8 from the 1.5TB HDD to the 500GB drive and couldn't boot from my ATI disc, no matter how many times I ticked the DVD drive to boot... Lol... my first inkling that Windows 8 was going to be a bit of a pain to work with.

    @bbearren
    Thanks for the link. I'm going to give this a try. I do have a question though. You installed Win 8 from a thumb drive. My choices for installing Win 8 will be the 5 Recovery DVDs that I made from the recovery image partition or an Acronis True Image backup recovery. When I first was changing the hard drive out I had trouble getting the Win 8 to boot from the recovered backup until I did a disk backup and recovery rather than all the partitions of the original Win 8 installation. Is this going to be an issue after I am successful with my Win 7 Pro 64-bit installation and boot and move on to the Win 8 installation?

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    If you get Windows 7 installed in EFI, you'll have the small EFI partition. You could use the Acronis image to put Windows 8 back on your hard drive, then you should be able to run a startup repair to get it found by the BCD Store and get it to boot.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Does Acronis have options for restoring on a partition basis from a whole disk image? I've always kept them separate, partition(s) image for partition restore and disk image for disk restore so I dunno. I guess you could start a restore operation if you haven't or don't know yourself and see if it has the options to do that or not without following through with the restore.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If you image a whole disk with Acronis, you can choose to restore an individual partition in a restore operation. You can even restore individual files or folders.

    Jerry

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    Good, should be fine then, though it still seems like a "todo" to make a GPT drive work with Win 7 compared to a good old fashioned MBR.

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    Help!!! I'm in diskpart and in over my head!!!



    Ok! I sooooo need help... I'm in diskpart and can't find the appropriate commands for the EFI and MSR partitions... I'm really not even sure how to make sure it's a GUID disk, even though I'm in HELP FORMAT. I'm definitely in over my head with diskpart. My partitioning experience is limiting to using EaseUS over the years. My command of command line lingo is also limited. I'm really good at following directions though...LOL... if someone could please list the commands that I need in diskpart for following bbearren's post that he linked in order to create all the necessary partitions, I would be forever grateful. Right now I'm in a holding pattern after having cleaned the disk!!! HELP!!

    OR.... could I use my ATI rescue cd and partition it with Acronis' help???

  11. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Hold your horses for a bit longer, and I'll put a menu together for you...

    --edit-- I'm back. In order to install Windows 7 on a GPT (GUID Partition Table) disk, it must be Windows 7 64bit. Windows 7 32bit doesn't support GPT. It it's 64bit Windows 7, the root of your installation media will have two bootmgr files. Bootmgr and bootmgr.efi. So if your Windows 7 is 64bit, here's my advice:

    Boot the Windows 7 installation USB/DVD. Select your language, etc. and click Next. Click Install. When presented with the drive and partition(s) information, enter Shift +F10. This will open a command console. Type "Diskpart" and enter. This will open a Diskpart console within the command console. Type "List Disk". It will list your installation disk, and the hard disk drive. Observe the sizes, and select your hard drive, usually disk 0.

    Type "Select Disk 0" (if that's your hard drive - be sure) and enter. Diskpart will confirm the selection. Type "clean" and enter, to wipe out the partitioning information on the disk, and this will present it as raw to Diskpart.

    Type "Convert GPT" and enter. Diskpart will confirm success. Next create an EFI partition.

    Type "Create Partition EFI size=120" and enter. My understanding is that this partition needs to be 100MB or a bit larger. Be sure to use the size=nnn or diskpart will use the entire disk. Again, Diskpart will confirm success. Next create the Microsoft System Reserved partition. This one needs to be at least 30MB from what I've read.

    Type "Create Partition MSR size=40" and enter. Again, be sure to specify a size, or Diskpart will use the rest of the disk. Diskpart will confirm success, and that's all that is needed from Diskpart. Type "Exit", and enter. Then type "Exit", again, and enter. The command console will close and the Windows installation will resume at the disk/partition screen. Create and format partitions from this screen. Even though it is now a GPT disk, the partitions will be formatted NTFS.

    After partitions have been formatted, select the partition for the Windows 7 installation. Windows might say it can't install (because there are already two small partitions at the beginning of the disk), and clicking Details will say something to the effect that Windows might not be able to boot from that partition. Just click Next, and Windows will continue with its installation. Windows will install the boot files in the EFI partition, and those will point to the installation partition.

    If your Windows 7 is 32bit, you can still make this work. You can use part of the same scenario I described above. You can use Diskpart in the same way to clean the disk and convert it to MBR. You won't need to create the EFI partition, since it's only needed for booting Windows on a GPT disk. You can create the MSR partition, and then proceed with the Windows 7 installation, creating the partitions you need for both Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows 7 should install the boot files in the MSR partition.

    Once you have Windows 7 installed in either case (GPT or MBR), you can restore your Acronis image to the partition you created for Windows 8. In either case, the partitions are NTFS, so it should work just fine. Then, as I posted earlier, you'll probably need to run a startup repair to get Windows 8 recognized and included in the boot menu.

    EasyBCD 2.2 is another means of getting Windows 8 on the boot menu.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-04-05 at 23:13.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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  13. #11
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    Thank you so much bbearren!! I was able to get both small partitions done as per your directions... I have hit a snag though.
    (This is a 64bit Win 7 Pro DVD btw.) The snag being the "next" button remains grayed out after I tried formatting the OS partition. I did check details and it stated it being a GPT disk as the reason. I clicked ok out of that (the only selection) and "next" button is stilled grayed out. So in essence I cannot force Win 7 to install. Any way around this? This is a relatively new installation disc. I purchased it within the last month and a half, so I guess they changed it.

  14. #12
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I doubt if anything has been changed, Windows 7 has been gold for a long time. Do you have your system in UEFI or Legacy? Windows will only boot GPT through EFI. Booting the DVD, running the install, even using Diskpart to create and format an EFI partition can work with the system in Legacy (BIOS).
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Well I had to disable Secure Boot and enable Legacy in order to boot from the dvd drive... I've checked it a few times to make sure it hasn't been switched back by anything I've done and it has remained that way... but I do believe the system is in UEFI. How would I tell exactly?

  16. #14
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    The 64bit Windows 7 DVD will boot either UEFI or Legacy. You need some combination where Secure Boot is disabled, but EFI can boot. There are any number of ways for UEFI to be implemented by OEM's, and there is no standard naming convention for what's what. Check your documentation and boot options carefully.

    My Dell Latitude laptop has a boot options menu that allows selection of legacy or EFI, but it does not recognize the DVD drive as an EFI bootable option unless there is an EFI bootable DVD in the drive. It doesn't even show the drive under EFI if it is empty.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    I'm not really sure what it is that I should be looking for. I'm attaching a few photos showing the secure boot configuration window, the select boot device window and the boot order window. If you have a chance could you look them over and tell me your ideas?Secure Boot Configuration.JPGSelect Boot Device.JPGBoot Order.JPG

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