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  1. #1
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    Setting up a Win7/Win8 dual-boot system




    BEST PRACTICES


    Setting up a Win7/Win8 dual-boot system


    By Lincoln Spector

    There are two techniques for running Windows 7 and Windows 8 on the same system: dual-boot and virtual machine.
    We reviewed virtual machines in a previous article; here's how to set up a dual-boot machine.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/best-practices/setting-up-a-win7win8-dual-boot-system/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2013-04-10 at 20:39.

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    Your article does not address the situation of trying to dual boot Windows 8 on a UEFI motherboard. The recipient disk must be converted from from NTFS to another format and it isn't easy!! I would appreciate help for doing this!
    Jack Strom

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    No, I'm pretty sure that it's no problem going from Win 7 to dual boot with Win 8 as far as UEFI and file formats go. Its the other direction; trying to get Win 7 or XP dual booting on a Windows 8 system that will necessitate many adjustments and special preparation steps; although none of them involve changing from NTFS; that is compatible with all three.

    With the advent of SSDs and ever-growing sophistication of free virtual machine software I've become a big fan of the first method. Why limit to one OS running at a time when both can be active and making better use of today's overbuilt computers and it avoids all the setup and maintenance of a dual boot. The VM won't work for high end gaming but there's little else it cannot handle with aplomb.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-04-11 at 11:42.

  4. #4
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I must remind folks who want to create a Windows 7/ Windows 8 dual-bot that the only edition of Windows 8 which may be LEGALLY used to create this configuration is the System Builder Personal Use License (PUL) Edition, either standard or Pro. While the Standard Edition or the Pro Edition (non-System Builder) MIGHT work for such uses, it is against the Microsoft EULA to use anything other than the (more expensive) SB-PUL Edition (standard or Pro). I have posted before in The Lounge the MS EULA sections which relate to this issue.

    The download from Microsoft is NOT System Builder Edition.

    Just because you CAN do something which violates a EULA, does not mean you SHOULD do it.

    If you do store all your files in Windows 7, make sure you have the Windows 8 files backed up elsewhere, preferably an external drive location. This is for safety reasons. Putting all your eggs in one basket can be risky if for any reason the Windows 7 installation has issues. While you're in Windows 8, you won't know about any Windows 7 issues until you boot into Win 7 again.

    No, folks, I did NOT convert NTFS into anything else to dual-boot Win 8 Pro SB-PUL with Win 7 HP OEM on my Toshiba Satellite laptop. UEFI has nothing to do with the File System. And Windows 7 is just fine booting from UEFI on most modern computers. Making Windows 8 UEFI Boot does NOT require making Windows 7 UEFI Boot. I for a long time left my Windows 7 booting with full BIOS POST. I only changed it over to UEFI Boot a short time ago, and the configuration is still quite stable. The only glitch (and this is a long-standing Windows bug) is that in dual-boot configurations, Windows 7 overwrites Windows 8 System Restore points every time it boots. There is as yet no cure for this bug.

    By the way, my laptop still can do F2 and F8 in dual-boot, UEFI configuration. I hold down the desired key during the entire boot from the dual-boot OS selection screen, and nine times out of ten, BIOS access or Recovery Options shows up as before. Your mileage on different hardware may vary.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Two months ago I found out my laptop can accommodate two hard drives so I decided to experiment with Win 8 and a new SSD. I didn't want to destroy my Win 7 installation in case I didn't like Win 8 so I cloned my Win 7 system on the new SSD. I removed it from my laptop and upgraded the OS to Win 8. When I re-installed the old hard drive with Win 7 I had a dual boot machine. I simply go into the bios and tell it which drive to use as the boot drive. I know this is not economical because I have duplicate copies of all my programs but it serves me well to learn Win 8 and decide if it is a keeper. I can of course see the contents of both drives with each of the OS's. As part of the set up I moved all my date off the original Win 7 drive (it's larger than the SSD). After I confirmed both drives and their respective OS's worked as I anticipated I moved my data back to the Win 7 hard drive. If I decide to keep Win 8 I can repeat the data trick and reformat the drive before reloading the data to gain extra free space on the Hard Drive.
    Last edited by topgum; 2013-04-11 at 17:17.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topgum View Post
    Two months ago I found out my laptop can accommodate two hard drives so I decided to experiment with Win 8 and a new SSD. I didn't want to destroy my Win 7 installation in case I didn't like Win 8 so I cloned my Win 7 system on the new SSD. I removed it from my laptop and upgraded the OS to Win 8. When I re-installed the old hard drive with Win 7 I had a dual boot machine. I simply go into the bios and tell it which drive to use as the boot drive. I know this is not economical because I have duplicate copies of all my programs but it serves me well to learn Win 8 and decide if it is a keeper. I can of course see the contents of both drives with each of the OS's. As part of the set up I moved all my date off the original Win 7 drive (it's larger than the SSD). After I confirmed both drives and their respective OS's worked as I anticipated I moved my data back to the Win 7 hard drive. If I decide to keep Win 8 I can repeat the data trick and reformat the drive before reloading the data to gain extra free space on the Hard Drive.
    What you did may work, but it isn't allowed under the Windows 8 upgrade EULA.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Dual boot Win7/Win8

    I have read your artical and readers comments, I went to read articals and comments from other publishers.
    And jet I have not found anything that suggest a way to over come the negative side effects of dual-booting.
    So I did something that maybe of interest to Windows Secrets readers.
    I left my Win 7 Pro OS. alone on the original drive. Installed an new 3TB "K"drive and a 1TB back-up/restore drive.
    Installed a full version of Win 8 Pro on this new 3TB drive. I called the drive (what ells) Windows 8.
    Each OS. reside on "C" drive, they are independent from each other all my 3th party applications are installed for each OS.
    All my documents and files are on both OS's. So is my E-mail application although the servers see the same address!
    As far as Windows it is a dual boot. But Win 7 is on "C" drive but will never see Win 8 and Win 8 is on "C" drive and
    will not see Win 7! This will eliminate the problem of restore issues! But I have only one 64bit system. The only one application that sees both OS's is Windows Defender! Altough Defender is installed on each, they scan each other!
    Now I only have to find a solution for windows excepting more than 2TB (1TB is unalocated) but with each OS on a 2TB drive
    who cares?
    P.S. 3TB drives are slow

    My regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    I must remind folks who want to create a Windows 7/ Windows 8 dual-bot that the only edition of Windows 8 which may be LEGALLY used to create this configuration is the System Builder Personal Use License (PUL) Edition, either standard or Pro.
    I didn't bother correcting you last week, but since you've repeated this I'll do so now.

    Your error is in assuming that the Win 7 system you want to dual boot with is the system being upgraded to Win 8. Since the Win 8 Pro Upgrade can be used to upgrade XP, Vista, and OTHER Win 7 systems it's entirely possible to place such an upgrade target on the system you want to dual boot and upgrade THAT system with the Win 8 Pro Upgrade while leaving the Win 7 system you want to retain intact and legally usable.

    My impression is that the Win 8 Pro Upgrade is pretty casual about the system used to upgrade from, so you may only need to copy the partition from an old, unused XP/Vista/Win7 system (even the Win 8 Release Preview is a valid upgrade target if you have one kicking around) onto your disk. The copied system may not even need to have been activated at all (though one might want to check the EULA to see whether it addresses this even if the installation allows it), and likely at least doesn't need to have been activated on the target hardware - but really should have been retired, since the EULA does make it clear that continuing to use the upgrade target after the upgrade has occurred is a no-no.

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    Windows 8 System Restore Issue

    I'm surprised this issue was not addressed (unless it was fixed already). System Restore does not work in W8 when dual booting with any other Windows OS. Same issue between Vista/W7. The Registry needs to be hacked in order for any restore points to be saved (I used the same hack for Vista and it worked for W8). However, System Restore is painfully slower in Windows 8 than W7 or Vista. Why is that? I find System Restore a vital tool.

    I have grown tired of the "Metro" cartoon interface and have removed it from my computer. Windows 7 for me until Microsoft returns the 'start' feature and allows me to bypass the silly Metro interface.

    This issue should be a major article on Windows Secrets!
    Last edited by chazdg; 2013-04-18 at 17:12.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    @ Bill --

    You posted
    Your error is in assuming that the Win 7 system you want to dual boot with is the system being upgraded to Win 8. Since the Win 8 Pro Upgrade can be used to upgrade XP, Vista, and OTHER Win 7 systems it's entirely possible to place such an upgrade target on the system you want to dual boot and upgrade THAT system with the Win 8 Pro Upgrade while leaving the Win 7 system you want to retain intact and legally usable.
    I was not referring to that scenario. Sorry if I was misunderstood. I was under the impression that the OP in this case had done the upgrade over Windows 7 and was now treating THAT Windows 8 as the Windows 8 in the dual-boot. This will not be considered legit by Microsoft. What you suggest is more round-about, and it appears it is legal. It was never my intent to dispute this.

    Still, if the underlying Windows 7 license is OEM, you may not legally transfer that license, even upgraded to Windows 8, to another computer.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazdg View Post
    I'm surprised this issue was not addressed (unless it was fixed already). System Restore does not work in W8 when dual booting with any other Windows OS. Same issue between Vista/W7. The Registry needs to be hacked in order for any restore points to be saved (I used the same hack for Vista and it worked for W8). However, System Restore is painfully slower in Windows 8 than W7 or Vista. Why is that? I find System Restore a vital tool.

    I have grown tired of the "Metro" cartoon interface and have removed it from my computer. Windows 7 for me until Microsoft returns the 'start' feature and allows me to bypass the silly Metro interface.

    This issue should be a major article on Windows Secrets!
    This bug has been present in all the NT based versions of Windows I've read about. It's one of the drawbacks to dual-booting.

    And no, MS seems to have no intention of fixing this bug in the near future.

    As for Metro going away, not a chance of an Ice Cube in Hell, not even with Windows 8 Reloaded -- er, 8.1.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    This bug has been present in all the NT based versions of Windows I've read about. It's one of the drawbacks to dual-booting.

    And no, MS seems to have no intention of fixing this bug in the near future.

    As for Metro going away, not a chance of an Ice Cube in Hell, not even with Windows 8 Reloaded -- er, 8.1.
    I agree on both counts although it is so easy to make restore points save in a dual-boot configuration. A Google search will give the answer I provided in another forum. My question is why is System Restore and Windows Update so much slower in W8 than W7, Vista and ME?

  13. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazdg View Post
    I agree on both counts although it is so easy to make restore points save in a dual-boot configuration. A Google search will give the answer I provided in another forum. My question is why is System Restore and Windows Update so much slower in W8 than W7, Vista and ME?
    I don't have the full answer to this, but I think it may be so.

    How System Restore in Windows 7 works is detailed here .

    Although this article was written about a beta version, Windows 8 still uses File History rather than Volume Shadow Copies to back up files. File History seems to make more copies of files than Shadow Copies used to do (a point gleaned from Lounge postings, not from this article). This would slow down a Restore operation, and also make for larger individual Restore Point archives.

    I don't know if the Windows 8 Restore points are bloated with extra copies of files the way File History tends to do. But it wouldn't surprise me. Of course, larger archives with more file versions would take a lot longer to restore than smaller archives with fewer file versions.

    Microsoft is trying to discourage the use in Windows of System Restore, preferring to direct users to do a Restore or Reset. Both operations wipe out recent changes, but they also uninstall Windows Store Apps.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-04-21 at 06:35.
    -- Bob Primak --

  14. #14
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    File History seems to make more copies of files than Shadow Copies used to do (a point gleaned from Lounge postings, not from this article). This would slow down a Restore operation, and also make for larger individual Restore Point archives.
    When doing a File History restore, you are presented with a time line of versions of a file to pick from. The restore itself is very fast. File History is supposed to only make a copy of a file if it changed. It used to make multiple copies of files that didn't change. I'm not sure it still does that. In any event, the problem was the excess space the backups took up, not recovery time.

    Microsoft is trying to discourage the use in Windows of System Restore, preferring to direct users to do a Restore or Reset. Both operations wipe out recent changes, but they also uninstall Windows Store Apps
    The proper terms are
    Restore (System Restore) which doesn't affect desktop or Modern apps or files,
    Refresh - keeps your personal files, settings, and the apps that came with your PC and apps that you installed from Windows Store.
    Reset -reinstalls Windows but deletes your files, settings, and apps—except for the apps that came with your PC.

    See: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...fresh-reset-pc

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    The proper terms are
    Restore (System Restore) which doesn't affect desktop or Modern apps or files,
    Refresh - keeps your personal files, settings, and the apps that came with your PC and apps that you installed from Windows Store.
    Reset -reinstalls Windows but deletes your files, settings, and apps—except for the apps that came with your PC.

    See: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...fresh-reset-pc

    Jerry
    *Shrug*

    So in your opinion what is the reason Windows Update is so much slower than any Windows OS I have used and is Microsoft really trying to faze out System Restore? Thanks.

    By the way, I find it a bit shocking the issues raised in this thread have not been addressed in Windows Secrets. If they have, please accept my apologies.
    Last edited by chazdg; 2013-04-21 at 18:13.

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