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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Jan 2011
    Seattle, WA
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    Remove Windows 7 from a Win7/8, dual-boot PC


    Remove Windows 7 from a Win7/8, dual-boot PC

    By Fred Langa

    If you've been test-driving Windows 8 as a secondary OS on a standard dual-boot, Windows 7 setup, you can easily remove Win7 when it's time to upgrade to the next Windows for keeps. Plus: What to do when the main System process in Win8 causes serious system slowdowns, and more on removing potentially dangerous Vista/Win7 'gadgets.'

    The full text of this column is posted at (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Polk County, Florida
    Thanked 451 Times in 357 Posts
    Fred is just flat wrong in one specific aspect of this articleó"Win8 knows how to boot Win7, but Win7 doesnít have a clue about how to boot Win8. Thatís because the newer OS uses boot techniques and methods that didnít exist when Win7 came out. Thatís why a native Win7/8 dual-boot setup uses the Win8 boot loaders." Not totally true.

    First, some background. I dual-boot Windows 7 & Windows 8.1. The Windows 8 bootmgr partially loads Windows 8 before it offers the dual-boot menu. If one chooses to boot Windows 7 instead, the machine has to completely reboot in order to boot into Windows 7. I don't shut down my desktop, so the only time it boots is for a necessary reboot for Windows Update, or when I want to boot into the other Windows. Rebooting twice (to satisfy the Windows 8 bootmgr) was rather irritating, so I swapped out the Windows 8 bootmgr for the Windows 7 bootmgr. I don't get the GUI boot menu of Windows 8 (not a big deal), but I don't have to do a double reboot just to get to Windows 7.

    This works equally well for both BIOS machines and UEFI machines. It isn't necessary to edit the BCD store, just replace the Windows 8 bootmgr with the Windows 7 bootmgr. For the doubters, I have a couple of YouTube videos of what I'm talking about:

    BIOS dual-boot

    UEFI dual-boot

    I'll continue to dual-boot for the unique advantages it offers. I may graduate to Windows 8/10 from 7/8, but I'll continue to dual-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?"óCaptain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."óM.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."óSir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    RE: Peter Stark's issue, "System process hogging a Win8 system's CPU/disk", we had a similar situation, and identified the real culprit using some freely available tools.

    First off was to install Process Explorer from SysInternals (, or just, which will redirect you to the right Technet page), which does a great job of giving you a lot more information on running processes than even Win8 does (which is much more than its predecessors.) This led us to two culprits: SearchIndexer and Invagent.

    Windows file indexing is by default configured to index files when the CPU demand is slowest, which is why we were noticing heating issues on her PC when she _wasn't_ using it. To correct this, we edited the list of things the indexer searches for, limiting it only to Office Documents and Outlook E-mails, and then installed the Everything Search Engine (free from which does a much better and faster job at indexing windows files.

    The second component is the Program Compatibility Data Updater, which is enabled when you installed the operating system if you chose the option to "participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program". This was my wife's computer, and in light of the recent changes that Microsoft has made in *listening* to their users, I thought for the first time ever that I would say "Yes" to this option. I have reversed my decision, as this process becomes very CPU hungry as it collects lots of completely unknown information about computer usage.

    After adjusting these two settings, my wife's PC now runs a lot faster, no overheating issues, and no laggyness.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    I dual boot 7 & 8. W7 was installed first then 8. Most of the time the boot menu is text based so I assume that's Win7. Every once in a while the graphics based boot menu appears. Happens usually when I'm installing Win8 updates which I do "manually". It's not consistant so I can't figure out why it happens. Anybody how to identify which boot manager is which? Both are on the drive 0 but of course separate partitions: C for Win7 when it boots while Win 8 is on G. When booting to 8 they swap drive letters.

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