Dual boot Windows 7 with Windows 8 Release Preview
Want to try the Metro UI on your Windows 7 PC? Set up a dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 system
You can dual boot Windows 7 on your PC with Windows 8 Release Preview to get a look and feel of the new operating system launched by Microsoft. With the launch of Windows 8 Release Preview, Microsoft seems to be on schedule to unveiling the Windows 8 retail edition later this year. Windows 8 has got an all-new Metro interface and Microsoft is aptly promoting it as “WindowsÂ re-imagined and re-invented from a solid core ofÂ WindowsÂ 7Â speed and reliability”.
Why it’s better to dual boot Windows 7 with Windows 8 Release Preview
Dual booting Windows 7 with Windows 8 Release Preview is a good option as you can get the best of both worlds. In case you upgrade Windows 7, the existing operating system will be gone and the computer will boot with Windows 8 Release Preview. To revert to Windows 7, a full reinstall will be required. In Windows 8 Release Preview, there could be some technical issues as this edition is not the final version. So, setting up a dual boot Windows 7 system with Windows 8 Release Preview is recommended.
System requirements to install Windows 8 Release Preview
- 1 GHz or faster processor.
- 1GB RAM for the 32-bit edition and 2GB RAM for the 64-bit edition.
- Minimum 16 GB free hard disk space for the 32-bit edition and 20 GB for the 64-bit edition.
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.
- Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.
- The ‘Snap’ feature requires minimum screen resolution of 1366×768.
- For using the touch interface features, a multi-touch laptop, tablet, or display is needed.
Step-by-step procedure to dual boot Windows 7 with Windows 8 Release Preview
As a precautionary measure, before you begin the configuration of a dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 system, please back up all your data.
- Download the 64-bit or 32-bit ISO file of Windows 8 Release Preview from the official Microsoft website.
- Burn the ISO image of Windows 8 to a DVD by following the steps given on this page.
- Ensure that there is minimum 20GB free hard disk space for Windows 8.
- From the ‘Start’ menu, right click on the ‘Computer’ option.
- Now click ‘Manage’, and in the dialog box, click on ‘Disk Management’.
- Browse to the system hard disk in the list shown in the pane at the bottom.
- Right-click on it and then click ‘Shrink Volume’. Shrink it down, so you have 20GB of space left on the drive. Click ‘OK’.
- Now click on the ‘Unallocated’ block of that drive and click ‘New Simple Volume’.
- A new set-up tool will open. Keep clicking ‘Next’, and when the ‘Format Partition’ window appears, enter a volume label such as Windows 8.
- Click ‘Next’. The drive will now be formatted.
- Load the DVD with the ISO image of Windows 8 Release Preview. Ensure that your computer is set to boot from CD/DVD and reboot your PC.
- When you’re asked to “Press any key to boot from DVD”, press a key. This will boot the system into the Windows 8 installer.
- Select the language and time, click ‘Next’ and then click ‘Install Now’. Now you will be prompted to enter the product key and accept the license terms.
- Select ‘Custom’ when asked what type of installation has to be done.
- The setup will now prompt you for the location where Windows 8 has to be installed. Locate your new partition on the list of drives.
- Click ‘Next’ and the installation will begin. During this process, the PC will reboot many times.
- After the installation is completed, your computer should reboot into Windows 8.
- On starting the computer, a boot menu will be displayed from where you can choose either Windows 7 or Windows 8 Release Preview.
By following these steps, you will be able to dual boot Windows 7 with Windows 8 Release Preview.
Image by Ceo1O17 (via Flickr – cc).