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Windows 7: W7 and W8 dual boot - Your opinions on set up


18 May 2014   #1

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 
W7 and W8 dual boot - Your opinions on set up

Hey all,

I've been running W8.1 in a VM for a short while now with the intention of learning about the OS mainly to help others I know, but I've realised that it's very handy for managing my secondary email account and my Microsoft account. As I don't care much for W8.1 it's also proving handy to test out software before installing on my main Windows 7 install.
While the VM serves its purpose more than adequately I'm considering installing W8.1 in a dual boot configuration. I would be very grateful if you experts would give me your opinions on whether it's worth it and how you would go about setting it up.

My HDD configuration is below:

W7 and W8 dual boot - Your opinions on set up-capture.jpg

My initial thought was to clear the 2TB WD Black with the VMs and file backups on (I can reinstall the VMs elsewhere and have ample space to house my tertiary backups) and install to one of the 1TB partitions. The Black is a speedy drive and should be OK for W8.1.
I wouldn't mind adding a second SSD to install onto though, I can pick up a Toshiba 128GB for around 50 ($75 or so) and I suppose that would be my ideal scenario as I could then clear the Caviar Black to store whatever I needed for 8.1.

So any thoughts or advice on how you would proceed with this set up would be gratefully appreciated. I completely understand that some would proceed by not installing W8.1 at all!



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 May 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

I would have an SSD large enough to include the OS and programs, then only move the User folders off to a HD (when space becomes necessary) using Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums
or User Folders - Change Default Location.

You have enough space on the SSD to partition it to do this now for the time being. The reason I would not buy an SSD for Win8 is because once I install it in a Dual Boot I almost never go back to it since I have a far better OS right next door to live in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2014   #3

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I would have an SSD large enough to include the OS and programs, then only move the User folders off to a HD (when space becomes necessary) using Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums
or User Folders - Change Default Location.
That's exactly how I have my existing SSD set up. My OS, AV, Adobe CS2 and Office 2010. Everything else is stored on HDD.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
You have enough space on the SSD to partition it to do this now for the time being. The reason I would not buy an SSD for Win8 is because once I install it in a Dual Boot I almost never go back to it since I have a far better OS right next door to live in.
I did think about creating a second partition on my existing SSD but I'm loathe to mess with what is currently a really smooth set up, hence me considering the second SSD. Either way the second SSD wouldn't go to waste as I could ultimately install some of my extensive games library on there.
I agree 7 is far superior to 8/8.1/8.1.1 and I love my install which is why I thought I'd ask here how to proceed so people like yourself could provide your input. I don't want to intrude on my current 7 install.

If I did partition my current SSD I'd like to install 8 without it interfering with my 7 setup, and have the option to uninstall the 8 setup and delete the partition so my drive returns to its current state. I do have Macrium images saved so I'm good there.
I do appreciate your input Greg.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 May 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

I've never seen a case since XP where installing another OS in a Dual Boot interferes in any way with the boot or performance of other OS on the same drive. With a chip you wouldn't even have the fractional speed difference of not having the files in the preferred HD lower addresses.

But since SSD's are fairly new compared to our experience here, it would be interesting to hear your report on the performance in such a Dual Boot.

One nice thing about a Dual Boot is that the last-installed OS is gone with no complications with just a simple Delete in Disk Mgmt. This is very handy for Windows 8 which always works best when its gone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2014   #5

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
But since SSD's are fairly new compared to our experience here, it would be interesting to hear your report on the performance in such a Dual Boot.
OK I'll be our guinea pig. You've talked me into it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
One nice thing about a Dual Boot is that the last-installed OS is gone with no complications with just a simple Delete in Disk Mgmt. This is very handy for Windows 8 which always works best when its gone.


Yes yes I know! I do dislike Windows 8 and have done since my first run in with it, but at the moment it's serving a couple of very useful purposes.

Which way would you recommend partitioning the SSD Greg? Through Disk Management or something like Partition Magic or the like? This is the first time I've partitioned a system disk, and the first time I've created a dual since XP was too advanced for my soundcard and I had to have a dual boot with 98 to be able to hear anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2014   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

I always default to Disk Mgmt if it can do the operation - as it can here with a Shrink - then I use Partition Wizard boot disk for anything else.

Once shrunk, format your partition with the booted Win installer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2014   #7

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

I now have the dual boot set up, it went swimmingly. Performance so far seems very good over both OS', the only niggling thing that's bothering me is 8 is seen as the primary OS. It's not a problem when I'm sitting in front of the PC as I just choose which OS I want to boot, but if I turn my PC on and leave it then 8 is the default OS it will boot into if left unattended for 30 seconds.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2014   #8

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1
 
 

I replaced XP with Win 8 on my triple boot test box a couple of days ago.
After updating from 8 to 8.1 I lost the boot selection options for Win 7.
I used EasyBCD to fix it, based on Greg's recommendations for this program.
You can easily configure default OS and wait time.

EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies

Name:  EBCDSP01.PNG
Views: 26
Size:  33.4 KB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2014   #9

W7 Pro x64 SP1 / W8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Many thanks David, that is brilliant. I can't rep you for that either sorry, still much obliged though mate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2014   #10

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1
 
 

You're welcome, glad that works for you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 W7 and W8 dual boot - Your opinions on set up




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