Tech Dreams

How to install Windows 8 to dual boot with Windows 7/XP?

Microsoft released Windows 8 beta(customer preview) few days ago and yesterday I had a chance to install it on one of my home computers. My home PC is running on Windows 7 and I would like to install Windows 8 side by side so that I can dual boot. The installation process was pretty simple and with in 40 minutes my PC was up and running with beautiful Windows 8 OS along with Windows 7. Dual boot Windows 8 with Windows 7

In this post I want to share my experience and provide information for you to install Windows 8.

1. Identify a drive  with at least 20 GB of space – Identify one of the drives on your hard disk that can be used to install Windows 8. Delete all the files or preferably quick format it and make sure that it has at least 20 GB of free space. Rename the drive name to Windows 8 so that it will be helpful to identify the destination drive during installation process.

2. Download Windows 8 installer ISO– Go to Microsoft’s website and download Windows 8 ISO file which is approximately 2.5 GB file(32 bit English version).

3. Create Windows 8 bootable USB/DVD – Its advised to launch Windows 8 installer using a bootable USB or DVD for enabling dual boot instead of unzipping the ISO file and launching the setup from Windows 7 OS. Also consider creating bootable USB instead of bootable DVD to save a disc. To create bootable USB/DVD follow these steps

  • Download and install the Windows 7 DVD / USB tool available at microsoftstore.com
  • Launch the utility and follow the onscreen instructions where you would be asked to choose the ISO file(point to file downloaded in step 2) and choose a USB drive or DVD as destination. The onscreen instructions are very simple and you would be able to complete it in 20 minutes time.

So now you have Windows 8 installation setup on your USB drive or DVD.

4. Change BIOS settings to boot from USB/DVD – Restart your PC and open BIOS configuration settings key by pressing F2 or  F12 or DELETE key (the key depends on your computer manufacturer). Go to boot sequence options and make sure that USB/DVD is ahead of hard disk in the boot sequence. Save the settings and restart the PC.

5. Install Windows 8 – After the restart you should be straight into Windows 8 installation screen. Follow the onscreen instructions and install Windows 8 on the drive that is identified during step 1. When prompted for product serial key enter NF32V-Q9P3W-7DR7Y-JGWRW-JFCK8. The installer would restart couple of times during the installation process. On the first restart, make sure that you remove USB/DVD.

Windows 8 installation process is pretty simple and very quick. The complete process of creating bootable USB and installation should complete in 30 – 40 minutes time.