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Quick Guide to installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview in dual-boot

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 29 Feb 2012 22:28 User comments (33)

Quick Guide to installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview in dual-boot Earlier today Microsoft made the long-awaited Consumer Preview of Windows 8 available for download and installation.
Before we begin, the very basics are the minimum requirements to install the OS, which are: A 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM (or 2GB for 64-bit), 16GB of storage (or 20GB for 64-bit), and a DirectX 9 graphics card with WDDM 1.0 support.

That being said, let's get started.

Download Microsoft's setup tool and begin the process



Visit Microsoft's official Windows 8 site here and click on the blue button that says "Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview." From there a very small .exe will download in a few seconds.



Double click on the utility and the tool will begin to check your computer for compatibility issues. As you can see from the screenshot, I had four minor issues (with installed apps) each of which gave me the memo to "reinstall after Windows 8 is installed." This won't matter anyway, as we will be installing Windows 8 on a new partition and dual-booting instead of "upgrading" from my current Windows 7 Ultimate.



When you hit next the tool will ask if you are ready to download Windows, and it will provide you with a product key. Open up a new word doc or Notepad and jot this down as you will need it later.

Consumer Preview will begin downloading and depending on your connection could take 10 minutes to an hour. For comparison, on my 18Mbit connection here at home the download took about 14 minutes.



The next screen is an important one. You will be asked how you want to install Windows 8. If you hit "Install Now" you will be given the option to upgrade from your current setup. I have elected to dual-boot the OS and this guide is based on this decision so please hit "Install on another partition."



On this next screen, you will be asked to select which media to use for the Consumer Preview. You can elect to write it to a flash drive (of 3GB or larger) or burn it to disc. I have elected to burn to a DVD, but either process is pretty much identical. This is all about preference.



The setup tool will begin Creating The ISO file, which should not take too long.

If you elected to burn like I did, burn the disc once the ISO creation is complete.

Partitioning your drive



Now comes the time where we actually make a new partition on your computer to install Windows 8 in.



Hit the "Start" orb and type "Partition" into the search. You will be met with "Create and format hard disk partitions" which is Window's disk management service.



Right click on the C: drive (or other drive you want to steal some GB from) and hit "Shrink Volume."



In this screen, you get to select how big you want the new partition to be. I do not plan to use Windows 8 all too extensively, so I decided to give the new partition 50GB of space. You will need a minimum of 16GB just to run the OS so make sure it is well above 16GB, regardless. Make sure to note that you will have to select the size in MB, so 50GB is 50,000MB, and etc. When done, hit "Shrink."



Once the shrinking is done, you will see new "unallocated space" in the drive you shrunk from. Right click on the unallocated space and hit "New Simple Volume" to bring up the Simple Volume Wizard. Hit "Next" and move on to the next step.



Specify the volume here. The default is to fill the partition completely, and I agree. Hit Next again.



Keep the default assigned letter unless you have a preference or a favorite letter for the new drive.



Now in the format page, select "perform quick format," keep NTFS and Default and then rename the Volume Label with something you will remember. I named mine "Windows 8 CP."

At this point you are pretty much done. Make sure you have the key you had before, written out on real paper, or write this one: NF32V-Q9P3W-7DR7Y-JGWRW-JFCK8.

Put the disc you burnt back into the DVD tray and reboot the computer. Most PCs are set to boot from disc. From there, the installation is standard is it would be for any new OS build. Make sure when asked what kind of installation you want to select "Custom" and choose the new partition we just created. When the process is done, you will be able to dual-boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 right from any launch.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.

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33 user comments

11.3.2012 2:54

I have installed Windows 8 to a separate hard drive and the system does not see the 2 older OS's on another 2 separate drives. I looked at the "CTRL S option" at boot-up but did not see a resolution. I attempted to install DualBootPro and it told me I needed NetFrame 2.0. I installed it and when I attempted to install DualBootPro again, the installer told me I did not have enough drive space left (I have 80G available). ANy suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

21.3.2012 9:48

Thought Win-8 would come with a new Virtual-pc? Any advice on installing in a VM for those of us without extra PCs lying around?

31.3.2012 11:24

For VM you could try skipping the setup tool and download the ISO here:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

Which is what I'm going to try hopefully later today.

41.3.2012 13:40

Originally posted by wardl:
Thought Win-8 would come with a new Virtual-pc? Any advice on installing in a VM for those of us without extra PCs lying around?
None of this guide requires you to have a spare PC. I installed it on my Windows 7 PC in dual-boot.

52.3.2012 2:32
coolmike8789
Unverified new user

An error window pops up after I click finish on the create simple drive wizard saying that the drive already has the maximum number of partitions, is there any way I could get around this?

62.3.2012 3:41
SkinBintin
Unverified new user

When I created the new partition, windows 7 converted my drive to Dynamic, so now I can't install Windows 8 to that partition. Any way to reverse the changes without having to format the whole drive?

72.3.2012 4:01

Whenever I beta an OS, I use a dedicated machine and start with an unformatted HDD. Then I will reinstall my apps one by one. This way, I can see who plays well with others.

AVG 2012 OK
DVD FAB BR failed install and locked machine,requiring a hard restart. Contacting DVD FAB is a farce.

AMD 3Ghz 6 core + 8gb RAM
64 bit.
From format to first boot= 13 minutes.
Windows 8 does have a longer learning curve than 3.11 to 95

82.3.2012 9:02
Behroozb
Unverified new user

I did exactly what was said here, and everything is working great!
Thank you very much!

But now I'm curious to know how to return to Single boot.
In this condition now I have my Partition C( windows 7), and Partition D ( which is now shrinked into 2 volumes and one is dedicated to Windows 8).

Can it be done if I just format the new volume ( shrinked from drived D ) dedicated to windows 8?

I really appreciate if you somebody can help me.
thanks

92.3.2012 9:22

Excellent instructions. Worked for me.
Thank you.

102.3.2012 23:56
CapnLovebone
Unverified new user

Anyone else having a problem with the windows 8 install not recognizing your email password after a couple of boots? It seemed to work fine at first but after many attempts now, I just get the error message that I've incorrectly entered my password. I can boot into windows 7 and my password works just fine.

113.3.2012 8:13

Windows 8 is shite as is MS Flight! What are Microsoft doing or what are they smoking?

123.3.2012 12:42

remember this is a pre release beta so there will some things
that may cause problems if you can't make it work check around
the forums you may find a workaround that someone has found.
so don't to quick to condemn it.

134.3.2012 4:01
Neo11
Inactive

After first reboot, the setup gives an error:
Windows cannot update registry information during installation.

After reboot, it says
Installation was not successful, Changes made are being undone.

It reboots and system is back to where i started.

Can some1 help me out with the error!!!

144.3.2012 5:15
Neo11
Inactive

Originally posted by SkinBintin:
When I created the new partition, windows 7 converted my drive to Dynamic, so now I can't install Windows 8 to that partition. Any way to reverse the changes without having to format the whole drive?
use any partition managing software like Easeus Partition Master.
Theres a free edition as well...

154.3.2012 5:18
Neo11
Inactive

Originally posted by Behroozb:
I did exactly what was said here, and everything is working great!
Thank you very much!

But now I'm curious to know how to return to Single boot.
In this condition now I have my Partition C( windows 7), and Partition D ( which is now shrinked into 2 volumes and one is dedicated to Windows 8).

Can it be done if I just format the new volume ( shrinked from drived D ) dedicated to windows 8?

I really appreciate if you somebody can help me.
thanks

Just rt click My computer>Select Advanced system setting from left side tab>
Advanced Tab>Startup and recovery>click on settings>
1. Reduce the time to display list to "0" and select default OS. Thus it will not ask u fr is selection.
OR
2.Remove entry for Win8 and den format ur D drive.

164.3.2012 5:23
Neo11
Inactive

Originally posted by SkinBintin:
When I created the new partition, windows 7 converted my drive to Dynamic, so now I cant install Windows 8 to that partition. Any way to reverse the changes without having to format the whole drive?
Use a third party partition managing software..
They hav many options to convert the partition fr u
Like Easues Partition Manager etc.

174.3.2012 12:45
Neo11
Inactive

Originally posted by Neo11:
After first reboot, the setup gives an error:
Windows cannot update registry information during installation.

After reboot, it says
Installation was not successful, Changes made are being undone.

It reboots and system is back to where i started.

Can some1 help me out with the error!!!
Solved the problem...
created a bootable PD with win 8 and installed it.
But my win 7 was rendered unbootable.
Had to fix it using system repair disc..

184.3.2012 16:24
MissterRNiceguy
Unverified new user

Originally posted by Windjammer:
I have installed Windows 8 to a separate hard drive and the system does not see the 2 older OS's on another 2 separate drives. I looked at the "CTRL S option" at boot-up but did not see a resolution. I attempted to install DualBootPro and it told me I needed NetFrame 2.0. I installed it and when I attempted to install DualBootPro again, the installer told me I did not have enough drive space left (I have 80G available). ANy suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
try easyBCD;)

195.3.2012 23:01

I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my D:/ Drive with Windows 7 on C:/Drive.
I can't boot in the Windows 7,whenever i do so, the computer loads up the files for automatic repair.

I don't know what had gone wrong.Windows 8 is working fine.But not Windows 7 ! Help me !

How do i make my Windows 7 working ! Help please I'm in big trouble

207.3.2012 2:49
jagarcia85
Unverified new user

Originally posted by Neo11:
Originally posted by SkinBintin:
When I created the new partition, windows 7 converted my drive to Dynamic, so now I cant install Windows 8 to that partition. Any way to reverse the changes without having to format the whole drive?
Use a third party partition managing software..
They hav many options to convert the partition fr u
Like Easues Partition Manager etc.
Does not really work: if the disk was dynamic to begin with, the EaseUS tool will pop an error telling you that if you continue the OS will have boot up issues... and of course there is now way to convert a given partition, only disks are convertible from dynamic to basic.

I guess the one gotcha in this set of instructions is that the disk has to be basic to begin with or you need an extra disk... am I wrong?

219.3.2012 12:19

for dose of you trying to test it out try virtual box, it works fine on both 32 & 64 bit.
and by the way it is the ugliest OS ever.
it is a mix between Meego and Jolicloud, it is a have baked idea with icons within boxes.
there is very little to be looked for as practical or even useful.
let me put it this way, if you thought the windows 3.1 was ugly.
then windows 8 looks like a cheap rendition of a 8 bit Atari 2600 desktop.
believe me it is not worth you erasing your current OS.
try it in a VR at least you can delete it after 2 hours of you trying it out.
if you think that you can make it better looking go for it, but i just do not see any improvement.
well just 1 a sleight better use of ram, other then that none.
for looks and practical use, go for Ubuntu or Kubuntu or EU even Mint a other OS.
at least they are practical not great great looking but at least useful.
and I am not in love with unity, but at least it works and can be modified to your liking.

229.3.2012 15:45

Hmmm...after 10 mins of win8 my lip is still up in a sneer.
no start button ; no close X buttons on many screens ; no taskbar to see what apps are running ; no minimize to desktop button to click while in an 'app' ; must rely on the windows button and alt-tab for navigation

Well - we'll see what the next 10 mins brings - maybe I'll have figured it all out and will love it.

Not very intuitive out of the box however. Alot of Windows 'untraining' to do.

I dread having to upgrade my 70 yr old parents to this. When does XP support run out again :/

239.3.2012 18:52

when I tried to run preview I get a error message saying "This platform is not supported". I'm running xp.

2414.3.2012 11:50
Neo11
Inactive

Originally posted by technoankur:
I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my D:/ Drive with Windows 7 on C:/Drive.
I can't boot in the Windows 7,whenever i do so, the computer loads up the files for automatic repair.

I don't know what had gone wrong.Windows 8 is working fine.But not Windows 7 ! Help me !

How do i make my Windows 7 working ! Help please I'm in big trouble
Try running startup repair using system repair disc.
It worked fr me...

2516.3.2012 13:47

if i install that now can i later unistall windows 8 and if i can how??

2616.3.2012 18:59

Originally posted by maty07:
if i install that now can i later unistall windows 8 and if i can how??
Use the partition manager and wipe the partition with the Win8 OS on it.

2717.3.2012 3:25

how do a boot windows 8 from usb flash drive???

2817.3.2012 18:33

i have tried this but when i get to the installation screen to pick the partition and choose my desired partition it says this partition contains one or more dynamic volumes that are not supported by windows

2920.3.2012 9:30
kgings
Unverified new user

When I'm done exploring Windows 8 on a partitioned drive, how do I get that partitioned drive volume back to my C drive?

3025.3.2012 8:58

Do I have to install an anti-virus program to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview when it's on a partitioned drive?

3118.6.2012 12:27
SpencerP
Unverified new user

Dual-Boot Prompt - Don't freak out!

For those of you (and me) who got this working on the first try, it kind of freaks you out when you first reboot to get the dual-boot prompt - Windows 8 actually always starts then goes to a nicer GUI-based dual-boot prompt for Windows 8 first, then whatever OS (Windows 7 for me) 2nd - so initially I almost lost it, but then waited and there it was. To remove it I recommend something like EasyBCD - it does show both OS's, so it's easy to remove and get back to your old booting ways.

3230.8.2012 3:31

Please share the pictures/ Images that how windows 8 looks like after installation.

334.11.2012 4:31

Originally posted by brianjw1:
i have tried this but when i get to the installation screen to pick the partition and choose my desired partition it says this partition contains one or more dynamic volumes that are not supported by windows
I have this same problem with the Win8 Pro Disc Install i bought yesterday, with the dynamic volumes not supported bit when i try to choose the free partition NTFS i set up for it... anyone got any ideas how to get around this?

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