Windows 7 ~ 8 Dual Boot Set up
I already have my system configured for dual boot. When I boot up it goes to a blue DOS screen where I can select either Windows 7 or 8 (or memory test). The two different O.S.'s are on two different hard drives, the Win8 on an SSD and Windows 7 on an older SATA II 750 GB drive. This works OK.
One of the reasons I went Windows 8 was because my new rig has 32 GB RAM and I only have Windows 7 Home which has a 16 GB Limit. When my system boots to Windows 7, it is the Home 64 bit version that boots up - and I have 16 GB usable memory not 32.
I recently picked up a 500 GB Hybrid SATA III Hard Drive (at $53) I bought it hoping for faster performance than my older SATA II drive.
I've been doing some google research on how-to's on setting up dual boots. I can only find how to's on adding a Windows 8 boot to an existing Windows 7 system. I'm looking for the opposite, if I have Windows 8 set up can I add Windows 7 from within Windows 8? And what I want to know is if I set up the dual boot from within Windows 8 Pro - will it set up a Windows 7 Pro using my Windows 8 Pro disks. I bought my Windows 8 Pro as an upgrade from Staples ($69 on 26 Oct the day of the release). The salesman said it would not matter that I was upgrading from Windows 7 Home I could upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for the same price - and it worked just fine.
When I later went to the dual boot system I disconnected my SSD with my Windows 8 OS files and booted from the Windows 7 Home original disks and installed onto a newly cleared 750 GB hard drive. I then connected the SSD drive and low and behold somehow the system recognized two different disks with two different OS versions and asks me which one.
SO now I want to disconnect the 750 GB drive and connect the blank 500 GB Hybrid drive and use the Windows 8 to install Windows 7 Pro - can this be done?
I personally I think you're wasting your time dual booting 7 & 8. Why don't you just stick with 8 and use Start8 to restore the start menu? Or you can VM Windows 7, although I really don't see why you need both.
I am not sure if this is what you are looking for but have you tried EasyBCD EasyBCD 2.2 Released, Supports Windows 8
I have a dual 7 and 8, but absoutely hate the new boot menu. One trick I used was to boot windows 7 and under config set win7 as DEFAULT OS instead of 8 - This restoed my good old fashioned Win7 load menu, which has WIn7 and 8, I can still boot from 7 or 8, not a problem. I can also keep adding Win 7 installs, not a problem I do it all the time. You don't need to use different partitions, use VHD.
I have 3 Win7 VHDs, 1 x optimized for gaming, minimal resources, 1 x WIn7 non gaming / work and 1 x dedicated for testing (hardware, software, etc.). all on the same drive, along with a win8 VHD, same drive, with the win7 boot menu. I can add win7 VHDs as much as I want, it will simply add to the menu. Of course if you are using Win7's boot loader, and load win8 from within its menu, win8 loading time will be slower than accessing win8 straight from its boot menu, but if you have a fast system / SSD etc it's all really irrelevant. I personally prefer the win7 menu as it is awkward for me to wait that long for the win8 boot menu to appear just to access win7.
Windows 7 wins with my games
Setting up the dual boot is not that hard, already done it once, but I'm wondering if I try to load it onto a new Hybrid drive I just bought for my Win7 boot whether I'll get Windows 7 Pro out of my Windows 8 Pro disks or do I have to have the Windows 8 Pro DVD to make that happen.
Will play around with it next weekend between the Vanier Cup & Grey Cup football games.
If you want to address all the memory, why don't you just upgrade your Windows 7 Home to Windows 7 Pro using anytime? Then you'll see it all.
EDIT: If you want to upgrade the Windows 7 Home license to Windows 7 Pro using your Windows 8 license, you can do that only if you purchased it under the licensing program (i.e., Open Business) or if you purchased Software Assurance.
If I'm reading you right there is advantages to the Windows 7 boot manager in that you can have more than two? Or it is easier to set up more than two? I never considered tweeking my set up to optimize for games, not sure what I'd do differently. In Windows 7 I only get to use 16 of my 32 GB of RAM but that is still plenty for any of the games I play. What settings / resources would I load differently? Minimal start up apps I guess??
I'm just trying to see if I use Windows 8 to load Windows 7, will the Windows 8 Pro upgrade DVD I have load |Windows 7 Pro onto my system or will it ask me to use my |Windows 7 Pro disks? I'll just have to try it and see.
In my case I am going to use Windows 7 more for now so Win7 is made my DEFAULT OS therefore I am using Win7's loader. I CAN STILL boot win8 from this loader, however, the loading times are increased for win8.....To me it's not an issue my system is fast and disk access is fast.
16 GB is more than enough, you really don't need all that RAM for games, it's overkill. Remember that 32bit apps/games can only access a certain amount of RAM at one point, so it's useless. Even 8GB is more than enoguh. I use to run with 4GB, now I have 8GB and all runs fine.
The reason I use multiple W7, for my gaming W7 VHD I use a fully optimized OS, strip clean all uneeded components, keep only minimal services running and the rest all disabled, minimal processes etc.
I use RT7Lite + Win7 bosster to tweak my Win7, and use GBooster and a few other tweaking tools to trim the fat and fully optimize the OS.......
So if you are using win8 more, stick to win8's loader.......You CAN install win7 after win8, it will add an entry to the boot list, however, if win7 then becomes your default OS, it will revert to the win7 loader. To restore win8's own loader you will need to boot to windows 8, go to msconfig and set win8's to DEFAULT OS.
You can also do all this manually with different tools if you know what you are doing.....
I absolutely HATE Windows 8's interface, I think M$'s screwed up by forcing this down our throats, I want my PC desktop to look like a PC desktop not a mobile / tablet. lol. Yes I am aware of how to revert to desktop mode, still.......So it all comes down to personal preference, to me, I prefer the Win7 boot screen over Win8 - Some people I know like Win8's boot screen better :D And if you install win7 after win8 and it reverts to your win7 loader you can easily re-enable win8's loader and vice versa, not a problem there, done it a few times......so I know it works.
I multiboot my systems using the old fashioned method of installing the OSes on their own bootable drives and then using the BIOS alternate boot device option to select soemthing other than the default. It saves messing around with chaining boot loaders, and boot loader order etc. While it does require the BIOS option, and is perhaps not the most elegant solution, it does work without boot loader hassles.
Mind you, I find virtual machines even less of a hassle (once set up and operational) and more convenient.
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