How can I install windows 8.1 on windows 7 without disturbing 7?

Drsunil V January 31, 2014

How to install windows 8.1 on windows 7 without disturbing 7  and what are pre-requisites? Can 64 bit be installed on 32 bit machine with 2 GB Ram and 2.20 GHZ Dual Core CPU?

  1. Bruce E
    February 7, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Windows performance (either one) isn't hampered in any major way. By dual-booting, each OS believes it is the only one there. Only one runs at a time and is oblivious to to the other. It isn't like running a virtual machine where one operating system is running in a virtual environment within the other.

    In the case of dual-booting Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, the Windows 8.1 bootloader will load and bring up the option to boot to Win7 or Win8.1. If Windows 7 is selected, it's bootloader is effectively chainloaded and the remainder of the boot process progresses as if Windows 7 is the only OS on the system. If Windows 8.1 is selecte, it just starts to load the operating system as usual. Because of this, the overall boot time is slightly longer. There are also two operating system partitions (one for each), so there is additional storage space consumed and applications that you want to run in either environment need to be installed in each one.

    No matter which OS is chosen during boot, it is running on bare metal the entire time and its performance reflects that. With the exception of boot times, it would have the same performance as if you had each operating system on its own hard drive that you swapped out as necessary.

    • Drsunil V
      February 8, 2014 at 8:17 am

      Please tell , that if comp properties says "windows is activated" then does it imply that both product code and activation key has been accepted and installation is complete ( non-trial ) , or is there possibility of failure of installation due to "activation key process not yet implemented" if installed version has not yet connected to internet ( microsoft servers )

      If possibility is yes , then how is it connected to install the iso image on usb

    • Bruce E
      February 9, 2014 at 1:41 am

      If the computer properties indicates that Windows is activated, there is nothing to worry about. The servers have confirmed it is a valid installation that used a valid product code. If activation has not yet happened for any reason, there will be a notification of how long the user has to activate Windows along with a link to do it immediately. If there is a problem during activation, it will provide information on how to contact Microsoft over the telephone to do the activation.

      I'm not sure I fully understand what you are looking for with the last part, but product codes and activation keys are NOT tied to the installation media. The closest you can get to any kind of ties between the two are that certain product codes only work with certain editions of the specific product. For example, a key for Windows 7 Home Premium will not work with Windows 7 Ultimate installation media. Also, OEM, refurbished and retail product codes are not interchangeable.

  2. Mohit G
    February 1, 2014 at 5:01 am

    It's no big problem. You just need to have two or more partitions on your system. Just insert the cd and restart the system. Windows 8.1 will boot from the cd. During the installation click custom installation when it asks to do so. Then select a partition other the then the drive in which Windows 7 is present and finally install it in the normal way. At every boot it will ask whether you wanna run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 .

    Your system needs to be 64 bit in order to install a 64-bit operating system but as much as I know every system manufactured in or after 2008 is a 64-bit system and can run both 32 bit and 64 bit operating system. If you are having a 64 bit system you can run 32 bit windows 7 and 64 bit windows 8.1 or any other combination. There is no restriction for that.

    • Bruce E
      February 1, 2014 at 6:05 am

      By default, a Windows 7 system will have 2 partitions already: typically a 100MB hidden system partition and the remainder of the disk will be the partition that holds everything else and shows up as your C: drive. If the vendor set it up with a recovery partitiion, that will show up as a third partition as drive D: on some systems and on others it is a hidden partition. In either case, you will first need to make room for another partition on the drive by shrinking a current partition to make room for the new one unless you are planning on putting it on another physical disk in the system.

      The built-in Disk Management tool can shrink partitions, but it won't move data to do it. You are generally better off using tools from Paragon Software (Hard Disk Manager, Partition Manager) or EASEUS to do the partition manipulation. These tools will move data on the existing partition as necessary in order to be able to shrink the partition to the size you wish (not less than the currently used space on the existing partition).

      Once you have space on the drive for a new partition, you can create it before launching the Win 8.1 installer or you can have the installer do the job for you. If you are not experienced or comfortable with it, I normally suggest letting the installer handle it since when you get to the drive selection screen, you merely select the 'unallocated space' when it asks where to install the new OS. By doing it in this manner, you are less likely to overwrite an existing operating system or recovery or system partitions.

      A 64-bit operating system requires a 64-bit processor in the system you are installing on. No exceptions.

    • Drsunil V
      February 1, 2014 at 6:41 am

      Thanks. Please tell minimum volume space for new partition?

    • Drsunil V
      February 1, 2014 at 6:58 am

      hi. Please tell , is procedure for dual boot xp ( Preinstalled ) for win 8.1 new install , same as for 7 preinstalled? Does dual boot of 8.1 on xp preinstalled affect files and bank security patches on xp?

    • Bruce E
      February 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      The minimum (and maximum) size of a partition depends on the type of filesystem being used. The minimum size for a partition that will be used to hold an operating system will vary depending on the OS itself. XP requires at least 1.5GB to install, Vista requires about 15GB, Win7 requires about 20GB. Consideration must also be made for any additional programs that will be installed to that partition unless program files will be installed to another partition as well as where data will be stored although Microsoft does not make it easy to keep the operating system, program files, and data separate. Linux/Unix systems make it simple to keep these separate and as a result the OS partition can be 10GB and still leave lots of room in case it is needed in the future.

      The procedure for setting up a dual-boot computer is the same for all Windows operating systems.

      Setting up a system to dual-boot does not affect any other files or patches unless a partition is reformatted for the new install. As long as there is unallocated space to create a new partition or an existing partition can be shrunk to provide the room for a new partition for the OS, no other existing files will be affected.

    • Drsunil V
      February 3, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks. Please tell does shrink volume or new volume format the partition?

    • Drsunil V
      February 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      hi. Please tell , can new version installed as dual boot , be uninstalled to restore original ( older version ) single boot - single os machine?

    • Drsunil V
      February 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks. Superb detail. Please tell , that for installing trial win 7 on preinstalled xp , which fields are filled or kept blank during installation process?

    • Bruce E
      February 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Shrinking a volume does not format the partition. In Windows during the Disk Management tool to create a volume, it does several things. By using the Create Partition wizard, it will create the partition, then format it. If you are using the command line tools, these are two distinct processes.

      A dual-boot system can be reduced to a single OS system by removing the boot entry for the unwanted OS and then deleting the associated partition from the disk. Depending on what the two operating systems were and which one you want to remain, you may want or need to change the bootloader that is being used. For example, if XP and 8.1 were dual-booting and you wanted to remove 8.1, you would probably want to restore the XP bootloader.

      As for trial Microsoft operating systems, the only ones I have ever seen were offered on TechNet (and usually Enterprise versions) and most users would never even know to look for them. If one had access to a trial version and wanted to test it, you are still doing a clean install and all fields would need to be filled in during installation. I'm not sure if Microsoft even allows an upgrade install with their trials. If they did (you probably can't revert if you do this either), most of the information would be gathered by the installer from the already running OS with the notable exception of a product key (if required for the trial).

    • Drsunil V
      February 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks. Huge effort! Thanks again. Does dual boot install ( say win 7 and 8.1 ) hamper the windows performance in any ways ( speed , RAM , booting , risk of hanging ) ?

      Please also try to answer as new answer so that your answer is enabled to be chosen as best answer , because currently your answers in same thread of another respondent

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