Windows 8 is a massive departure from Windows 7. For many people, the change from 7 to 8 appears more drastic than the change from Vista to 7, which itself was quite huge. If you are among those still not convinced about Windows 8 but nevertheless want to try it out, dual booting is an excellent option. Dual booting Windows 8 along with your existing operating system is not a hard thing to do. Read on to know more about the process.
Creating a Windows 8 Partition
You need to create a new partition into which Windows 8 will get installed. This can be done by accessing the ‘Disk Management’ option on your Windows Vista/7 operating system. Once there you will see a C: volume. Right clicking on that volume will present the ‘Shrink Volume’ option. Please note that for a 32-bit installation of Windows 8, close to 16 GB of space is ideal. For the 64-bit version, around 20 GB of free space is recommended. So shrink your existing volume accordingly.
Once you’ve created a separate partition, assign a drive letter to it. Finish up by formatting the volume in the NTFS mode. Now proceed to install your copy of Windows 8 on this volume.
Post Installation Tweaks
Once you are done with the installation and boot the computer, you’ll be presented with a choice as to which OS should be launched. If you don’t pick an option, the computer will likely boot into the newer copy of Windows 8 that you just installed after some time.
Pros & Cons of Dual Booting Windows 8
The advantages of dual booting are fairly obvious. Instead of being stuck with a single operating system, you have the choice of two different ones. The best part is that your PC’s performance is not at all affected by this arrangement. This is possible as both the operating systems are based on two completely different partitions of your hard drive.
As for the disadvantages, the most obvious one will come up whenever you decide to do away with this system for your older OS. You’ll need to configure your boot settings that can be found in Windows’ Boot Configuration Data Store Editor, aka, bcdedit.exe. Only then can you be assured of booting into your older OS after dumping Windows 8. Be warned that simply deleting the Windows 8 partition is not recommended.
Apart from that niggle, you will also need to install frequently used programs again for your Windows 8. This means more hard drive space will be swallowed by duplicate installations, leaving you with less space for other purposes.
All in all, dual booting Windows 8 comes with its own set of pros and cons. Choose to go ahead with the process after careful consideration only.