Dual-booting all versions of Windows and Linux
Install Dual-Boot of a second Windows 8 on a Windows 8 computer (one Win8 installed first)
Last reviewed: July 2013
This guide shows how to correctly and safely create a natural dual-boot of Windows 8 and another Windows 8 on a computer with a Windows 8 already installed. You can then run either of those two Windows by selecting one from a menu during bootup. No data loss will occur and a third-party boot utility is not used.
In this procedure you need to resize the Windows 8 drive to make room for another Windows 8 unless you happen to have free disk space or you install Windows 8 on a second hard disk. This example uses a single hard disk.
A 64-bit Windows 8.1 was used in testing and another Windows 8.1 was added. The computer used was a 64-bit Dell Studio XPS 8100 (2.93 GHz), Core i7, 8 GB RAM DDR3, NVidia GeForce GTX 460, 1 TB SATA hard disk (not using GPT/UEFI).
The procedure used is quite easy and suitable for most users.
Important Installation Notes
Full Installation CD/DVDs. The Windows you are adding cannot be installed from a Recovery partition or Repair CD/DVD provided by some OEMs. You need the full installation version to install a Windows.
Shrinking a Windows 8, 7 or Vista drive. You should use Shrink in Windows' Disk Management to resize the Windows partition. You can read Shrink the Windows 8. 7 or Vista Partition for instructions on completing this task successfully. Use the free GParted Live CD to gain disk space only if you must - read the page Use GParted to Resize the Windows 8, 7 or Vista Partition to learn how..
SUMMARY of Procedure (Advanced users)
That's it! The Windows boot loader menu now allows booting to Windows 8 and a second Windows 8.
Details: Create a Dual-boot with a second Windows 8 when Windows 8 is already installed
Installing other operating systems on your Windows 8 computer may invalidate your warrantee.
Make your preparations
Make free space (Unallocated) for the new Windows 8
The Windows 8 drive is resized using Shrink in Windows' Disk Management leaving Unallocated space at the end of the disk (to the right).
Always note the size of each partition and also label each (this guide uses wn_8 and wn_8_2).
Now Install Windows 8 when Windows 8 was Installed first
Congratulations! You have created a natural dual-boot of Windows 8 and Windows 8 when Windows 8 was installed first.
Repair Windows 8 Boot Menu and Startup
Some users claim that the Windows 8 GUI boot menu can occasionally go missing! This simple procedure will return that graphical menu:
This Windows 8 is the default boot. You can alter this in Change defaults or change other options on the boot menu.
If you ever need to do a fuller repair of the Windows 8 startup, you should do the following:
Note: The Bootrec command has not been tested on the newer (U)EFI / GPT systems.
Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.
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