Set up dual boot Windows 10 with Windows 7 or 8

If you want to use Windows 10, but you’re not sure if it’s compatible with programs that you’re using on Windows 7/8, you can test Windows 10 by install it in virtual machine. But if you want to test Windows 10 for specific purpose, for example, playing game, you will need to install Windows 10 as host operating system, not in a virtual machine. If you have available disk space or another hard disk, you can install Windows 10 as another operating system without affecting the previous operating system on your PC. On dual boot system, you will see boot menu options which you can choose an operating system every time the system boots.

In this article, I will show how to set up dual boot Windows 10 with Windows 8 on the same PC by shrink an existing partition for installing Windows 10.

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Step-by-step

  1. On Windows 8 desktop, open Disk Management.
    In this example, I have available disk space on C drive so I will shrink it for a new partition by right-click on the partition and select Shrink Volume.
    Shrink Volume in Disk Management
  2. Enter disk space in MB for a new partition and click Shrink.
    Shrink a partition
  3. Now C drive is shrink and I have new partition for install Windows 10.
    New partition after shrink volume
  4. Next, insert Windows 10 installation media and begin installing Windows 10 on the new partition. The process is the same as when installing single operating system.
    Install Windows 10 on the new partition
  5. On this window, select Custom.
    Select Custom
  6. Select a partition that you want to install Windows 10 and click Next.
    Note: Make sure not to delete or format any partition that contains important data and confirm that you select the correct partition before continue
    Select partition to install Windows
  7. When the installation finishes, you will see this screen every time the system boots. You can choose which operating system you want. If you want to modify boot menu options, click Change defaults or choose other options at bottom.
    Note: Windows will select the default operating system automatically when timeout expires.
    Dual boot menu
  8. On this window, you can modify these options:
    1. Change the timer. The default value is 30 seconds.
    2. Choose a default operating system.
    3. Choose other options. If you have problem with your PC and Windows can’t boot normally, you can choose this option to troubleshoot your system, for example, Startup repair, Safe mode, System restore, etc.

    Change defaults or choose other options

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