Windows 10: Dual boot Win10 Win7

Discus and support Dual boot Win10 Win7 in Windows 10 Installation and Upgrade to solve the problem; Hi, Some time ago I bought a new laptop with Win10 pre-installed on it and have been trying to make my old programs work with this OS. I've found... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Installation and Upgrade' started by Judiver, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Judiver Win User

    Dual boot Win10 Win7


    Some time ago I bought a new laptop with Win10 pre-installed on it and have been trying to make my old programs work with this OS. I've found solutions for most of them but for a couple (a database and some old games) it doesn't seem possible to make them run on Win10.

    I've been thinking about installing a dual boot Win7/10, but as I have never done this, I am not sure how things will work and thus but have a few questions.

    See the attachment on how the volumes currently are organized. Drive C: is a SSD with Win10 on it. Drive D: is a HDD and I use it to store documents and pictures. The laptop also has a DVD-RW (drive EDual boot Win10 Win7 :) and USB (drive FDual boot Win10 Win7 :).

    I've been reading on this forum that I can have a max of 4 primary partitions or 3 plus 1 extended on an MBR disk and if more partitions are needed I need to convert to GPT. I am not sure what the 8 MB unallocated is… Is it a partition or something else? How any partitions are there currently on disk 1, i.e. do the 100Mb boot, 1GB recovery and 8MB unallocated sections count as a partition or not?

    If I shrink C: and create a new partition (which I want to be a separate drive), will the next letter in range automatically be assigned to this new drive or should I name it myself? And if the latter applies should I call it E: or G:?

    Let's say this drive will be named G: and I install Win7 on it. Would Win7 be able to access and run programs and docs on C:, D:, E: and F:, or only stuff that is on G:? When I use the database that doesn't run on Win10 and want to run on Win7, I sometimes also use Word or pictures. Can Win7 does this or do I need to install the programs a second time on G:?

    I read somewhere that Win7 takes about 20-25GB. I find it difficult to estimate how big this new partition should be (i.e. by how much should I shrink CDual boot Win10 Win7 :). Should I just take the sum of the programs (Win7, the database and 2 or 3 old games) plus some extra for any files they generate (and possibly Word and an imaging program if needed to install twice) or is there anything else that I should take into account when deciding on how much space to allocate to the new drive?

    Anything else (besides making a back-up) that I should beware of before making such a drastic change to my computer?

    It sure hasn’t been easy so far, and still isn't, to make ALL my stuff work on Win10 and I would appreciate your help *Smile.


    Judiver, Oct 9, 2019
  2. jbb_user Win User

    Win7 / Win10 dual boot only boots to Win10

    I have a home build machine with a dual partition for booting either Win7 or Win10 selectable.

    The order was Win7 followed by Win10 in the menu.

    The machine would always display a screen where I could select either Win7 or Win 10. If I didn't select in time the default was the first in the menu which was Win7

    Starting this evening the machine no longer displays the selection menu but instead boots immediately and directly to Win10.

    What's wrong?

    How can I fix this so it works the original way?
    jbb_user, Oct 9, 2019
  3. Jonas_DK Win User
    Is there any way to install Win7 after Win10 for dual boot?

    Original Title: Dual boot Win7 second too Win10


    Is there any way to install Win7 after Win10 for dual boot?

    I don't want to reinstall in order to do it. If i have to reinstall, my laptop will not see Win10 again.

    Regards Jonas
    Jonas_DK, Oct 9, 2019
  4. Dual boot Win10 Win7

    Dual Boot Win7 & Win10

    Here are my steps for dual booting:

    • Create a system image - store it on an external drive

    • Disconnect from the Internet and stay disconnected - part of the install asks about connecting
      - do NOT connect just yet.

    • Create the space for the 2nd OS.
      This is tricky - drives initialized as MBR can only have 4 partitions (an extended partition allows for more),
      many OEMs create 4 primary parts and you have to adjust their disk schema.

      Post a Disk Management screen shotClose the left and right panes
      The columns should also be stretched to clearly show the values, most important is the Status column
      If you have many drives, you might have to adjust the middle separator and drag the bottom edge of the window down to show the maximum information.
      Then in the View menu, pick Top and change it to disk list - no need to post a pic - just note the initialized format (MBR | GPT) and post the information.
    • Unless the 2nd OS will be used on a daily basis, keep the space to a minimum.
      Win10 + pgms on my machine takes up about 15 GB.
      I don't use Win10TP as my main OS - that's Win8.1, so data isn't a concern.
      30 - 50 GB is more than sufficient.

    • Once the space is available - take your time here - there are traps with MBR disks.
      If your disk is initialized GPT, no problem - easy! But... MBR - make sure you know what you're doing.
      Just free up enough unallocated space,
      -> do not create a partition and do not format the space.

    • When you're ready to install Win10, use a disc to avoid EFI issues.
      1. Boot to the Win10 install disc (see your machine documentation on accessing the Boot Order menu at startup)

        These steps are probably NOT necessary, it was an afterthought when I installed Win10 the 3rd time as a dual boot to Vista. That is when I noticed the Win10 page file on my Vista boot drive - which caused Vista a bit of a problem (temporary page file created - yada, yada, yada) - I recreated the Win10 page file on it's own partition and then reallocated the Vista page file for good measure.

        At the first Win10 install screen, Press Shift+F10
        Then enter these commands in the Console window

        ^^ denotes comment, not a command
        Launch Diskpart
        lis vol

        ^^ remove the drive letters from all drives
        ^^ it's easier if you disconnect external drives that aren't needed for this exercise.

        sel vol #
        remove letter=
        ^^ specify the letter that was shown for that volume in the lis vol command
        ^^ repeat this (select volume, remove letter=) until there are no volumes with letters shown in lis vol
        lis vol
        close the Command prompt with the X in the upper right hand corner

        You should be back in the Win10 install now.-editA

      2. Answer the questions as if you were doing a clean installation (language, region, etc)

      3. Choose a custom install
        When it asks you where you want to install, choose the unallocated space
        Let the install complete, the rest should be easy.

    When Win10 boots up, you shouldn't see any other drives - this is good.
    Configure the volumes for each OS - I suggest that you keep the two OSes separate, only expose the volumes you need to for each OS. Your Win7 should see everything except the Win10 volumes. Your Win10 should only see volumes you'll use in testing (i.e. what ever you create on the currently new and blank SSD).
    If you need data from your existing Win7 install, it's probably better to copy what you need than to expose your good data to Tech Preview code.

    When Win7 boots up, you will see the Win10 drive - remove the letter from that drive. Keep your system separate.

    If at any step above you need some help, please ask ... you might have to wait, please wait. The hardest thing to do is wait and the easiest thing to do is "ooops, but I thought you meant...."

    I think I remembered all of the steps I took - but... I'm human too *Wink
    Slartybart, Oct 9, 2019

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