Win 7 to Win 8 Upgrade, and dual booting

  br1anstorm 12:32 19 Dec 2012

I have done some searching - I guess this question could go into the Win 7, Win 8, or general Tech Helproom forum. So far I have not found a clear answer.

The question is: is it possible on a Windows 7 laptop to install Windows 8 from the "upgrade" in such a way as to have a dual boot setup offering the option of running either OS? And if so, how exactly can this be done? I have a laptop running Win7 and ideally would like the option of trying, or being able to run, Win 8 without losing the original and familiar Win7 OS.

Some websites say this is possible and suggest partitioning the hard drive (C) and installing Win8 in a separate partition. But it is not clear whether this requires a complete, separately-purchased original Win8, or whether it can be done using the Win8 upgrade (as in theory I assume the upgrade would normally use, or overwrite and replace, the existing original Win7 OS).

As a separate but related question, I would also be interested to know - if a dual boot installation is indeed possible using the Win8 upgrade - whether the Win8 OS can be installed and run from a separate external hard drive connected via USB, rather than from a partition on the C drive.

  Chronos the 2nd 14:04 19 Dec 2012

It looks as if it is possible,which was news to me, but have a look here.

But then again on another forum it says you cannot.Here.

You would certainly need to create a separate partition on your HDD and you could not use an external HDD for a dual boot as far as I am aware.

  br1anstorm 15:15 20 Dec 2012

Thanks to both Chronos and Dr Yes for that useful advice. It does look as if - both under the licence terms and in a practical sense - it would be difficult, if not impossible, to do an upgrade to Win8 and still retain Win7. But there does seem to be some differing views on the question.

I had looked at the advice on this site - which seems to assume the Win8 would be a new full OS, not an upgrade. The comments here suggest it is possible to dual-install using the Win8 upgrade, but the explanation refers to "buying the product key" and is a bit short on detail both on the installation steps and on activation. Hence my search for a more precise description of how to do it, if it were possible.

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