Microsoft released a Consumer Preview on Wed, 29 Feb, 2012, it is a free download and everyone can try it. Most of us got very excited to experience the beautiful interface and many other new features of Windows 8 as soon as it is published. The following is an easy way to dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
There are 3 main steps to carry out Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows 7 dual boot system as below. First, we need to back up the important files and documents in Windows 7 just in case.
Choose the right version of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Prepare a new partition
Install Windows Consumer Preview.
How to download Windows 8 Consumer Preview Image?
There are two different images on the official download site of Microsoft, 32 bit and 64 bit versions. We can check which one is fit for our computer by clicking "Start", then right-click on "Computer" and select "Properties", through the "System Type", we can see the Operating System of our computer is either 32 bit or 64 bit.
Step 1. Create a new partition to store Windows 8 Consumer Preview in Windows 7
We will need to create a new partition and the size of it is at least 20 GB available to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview. There are two ways to create a new partition: Windows 7 built-in Disk Management and free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition, by contrast, is simple and easy to create a new volume. Apart from creating new partition, it still supports to resize partition to adjust the partition size, merge the unallocated space to any partition, delete partitions, and copy partition to back up the information and so on. The below is how to create a new volume with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition in windows 7.
How to dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8? Before doing it, please free download this powerful disk manager to partition your hard disk first.
Step 1. Open AOMEI this software, you can right-click on a partition with enough space or unallocated space. and choose "Create Partition".
Step 2. Edit the partition on the window, you can adjust the partition size, drive letter and file system, and click "OK".
Step 3. Then click "Apply" to commit the task.
Step 2. Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview to the new created partition
1. Now, we can install Windows on the new partition. Firstly, we should prepare a DVD or USB Drive （minimum 4GB in size） to sore the image and then download the free "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool" from Microsoft. Open the tool and select the downloaded Windows 8 Consumer Preview image. Then, click "Next" and choose media type: DVD or USB device.
2. After that we can restart our computer and boot from the DVD or USB drive. When starting the setup, just need to follow the guidance and enter your country and keyboard settings. On the next page, fill out the license key. Then move on to the installation type and choose "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)", select the partition that we created earlier for Windows 8 installation to start the installation. It will take a few minutes, so please wait patiently.
In this post, you learned how to dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8. The steps were explained in an easy way in the most explicit words and thus, you should have no difficulty understanding them. As you can see, in Step 1, you must create a new partition. So, a functional and feature-rich disk manager software AOMEI Partition Assistant is also introduced to help get it done. Moreover, you can also choose its other features like splitting partition and partition alignment if you upgrade the freeware to the Pro edition.