If you want to keep your current Windows installation, you can install it on a separate partition and dual boot with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. To install on a separate partition and dual boot you have to create and boot from install media.
1) First you will need a free partition on the hard drive - if you don't have one you can shrink a partition and create a new one to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview on.
For shrinking a partition and adding a new one you can use Windows Disk Management, or EASEUS Partition Master (free): http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
3) Installing on a separate partition to dual boot:
1. Make a DVD or USB install drive - see the two options above.
2. Boot from the install DVD or USB drive and click Install when prompted.
3. During the install process, when asked - choose a Custom install.
4. Select a free partition on the hard drive to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview - this will install Windows 8 on a separate partition instead of your current Windows partition.
5. Continue with the install.
First please note:
1. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software and will only work for a limited time - when it expires you will have to remove it.
2. The Consumer Preview is stable and has been thoroughly tested, but it’s not the finished product. Your PC could crash and you could lose important files. You should back up your data and you shouldn't test Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your primary home
or business PC.
3. If you install the Consumer Preview on the partition Windows is currently installed on you can not uninstall the Consumer Preview. To go back to your previous version of Windows, you'll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came
with your PC.
4. In addition to dual booting, here are ways to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview without affecting your current Windows install:
A) Remove your current hard drive and install the Consumer Preview on a spare drive.
B) Install it on a spare computer.
C) Install the Consumer Preview in a virtual machine.
That said, I strongly recommend you install Windwos 8 on a partition and dual boot with Windows 7 for evaluation purposes. Windows 8 is still under development and it is not recommended you replace a production install with it right now.
If you have a Windows Vista or Windows 7 capable PC, your system should be able to run the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Before you do that though, the best way to run it is to install it on a separate partition. It is recommended you do this since it is a
test version and has not been finalized. If you are not satisfied with Windows 8, you can always boot into Windows 7 and delete the partition and continue using Windows 7 or Vista.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview system requirements:
1 GHz or faster processor
1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Creating the partition
In Windows 7, partitioning is more easy to do than Windows XP. Regardless of this, you might encounter problems when using Windows 7’s disk management to create it. If you do experience this, refer to the
previous article about using EaseUs to create the partition instead. Anyway, here is how you create a partition in Windows 7 or Vista:
Open a Run command (Press Windows key + R) on your keyboard. Then type
devmgmt.msc then hit Enter on your keyboard.
Alternatively, you can click Start, right click Computer > click Manage > click Disk Management.
Once Disk Management is open, select the C:\ or where Windows 7/Vista is installed.
Right click it and click Shrink menu.
Wait while Windows Vista.7 checks for available disk space.
Enter the amount you want to allocate. Depending on the architecture of Windows 8 you want to try. If you are using Windows 8 32 bit, you can allocate 16 GBs or 20 GBs if you using the 64 bit version. Another factor is disk space for applications, page file
The Disk Management window should display unallocated disk space.
You cannot do a custom install of Windows 8 from within Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. You will have to boot from the Windows 8 DVD. If you are using the Web Installer, make sure you use the option to create a bootable Windows 8 DVD using the
.ISO file or bootable thumb drive.
After inserting the Windows 8 disc, restart your computer and boot from the DVD.
To learn how to change your BIOS options to boot from the DVD drive, see the following tutorial:
Once your computer is set to boot from the DVD, you should see this option.
The Windows 8 logo will appear on screen, this might be here for a while, as long as your see the indicater, everything should be ok.
You should now arrive at this screen, select your time and currency format then click
Click Install Now
Wait while setup starts up
Enter your product key when prompted. The product key should have been available to you when you downloaded the .ISO file for Windows 8. Click
You will need to use the prodcuct key listed on the ISO Download Page here
Accept the End User License agreement and click Next
Click Custom install Windows only (advanced)
Select the partition you created for it then click Next. You have the option of Formatting the drive and creating additional partition’s if you wish. Click Drive Options.
Wait while Windows 8 installs. Installation time can vary depending on the speed of your disk, processor and the amount of installed memory.
After the installation is complete, click Restart now or wait on Windows 8 to do it.
Windows 8 will boot for the first time, a series of action will take place such as:
Setup is updating your registry
Windows 8 will prompt you to choose the operating system you want to boot into. Select Windows 8 of course, since we are not finished configuring it.
Additional task to complete include:
Getting devices ready
Additional task to complete include:
Getting system ready
After the restart is complete, you will see the following screen:
Click Windows 8 to enter the Out of box experience. The OOBE will allow you to configure Windows 8 with a user name, setup a Microsoft Account and personalize your Windows Experience.
Out of Box Experience
Select your Windows color
Click Use express settings
Setup an account name and password then click Finish
Wait while your settings are finalized.
logging into Windows 8 for the first time.
You are now running Windows 8.
When you want to boot into Windows XP, click ‘Earlier version of Windows’ on the boot manager.
Best, Andre Windows Insider MVP MVP-Windows and Devices for IT twitter/adacosta groovypost.com
Was this reply helpful?
Sorry this didn't help.
Great! Thanks for your feedback.
How satisfied are you with this reply?
Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.