[Tip] Dual Boot Between Windows 10 and Your Existing Windows 7/8.1 OS

We know that Windows 10 has been released to public and Windows 7 or 8.1 users can upgrade to Windows 10 for free if they are using genuine and activated Windows in their computers.

People who want to perform clean installation of Windows 10, first need to upgrade their existing Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10 using "Get Windows 10" app or "Windows 10 Media Creation Tool" so that the product key of their Windows 7/8.1 OS can be associated with Windows 10 for successful activation. Only after that they can perform a clean install of Windows 10 if they want.

Read more: How to Perform Clean Installation of Windows 10 with Activation?

Now there might be a few people who don't want to upgrade their existing Windows OS to Windows 10. They want to keep their existing Windows OS along with the new Windows 10. In other words, some people may want to dual boot between Windows 7/8.1 and Windows 10 so that they can have both the OS in their computers.

That's why today in this tutorial, we are going to share a simple trick which can be used to have a dual boot system with both your existing Windows version (7 or 8.1) as well as the newly launched Windows 10.

This trick will include following 3 steps:

  • Upgrade
  • Clean Install
  • Restore

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

STEP 1: Upgrade Existing Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10

First of all upgrade your existing Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 so that your product key and machine ID can be associated to Windows 10 on Microsoft servers for activation purposes.

Make sure you use "Windows 10 Media Creation Tool" for this task so that you can have Windows 10 setup ISO with you which will be used later to perform clean install of Windows 10.

So first download Windows 10 ISO using "Windows 10 Media Creation Tool" and then double-click on the ISO to mount it in Windows Explorer. You can also extract its content using a file archiving software such as 7-Zip.

Now run Setup.exe file present inside the ISO and select the option to upgrade.

STEP 2: Perform Clean Installation of Windows 10 on a Different Drive

After upgrading your existing Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10, open System Properties or Settings app and make sure Windows 10 has been activated successfully.

After this create a bootable USB of Windows 10 setup ISO using any of following methods:

Now boot using bootable USB drive and install Windows 10 on a different partition. Make sure its not the same partition which contained your previous Windows version which has been now upgraded to Windows 10.

When the installation will complete, you'll have an already activated fresh Windows 10 as you have already associated your product key with Windows 10 in step 1.

STEP 3: Restore Previous Windows Version

Now the last step! Now you have two Windows 10 in your computer: one which was upgraded from Windows 7/8.1 and the other which was clean installed.

So boot into Windows 10 which was upgraded from Windows 7/8.1 in step 1 and then follow the steps given in following tutorial to restore previous Windows version:

How to Restore Previous Windows Version After Upgrading to Windows 10?

That's it. Once your previous Windows version is restored, you'll have both OS in your computer: Windows 7/8.1 and Windows 10 and both will remain activated.

Also Check:

[Guide] Things To Do After Installing Windows 10





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Posted in: Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1


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Comments

  • why not simply clone your windows partition, then upgrade only one of the copies?

    that seems quicker and you don't risk something going wrong during the downgrade process.

  • ^^ Yep. That will also work. But we cant assume everyone having knowledge and skills to clone a partition. This tutorial is simple and anyone having basic knowledge of Windows installation can follow it. :)

    @VG, thanks for your continuous guides for Windows 10. I appreciate your help.

  • @VG i want to dual boot 7 and 10. i have upgraded (free offer) my windows 7 to windows 10 using the creation tool. made the ISO file as well and mounted it but after running setup.exe it still asked for a product key. i did this all from within windows 10, which is activated, as it says on the system properties page. what am i doing wrong? do i need to boot with the created iso?

    *by the way even if i tried to type in the product key which was given by this free upgrade, it still wont let me type in any zeros, and my product key had lots of zeros. i get the error " '0' is not a valid character." and if i try to copy&paste, it only pastes the other numbers and letters and not the zeros.

  • sorry i missed the part where i gotta boot with it, sorry. SORRY EVERYBODY lol

  • nope that did not work either. it still asked for the product key.
    (apologies for multiple posts)

  • I want to do the opposite of this post's subject. I already have Win 8.1 Pro and Win 10 Pro installed in separate partitions on my system disc and want to have one partition with Win 10 Pro only. Both OSes are activated. I got Win 10 Pro as part of the Windows Insider program when Win 10 was on version 10074. I've been upgrading Win 10 to each new version and it is now on the most recent version, 10240.

    What's the best way to do this? Do I do the opposite of this post (upgrade Win 8.1 to Win 10 so that 10 activates with my 8.1 key and then do a fresh install, deleting both partitions in the process) or can I just boot into Win 10 and then just delete the win 8.1 partition and then extend the Win 10 partition to fill up my drive? If I do that, what does that do to the boot manager? How do I change it so that it sees that there is only one OS on my system?

    I've alrady downloaded the ISO file for Win 10 Pro using the Media Creation Tool and plan to burn it to a DVD-R.

    Thanks for the help.

  • VG

    @Mike
    When you boot using Windows 10 bootable USB and it asks for product key, click on SKIP link.

    @Dave
    The RTM build given to Windows Insiders is actually a trial version which will be upgraded regularly with newer builds. So if you want a stable and full version of Windows 10, its better to go with your method 1.

  • Any option is possible, but if you choose the second option, you'd have to remove the OS from the boot manager as well using BCDedit. Open up a command prompt as an administrator, type in bcdedit, and find the identifier of Windows 8.1, then type in 'bcdedit /delete {iden-tif-i-er}' without quotes. Hope I helped!

  • i skipped it like you said and it turned out as activated. thank you VG

  • Hi VG, here's my problem hope you can help, or someone in here wish to help me.. :)

    I've done dual boot Windows 7 and 10, at first when i reboot the laptop (after succesfully clean install windows 10) i got option to choose the OS but when the second time it just boot straight up to windows 10 without any options to choose the OS. How can i make the OS option appear again? Right now i cannot access my windows 7.

    My windows 10 is not activated btw. I'm using Lenovo G400. Thanks.

  • new win 10 ( yesterday ) appears ? resistant - to saving my google chrome preferences ;

    also : my lg smart phone camera 's photos do not load , on 1st or sometimes 2nd attempt ;

    so far , so good .

  • VG

    @Tot
    Try to disable hybrid shutdown feature:

    http://www.askvg.com/fix-windows-8-restart-and-shutdown-problems-by-disabling-hybrid-shutdown-feature/

  • Hello VG, I looked at your posts for the direct download link of W10 ISO file, but MS is always forcing me to download the live installer first, although I can save the file as ISO later but (may be) I cannot download that directly (with IDM or any other downloader), that's mean I cannot pause & resume the download. So I find a way to download that directly from MS's website, may be that way is already known to many users but it can be still useful for many users too.

    Just go to microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO from your favorite Android (or any other OS except windows 7/8.1) device and you will see an option to choose your favorite W10 edition (Pro & Home Combined) at the bottom of the page, after selecting and confirming that you will have to select the language and then you will be awarded with the direct download link of both 32 and 64 bit version of windows 10 (copy the link and send it to your PC or any other device to download), which is valid for 24 hours from the time of creation. In this way you can download W10 with your favorite downloader at any time you want and then you can do a fresh install easily.

  • VG

    ^^ Nice tip. Featured: :)

    http://www.askvg.com/tip-get-direct-download-links-of-windows-10-iso-from-microsoft/

  • Thank you :)

  • Hi VG, awesome tip !!
    I upgraded from OEM 7 to 10 using media creation tool on my laptop- Inspiron 7520
    now sleep mode and hibernation etc arent working and result in black screen and then shut down
    I already tried various video card drivers including Leshcats 15.7 Unifl and the default windows update ones
    the gpus are AMD 7730M and Intel HD4000 (switchable gpu system)
    what is the solution pls help :(

  • VG

    ^^ You can try following:

    http://www.askvg.com/fix-windows-8-restart-and-shutdown-problems-by-disabling-hybrid-shutdown-feature/

  • I have a issue with this windows 10 not being activated, due to corrupt installation process when I tried to do a clean install.

    Originally I did a force upgrade from Win7 to Win10, it was a genuine version too.

    Then I did a clean install but for some reason it corrupted the hard drive and i had to make a win10 usb and do a clean install after I wiped the partitions... Turns out it nulls the product key saved on your hardware so this win10 isn't activated.

    Later I modified the hardware to free up some space, and installed Win7 on the HDD (Win10 is on the SSD), upgraded it to Win10 so it counts as activation and saves onto my HDD... But for some reason the Win10 on the SSD still isn't activated, and the error says that the product key is 'blocked' by the server.

    So I'm thinking, maybe I need to 'copy' the product key from the upgraded win10, to the SSD win10? But not sure where to locate it, nor how to transfer it and have the server read it as legit.

  • VG

    ^^ There is no product key of Windows 10 as such if you upgrade Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10. Windows 10 activates itself based on the combination of your machine ID and activation status of previous OS. If your previous OS is genuine and activated, Windows 10 will automatically activate itself. If you are facing activation problem after installing Windows 10 in a genuine system, you should use activate by phone option and Microsoft customer care will help you in activating it successfully.

  • Hi VG thanks for your reply,already tried that, didnt work :(
    any other solutions?

  • I have a laptop with 2 drives. I've set it up with a dual boot. I have my main Win7 hard drive with all my work software installed, and a new clean install of a Win 7 SSD that I intend to upgrade to Win 10. Both Win 7 drives are activated with the same product key that came with the Laptop.

    My question is, if I Update the SSD to win 10, and it uses the Activated Win 7 Key, will that then it then deactivate the other drive OS?

    There is no way I can give up that drive with all my working work software before I get them all running safely on Win 10.

  • VG

    ^^ No. It'll not deactivate Windows 7.

  • sir
    if i have bootable window setup in my USB so what i do for installation? plz plz help me?

  • As per the instructions above, I now have Windows 10 on two partitions; one is an upgraded 8.1, the other a clean install.

    When I try to rollback the upgrade to 8.1, I get the message that ' The files we need to take you back to a previous version of Windows were removed from this PC.'

    However, as far as I can see they are still there, in the root directory and Windows.old. I certainly haven't deleted them. Is there any way I can assist Windows to see them and perform the rollback?

  • Using this method will not create product key issue for the PCs for which product key already stored in BIOS? As you will use the same key for Windows 7 and Windows 10.

  • VG

    ^^ Windows 10 doesnt use product key to activate your computer if you upgrade from Windows 7/8.1. It uses a combination of your genuine Windows 7/8.1 product key and your machine ID which are stored on Microsoft server.

  • How do I actually set up doing a dual boot when my computer starts. It's been years since I've had 2 operating systems on my computer. I have 3 hard drives set up but just have one actually connected to the motherboard. I recently did a clean install of Win 7 on one of my drives and the other is clean as of now. Do I have to do a dual boot from one drive or can I have 2 separate drives for Win 10 and 7?

  • VG

    ^^ When you'll install Windows 10 on a different drive, it should automatically detect existing Windows 7 and will allow you to choose between both Windows versions at boot loader screen.

  • Once we upgraded from WIn 7 to Win10 then our licence will also be upgraded for Win 10 on MS server.. if we use dual boot then While running WIn 7 will not create activation issue ?

  • VG

    ^^ No.

  • So I am dualbooting between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Windows 10 has a watermark that says to activate it. If i activate windows 10, will i still be able to boot back to Windows 8.1 and use it??

  • VG

    ^^ Of course.

  • Hi VG, I have Windows Vista Home Basic installed on disc 1 and Windows 7 Professional on disc 2, Can I upgrade Windows 7 Professional to Windows 10 and then again clean install Windows 7 Professional on disc 1 where Windows Vista is right now?

  • VG

    ^^ By disc 1, do you mean partition 1 or hard disk 1?

  • Partition 1 of single hard disc, While installing O S it is differentiated by numbers so I used numbers.

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. You can. Once you upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 and it gets activated successfully, you can reinstall Windows 7 anytime in your computer.

  • Thank you

  • Hi VG and friends:

    I have a dual boot PC desktop with two separate hard drives. I had original (say old) hard drive with vista on it and window 7 ( home) on the other. Both OSes used to show up when I restarted /rebooted the PC and I picked the one I wanted.

    I followed your [Tip] Dual Boot Between Windows 10 and Your Existing Windows 7/8.1 OS

    I upgraded win 7 to win 10 without any problem using MS free upgrade.Naturally, the reboot/restart now showed vista and win 10 ( upgrade copy) and I picked and chose. Now I clean installed vista with win 10 (not upgraded).

    So I did step 1 &2 successfully.
    Step 3- as per your article

    "Now the last step! Now you have two Windows 10 in your computer: one which was upgraded from Windows 7/8.1 and the other which was clean installed. So boot into Windows 10 which was upgraded from Windows 7/8.1 in step 1"

    Case- when I am rebooting , it only shows one OS ( win 10( clean installed one). I was expecting two Oses of win 10 ( upgraded & clean installed one.) I can see the entire file system of my old upgraded win 10 on the hard drive it is installed on. it is also visible in 'DISK MANAGER" but I can not reboot it . Is it possible to do that?

    If so how?
    Any body’s help will be appreciated especially VG.

    Thanks in advance.
    Mo

  • VG

    ^^ Its happening because when you clean installed Windows 10 on Windows Vista partition, it formatted the partition and removed the previous boot loader files and settings. Thus the new boot loader didn't recognize already installed OS and thats why its not showing the other Windows 10 entry in boot loader.

    You can boot using Windows 10 setup disc or bootable USB and try to repair boot loader.

  • Dear VG:
    Thanks for quick response. first of all I have separate drives instead of partitions. The older drive had vista that has clean installed win 10 on it now. it is working fine at present. The problem is with new hard drive that had win 10 upgraded files on it. That is the one not showing up when I reboot. Like I said, I see all the files in window explorer and also see the drive in Disk manager. However, I can not boot into it.

    Can you give me any link that explains about repairing boot loader using win 10 setup disk.
    I will appreciate your help.

  • VG

    ^^ You can try following to enable classic boot loader:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-new-metro-boot-loader-and-bring-back-windows-vista-and-7-style-boot-loader-in-windows-8/

    If it also doesnt show the other Windows 10 OS entry, then try advanced boot options screen:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-access-and-use-windows-8-metro-boot-loader-and-advanced-boot-options/

  • Thank you!
    BTW, do you have tutorial about how to boot using Windows 10 setup disc or bootable USB and try to repair boot loader?

  • Hi VG!

    Jut got your answers about boot loader repair. Disregard my previous letter.
    Your newsletters/blogs are way better than others. They are to the point, resourceful and have sense of completion. Thank you my friend.

  • Bhai Vishal:
    I have been learning quite a bit here. I am not that computer savvy but I know enough to try new things. Sometimes I get into trouble and need help from experts like you.

    Like I said, when I reboot my PC, I get only one OS Window 10 (Clean installed one). Now How to get the other Win 10 ( upgraded one) on my 2nd hard drive when I reboot using -

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-new-metro-boot-loader-and-bring-back-windows-vista-and-7-style-boot-loader-in-windows-8/

    I have to recover win 10 upgrade ( 3rd step) in order to go back to win 7 or keep it as it is. The drive and files are there. I can see it in window explorer.
    Do you think it happening because both OSes are Window 10 (same).
    I want your advice before I try. Don't worry. I will be responsible if anything goes wrong. I just need an expert guidance.

  • VG

    ^^ You can try to boot using Windows 10 setup disc or bootable USB and then select Repair option. After that select boot repair option from the list.

  • Hi VG!

    I got it. I scoured the internet and your blogs/newsletter. I found this video very resourceful. He used EasyBCD to resolve this. I can't believe, this was so easy.

    You guys have been so helpful, my hats off to you. I m going to keep the W10 (Clean installed ) on one drive and W 10 (upgraded from W7 with all the files/program) on another drive. I think I like W10. I will stay with this.

    BTW, I cannot go back to W7 anyway, when I tried recovery. Is there any way to go back?

    If any body has the same problem like mine, this should be the video to refer him/her to.

  • My problem is different: I manage to install win 10 on the E: drive while maintaining the original win7 on the C: drive.Now, the manufacturer (Fujitsu) finnaly has the official win10 ready for my laptop and the windows update "forced" me to upgrade win7 in the C: drive to win10, resulting in 2 win10 OS...how do I disable the one installed in the E: drive and free the space, as I need it?
    Thanks

  • VG

    ^^ First set the Windows 10 installed on C: drive as default in boot loader using msconfig-> boot tab. Then boot into Windows 10 of C: drive and now you can format E: drive to get free space.

  • I 'd like to come back to the very first remark (by Mickey)
    " Why not simply clone your windows partition, then upgrade only one of the copies? That seems quicker and you don't risk something going wrong during the downgrade process."
    I like that suggestion. Just to check on what I understand is correct to reach success, or might not work as expected. I have a few questions regarding this method, before to decide which one to choose from.

    1. I feel confident to use a backup software to make a clone of my SSD system disk Win7Pro, already installed with my drivers, programs and other personal stuff already installed.
    I could use Macrium Reflect, which has the feature to create a clone disk. I admit I never done it before, but it shouldn't be that difficult.

    2. The target disk has exactly the same size and is the same internal SSD as the system disk Win7Pro

    3. Once the clone disk is made, at this point I presume both source and clone are activated, and have the same product key (license).

    4. Now restart with cold boot. NO dual boot menu will appear ?
    May be the cloning process (using Macrium Reflect has taken care, or suggested the option to create a boot menu to choose one of both ?) I presume the default boot will still occur from the source system disk ?

    5. Next point would be to let Microsoft the upgrade on my source disk Win7Pro.
    I have a license key which is elected to upgrade free. (Often popups are urging me to upgrade automatically !)

    Would this upgrade detect the clone disk and make a boot menu ? I don't expect this to happen. Should I disconnect the clone before starting the upgrade ?

  • Can I have a triple boot?
    Currently have dual boot XP and Win7
    C: XP
    D: Win 7

    I want to do a clean install of Win10 to E: with a new key? (and leave the others alone)

    If I install Win10 on E: how to I let the system know it's now got 3 instead of 2 OS's?

  • VG

    ^^ You can install as many OS as you want in your computer but its advisable that you install newer Windows versions later. Since you already have older Windows versions i.e. Windows XP and Windows 7 installed in your computer and now if you install Windows 10 on E: drive, it'll automatically detect other Windows versions and will add their entries into boot loader so that you can choose desired Windows version to boot.

  • After doing step 3 which is going back to Windows 7, will a dual boot menu showing w7 and w10 comes up when I reboot the machine?

  • VG,
    Will cloning the partition where windows 10 is installed to a different partition work? If so how will I get the dual boot menu? Thanks for the guide.

  • VG

    ^^ Now there is no need to upgrade existing Windows if you want to dual boot with Windows 10. Keep existing Windows and install Windows 10 on other partition using your genuine Windows 7/8 key:

    http://www.askvg.com/now-you-can-activate-windows-10-using-windows-7-8-or-8-1-product-key/
    http://www.askvg.com/windows-10-november-update-threshold-2-available-for-download/

  • Of many websites, your instructions on doing the dual boot are the clearest and most straight-forward, by far.

    I did this today(12/15/15), but the rollback failed. I upgraded Windows 7 and did the clean install of Windows 10 on the second partition. In both cases, it said updates were available and I allowed them to occur (I thought it was just 'OneDrive', but maybe there were others.) Minutes after completing the clean install, I tried to to the rollback, but got the error message about the needed files being removed. But they are there.

    I just applied a Windows 7 System Image and am back where I started. Not sure if I should try again (what's the point!) or try the partition cloning suggested above. Recommendations?

  • VG

    ^^ There is no longer need to upgrade Windows 7/8 first. Now you can direct clean install Windows 10 on a different partition and activate it using Windows 7/8 key as mentioned in following article:

    http://www.askvg.com/now-you-can-activate-windows-10-using-windows-7-8-or-8-1-product-key/

  • I had a 120gb ssd with win7Pro (legit) on it, bought a 256gb ssd and installed fresh copy of win10pro on that. Took the 120gb ssd and installed that in my sons pc and installed a new copy of win7 pro on it, with a 2nd legit key.

    Upgraded my pc at various points and now want to dual boot to my copy of win7Pro, to run some games, as they ran faster on win7, than win10. I have tried and tried many ways to install win7 pro, but after selecting the unallocated drive space, windows says it cannot install and an error code, which means 1001 potential issues.

    I have tried a unallocated partition on the ssd (which is gpt) and on another unallocated partition on a hdd (which is mbr).

    My question is, given these issues, is it possible that win10 is blocking the installation of an older OS, even on a separate physical drive?

    The only thing I haven't tried yet, which I had to do to install a fresh copy of win10, was to disconnect the ssd drive so that both OS's can see the other, then play with the bootloader in msconfig.

  • EDIT: Last Sentence "can" should read "can't"

  • VG

    ^^ It might be possible that Windows 10 boot loader files are causing issues in installing Windows 7. Thats why its always advisable to install older Windows version first and then install the newer Windows version. If you can afford, I'll advise you to format the partition containing Windows 10 and then first install Windows 7 and then install Windows 10 on a different partition.

  • I have tried unplugging the win10 ssd and installing win7pro on an unallocated hdd partition, both gpt and mbr versions, but it still fails with error code 0x80300024, I have tried many versions of Win7 pro 64bit. It is therefore conceivable that win10 pro is somehow hardwired itself to the MB, hence why MS state its licensed to the system.
    I have changed the CPU, GC, PSU even HDD/SSD's without issue from Win10.

    I'll simply purchase a cheap SSD and run a close OS programme from my sons working Win7 64bit Pro to get round this.

  • Argh.. 'Close' should read 'Clone'

  • If I have 2 drives can I do a clean install of my Windows 7 on 1 drive activate as necessary then slide that drive out of tray and put away for now.
    Then put drive I am using all the time back in tray or slot with Win 7 I have been using since I bought it in 2011, do the Windows 10 upgrade on this drive.
    Now the real question: can I just swap between drives so I can play games and stuff on windows 7 or burn Cds with my legal nero etc. Then go back to the windows 10 drive for my regular everyday web stuff?
    I saw a clone of drive should work above.
    but I would like a nice clean install of Win 7 on one drive as I play some older games and I copy many CDs (all legal ones I purchased) as I burn a copy and use it till it stops working, throw away and burn a new copy. I find they get scratched over time and saving the originals and making a copy my cd's are all like brand new still (originals that is)
    I had upgraded to Windows 10 a few months back but could not get the free version of cd player to find my SATA LG Blueray CD DVD drive.
    Thanks for any help or suggestions..

  • VG

    ^^ Why do you want to do so much hard work? Just install Windows 10 on a different partition of same hard disk. Then you'll be able to use both Windows without changing hard disks. Only one Windows will run at a time.

  • Hi there,

    Thanks for the advice you are offering here, its great that people like you are out there to help noobs like me! :)

    Regards having dual boot 8.1 Pro & Win 10 on the same machine with two hard drives, would I be able to...........

    a) Clean install of 8.1 on C: Drive
    b) Clean install of 8.1 on E: Drive << Then upgrade this to Win 10
    c) Clean install of Win 10 on E: Drive

    If so, would I get the option to choose which drive to boot from at start up?

    Thanks in advance.

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. If you install Windows 10 after Windows 8.1, you'll get the boot loader at startup to choose which Windows you want to boot.

  • I want to dual boot Windows 7 and 10, they will both be on separate physical drives. Instead of doing Step 3 (Restore), can I do a clean install of Windows 7 from the DVD that came with my PC without affecting the activation of the Windows 10 installation?

  • VG

    ^^ If you install Windows 7 after installing Windows 10, it'll overwrite Windows 10 boot loader and you'll only get Windows 7 boot loader. Its always advisable to install older Windows versions first and then install newer Windows versions.

  • Yes, you're correct. I searched around and may have found a solution to reinstalling the Windows 10 boot loader after installing Windows 7. Open a command prompt as admin in Windows 10 and type:

    bcdboot %windir%

    I'll give it a go and report back.

  • Hi, I have already a clean install of windows 10, but I am starting to have some problems with some applications, I don't know if it is possible to install a second partition with windows 7 directly, I don't want to do all the process because I should delete my current partition and do all the process. Anybody knows if is possible to install windows 7 after windows 7 clean install and not reverting an upgraded windows 10?

    Thanks

  • Hello. Here's my situation: I just built myself a new system from scratch. OS is legit Win10-64b (Home) with 8GB RAM on a SSD 240GB drive with only one partition (C:) ; I have an extra 1GB data only HD (D:) and a DVD drive (E:). The hardware (MB, GPU) is fully compatible with XP (32 and 64), drivers are available. I also have an older HP computer with XP-32bits (legit) - the hardware is on its last miles (slow and tedious) but I still need to use some programs and a few games as well that will not install or run well on Win10. My idea is to take my HD from this HP-WinXP system and install it within the new system. It would be F: drive for Win10, but overall it would also be dual boot, either Win10 or WinXP. Obviously, from both OS's point of view, none are currently aware of the other. I believe (hope ...) that no reinstall is needed. I would just have to update the system drivers for WinXP as required. In fact, reinstalling XP is not really possible (HP system, I do not have an install disk), and I would rather avoid reinstalling Win10 if possible. Am I correct with my assumptions? Is that doable? Would the XP boot give me trouble (drive conflict) or currupt things within my SSD Win10? Any insight on how to manage the switch between Win10 and WinXP easily? BIOS level only I suppose since Win10 is unaware or XP . Thanks in advance. -LD

  • VG

    ^^ Most of the times new computers are not compatible with Windows XP. You can try to attach the old HDD to new system. If you face any booting issue, you can remove the HDD. If old HDD works in new computer, you can dual boot between both OS by changing boot priority order in BIOS settings.

    @Mercurio
    Yes. You can clean install Windows 7 on a different partition.

  • Thanks for this information have been looking for a how do this for a while.

    Now it is done (It did take some time to get into bios and set the right order conflicting name options) do I need to return to bios and set it back to the default the pc came with.

  • Thanks for this information it was exactly what I wanted.

    All done just need to rollback to the W7
    Question do I need to go back into bios and rest it to the settings it had before I changed it to do the install? (not that I am sure what it was though).

  • Well I tried to rollback to W7 3 days after doing the dualboot upgrade and clean install but it won't work the message said the files aren't there. The day after doing the install I would have been able to rollback I checked to make sure I could and now wish I had.

    The files are there in C drive and Windows old is there as well.

    I tried to get a fresh W7 install from MS but the key is rejected as it has been in the distant pass,Produkey actually shows a different key but this failed as well.

    Some advice would be appreciated.

  • Do you know, if cloning the windows 10 partition, would work in another excactly same computer after?

    I have 20 Dell pc's with Xp and 7 till now. All pc's are the same hardware. In one of them, I used gparted and made a third partition and I installed windows 10 there. After, I installed adition software I use.

    I will be much less work for me, If I partition the drives of all computers and in the 3rd partition restore the Windows 10 from the one above.

    Will the boot sector be updated also? And windows 10 will be still activated?

    The hardware is the same and the serial that updated to win10 was a vollume license from windows 7.

    ?

  • VG

    ^^ You can try yourself in one computer but I doubt it'll work.

  • hi all
    i upgraded from win 7 using "get windows 10" app. all works fine.
    win 7 came pre installed in brand new hp laptop (was bought 2012).
    I'm trying to create a bootable USB of Windows 10 setup ISO, but can't find any .iso files in my computer.
    please help.
    thanks

  • I've performed the update then clean install. Now I cant get my original windows 7 back.

    - I upgraded Windows 7 to Windows 10.
    - I created a bootable CD with the Windows ISO on it.
    - I installed a fresh windows 10 on a new disk drive.

    I have now tried to restore back to Winsows 7, but I get the message "We're sorry, but you can't go back".

    What do I do now??

  • ^^ I think I've realised what I did wrong. I burned the Windows 10 ISO to a DVD using the new Windows 10 upgrade. In doing this, I think MS spotted that I had downloaded an ISO and removed some of the recovery files from my C drive.

    Be wary of how you download the Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft.

    In retrospect, what I should have really done is create a fresh install of Windows 7 on a new partition and simply upgraded that.

    Oh well, we live and learn...

  • I have an HDD switch on my pc
    Can I fit another HDD to my computer then clone my existing C drive, then upgrade 1 of the drives to windows 10. This should give me 1 drive with win 7 pro and 1 drive with win 10 pro, can I then switch between them as required.

  • Hi ,

    is this the method for dual boot example win 7 pro and win 10 pro using the same win key?

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. It'll work.

  • The upgrade on my laptop fails each time I attempt it. It gets to the "Installing Features & Drivers" part, then restarts back into Windows 7. Since I already made an image of the Win7 partition beforehand, is it possible to clean install Windows 10 (securing the free upgrade) and then put the Win7 image on another partition? I know this is making things overly complicated, but I would like to keep my settings/applications and apparently upgrading is not an option for me.

  • VG

    ^^ Now you can keep Windows 7 on one partition and clean install Windows 10 on a different partition. Activate Windows 10 using Windows 7 key:

    http://www.askvg.com/now-you-can-activate-windows-10-using-windows-7-8-or-8-1-product-key/

  • Hi VG !

    I must admit you are helping quite a few users with your instructive comments.
    I have read all of the above and did not find an answer to the following:

    How does one upgrade Win 7, on its own drive, to Win 10 while still keeping Win XP, on its own separate drive, untouched?

    I have been dual booting Windows Xp and Windows 7, each on their own drives, for the past 3 years with no problems whatsoever.

    I now want to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 but still keep my Windows XP with its numerous applications acquired over many years.

    I keep wondering that if I upgrade Win 7 to Win 10 I will somehow disrupt my Windows Boot Manager, which has been working so well, and even affect in some way my Win XP.

    I have read comments that one should disconnect the drive on which XP resides before doing an upgrade to Win 10 on the other drive. Any truth to this?

    Or is it just a simple matter of upgrading to Win 10 from an iso files on a usb media (which I have) when booted and working in Win 7?

    If the latter is right, I need some reassurance that Win XP will remain totally untouched and that Boot Manager will also be unaffected (except maybe to change the Win 7 option to Win 10) before proceeding with the upgrade.

    Thanks for your help in this matter.

  • I don't own Windows 10 and I have Windows 7 on my machine if I clone my drive and upgrade the second partition will it still be activated on both partitions?

  • VG

    ^^ Yes.

    @Ghislain
    I cant confirm but if you upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10, it should not affect Windows XP. But I'm not using Windows XP, so cant confirm. The best option would be, install Windows 10 on a different partition and then you'll have 3 OS: Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 10 in your computer.

  • Did not think of your suggestion but I would most surely like to have the three OS on my PC.

    However, here is what I have read online:
    "While you can install Windows 10 as an update to 7 or 8.1 in a partition, as far as we know you cannot use the free upgrade to create a brand-new installation of Windows 10 on a separate partition or other device. It can only be used to upgrade Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. If you want to install a full version of Windows 10 instead of an upgrade, you'll need to buy a copy of the operating system."

    Can you confirm if the above is true and, if not, what would be the steps when using only the upgrade to Win 7 ISO file which I downloaded to a USB media?

    Sorry to be a "pain" with this but at 72 years old I'm still a newbee when it comes to certain computing installations.
    I know how to create a partition on the new hard drive where Win 7 already resides but it's a bit confusing for me as to what to do after that.
    (Making ISO file bootable, etc)

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:

    http://www.askvg.com/now-you-can-activate-windows-10-using-windows-7-8-or-8-1-product-key/

  • Thanks for the link, VG.

    Now that I know that my Windows 10 ISO file which I downloaded to a USB media is a bootable one and can be installed as a full version with the appropriate key from Windows 7 (which I have), I will have to go into my BIOS and make sure that the PC loads from a media (USB or DVD) first.
    Then I will direct it to install into the new partition created on the same drive where Windows 7 now resides.

    Four Questions:
    1) Is the procedure above the right one?
    2) Will my original Windows Boot Manager automatically recognize the new Windows 10 OS and add it to the two choices already present in it (Windows XP and Windows 7) so that I would then be presented with 3 choices when turning on the PC?
    3) Or would a new type of Boot Manager be created?
    4) Does the new installation present any risks for Windows XP which resides by itself in its own drive?

  • VG

    ^^ 1. Yes.
    2 and 3. Windows 10 will install a new boot loader which will add Windows XP and Windows 7 to the list. If you dont get Windows XP in the list, there is a trick to bring back Windows 7 boot loader back which I'll provide to you.
    4. No. If you face any problem, you can format Windows 10 partition any time.

    So first install Windows 10 on a separate partition and if you face any problem, I'll be happy to help you.

  • Hi VG!

    Where do I start ????

    I updated to Windows 10 Pro an HP Pavilion dv2700 notebook (model dv2934ca) which is 8 years old. It originally came with Vista and was then updated to Windows 7 Pro. Everything went well but upon using it I noticed a chronic problem. A message will appear in my browser to the effect that there is no internet, even though I just was on another website (previous page) and the wi-fi icon is clearly showing a full signal strength. Not good.....
    From HP: "HP has not tested this product for upgrade to Windows 10."

    I wasted a day updating to Windows 10 Pro, from Windows 7 Pro, an HP Pavilion dv6 notebook (Model 3147ca) which is 5 years old. Graphics were awful (everything oval instead of round, since stretched horizontally, text was very fuzzy and no way whatsoever to change the display) and the machine was overheating to the point that the pad became hot and the display turned to a black screen. Again, not good.....
    Could not upgrade drivers, since HP does not provide support anymore. Their statement: "HP has not tested this product for upgrade to Windows 10 and will not be developing Windows 10 drivers for this product."
    Nice isn't it........So much for HP and customer service!!!
    The only solution: "RESTORE" to Windows 7, which made everything right again.

    Now to my ongoing dilemma:
    Adding a clean install of Windows 10, in its own partition, on the same hybrid drive as Windows 7, on my desktop PC which I had built, with the best hardware available at the time, 8 years ago. Windows XP would remain by itself on the original drive.

    I managed to find the Windows 7 and Windows 8 Upgrade Advisor (Assistant) reports, which I printed when I had to decide which OS I would add onto my computer and then dual-boot. I decided to go with Windows 7 because Windows 8 would render so many devices (scanner, etc) inoperable and would require much more software and driver updating.
    Since Windows 10, by all accounts, is built on the same platform as Windows 8, it would mean being faced with the same problems as Windows 8, had I decided to go with it with my previous upgrade.

    There is also the "invasion of privacy" attached to Windows 10. It is not "FREE" by any means and has the purpose of tracking you as much as possible and send all that info to Microsoft. If you decide to turn off location and most of the settings about tracking you, you will find that you cannot use many of the new features of Windows 10 (Cortana, Edge, etc.). So why even bother upgrading ???
    Cortana acts very much like Siri for Apple and its purpose is to find your likes and dislikes and target you with "personalized" advertising. That's the price you really have to pay to get the "FREE" Windows 10.

    At 72, I still know what the word "privacy" entails and naturally resist to anything that tries to invade it. I only wish the newer generation would do the same, and if not, will someday realize what kind of world they are living in and will then rise up and fight back to get some level of this precious way of life. End of rant.......

    So, for the reasons above (trouble with installations and privacy), I have decided against upgrading to Windows 10. It might seem a "cop out" to some who took the time to read this but, in my humble opinion, it is a very wise decision.

    Windows 7 will be supported until 2020 and, by then, my computer will be 12 years old. My PC has and still serves me well.
    "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT" comes to mind.

    I appreciate your help and willingness to help with further problems VG. Thank you for that.

    Now that I have found it, I will surely be a frequent visitor on your website because of the quality of the info in it.

    I wish you all the best, VG !!

  • VG

    ^^ I respect and appreciate your decision. Thats true that there are some privacy issues in Windows 10 and if you are happy with Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can keep using those OS without any problem. Glad to help you. :)

  • I have now two OS in my laptop (win7 and win10) in two separate disks. I have used the win7 key to activate the win 10 OS. What if i need to reinstall windows 7? will the old key work for the win 7 ? or will it now only work for win 10?

    Thank you.

  • VG

    ^^ It'll work for Windows 7 without any problem.

  • how do I copy the c partition to another? I made the new partition. tried getting that aeomi program but every time I try an d/l it it says signature is corrupt. any other way to copy my c partition to the new 1 I created so ican make a dual boot system? using 8.1 atm

  • Hi there, hope you can help. Previously I was dual booted with XP and Win7 Ultimate. I always back up regularly and when upgrading to Win 10 from Win 7 it all went well but found that some of the programs I use did not work with Win 10 so before going back to Win 7 I backed Win 10 up. As "going back" to Win 7 was not fully successful I just recovered my Win 7 back up copy so all back to normal. I still wanted to keep Win 10 so re-installed it to a different drive. However, to get either the Win 10 or the Win 7/XP to boot I have to change the order off HDDs in the BIOS each time to change from one to the other.
    Is there a way to create a boot loader on one of the disks that would have all three XP, Win 7 and Win 10 shown as a triple boot?
    Many thanks

  • VG

    ^^ Repair Windows 10 using setup disc or USB drive and it'll create a new boot loader to allow you to boot into either Windows 10 or in Windows 7 boot loader where you can select Windows XP.

    Or you can try 3rs party software such as EasyBCD or VistaBootPro to modify boot loader:

    http://www.askvg.com/dual-boot-problem-windows-vista-no-longer-starts-after-installing-windows-xp/

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