All posts by John Wheal

About John Wheal

I'm a student studying for a degree in Computer Engineering and technology blogger for MyTechBlog. I have a YouTube channel where I regularly upload new videos on Windows 8.

How To Dual Boot Windows 8 Release Preview

Microsoft has just released the release preview of Windows 8 yesterday. Today here we are covering how to dual boot Windows 8 release preview.When it comes to installing Windows 8 Release Preview on your PC you have two options:

1) Upgrade your existing version of Windows to Windows 8 Release Preview
2) Install Windows 8 Release Preview alongside your existing version of Windows

This article will focus on the second option and is written with the assumption that you already have Windows 7 or Vista installed.

There are 3 stages:

1) Download Windows 8 Release Preview
2) Partition Hard Disk
3) Install Windows 8 Release Preview

 

Stage 1 – Download Windows 8 Release Preview

You are going to need to download the ISO image file of the Windows 8 Release Preview.

This can be downloaded here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-8/iso

There are two different images, 32 bit and 64 bit. To find out which version you need go to: “Start” -> Right Hand Click “Computer” -> “Properties”

Under the “System type” information you will see either 32 bit or 64 bit.

From the download page you will also need to make a note of the product key (you will need this later).

 

Stage 2 – Partition Hard Disk

Before proceeding with this stage, it is highly recommended that you backup your data.

You need to open “Create and format hard disk partitions” (search for it in the start menu).

Once opened, you will see your existing hard drive partitions. You will see you have the system reserved partition (this may be hidden) and the main partition where your existing version of Windows is installed. The first part of partitioning your hard drive is to shrink your existing Windows partition. Before you proceed you will need to work out which partition Windows is already installed on. In most cases this will be the drive labelled “C” and it is easy to determine by looking at the size. Right hand click on the partition and click ‘Shrink Volume’. After “querying the shrink space” you can enter the amount of space you wish to shrink. The minimum amount of space Windows 8 Preview requires is 16GB. I would recommend you use at least 32GB. You will need to enter the value in megabytes so multiply the number of gigabytes by 1024.

Once entered click shrink. This can often take a long while and it is important not to quit the program or shut down your computer during this process. The new unallocated space will be seen when this is completed.

To create the new partition from this unallocated space, right hand click on it and select ‘New Simple Volume’. Click ‘next’ three times. On the format partition screen enter the name of the new volume. (Call it something easy to remember e.g. “Windows 8”). Click next again and then finish.
You can check this has worked by looking for the new drive in “My Computer”.

To install the preview you will need either a DVD or USB Stick capable of holding the image (at least 4GB).

Once the ISO file has downloaded you need to download and install the “Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool” http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool
Once installed open the program and browse to select the downloaded image. Click ‘next’ and then select whether you are using a DVD or USB device. (If you are using a USB device it will be formatted and all existing data on it will be lost.) Next, select the drive and once the image has been copied across you are ready to move onto stage 3.

 

Stage 3 – Installing Windows 8 Release Preview

You need to restart your computer and boot from the DVD or USB stick. The method of doing this varies between computers/manufacturers. If you are not sure how to change the boot priority, look at the options available as soon as the computer starts up. Alternatively visit your manufacturer’s website for instructions. Once the setup has loaded, fill out the first screen with your country and keyboard settings. Click ‘next’ and then ‘Install Now’. On the next screen enter your product key (this was on the download page).

Click ‘next’ and then tick the box to confirm that you have read the terms and conditions. Then click “Custom Install – Advanced” and from the next window select the partition that you made earlier. DOUBLE CHECK YOU HAVE THE CORRECT PARTITION SELECTED. Then click ‘next’. The computer will install Windows 8 Release Preview and restart several times (this could take some time). You are then presented with a list of operating systems. Select “Windows 8 Release Preview” and proceed through with the first time setup. Enter your user accounts and personalization settings. Once this is complete you have successfully installed the Windows 8 Release Preview.

Every time you now start your computer you will be given an option to select which operating system you wish to load.

[How To]Make Windows 8 Consumer Preview Portable

This tutorial will guide you to Make Windows 8 Consumer Preview Portable

You will need:

  1. USB Stick or External Hard drive
    Must be greater than 16GB

    Preferably USB 3.0
  2. Lots of Time

I have also created a video where you as how to port Windows 8 consumer preview on external drive. You can view the video or continue reading the article-

THIS IS RECOMMENDED FOR ADVANCED USERS ONLY

  1. Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO file from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso – Make a note of the product key
  2. Download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) from http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=5753
  3. Download and install Virtual Clone Drive from http://www.slysoft.com/en/download.html(This step is only required if you can’t already mount ISO files).

When the WAIK has finished downloading, mount it (using the Virtual Clone Drive) and then open the installer which will appear as a CD drive. Once the setup loads click ‘Windows AIK’ from the sidebar and follow through the installer.

Once the installation is complete navigate to (If it was installed to the default location):

 C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools

 If you have a 64 bit computer open the “amd 64” folder. Alternatively, if it is 32 bit open the “x86” folder. Copy the “imagex.exe” file and paste it in the root of the C drive (C:\). If a warning message appears click ‘Continue’.

Next, mount the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO. Then open command prompt by typing “cmd” in the start menu. Right hand click on it and select ‘Run as Administrator’.

Plug in the external hard drive or USB stick. WARNING: All existing data is going to be erased from the device.

Next, enter the following commands:

diskpart
list disk

All the disks currently connected to your computer will then be displayed.
Replace * with disk number you are going to be installing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on.

select disk *
clean
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick
active
assign
exit

Replace @ with the virtual CD drive letter (the mounted ISO).
Replace # with the drive letter of the external hard drive or USB stick.

C:\imagex.exe /apply @:\sources\install.wim 1 #:\
bcdboot.exe #:\windows /s #:

To finish the installation you will now need to restart your computer. Make sure that it boots from the USB stick or external hard drive. (If you don’t know how to do this check with your PC manufacturer or look in the bios settings). The computer will then restart several times (make sure it boots from the USB stick each time).

Next, enter the product key and confirm you agree to the terms and conditions. Then fill out the personalization settings to complete the installation.

You now have a portable copy of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Remember not to remove the USB stick or external hard drive whilst the computer is running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Comment below to let me know how you have got on

How to uninstall Windows 8 Consumer Preview

If you have installed Windows 8 consumer preview, didn’t like the interface or some of your drivers aren’t working and would like to uninstall it, then this article is for you. We would explaining in details as how to uninstall Windows 8 consumer preview. Removing Windows 8 Consumer Preview depends on how you installed it.

Case 1: Upgraded from Windows 7

Case 2: Installed on separate partition

If you are comfortable with video, the view this video else follow the steps given below-

Case 1

There is no easy way to downgrade Windows 8 back to a previous version of Windows. You therefore only have a couple of options. If you have a full system backup taken previously then you could restore that. Otherwise, most manufactures provide an option to restore your computer to factory settings (this will remove all your files and programs).  A factory reset is usually achieved with a set of discs or a recovery partition.  You will need to follow your computer manufacturer’s instructions for your specific computer.

Case 2

If you have installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a separate partition (as detailed in this article) then it is relatively easy to remove it in the following two stages.

Follow the steps below in your old version of Windows e.g. Windows 7  (the version of Windows you want to keep).

Stage 1: Remove Windows 8 Consumer Preview from boot loader

 You will need a free piece of software called EasyBCD available here.

Once installed, open the software (you will need to be an administrator). Click ‘Edit Boot Menu’ from the sidebar. Then select the ‘Windows 8 Consumer Preview’ and click ‘Delete’. Next tick the checkbox for your previous version of Windows to load that by default. Now click ‘Save Settings’.

Next, from the sidebar, click ‘BCD Backup/Repair’ and select ‘Re-create/repair boot files’ and then click ‘Perform Action’.

You should now have removed Windows 8 Consumer Preview from the boot loader. It is best to check this has worked by restarting your computer before you continue. If your computer makes no mention of Windows 8 Consumer Preview when starting up then you can move onto stage 2. If your computer still boots with Windows 8 Consumer Preview as an option DO NOT move onto stage 2.

Stage 2: Remove Windows 8 Consumer Preview Partition

Open ‘Create and format hard disk partitions’ (search for it in the start menu).  Then select and right hand click on the Windows 8 Partition. (Make sure you definitely have the correct partition selected, double check by looking at the side). Click ‘Delete Volume’ and then click ‘Yes’ to continue. Then right hand click on the free space and click ‘Delete Partition’ and then ‘Yes’ to confirm the delete. You should now see the space labelled ‘unallocated’. Select the Windows drive (usually C) and right hand click ‘Extend Volume’. Click ‘Next’, and assuming you want to take up all the unallocated space click ‘Next’ again and finally click ‘Finish’ to complete the operation. You have now completely removed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Why did you remove the Windows 8 Consumer Preview? Comment below