Dual Booting Windows 10 with Older Windows Versions

Dual boot is an option where 2 operating systems are installed onto the same system and you can choose either of them upon boot. Say you want to have the current Windows 10 along with your current Windows 8, it is possible through the dual boot.

How to get started with dual boot?

Before you start, make sure you have a backup of all the data on the drive. Once that’s done, follow the step by step instructions.

Create a new partition

These steps for creating a partition are on Windows 8. It may be different if you are using a different version of Windows.

  1. Press Windows + X and select Disk Management
  2. Right click on the partition which has free space and select Shrink Volume
  3. Allow the system to scan the drive and display results
  4. Enter the amount you want to shrink by understanding the available shrink space and click on Shrink
  5. Now you will see a new partition named ‘Unallocated
  6. Right click on it and select New Simple volume

Follow the steps in the wizard to complete the partitioning and format process.

  1. Check the partition size
  2. Assign a drive letter for the new partition
  3. Keep the default settings for file system
  4. Assign a volume label and complete the process

Once the new partition is created, you are ready to install Windows 10. You will need a Windows 10 installation disc for this.

Then boot your system using the installation disk. Select ‘Custom Install’ and proceed with the steps below. (If you don’t find a Custom Install option, browse through the installation disk and select setup.exe to install Windows 10)

  • Select the new partition created to install Windows 10
  • The installation process begins
  • Once the process is complete, your system will restart several times to finish setup.

Each time your computer restarts, it will ask you to choose if you want Windows 8 or Windows 10. Select Windows 10 and the system will complete the installation process.

Also, from now on, anytime your computer boots, you will be given a choice between Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Now you have a dual boot for your system. As a reminder, before you start this process, please make sure you have a backup of your drive or at least of important data. As any errors during the process can lead to data loss and leave you panicky. Moreover, it is always a good practice to back up your system before attempting any major changes such as dual boot or an OS upgrade.

In some cases, there may be problems with your hard drive. Unless there are major issues, it can almost always be fixed using manual methods. One such method is CHKDSK, which is a built-in tool to check the file system integrity and fix any associated errors. Refer how to run CHKDSK in Windows 10 for more details.

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