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I have new HP EliteBook 2760p and I am trying to create two bootable partitions, one for Windows 7 and one for Windows 8. I now have HP Windows 7 Pro install disks.

I am new to Windows. I am trying to find out how to partition my disk in a way that will allow me to install Windows 7 and Windows 8. On Mac I could do this blindfolded - but I can't seem to figure this out on Windows.

Googling has not yielded anything helpful.

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migrated from Nov 11 '11 at 21:30

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Are you wanting to resize the existing Windows 7 partition to make room for Windows 8 or do you want a full reinstall of Windows 7 alongside Windows 8? – nhinkle Nov 14 '11 at 6:00
I would be happy to resize existing Windows 7 partition. In fact, I did that (using shrink function) and created new partition in freed space. But this had the effect of marking both partitions as "dynamic" - which, in turn, made them unsuitable for booting... or this is my understanding. In any event, I was unable to install Windows 8 in newly create partition. – westsider Nov 15 '11 at 14:42

I'm suppling you with some links which kay be helpful, all these are GUI based,

for Windows guide for partitioning of disks and formatting

EDIT1: A summary

Step One: Create a New Partition

Before you start, make a backup of your data—you're going to be formatting drives and installing OSes, so anything could go wrong, and you don't want to lose your whole system. When you're ready, we'll need to create some space for Windows 8 on your hard drive. Assuming you have at least 20GB of space free on your drive, you're going to use Windows' Disk Management to set partition those 20GB for Windows 8. Open the Start Menu and right click on the "Computer" option. Click "Manage", and in the window that appears, click on "Disk Management" in the left sidebar.

Screenshot of disk management in a typical Windows7 installation

Find your system hard disk in the graphical list that appears in the bottom pane. Right-click on it and then click "Shrink Volume". Shrink it down so you have at least 20GB of space left on the end of the drive, and click OK. Then, click on the "Unallocated" block of that drive that appears and click "New Simple Volume". Click Next on the next few windows until you get to the "Format Partition" window. Here, give it a volume label you'll recognize (like "Windows 8") and click Next. It should format the drive for you. Now you're all set to install Windows 8.

Step Two: Install Windows 8

Burn Windows 8 image onto a DVD using something like ImgBurn or Nero or PowerISO, or burn it to a thumb drive if you don't have a DVD drive in your machine. Make sure your computer is set to boot from CD or USB, stick in your installation media, and reboot.

If you get a prompt to "Press any key to boot from DVD", then hit a key on your keyboard. You should boot right into the Windows 8 installer. It actually looks almost exactly like the Windows 7 installer, so it should seem a little familiar. Just pick your language, hit "Install Now", and choose "Custom" when asked what type of install you'd like to perform.

enter image description here

On the next screen, find your new partition on the list of drives. Make sure it's the right one, because you're about to write over whatever's on it. Hit "Next" and let the installer do its thing. When you're done, your computer should reboot into Windows 8. It'll probably reboot one more time after it does, then you'll be greeted with the Windows 8 Start screen. If you choose to enter a Windows Live ID here, make sure you have access to your email and can confirm your computer—otherwise it might not let you boot into it.

Step Three: Make Windows 7 the Default (Optional)

enter image description here

You'll notice when you first boot up into Windows 8 that you're presented with a new graphical boot menu that'll let you choose between your Windows 7 and Windows 8 installations. Windows 8 will be the default, meaning if you don't manually choose Windows 7 from the menu, your computer will boot into Windows 8 after three seconds of inactivity. Chances are, you don't want to make Windows 8 the default quite yet, so here's how to make Windows 7 the default.

On the boot menu, click on the button at the bottom that says "Change Defaults or Choose Other Options", and hit "Choose the Default Operating System". From there, you can pick Windows 7 from the menu. From now on, your computer will boot into Windows 7 by default, but if you feel like playing around with Windows 8 that day, you can just pick it from the boot menu. Enjoy playing with the developer preview, and let us know what you think in the comments.

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Thanks for the helpful links. If possible, please summarize the steps outlines in the linked pages. We ask this so that if the linked pages are ever removed, the answer to the question is still saved here on Super User. – nhinkle Nov 15 '11 at 17:32
thx for the appreciation...I will give a consolidated answer. – Vineet Menon Nov 15 '11 at 18:34
I followed these steps and I get to the screen where you can choose an operating system, but instead of seeing "Windows 7" I see "Windows Setup" which launches the Windows 8 preview setup program. The only way I've been able to switch between operating systems is by right-clicking the disk in "Disk Management" and setting it as active, then rebooting. How can I replace the "Windows Setup" option with "Windows 7" – adam0101 Nov 28 '11 at 15:51
the first time you install your new system, it will show as windows setup. Just go thru it and see what lies der. You might have to complete the installation of new OS. – Vineet Menon Nov 29 '11 at 5:31

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