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I installed Windows 8 and it works great, but I need to use some software that isn't available on Windows 8 (Windows DVD Maker). Is it possible to install Windows 7 again in a dual boot scenario and if so, how would one go about doing this?

Thanks ahead

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Windows has been pretty good about backwards compatibility. Would it work to just run it in compatibility mode (right-click the .exe, Properties, compatibility tab) or do you need a dual-boot for other reasons? – Brian Daniels Mar 7 '13 at 21:10
@BrianDaniels You can't even install Windows DVD Maker on Windows 8... – TheXed Mar 7 '13 at 21:27
You might find it easier to install free or cheap alternatives to WDM than to downgrade your whole system just to get one program back. – Isaac Rabinovitch Mar 8 '13 at 0:51

I've not done a Windows/Windows dual boot for a long time. I'm guessing that it hasn't got any easier especially now that Windows 8 wants UEFI instead of a BIOS. It used to take a utility to manage the boot partitions and boot sectors properly.

The alternative, if your PC is up to it, would be to run a virtual machine. I run VirtualBox generally for this kind of thing. Just fire up a VM with Windows 7 installed. Of course, there is the little issuette of licensing another copy of Windows. Not a problem if you are a Microsoft business partner or have a Technet or MSDN subscription.

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Yeah I thought about using a virtual machine... – TheXed Mar 7 '13 at 22:51

Since you installed Win8 yourself, I don't know what sort of hardware you have. A new Win8 PC would be UEFI-based, Secure Boot would be enabled and the hard disk would most likely be GPT formatted. In any case, all you need to do is ensure Secure Boot is turned off if available, options like Legacy BIOS or Compatibility Support Module (CSM) are not enabled under UEFI settings (ignore if your PC lacks UEFI and has only BIOS), then boot from the Win7 DVD. The 64-bit WIn7 DVD supports both BIOS and UEFI, so as long as you boot using the appropriate mode it will install as usual on either system type. You can also confirm which mode the installer booted in. Finally, while there are any number of utilities to transfer Win7 Setup to USB for BIOS systems, a USB-based UEFI installation is also possible.

Note that you'll need to shrink the Win8 partition beforehand using Disk Management or 3rd party Windows partitioning software to free up space for Win7, and a defrag is recommended before shrinking for best results (or better still you can use GParted for this).

After Win7 is installed you'll need to boot from the Win8 DVD/USB and run Startup Repair or enter the BootRec /FixMbr, /FixBoot and /RebuildBcd parameters to restore the Win8 graphical bootloader and add a Win7 entry to it.

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