I have installed Windows 8 onto a partition after Windows 7, and when I turn my PC on, Windows 8 basically loads completely, and then I get the option to choose my OS. If I select Windows 8, I go straight to the lock screen, if I select Windows 7, my computer completely restarts and then boots into 7.

I want to use the Windows 7 installation DVD to restore the Windows 7 bootloader using the method described by the How To Geek but I am worried that if I do this, Windows 8 won't boot.

Can anybody advise on whether or not this will work, and if not how can I go back to selecting the OS right after the BIOS loads?

  • 1
    JMK: Do you have a real issue with the current bootloader, or you just don't like the behavior? – Moab Nov 9 '12 at 16:13

Windows 8 requires the Windows 8 bootloader to boot. It's part of the fast boot process.

There are some theoretical solutions, such as loading grub or system commander to boot either Windows 8 or Windows 7 bootloaders, but there's a lot of work involved there and i'm unsure of whether they work with EFI and GPT setups. Why don't you just set Windows 7 as the default OS and let it boot automatically. It may take a bit longer, but you won't have to do anything to make it boot 7.

You set 7 as the default in the System Properties -> Advanced Tab -> Startup and Recovery


Use EasyBCD. It installs the Windows 7 bootloader. But you'll lose Fast Startup. Rest everything will be fine. Done it on a friend's PC. No problems till now. However, if yours is UEFI boot, then I'm not too sure. This works on a BIOS


Windows 8 bootloader can load Windows 7, you just need to add the menu for it.

I restored load to Vista installed on another partition using bcdedit command without using 3rd party tools.

Listing Current Settings

Start Command Prompt with Administrative privileges.

If run bcdedit without parameters it will list your current settings:

Windows Boot Manager
identifier              {bootmgr}
device                  partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
description             Windows Boot Manager

Windows Boot Loader
identifier              {current}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Windows 8

Creating a Backup

Making a backup is always a good thing:

bcdedit /export C:\BCD-Backup

If something goes wrong, you would be able to recover with

bcdedit /import C:\BCD-Backup /clean

Adding Entry for Windows 7

So now we'll add another entry.

  1. Copy the current settings to a new record:

    bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Windows 7"
    Entry copied successfully to {GUID}.

    Here {GUID} is a place holder for the identifier of the new entry, it consists of numbers and characters. You will copy this GUID and use it in place of {GUID} placeholder in the step 2.

  2. Modify the copied entry to boot from drive D:

    bcdedit /set {GUID} device partition=D:
    bcdedit /set {GUID} osdevice partition=D:

Now your boot menu should contain two entries for Windows 8 and Windows 7.

  • 1
    He wasn't asking how to boot windows 7, he wanted to know how to avoid using the Windows 8 boot loader, which takes a lot longer to load than the Windows 7 bootloader, plus requires a reboot to boot into 7 mode. – Erik Funkenbusch Nov 9 '12 at 17:00

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