If you want to check out the latest version of Windows 8, you can install it on an extra machine, a virtual machine or create a dual boot system. We’ve taken a look at installing Windows 8 on a VM and doing a clean install on an extra system. Here’s how to set up a dual boot configuration with Windows 7.
Partition Windows 7 Hard Drive
First, click Start and type: disk part into the Search box and hit Enter.
The Disk Management utility comes up. Here you’ll see the drives and partitions currently on your computer. Right click the C:\ drive and select Shrink Volume.
Windows will query the drive to find available space to shrink.
Now select the amount of space to shrink the C:\ drive by. If you’re installing the 64-bit version of Windows 8, you need a minimum of 20GB. For the 32-bit version you need a minimum of 16GB.
Remember the amount you shrink is displayed as MB so you need 21000MB for 21GB for example.
After the process completes, you’ll have your second partition labeled as Unallocated space. Right click on it and select New Simple Volume.
The New Simple Volume Wizard comes up. The process is straight forward but there are two things to point out when navigating through the wizard.
First give it a Drive Letter – here I’m giving the drive letter F:\ but you can give it any available letter you want.
Next, make sure to set the formatting to NTFS – which it is by default. Also, give it an easy to remember Volume Label such as Win8 or Windows8. This will make it easier to identify as you continue.
Finish the wizard and Windows will partition the new volume. Success! Windows created the new drive partition and recognizes it as a new drive so AutoPlay comes up – just close out of it.