How to… Install Windows 8 on your laptop today
Eager to get your hands on the Windows 8 Release Preview? Before you download and mount that ISO image, you’ll have to pause for a second and think about how you want to install it. By default, Windows 8 will try to install itself over Windows 7, or completely replace Windows Vista and XP. This isn’t ideal when you’re essentially beta-testing a product that isn’t finished yet and will still have bugs and compatibility problems.
The Release Preview version of Windows 8 isn’t going to be around forever either, and will probably expire on or close to the launch of the final RTM version of Windows 8 – meaning you’ll need to upgrade to the new version or revert to your old Windows.
This is why dual booting Windows 8 Release Preview alongside your existing Windows installation is the perfect option, as when you turn on your PC you’ll get to choose which version of Windows to use, and it allows both versions of Windows to work side by side on your PC without you losing any files. We’ve laid out the whole process in eight easy steps for you to follow below.
1. Download the package
To get started, you’ll first need to download the installer for the Windows 8 Release Preview from Microsoft’s website at www.bit.ly/y4JoSb. Click on ‘Get it now’, then ‘Download Windows 8 Release Preview’ to begin downloading. Click ‘Run’ twice and allow the program to make changes to your computer if and when you’re prompted.
2. Prepare to install
When the program starts, it will scan your computer to ensure that your machine is compatible with Windows 8. It will then determine which version of Windows 8 you’ll need (32- or 64-bit) and download the relevant files. During this process you might be asked to perform a few tasks on your computer, like clearing space on your hard drive.
3. Make a bootable flash drive
The next screen will ask whether you’re ready to install the Release Preview. Make sure you select ‘Install on another partition’ and click ‘Next’. Select ‘USB flash drive’ (unless you’d rather make a bootable DVD), then click ‘Next’ and select your flash drive from the list (make sure the drive is inserted into your PC first). Click ‘Next’ to begin. The process might take a while.
4. Create a partition (part one)
You now need to make a partition on your hard drive to install Windows 8 onto. Before you begin, it’s best to back up all your important files, just in case. Then open up the Start menu and right-click on ‘Computer’ and select ‘Manage’. Select ‘Disk Management’ from the list on the left. Right-click your hard drive at the bottom of the screen and select ‘Shrink volume’.
5. Create a partition (part two)
You’ll need at least 20GB available to install Windows 8, so enter 20,000 in the box labelled ‘Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB’ and click ‘Shrink’. A new unallocated section of 20GB will be displayed. Right-click on this and select ‘New simple volume’. Click ‘Next’ on the next three screens. In ‘Volume label’ type Windows 8, then click ‘Next’ and finally ‘Finish’.
6. Boot from USB flash
You then need to restart your computer. To ensure your PC boots from the USB drive you created, access the BIOS, go to ‘Boot > Boot device priority’ and make sure the USB drive comes before your hard drive. Press [F10] to save and exit, and the Windows 8 install utility should now run. Once Windows 8 Setup has loaded, click ‘Next’, then ‘Install now.’
7. Select the partition to install
When prompted, enter the product code DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J. Continue through the process until you’re asked which type of installation you want. Click ‘Custom: Install Windows only’. In the next window select the partition you created earlier – it should say ‘Windows 8’ – then click ‘Next’ and you’re ready to get started with dual booting.
8. Dual boot
Now you wait for the Windows 8 installation process to complete. Once done, your PC will boot into Windows 8. If you like, enter your Windows Live ID. When you restart your PC, you should be presented with an option to boot into Windows Release Preview or Windows 7. Click ‘Change defaults or choose other options’ to make Windows 7 your default operating system.
If this has helped you, check out our guide on how to install Ice Cream Sandwich on your Samsung Galaxy S2.
on Thursday, July 5th, 2012 at 3:37 pm under Tips & Tricks.
You can subscribe to comments.
You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.
Tags: how to, install, Laptop, Windows 8