Microsoft released a Consumer Preview on Wed, 29 Feb, 2012, it is a free download and everyone can try it. Most of us got very excited to experience the beautiful interface and many other new features of windows 8 as soon as it published. The following is an easy way to dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
There are 3 main steps to carry out Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows 7 dual boot system as below. First, we need to back up the important files and documents in Windows 7 just in case.
- Choose the right version of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
- Prepare a new partition
- Install Windows Consumer Preview.
How to download Windows 8 Consumer Preview Image?
There are two different images on the official download site of Microsoft, 32 bit and 64 bit versions. We can check which one is fit for our computer by clicking "Start", then right click on "Computer" and select "Properties", through the "System Type", we can the Operating System of our computer is either 32 bit or 64 bit.
Create a new partition to store Windows 8 Consumer Preview in Windows 7
We will need to create a new partition and the size of it is at least 20 GB available to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview. There are two ways to create a new partition: Windows 7 built-in Disk Management and free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition, by contrast, is simple and easy to create a new volume. Apart from creating new partition, it still supports to resize partition to adjust the partition size, merge the unallocated space to any partition, split one partition into two or more, and copy partition to backup the information and so on. The below is how to create a new volume with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition in windows 7.
Tip: Free download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Full Version. (File Size: 7.65 MB)
Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview to the new created partition
First we should prepare a DVD or USB Drive （minimum 4GB in size） to sore the image and then download the free "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool" from Microsoft. Open the tool and select the downloaded Windows 8 Consumer Preview image. Then, click "Next" and choose media type: DVD or USB device.
After that we can restart our computer and boot from the DVD or USB drive. When starting the setup, just need to follow the guidance and enter your country and keyboard settings. On the next page, fill out the license key. Then move on to the installation type and choose "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)", select the partition that we created earlier for Windows 8 installation to start the installation. It will take a few minuets, so please wait patiently.
When you boot your computer, you will always get an option to select Windows 7 or Windows 8 Consumer Preview to load.