Monday 26 September 2011

Download and Install Windows 8 on a New Partition [Tutorial]

Some time back Microsoft had released the demo video for its upcoming OS Windows 8. Windows 8 is supposed to be single OS for all the devices – from touch screen based tablets to desktop computers. The final version of Windows 8 is expected to be released by some time next year only. However, Microsoft has released the Windows 8 developer preview which is intended for the developers and not end users. Its a pre-beta version of Windows 8 which is still being developed and tested. However, the developer community can have a glimpse at this new windows 8 interface and its functional features in this pre-beta version. It may not be an easy task to download and install Windows 8 developer preview as it may involve some technicalities. Hence, it should not be performed by the end users who don’t have the basic knowledge about the installation of Windows OS. I have, however, tried to make the process of installation quite simpler and step by step.

Challenges to Install Windows 8 on New Partition

Please keep the following points in mind before you perform the installation of Windows 8 developer preview.
  • Since, Windows 8 is not yet fully developed and tested, it should not be installed on any production machine. It should be installed only on some spare non-critical computer so as you don’t lose any of your data in case your system crashes.
  • It should be either installed on a separate hard drive altogether if one is available. Otherwise, on an existing running windows (Vista or Windows 7) computer, it should be preferably installed on a separate partition. However, installing Windows 8 on a separate partition of an existing running windows computer may not be that easy and should be done with utmost care. Objective of this post is to guide the users on step by step instructions to perform this windows 8 installation on a Windows 7 or Vista computer.
  • Please note, you will not be able to uninstall the Windows 8 developer preview once installed. To revert to earlier OS, you should have a restore or installation CDs/media.

Download Windows 8 Developer Preview (Pre-beta version)

Click here to download the Windows 8 Developer preview from Microsoft’s site.
Windows 8 developer preview is available for both – 32-bit and 64-bit PC. The size of 32-bit Windows 8 developer preview is around 2.8 GB whereas that of 64-bit is around 4.8 GB.

System Requirement to Install Windows 8

The system configuration requirement for Windows 8 is same as that of Windows 7 or Vista.
  • Processor speed should be 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster. It can be 32-bit or 64-bit.
  • RAM required is 1GB for 32-bit and 2 GB for 64-bit.
  • Minimum 16 GB of empty hard disk space for 32-bit and 20 GB for a 64-bit PC.
  • Screen resolution should be 1024 x 768 or higher.
  • Screen should support multi-touch.
  • DirectX 9 graphics card.
Below section describes about the step by step instructions on how to install windows 8 on a new partition.

Install Windows 8 on New Partition of Windows 7 or Vista

You can install the Windows 8 on a new partition of your existing Windows (Vista or Windows 7) computer as per below mentioned steps.
  • First of all, download the requires Windows 8 ISO file from the download link provided above. Burn it to a Disc (DVD) or a USB flash drive. If you are using Windows 7, then it can be done using Windows Disc Image burner software which is available on Microsoft site.
  • Within your Windows 7 or Vista computer, open the control panel.
  • Open the Administrative Tools screen.
  • Double-click Computer Management.
  • Click  Storage –> Disk Management on the left sidebar.
  • Now, you should be able to see your current hard drive which must already be split into two – System Reserved volume and primary c:\ volume.
  • Since, we need to create a separate new partition to install Windows 8, right-click C:\ volume and click “Shrink Volume” option. Reduce the size of the current volume by at least 16 GB (for 32-bit windows 8 installation) or 20 GB (for 64-bit windows 8 installation).
  • You will now be able to see a new unallocated volume next to C:\ volume. Right-click on this and select New Simple Volume option. Keep clicking Next until you reach the screen for assigning volume names or drive letters.
  • Assign a new drive letter to this newly created volume and click Next once again to give this a new name as well.
  • Click Next and then Finish to quick-format this and create an NTFS partition.
  • Now, Re-boot your PC.
  • While booting up, go to BIOS settings screen by clicking Delete or any other key specified for this.
  • Within BIOS setup menu, change the boot order so as PC should boot from the optical drive rather than the primary hard drive. Save, Exit and Restart the computer. Ensure the Windows 8 media (DVD) which we created initially above should be there in the drive.
  • Computer should start booting up from the Windows 8 DVD. Proceed with installing Windows 8 on to newly created partition which should be easily identifiable using the given drive letter.
Hope, above process of downloading and installing Windows 8 Developer preview will be quite helpful to you. Do share your feedback about this tutorial on installing windows 8 on a new partition of an existing Windows 7 or Vista.