Please note this article references a pre-release version of Windows 8, but the same principles apply to the final release of Windows 8.
Users of Microsoft’s 10 year old desktop operating system Windows XP might be interested in what comes next. With the free availability of the Windows 8 consumer preview, this is an opportunity to try it out and see if it might be something you will be willing to upgrade to. Of course, if you want to test it out, the best way to do it is by installing it on a partition. This will allow both Windows XP and Windows 8 CP to co-exist on the same computer. Also, you need to make sure your system meets the minimum requirements to run Windows 8. See below:
Windows 8 Consumer Preview system requirements:
- 1 GHz or faster processor
- 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
One new element to Windows 8 is the requirement that Metro style applications have a minimum of 1024×768 screen resolution, and 1366×768 for the snap feature. If you attempt to launch a Metro style app with less than this resolution (e.g. 800×600, 1024×600) you will receive an error message.
Creating the partition
If your system is capable, then you are good to go. Before we do that though, we need to set aside some disk space for Windows 8, because the partitioning tools in Windows XP are quite primitive, I personally use Easeus Partition Manager to setup the partition. It’s a free download and is very easy to use, in addition to being non-destructive.
So, the first thing you need to do is download Easeus at the following link
Easeus Partition Master Home Edition – http://download.cnet.com/Easeus-Partition-Manager-Home-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html
Proceed to install Ease us:
Click Next, follow the easy on screen instructions.
When the installation is complete, click Finish
Click Go to main screen
Select the drive you want to resize in the partition window
Drag the knob until you have a desired amount of disk space to install Windows 8, then release it. In the above screenshot I have allocated 19 GBs of disk space.
Click apply to apply the changes you just made.
Your computer will restart a few times and changes will be made to the partition layout, this process is hands free, so no interaction is required.
Installing Windows 8
After the partition is created, you will be booted to the Windows XP desktop. You cannot do a custom install of Windows 8 from within Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. You will have to boot from the Windows 8 DVD. If you are using the Web Installer, make sure you use the option to create a bootable Windows 8 DVD using the .ISO file or bootable thumb drive.
After inserting the Windows 8 disc, restart your computer and boot from the DVD.
To learn how to change your BIOS options to boot from the DVD drive, see the following tutorial:
Once your computer is set to boot from the DVD, you should see this option.
The Windows 8 logo will appear on screen, this might be here for a while, as long as your see the indicater, everything should be ok.
You should now arrive at this screen, select your time and currency format then click Next.
Click Install Now
Wait while setup starts up
Enter your product key when prompted. The product key should have been available to you when you downloaded the .ISO file for Windows 8. Click Next
You will need to use the prodcuct key listed on the ISO Download Page here
Accept the End User License agreement and click Next
Click Custom install Windows only (advanced)
Select the partition you created for it then click Next. You have the option of Formatting the drive and creating additional partition’s if you wish. Click Drive Options.
Wait while Windows 8 installs. Installation time can vary depending on the speed of your disk, processor and the amount of installed memory.
After the installation is complete, click Restart now or wait on Windows 8 to do it.
Windows 8 will boot for the first time, a series of action will take place such as:
- Setup is updating your registry
Windows 8 will prompt you to choose the operating system you want to boot into. Select Windows 8 of course, since we are not finished configuring it.
Additional task to complete include:
- Getting devices ready
Additional task to complete include:
- Getting system ready
- Restarting PC
After the restart is complete, you will see the following screen:
Click Windows 8 to enter the Out of box experience. The OOBE will allow you to configure Windows 8 with a user name, setup a Microsoft Account and personalize your Windows Experience.
Out of Box Experience
Select your Windows color
Click Use express settings
Setup an account name and password then click Finish
Wait while your settings are finalized.
logging into Windows 8 for the first time.
You are now running Windows 8.
When you want to boot into Windows XP, click ‘Earlier version of Windows’ on the boot manager.
If you plan on using Windows XP more often than Windows 8, you can let Windows XP be the default option everytime you boot Windows, this will avoid the need to restart Windows 8 when you click on the option above. The reason why this occurs is because the new boot manager is actually a fully booted Windows 8 environment. To change this option, do the following:
In Windows 8, open More Settings
To do this, go to the start screen
Start typing: view Advanced System Settings
Click view Advanced System Settings
Under Advance tab > Start up and Recovery, click Settings
Under System Startup, click in the Default Operating System: list box
Select Earlier versions of Windows
Change the ‘Time to display list of operating systems’ to 90 seconds
Everytime you shutdown and boot up select ‘Earlier version of Windows’ and you will be booted into Windows XP directly.