Clean install of Windows 8 on a multi-boot computer

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Installation' started by eldiener, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. eldiener

    eldiener Senior Member

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    I have 3 hard disks of 2 TB each with plenty of space for partitions. I run a multi-boot manager with a number of Windows OSs including Windows Vista and Windows 7, along with a number of Linux distros.

    I would like to install Windows 8 in its own partition, not upgrade Windows 7. I am willing to pay the extra money to by Windows 8 Pro. I have a number of questions about installing Windows 8:

    1) Can Windows 8 be installed on any of my 3 hard drives, as opposed to just the first hard drive ?
    2) Can Windows 8 be installed on a non-primary MBR partition ?
    3) Can Windows 8 be installed on a GPT partition ?
    4) Will a Windows 8 clean install wipe out the rest of the hard disk on which I install it ( I have heard rumors of this ) ?

    I am trying to make the installation of Windows 8 as painless as possible without affecting the other OSs I already have installed and without Windows 8 interacting with any of the other OSs in any way. I can unplug two of my hard drives as necessary, clear out my third hard drive, install Windows 8 on that third hard drive, and then plug in my other two hard drives if necessary and attempt to multi-boot into Windows 8, but i am hoping this will not be necessary.
     
  2. alebcay

    alebcay New Member

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    The answers to your questions are:

    1) Depends. If you do "Upgrade" installation, you can only install to the partition with existing Windows. Otherwise, you're free to choose.

    2) Yes. Windows can be installed to both primary and logical partitions.

    3) Depends. If your computer is BIOS-based, then no. If your computer is UEFI-based, then yes.

    4) AFAIK, no Windows setup has ever erased the ENTIRE hard disk on which it is installed. It should only affect the partition on which Windows is going to be installed. Despite this, you might want to back up your data in case something unarranged does happen.
     
  3. Medico

    Medico Senior Member

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    As alluded to in the last post, you need to use the Win 8 Pro Full Install, OEM edition to allow you to keep all your qualifying OSs. The Upgrade Media, even when using a custom install from DVD, requires that you replace a qualifying OS (Win XP, Win Vista or Win 7) with Win 8. The replaced OS cannot be used until Win 8 is removed.
     
  4. eldiener

    eldiener Senior Member

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    Thanks ! It is particularly great to know that I can install a full copy of Windows 8 to a logical partition on an MBR drive, without worrying that the installation will affect in any way the other primary and logical partitions of that drive.
     
  5. eldiener

    eldiener Senior Member

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    Thanks, I intend to get the Win 8 Pro Full Install.

    But just as a conjecture, though it may be deemed illegal, I find it hard to believe that Microsoft could technically stop me from copying Windows 7 to another partition and installing a Windows 8 upgrade on top of the copy. This would theoretically allow me to run both Windows 7 ( from the original ) and Windows 8 on the same multi-boot computer depending on which OS I booted to at any given time.
     
  6. Medico

    Medico Senior Member

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    The qualifying license is deactivated when Win 8 is installed over it. What I did was to create an Image of Win 7 just before I installed Win 8 Pro. This way in the very unlikely chance that I decided to go back, I can just restore the Image. I might have to call MS to reactivate it, but in that case I would need to remove Win 8.
     
  7. eldiener

    eldiener Senior Member

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    So even if the qualifying license for the copy is deactivated if Win 8 is installed over it, I could still run my original of Win 8 where the qualifying license would be fine. Or are you telling me that Win 8 reports the license number periodically to a Microsoft database somewhere on a server and, if it has been deactivated in the server's database, refuses to run ?
     
  8. alebcay

    alebcay New Member

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    That sounds correct, at least for some Windows machines. Some Windows 8 computers are activated via a process called KMS, where the computer checks with Microsoft periodically to ensure that the license is valid.
     
  9. Medico

    Medico Senior Member

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    MS OSs have been known recently (Win 7) to run the genuine advantage tool to check just that. If your OS is not activated you will be informed of that.
     

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