install Windows 8 on a new SSD drive


Senior Member
I just bought a SSD drive that I'd like to install Windows 8.1 on. I probably need to set the PC to boot to DVD and select this drive as the drive to install the system to. I am currently on Windows XP which I still would like to keep. So how can I install Windows 8 wihtout losing my old system? My mainboard is Asus Sabertooth X58 and the SSD is Kingston SSDNow V300. I read that I may not be able to use full speed because the chip set is old. Is that the case for you?

Thanks for the information,



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
If you want to have a dual boot install, the normal way is to set the SSD and second priority and let the install use the active partition on the XP drive for the boot files. A Legacy install (non-UEFI) will put the boot files on the primary drive, then install the OS where you tell it to.

If you wanted to install Windows 8.1 on a drive as an self-contained install, where you would not need the XP drive to boot, you would set the SSD as the primary drive in the bios. Then it would install the additional System Reserved partition which holds its boot files and Recovery Files, followed by the OS partition. Installing this way will require special steps to put the two OSes in a Dual Boot configuration or you can change the priority of the drives in the bios and the system will boot to the first active partition it comes to, which would be the Windows 8.1 or XP, as you so choose.

The SSD need you to have your system set to use the AHCI SATA controller to get the most from it. Is XP currently installed using that controller or IDE?


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Asus Sabertooth X58
I'd go the multiboot option for an 8.1 – xp system because xp has issues with ssd drives and 8.1 won't want to share its file structure… if you decide to go this way, then the procedure I'd use is;

1. Connect the ssd drive and temp disconnect all the other hdd… this will force 8.1 to use only the ssd.

2. Install 8.1 on the ssd… you probably will detect the ssd and shouldn't need a legacy install but the driver page is

3. After install, shut the system down and reconnect the other hdd again and set 1st boot up device to the kings-ssd ie 8.1.

4. Boot to 8.1 and open disk manager ([windows key] +[x] then press [k]) and tell it to not assign drive letter to the xp drive.

5. Shut down 8.1 and press [f12] during boot to select the xp drive… tell xp not to assign a drive letter to any of the ssd partitions.

This should make the two builds independent of each other as long as the motherboard doesn't try to be helpful and track install files… I've never owned a x58 so can't comment except to say it's not all that old a board so I'd be surprised to encounter major issues with it.

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