Installing Windows 8 and 7 to new computer

#1
I just received a new Dell Inspiron 15R-5520 64 bit laptop. I also ordered and received from Dell the Windows 8 OS DVD along with a Drivers DVD. I also own a valid Windows 7 OS with product key. I use Acronis True Image 2013 to backup and restore images of the OS.

I wish to partition my HDD into C: and D: with C: containing OS and Programs and D: containing Data. I have done this for years with all prior OS's up through 7. Now I wish to partition the HDD to accept either Windows 7 or 8. I don't wish to setup as dual boot since I will eventually decide on one or the other. I will create Acronis backups of both so I can switch back and forth easily. The Data partition should remain unchanged.

I've now partitioned the HDD with type MBR partitions and installed Windows 7. It's been backed up. I re-formatted C: and attempted to install Windows 8 to the C: drive. It failed without any clear error message. I'm thinking that it refused to install to a type MBR partition? If so, I need to re-partition the HDD to type GPT and start over. I have the following questions:
1. Does Windows 8 refuse to install to type MBR partitions?
2. If so, how best to convert partitions to GPT?
3. How to install Windows 7 to GPT partitions?​

I'd be grateful for any help
Pete
 


Last edited by a moderator:

Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#2
Windows 8 will install to whichever drive configuration for which you boot into the install, which you do by selecting the UEFI or the Legacy option when you boot the install media. If you go with a UEFI install, it will need GPT. If you boot the install as MBR, it will use that configuration.
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#3
Both Windows 7 and 8 should have no problem installing to MBR partitions. You could install to GPT but only if they are 64 bit operating systems.

Basically there is no reason why you should have to change and the MBR/GPT debate is a bit of a red herring and you need to look elsewhere for the failure of the Win 8 install. Whilst you say it gives no clear error message can you describe in more detail just how and when the failure occurs?
 


#4
Both Windows 7 and 8 should have no problem installing to MBR partitions. You could install to GPT but only if they are 64 bit operating systems.

Basically there is no reason why you should have to change and the MBR/GPT debate is a bit of a red herring and you need to look elsewhere for the failure of the Win 8 install. Whilst you say it gives no clear error message can you describe in more detail just how and when the failure occurs?
Thank Saltgrass and patcooke. I finally succeeded in installing Window 8 to my MBR partitioned HDD. I did it by typing <shift-F10> at the 'Install Now' screen. I entered the following:
diskpart
list
select 0
new gpt
create name....
The last or perhaps the last two commands were not accepted. I then continued with the install and it worked. The only thing that changed from the previous attempt were the above commands. Anyway, the problem is solved, but I don't understand why it worked. I did confirm that the disks are still MBR partitioned. Any idea what made the difference?
Pete
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#5
Difficult to say for sure without seeing the disk state at the time. There seems little doubt that the disk was configured to use MBR and that drive C was set up as a valid partition so I think the most likely explanation is that the original attempts was being made to an invalid partition.
 


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