Windows 10 Dual Boot and Previous Version of Windows

Well, computers normally have a single operating system installed on them, however, you can dual-boot multiple operating systems. You can also have two (or more) versions of Windows installed side-by-side on the same PC and select between them at boot time as well. We are going to discuss Windows 10 Dual Boot and Previous Version of Windows.

Typically, you guys should install the newer operating system last. Such as, if you want to dual-boot Windows 7 and 10, install Windows 7 and then install Windows 10 second as well. But, this may not always be important— installing Windows 7 after Windows 8 or 8.1 seems to work actually.

The Basics

The process in order to create a dual-boot system is just the same no matter what operating system you are dual-booting with. Here’s what you guys will need to do:

  • Install the First Version of Windows: If you already have a single Windows system installed on your computer, then that’s absolutely fine. If not, then install Windows normally. You may also want to use custom partitioning settings and leave free space available on your hard drive for the second version of Windows as well.
  • Make Room For the Second Version of Windows: You will also need available hard drive space for the next version of Windows. If you have Windows installed, then you can resize the partition. You could also insert a second hard drive into your PC. ( If it is a desktop computer) and then install the second version of Windows to that hard drive.
  • Install the Second Version of Windows: Then, you will install the second version of Windows. Also make sure that you select the “Custom Install” option, not the “Upgrade” option. Install it alongside the previous version of Windows, but in a different partition on the same disk or on a different physical disk.

You will then be able to select which copy of Windows that you want to boot at boot time, and also you can access the files from each and every version of Windows on the other one.

Set Windows 10 Dual Boot System

The dual boot is basically a configuration where you guys can have two or more operating systems installed on your PC. If you would rather not replace your current version of Windows along with saying Windows 10. Then you can set up a dual boot configuration as well. All that is required is the creation of a partition or availability of a spare hard disk ready where you guys can also install it.

The advantages of setting up a dual boot configuration on a physical partition or hard disk versus a Virtual Machine as well. That includes full access to the hardware, which also includes memory, graphics, and input or output performance of the local disk. You also get the ability in order to fully experience all features of the operating system that are not accessible in a virtual environment. The biggest advantage is, you do not lose your other installation of Windows, and also you can reboot into it at any time. It’s really great for a test run or a transition when migrating from an older version of Windows as well.

Create a Partition

We showed you how can you create a simple logical partition in Windows to set up a dual-boot configuration. If you guys are running Windows 8 or later, then tap on Windows key + X > Disk Management. If your system is running Windows XP and also it’s capable, then you are good to go. As the partitioning tools in Windows XP are really primitive. Well, I personally use a third-party solution called the Easeus Partition Master Home Edition. It is a free download and is really easy to use, in addition to being non-destructive. Easeus, I also found out that is great if you have problems creating partitions in Windows Vista or later as well.

  • After you guys have it installed, then choose Go to the main screen.
  • Then choose the drive you need to resize in the partition window.
  • Choose the amount of disk space to install Windows 10. Well, in the above screenshot, I have allocated 30 GB of disk space.

windows 10 dual boot

  • Tap on the Apply for the changes you just made and then complete the verification messages that follow.

Your computer will then restart a few times and changes will be made to the partition layout. Then this process is hands-free, so no interaction is needed.

windows 10 dual boot

Dynamic Volume Error Message

“The Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space actually. This partition basically contains one or more dynamic volumes that are not supported for installation as well”

You guys have to be really careful what you are doing if you come across this error message. I also encountered this error last year and when I was setting up partitions in anticipation of the Windows 10 as well. Then I tried both shrinking an existing partition and was using a third party partitioning tool. I also give it a try and it made the system not able to boot. Luckily, I had a system picture.

The issue is basically with the partitioning scheme of the drive. If you are using a PC where the manufacturer has many partitions. Such as:

  • C: Local Disk
  • E: Recovery
  • F: Tools
  • H: System
  • G: Other partition

Further | windows 10 dual boot

Well, one of these partitions will have to be sacrificed in order to facilitate shrinking Local Disk C:\. There Windows is installed to create a logical volume along with enough disk space to accommodate Windows 10.

However, as long as you do not sacrifice System, Local Disk (C:\), and Recovery. Then you should be able to shrink Drive C: and also create enough space to dual boot. Let’s have an example:

I have a partition layout that shows five separate partitions (that why the manufacturer HP did this? I don’t know). Well, also one of these partitions turned out to be unnecessary, and in this case, the Tools partition that turns out to be blank. As long as you do not disturb the system partition, Local disk, and also recovery partitions, everything should be ok actually.

Right-tap the Tools partition and tap on Delete Volume.

Note: This might be different on your system so you have to make sure you observe carefully what you are doing.

The volume will now show as Unallocated. The next step is to unite that unallocated free space along with the partition to the left of it. Right-tap the volume and then tap on the ‘Extend Volume’ option on the contextual menu. Tap ‘Yes’ whenever the warning appears.

A wizard will then start and guide you through the steps to merge back the unallocated space with your system partition. The wizard gives a simple procedure in order to merge the unallocated space. When you have selected the space, tap on Next, at the end of the wizard, then you will see the amount allocated.

You can then go ahead and also shrink C:\ Local disk in order to create enough space for your Windows 10 installation.

Choose Your Edition of Windows 10

If you guys are using Windows 10 32-bit, you can then allocate 16 GB or 20 GB. Or if you using the 64-bit version actually. Another factor is disk space for applications, page files, drivers, accumulation of data over time as well. So make sure that you consider these factors as well. Well, I personally recommend you to go with a minimum of 60 to 100 GB of space for Windows 10 testing actually.

Download the Windows 10 RTM ISO Media from Microsoft | windows 10 dual boot

If you would like to evaluate Windows 10, then you can also download a free 90-day trial copy here.

Please keep in mind that you won’t be able to migrate from the trial version of Windows 10 Enterprise to a commercial edition. Such as Windows 10 Home or Pro as well. If you already have ISO media for those editions, then you can use it.

For UEFI Based Systems

If your PC is UEFI based, then these are normally systems that basically come preloaded along with Windows 8 or later. You will have to prepare the ISO file for such a configuration or else you will receive an error message during the setup. The thumb drive actually needs to be formatted as FAT32 and use the GPT partitioning scheme. In order o do this, you need to use Rufus, a really small tool you can download for free as well.

After you guys have installed Rufus:

  • Open it
  • Choose the ISO Image
  • Then point to the Windows 10 ISO file
  • Check off and Create a bootable disk using
  • Choose GPT partitioning for EUFI firmware as the Partition scheme
  • Select FAT32 NOT NTFS as the File system
  • Also, make sure your USB thumb drive in the Device list box
  • Then tap on Start

windows 10 dual boot

Start the Installation | windows 10 dual boot

The following describes the normal way to start the installation. Especially if you guys are dual booting a 64-bit version of Windows 10 alongside a 32-bit version of Windows. However, another way is to start the installation from within a running version of Windows. And then choose the partition where you would want to install Windows 10. Have a look below for further instructions on how to do so.

  • Tap here for instructions on how you can load your BIOS options to boot from a DVD or thumb drive.
  • Whenever you arrive at this screen, tap on Custom installs Windows only (advanced).
  • Choose the partition click Next and then wait while Windows installs.

start the installation

Begin the Installation from Within a Running Version Windows

Note: this will only work for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 actually.

Well, if you guys run the normal setup routine from within a running version of Windows. Windows 10 setup does not actually give an option to perform a custom install. An instant workaround for this is to open the classic setup routine. After inserting your Windows 10 installation media, you have to browse it:

First, open the Sources folder. Then double-tap the Setup.exe fileThere are actually multiple files listed with the setup in the name, so make sure to select the one with the only setup. Then go through the installation process as well.

Whenever you have finally set up Windows 10 on your system, each and every time you start your computer. You will be given the option in order to select which operating system you would like to Start.


Alright, folks, I hope you like this “windows 10 dual boot” article and understand now. If you have any issues and queries related to it, just comment down and let us know.

Keep Smiling!

Also See: What is Microsoft Visio Used for and What Is It?

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