Install Windows 7 in Dual Boot Configuration After Installing Windows 10

Yes, I went with the flow and upgraded all my systems to Windows 10. In the beginning it felt good, but as time has passed, I have come to realize that some of the work related software does not work well in Windows 10 as much as it used to work in Windows 7. The same is true for hardware that I had bought a couple of years ago. For example, my good old Canon printer that has been working without any problems in Windows 7 shows some glitches in Windows 10 even after using the driver software meant for Windows 10. So I decided to make one of my computer a dual-boot computer that can boot both into Windows 10 and Windows 7. It turned out that nothing can be easier than installing Windows 7 in dual boot configuration after installing Windows 10.

Note: This method was tested on a hard disk partitioned using the MBR style partitions. If your disk has GPT style partitions, then it may not work. But there is no harm in trying.

First of all, you have to create a partition to be used for installing Windows 7. You can use MiniTool Partition Wizard free edition to use some space from existing partitions and create a new partition for Windows 7. This can be done using the partition-split function in Partition Wizard. You have to create an extended/logical partition having at least 30 GB space for optimal performance.

If you are installing 32-bit Windows 7 after installing 64-bit or 32-bit Windows 10 (OR if you are installing 64-bit Windows after installing 64-bit Windows 10), then all you have to do is insert the Windows 7 installation DVD/USB disk and launch the setup right from inside Windows 10. Follow the on-screen instructions, choose the newly created partition for installing Windows 7 and it will install Windows 7 in dual boot configuration automatically. Your PC will reboot multiple times during the installation and Windows 7 will be set as your default boot OS.

Windows 7 and Windows 10 Dual Boot

If you are installing 64-bit Windows 7 after installing 32-bit Windows 10, then you cannot run the setup from within Windows 10. You will have to boot from the Windows 7 installation media and follow the installation instructions from there. Be careful during the installation and choose the  newly created partition for installing Windows 7. In the end, you would have dual boot Windows PC with choice of booting into Windows 7 or Windows 10.

Windows 7 and Windows 10 Dual Boot

You can configure the dual boot menu that is displayed at the boot later from within Windows 7 or Windows 10. For this you have to open the system properties (Win+Pause), click on Advanced System Settings and then click on the Settings button for Startup and Recovery. From the window that opens up, you can choose the default OS (Windows 7 or Windows 10) and the time to display the boot menu (by default it is 30 seconds).

Windows 7 and Windows 10 Dual Boot

Conclusion: Installing Windows 7 after installing Windows 10 in the dual boot configuration is as easy as attaching the Windows 7 install media into your PC. In less than 30 minutes, you will have Windows 10 and Windows 7 both available at the boot menu in your PC.

11 thoughts on “Install Windows 7 in Dual Boot Configuration After Installing Windows 10

  1. I have used MiniTool Partition Wizard free edition to create a extended/logical partititon but there is no such option (Grayed out) , and it is impossible to create Extended logical partition over GPT I ‘m sure if you clean install Windows 10 you can understand why it is impossible , Sorry but wrong info

  2. I have used x64 Windows 7 ultimate and I have tried to install Windows 7 to D partition – no luck , after that I have created a VHD file and tried to install Windows 7 in it no luck too , bu extended logical partition did not tried , I will try it

  3. wrong information , I’m sure you did not tried it , You can not install Windows 7 over Windows 10 , (because of the GPT partititon problem) I have tried many times , but you can install Windows 10 over windows 7 ,

    1. Actually I installed Windows 7 from inside Windows 10. It worked in first try. This is why I wrote this article. I used Windows 7 SP1 32-bit Ultimate Edition DVD for installing in Windows 10 32-bit Professional.

      1. How does this process work with putting the new Win 7 onto a different HDD (say D:) when Win 10 is installed on the C: drive?

        1. First partition hard disk and create two or more partitions on it using the MBR partition style. Do not use GPT partition style. Then fresh install Windows 10 on C:. Run Windows 7 setup from within Windows 10 and install it on D:.

          1. Thanks…however Win10 already on C: in GPT partitions. No problem with setting up D: as multi-partition MBR but does the existing Win 10 need to be cleared and reinstalled on MBR partitions before starting on the Win7 installation?

          2. I have personally done using all MBR partitions. Some friends told me that if Win 10 is on GPT then it fails to work. I think it has something to do with UEFI configuration, but you can always experiment. It wont take much time creating MBR partition for Win 7 🙂

          3. Thanks again…will try it and let you know the result…won’t be for a week or two…Christmas/New Year commitments…

          4. Tried it but didn’t work…the UEFI stuff was the problem rather than the disc partition setup. There are probably ways around that (turn it off and all that) but the whole thing is not critical. I have a much older, non UEFI, secondary PC running a triple boot Win7/Vista/XP system and will just continue using that for the stuff that Win10 can’t/won’t do (which isn’t much). The dual boot on the new Win10 was a bit of a nice-to-have-if-it-was really-easy option…never know ’til you try! Thanks for the help.

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