Windows 10: how to install Win 7 on a laptop running Win 10 Home (dual boot)
how to install Win 7 on a laptop running Win 10 Home (dual boot)
I have a i5 laptop running on Win 10 Home where, for work reasons, Windows 7 Ultimate has to be installed (preferably on a vhd). Win 7 Ultimate will be the main OS, while Win 10 will remain in case the laptop needs to be sent back to the factory for repair.
We have a desktop pc where Win 7 Ultimate and Win 10 Pro are both installed on a vhd file, with the dual boot setup performed via the great tool EasyBCD 2.3. However, Win 10 Pro was added after installing Win 7 Ultimate.
Since I am not very familiar with Win 10, I am not sure how to proceed on the laptop.
Can anyone please provide some guidance on the steps to follow?
Please let me know if you need more information from my side.
Many thanks in advance!
Flight Team Leader
The installed OS should have nothing to do with factory repairs if it breaks. Your OEM has warranted the hardware, not the software. MS owns the software and you own the license to use that software. (You do not own the software, MS does)
Are you maybe confusing a vhd with a VM? Or maybe with a dual boot partition? EasyBCD deals with partitions, not VMs or vhd's. If you have a valid license (Retail or transferable) for your Win 7 OS, it's simple to allocate part of the HDD/SSD to another partition and install the Win 7 there. The Win 7 from your desktop will not activate with a valid license on the laptop....they are 2 different machines with 2 different MAC ids. OEM licenses cannot be transferred to another machine. Hope I'm not totally confusing you. Could you explain a little more where you are getting the Win 7 you want to install on the laptop?
Here is a similar guide - but only do the steps that actually apply. I don't see any reason you couldn't create the VHD file in your normal Windows 10 partition.
Boot to VHD (Native Boot): Add a Virtual Hard Disk to the Boot Menu
I would do the following steps on the laptop:
4.4 - I would use bcdboot v:\windows /d /addlast as the command, though.
many thanks for your prompt response. Sorry to contradict you but EasyBCD does support booting from vhd (as long as the windows version used allows to boot from a vhd - like Win 7 Ultimate). Please find below a screenshot taken from EasyBCD website showing the boot from vhd file feature:
In our company, each desktop contains several (between 5 and 10) Win 7 Ultimate vhd files: some for developing tasks, some for testing tasks, some for demos, some for administrative/financial tasks. Every time the desktop pc starts, the user can choose at the boot screen which vhd to use for their task. Each vhd file is about 30 Gbytes in size therefore we can quickly replace corrupted vhd within few minutes.
This setup has allowed us to implement a flexible desk policy, where every employee can sit at a different desk every day and still be able to do their job. We have no separate rooms and you can find a developer sitting next to an hr admin or an accountant next to a tester. I realize it may appear a bit crazy but everyone knows everyone and the company morale is very high since we started this approach.
Coming back to my initial question:
We want to keep the current Win 10 Home installation on the laptop because the laptop is a low-cost model made by a german company and we are not sure whether they provide all the drivers for Windows 7. The laptop arrived with no cds and no documentation (recover partition is available though) so before uninstalling completely Win 10, we want to be sure that Win 7 will work fine on the laptop.
Currently the laptop contains a SATA HDD but it is possible to add a M.2 SSD.
Again thanks in advance for your help!
So, I just created a .vhd file on my desktop computer. I initialized the virtual disk but did not format it, so it is a disk showing as unallocated space. I am in the process of using MiniTool Partition Wizard Free to copy a Windows 7 partition to the VHD. Copying will be done in about 10 minutes. Then I will run the bcdboot command to add it to the boot menu and will let you know what happens!
Flight Team Leader
No problem. I rarely use EasyBCD or deal with a corporate environment like you are describing. Navy probably has the right track for you. Sorry to mislead. TC
many thanks for your help! How did your test go?
I could get the vhd file added to the boot menu using both the bcdboot command and EasyBCD, and the vhd file would load but I couldn't get it to boot. I think you have to actually install Windows to the vhd file in a VM environment and get it to boot that way first, then you can add it to the boot menu. @Kari is the expert on this stuff.
Finnish but not finished
As the OP has Windows 10 Home, meaning it's not possible to use Hyper-V to create the VM and install Windows 7 on VHD, the easiest way would be to simply boot the computer with Windows 7 install media and install 7 on VHD instead of HDD.
This tutorial on our sister site Seven Forums, although already a bit old, is still valid and shows how to do it: Virtual Hard Drive VHD File - Create and Start with at Boot - Windows 7 Help Forums
Thanks @Kari, I knew you would come to the rescue!
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