Microsoft had released the latest beta edition of Windows 8 which has been named as “Windows 8 Consumer Preview“, and has been made available to be downloaded by the public for free. Microsoft has reported that this latest beta release of Windows 8 has been thoroughly tested and everything looks to be working fine, but as we know It may also contain any bug or error, and may damage your computer. So, it is not recommended for you to directly get upgraded to this latest beta edition of Windows 8 from your currently installed operating system, you may face any error in the installation process and your computer’s hard drive may get damaged. So, chances are there that you may loose you important data stored in any of your computer’s hard drive partitions.The dual booting it with your existing operating system would be the best choice, since it won’t damage your PC and you can easily try it out without uninstalling your currently installed operating system. In order to make it possible, you will need to follow the steps mention below:
1. Download the ISO image file of Windows 8 Consumer Preview . I recommend you to read this post: Windows 8– Direct Download Links
2. Create an extra partition for it which must have at least 20 GB storage capability. Although, Microsoft officially recommends us to create a new partition with at least 20 GB of storage capability, but I would always recommend you to have a greater size for that new partition, let’s say 25 GB!
3. Mount the ISO image of Windows 8 Consumer Preview to a USB Drive or DVD. But to be able to install OS from USB or DVD you must have to make it bootable. For this purpose you can use “Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool” which will let you copy the installation files from the ISO image to the USB Drive or DVD, and will make it bootable too.
4. Once the setup files gets copied to the USB Device or DVD right from the ISO image and becomes bootable too, you are now ready to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview along with your existing version of Microsoft Windows.
5. Now lug your USB or put your DVD in DVD drive and Restart the computer. After restarting your system will ask to press any key to boot from USB or DVD Drive. Press any key or Just enter key now.
6. Just after that, you will get a screen asking you to choose your language, time format and input method. Just select the desired options and click on the “Next” button. Right after that, you will be asked to accept the terms and conditions of Microsoft, so just accept them up and proceed to the next step.
7. You will get two installation options – choose whether you want to get upgraded to Windows 8 Consumer Preview from your existing version of Windows, or implement a custom installation. In order to dual boot, you will need to choose the second option i.e. a custom installation process.
8. Once you have chosen to follow a custom installation process, you will then asked to choose the partition where you want to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Just select the new partition which you have created.
9. After that, the installation process will start off right away and should be completed with a few minutes. Once it gets installed into the partition properly, your computer will be restarted and you will be prompted to set up your personalized user account and a few other essential settings. As soon as you have completed all the mentioned procedures and have successfully set up a user account, you computer will again be restarted. You are done, just remove the USB Drive or eject the DVD which contains the setup files.
10. Right from this moment, you will be asked to select which operating system you want to use – the old operating system or the newly installed – Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Just select any of them depending on which operating system you want to initiate, and enjoy having two operating system installed on the same PC at the same time!
Have gr8 day!