Win8 Pro upgrade with hidden partitions

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Win8 Pro upgrade with hidden partitions

Postby rustleg » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:51 am

I'm tempted to buy a Windows 8 Pro upgrade at the special price until 31 January, so as to become familiar with it as eventually I'll need to fix problems in it for other people. My laptop originally had Vista on it but I bought a retail Win7 and deleted the Vista. I also multiboot a couple of Linuxes on it and I will most likely prefer Win7 as my main Windows edition for the forseeable future. So I'm thinking of restoring the original Vista into a separate OS partition with the other OS's hidden (not limiting primaries) so as upgrade it to Win8 Pro. This should give me legitimate multiboot access to both Win7 and Win8.

Has anyone else done a Win8 upgrade in a BIBM situation? If so what are the gotchas I need to know? For example will it want to format the whole drive?

Any tips would be gratefully received.
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Re: Win8 Pro upgrade with hidden partitions

Postby davewilk » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:59 am

Well, I have just done almost exactly that on two desktop computers which previously had only Windows 7. On each machine I used BIBM to create a new partition and install a sacrificial version of Vista to it (I had two Vista licenses that I never used). Then I upgraded each of them from Vista to Windows 8, leaving the Windows 7 partition alone. Both machines have two internal disks, a "boot disk" containing the BIBM, Win7 and Vista/Win8 partitions, and a data disk that is shared.

On one machine it went very smoothly; after the Win8 install I was able to reinstate BIBM and boot into either Win7 or Win8. But on the other I had (am still having...) a lot of problems. However, I think they are all due to the fact that my two disks are connected to the motherboard in the "wrong" order, so that the data disk appears as HD0 and the boot disk as HD1. But presumably on a laptop you do not have two hard drives.

The $40 upgrade price is very tempting. I have already bought and used three copies (the third one is on a tablet), and I may buy one more, though I do not have any immediate use for it.

Make sure you take note of the Win8 corruption notice at the top of this forum. After installing Win8, do not boot into Win7 until you have disabled the Fast Start feature in Win8.
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Re: Win8 Pro upgrade with hidden partitions

Postby rustleg » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:18 am

Great response, thanks Dave. Yes I do have 2 drives in the laptop and like you I use HD0 for systems and HD1 for data - data on a FAT32 file system so I can use Linux systems also. I expect W8 won't have any problems using FAT32 although I'd expect it to whinge about wanting NTFS.

I did spot the TB article about disabling fast start, thanks for the reminder.

My desktop PC only has one retail Win7, no other Windows OS. I don't want to sacrifice that. I had a quick look on Ebay and I could buy a cheap new XP pro OEM (with a bit of useless hardware) and use that to upgrade from on my desktop - tempting, as I'd rather have it on the desktop. I've got an SSD and a couple of other hard drives on this, and in Linux the SSD (I use as HD0) seems to be labelled as sdc implying it's the third drive that the system sees. So I'd be interested in what you find out about the issue of the order of appearance of drives in your difficult PC.

.... mulling over the Ebay purchase ....
Russell
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Re: Win8 Pro upgrade with hidden partitions

Postby davewilk » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:08 am

rustleg wrote:
> .... So I'd be interested in what you find out about the issue of
> the order of appearance of drives in your difficult PC.

Well, what I did was hide the "data" drive in the BIOS to force my "boot" drive to be HD0. But this was just so I could upgrade BING to BIBM before I started. For the OS install, I'm not sure it would be necessary.

But somehow I messed up the installation of Vista/Win8 on this second machine, because when I reinstated BIBM then Win8 would not boot (Win7 would). So I hesitate to advise you any further...

See my thread "Upgrade BING to BIBM" for the ongoing saga.

What you want to do is certainly possible, because I did it on my first machine.
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Re: Win8 Pro upgrade with hidden partitions

Postby rustleg » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:42 pm

I bought 2 Win8 Pro upgrades and one Ebay new XP CD with COA.

I installed and activated XP on my desktop then immediately upgraded. I rescued Vista from an old system image (in IMG format) on my laptop and upgraded. Both are activated and working fine. I also have (retail) Win7 on each machine, the two will never meet:)

Some points that others might find useful.

To buy Win8 Pro 64 bit I ran the Win 8 Upgrade Assistant from my Windows 7 system but then downloaded an iso and burnt a DVD since I didn't want to upgrade Win7. If I'd ran it from XP it would have delivered me a 32 bit version (don't know why MS don't give you an option).

I had XP installed in a partition large enough to take Win8 and had this partition in the boot edit partitions before booting the DVD. Choosing "Advanced Install" allows you to specify the installation partition. The installer allows you to format the partition at this point, so I did that since I didn't want anything carrying over from the XP install. The installer has already recognised that you have a legitimate version of Windows to upgrade from so when you finish the install it immediately activates with no problem.

When I installed on the laptop I forgot to delete the Vista partition at the same point and I ended up with a folder "Windows.old" which contained the Vista stuff (about 9GB) which I deleted. But the C drive was still a couple of GB larger than the one on my desktop, so I redid the install over the first Win8 install (this time not forgetting to format the partition to be installed in, which at that time had the first newly installed Win8 on). It still activated immediately and the resulting C drive was down to about the same size as the desktop version.

I phoned to ask them if I could just buy the Product Key for the second install since I already had the DVD, but this wasn't possible. However, although I didn't, I suspect that I could just have aborted the download as the Product Key is sent on the purchase confirmation email.

If you read the licence it says you can transfer the software to another PC you own, so it appears to upgrade an OEM OS into a retail OS.
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