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Matt123
Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-30-2014
Location: Malaysia
Views: 1,941
Message 1 of 12

HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7

I got my W540 recently with windows 8.1 pro on it. but as all engineers worst nightmare windows 8 has hard time with engineering softwares (for my case TIA Portal for  PLC programming software which only support windows 7). so i need to have a windows 7. i prefer to keep my windows 8 and have dual boot system with windows 7 added. But i can't install windows 7. initially due to disk type (GPT), then i changed it to MBR without losing my files (which only was possible if i had deleted the recovery partition- now my recovery is on my flash drive). But there are already 4 partitions on the system (1 for C: drive and 3 for recovery and system files which came originally with the product) , how can i install a windows 7? i can't add another partition because that makes my disk a Dynamic disk (which i don't really know what is). all in all, i really need windows 7 on my system ASAP.  If anyone know how to fix this please reply. Thanks guys.

ptolomeo
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Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-28-2014
Location: Spain
Views: 1,928
Message 2 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7

Is having Windows 7 + Windows 8 a requisite because as you complain about Windows 8, maybe you could legaly downgrade it to Windows 7?

I just bought the W540 this week and it came with Windows7Pro and the posibility of upgrading it (for free) to Windows8 (which by the way I don't plan to do in the near future). However, I had other Lenovo alternatives, and the ones that didn't have Windows 7  with the upgrade to Windows 8, had Windows 8 with the legal downgrade option to Windows 7. Probably yours is in the second group.

 

I have Windows 8 in my home computer and due to the problems I faced with it I'm not going to use Window8 in my workhorse, I mean, work computer by the moment.

 

Regards.

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,320
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,906
Message 3 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7

You are limited to four PRIMARY partitions on an MBR disk.

 

But other than the "active" partition (i.e. the small 100MB "system reserved" partition where Boot Manager is placed from doing a cold Windows install on an empty drive, or the 1.4GB equivalent Boot Manager partition that Lenovo provides along with other tools and utilities), all other partitions on the drive can be "logical".  They are not required to be PRIMARY, although Lenovo delivers its partitions that way.  But you can change that.

 

You can have up to 120 LOGICAL partitions on a drive (all of which live inside an originally PRIMARY partition which gets converted to an "extended partition" which houses all of the logical partitions.  So if you have at least one logical partition (and thus have to give up one primary partition in order to build that required "extended partitions"), that means you can have up to three remaining primary partitions and up to 120 logical partitions... all on an MBR disk.  No "dynamic", and no GPT.

 

Yes, that means even the Windows system partition itself (i.e. "C") can be on a LOGICAL partition.  It's only that one "active" partition (where the BIOS goes to find Boot Manager and its menu, and kick off the rest of the system boot process) which truly must be PRIMARY.  That's the only requirement.

 

So, if you want to use MiniTool's Partition Wizard to carve out sufficient free space for your second Windows 7 partition (by shrinking your existing Win8 partition), you can create one or more logical partitions inside that new free space, and do the Win7 install to one of those empty logical partitions.  You can then use a second logical partition in that same free space for "data", if you want.

 

Note that Partition Wizard can even convert one of your existing primary partitions to logical (i.e. convert it to an "extended partition", inside of which will be then be the original primary partition now converted to logical).  You can then shrink or move/resize the partitions on the drive (both primary and logical) however you want, to perhaps make room for additional "logical" partitions inside of that now present "extended partition" which can hold up to 120.  You can even convert ALL of your primary partitions except for the one "active" partition (which MUST BE PRIMARY) to logical partitions, which gives you maximum flexibility in having even more than just two bootable OS's along with one or more data partitions, etc., up to 120 logical partitions... plus the one "active" primary Boot Manager "system reserved" partition which must be kept.

Matt123
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Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-30-2014
Location: Malaysia
Views: 1,885
Message 4 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7

Thank you very much buddy. But c'mon for a 2000 $ Laptop we can expect it to handle at least 2 operating systems. I mean it is not a big deal but i can't understand why this model comes with 4 Primary partitions from factory. makes it impossible to have a second OS with out going through complicated steps.

Matt123
Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-30-2014
Location: Malaysia
Views: 1,879
Message 5 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7

Thank you very much for you reply my friend,

I have changed one of the Lenovo Partitions to logical using this software. then shrank the C: partition to get unallocated space and Create an new partition. but it is not possible. the unallocated space can not be made into a partition. it say " There are no free MBR slots on this disk" . the other 2 Lenovo Partitions is a Active&Boot partition and a nameless one which can not be changed to logical. it can only be deleted. my C: also can not change to Logical. (the option is not open for it).

What shall i do now?

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,320
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,875
Message 6 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7

 

Really need to see a screenshot from DISKMGMT.MSC to see what you did.  Or, just list the partitions as they now stand, so I can understand what your drive looks like.

 

 

All logical partitions must be contiguous (along with any intervening "logical free space" between the allocated logical partitions), since they all must live within the one "extended partition".  You can't have a primary partition in between where you already converted one primary partition to logical (i.e. to the right of the primary partition), and then have unallocated space to the left of that primary partition (from your shrinkage of C) and expect to allocate a second logical partition in that free space for the install of Win7.

 

In other words, all logical space... partitions and free space... must be contiguous.

 

You can use Partition Wizard to move partitions left or right, and to resize as desired.  But you must get free space for your desired logical partition in which you want to install Win7 contiguous with that already existing logical partition you converted from primary... because all the logical space (allocated as logical partitions or logical free space) must be contiguous.

 

Understand?

Matt123
Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-30-2014
Location: Malaysia
Views: 1,840
Message 7 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7

Reading from Disk Management my partitions look like this.

 

WINRE_DRV H: (1000MB) ,   SYSTEM_DRV K: (System, Active) 260 MB  ,  L: 128 MB   ,   Windows8_OS C: 464.4 GB

 

These are the 4 primary partiotions. using the Partition wizard i could only change drive H: and K: to logical. but as you said the active & boot partition must remain primary so it only leaves partition H: (partition L: cannot be changed to logical).

so how shall i proceed to have logical partitions in contiguous form?

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,320
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,825
Message 8 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7


@Matt123 wrote:

Reading from Disk Management my partitions look like this.

 

WINRE_DRV H: (1000MB) ,   SYSTEM_DRV K: (System, Active) 260 MB  ,  L: 128 MB   ,   Windows8_OS C: 464.4 GB

 

These are the 4 primary partiotions. using the Partition wizard i could only change drive H: and K: to logical. but as you said the active & boot partition must remain primary so it only leaves partition H: (partition L: cannot be changed to logical).

so how shall i proceed to have logical partitions in contiguous form?

 


So this is a 500GB drive?  Is it currently MBR, or is it GPT?  What does Partition Wizard say about the drive?

 

I don't know how you got drive letters of H, K and L.  Normally drive letters are assigned sequentially, starting from C for the Windows partition.  Very strange.  Are you reading from DISKMGMT running on Win8??  Or something else?

 

Also, I didn't say that the Windows partition needed to be primary.  It is only the "active" partition (where Boot Manager lives) which MUST be primary.  All other partitions (including a Windows system partition) can be logical.  Or, partitions can be primary on an MBR drive up to a maximum of four primary partitions, or three primary partitions plus one "extended partition" inside of which exist one or more logical partitions.

 

Anyway, I'm guessing the 128MB L partition is the "Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR)", which is relevant for UEFI BIOS and from when the drive was formatted as GPT and is bootable (which yours is).  But it's really just present to guarantee that there is no unallocated freespace on a bootable drive, and doesn't actually contain anything.  As it stands it's small, and of a systems purpose relating to GPT, and has no business getting a drive letter or being considered for any other purpose than what it currently has... unless the drive is no longer formatted as GPT but is now MBR.

 

Most importantly, if we restructure things so that there is still no unallocated freespace on the drive, then we don't need that 128MB L partition.  More on this later.

 

Also, your 260MB K partition (which is now shown as "active") must be where Boot Manager lives.  Again, this is critical and vital, and again is small and with a specific system purpose.  Again, it really should not have a drive letter, but again let's just ignore it for now.  This is the one primary partition which MUST BE RETAINED and cannot be deleted.  However it can be slid left or right without concern.

 

I would guess that your 1GB H partition is the Lenovo "recovery" partition, with the tools and content needed to restore your W540 to "factory" if you needed to.  Again, it's too small to be of any use for the current topic.  Just leave it alone if you ever think you might use it. My own practice is to take "system image" backups to an external USB 3.0 drive as my own "recovery method" (and I never expect to restore to "factory", but rather only possibly restore a "system image" backup say from last weekend, in the event of disaster which justifies such a restore as an extreme measure for recovery of a corrupted or destroyed Windows or upgrade to new hard drive).  So for me, I always delete this "recovery" partition and simply absorb it space into the adjacent partition, but this is up to you.

 

Finally, your 464GB Win8 partition (C) is large and obviously consumes the rest of the drive.  It is only from this partition that you can possibly manufacture space for another partition in which to install Win7.

 

So, given what we now know, here's what I would recommend you do using Partition Wizard (using standalone boot CD burned from ISO) :

 

(1) You don't need L, so delete it.  Thus you now have only 3 primary partitions remaining along with the 128MB of now unallocated space (previously occupied by L).  So your new partition for Win7 can actually now be PRIMARY or LOGICAL.  Up to you, depending on whether or not you want yet another "data" partition as well..

 

(2) Resize C, from 464GB to say 200GB, by sliding its left edge boundary to the right, thus making available 164GB on its left (adjacent to the 128MB of free space from the deleted L). The sum of these two unallocated areas will now appear as one consecutive unallocated space in Partition Wizard.  200GB is actually larger than you probably need for a Win8 partition, especially if you want to create a "data" partition in which case the Win8 partition can be 100Gb or thereabouts.  Up to you.

 

(3) Create a new partition for Win7 in the unallocated space.  As I mentioned above, it can now be PRIMARY if you have no desire to add any additional partitions for "data", since by deleting PRIMARY L and re-sizing things you can create the new partition for Win7 as PRIMARY and still remain within the limit of four primary partitions on the drive.  Or, if you also want to create a fifth "data" partition on the drive, then you need to allocate the new Win7 partition as LOGICAL in this 164GB space.  Even if you don't want to have a fifth "data" partition, you can still create the new Win7 partition as LOGICAL.

 

(4) push APPLY, and Partition Wizard will do it all.

 

 

You also have other options, for example if you have no real need to retain that Lenovo "recovery" partition H.  You can delete it (thus again dropping the count of primary partitions by 1), slide K all the way to the left (thus occupying the space previously occupied by H), still delete L, still resize C by moving its left edge boundary to the right as far as you want (thus ending up with a Win8 C partition of whatever size you want), and now you have the entire "middle" of the drive to create a Win7 partition (either PRIMARY or LOGICAL) as well as a "data" partition (also either PRIMARY or LOGICAL, still remaining within the max limit of four primary partitions).

 

It's all up to you, how large you keep the resized Win8 C, and whether or not you retain H, and whether or not you slide K to the left, and delete L, and then carve up the "middle" of the drive as you see fit to house just a Win7 partition or also to have one or more "data" partitions.  You have complete freedom, although 500GB isn't that large a drive.

 

But you now see how you can delete things and resize things and move thiings.  Note that you can also shrink/resize C to the right as I suggested, delete H and L, slide K to the right (right up against the shrunken C), and then allocate your new Win7 partition starting all the way at the left front of the drive.

 

Or, you can also reverse things... by deleting H and L, sliding K and C all the way to the left, shrink C by sliding its RIGHT EDGE BOUNDARY TO THE LEFT, and thus manufacture unallocated free space at the right side of the drive.  In here you can then allocate your new Win7 partition and also "data" partition(s) if you want.  Just be sure to use up all 100% of the drive in partitions (which shouldn't be a problem), to satisfy the UEFI BIOS.

 

You can do all of this with Partition Wizard booted from that standalone CD.

Matt123
Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-30-2014
Location: Malaysia
Views: 1,803
Message 9 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7

Thank you very much. you are like god in this.

I don't know which method i used but i got rid of H: and merged it to C then i took some unallocated space from C and made two logical partitions in that space and used one for my Win7 and one for data.

Your solution was epic man. it took me about 3-4 hrs because everytime i made changes (merging C and H, and later shrink C and split the unallocated space into 2 logicals) it restarted the Computer and did a lengthy procedure. But it worth it. now i have dual boot capability.

Thank you.

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,320
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,784
Message 10 of 12

Re: HOW TO DUAL BOOT W540 with windows 8.1 / 7


@Matt123 wrote:

 

I don't know which method i used but i got rid of H: and merged it to C then i took some unallocated space from C and made two logical partitions in that space and used one for my Win7 and one for data.

 now i have dual boot capability.

Thank you.


Excellent!!  Glad your persistence and patience paid off, and that in the end you achieved your objective.  And of course it couldn't have been done without the magical and 100% reliable capabilities of Partition Wizard, along with its standalone boot CD for complete functionality.

 

So you didn't touch 128MB primary L (i.e. the MSR partition), but just left that alone?  You only vaporized H and let Partition Wizard "merge" it with C (which is actually at the other end of the drive, so PW really had to move things around from where they originally were)?

 

So are primary K and primary L are now all the way at the extreme left of the drive, followed by your new Win7 and "data" LOGICAL partitions, followed by your primary Win8 partition (which is reduced in size from its original 464GB)?  All 500GB are allocated as I describe?

 

Also, is your drive formatted as MBR or GPT?  What does Partition Wizard show for "type" in each of your partitions?

 

I'd really like to see the final layout.  Can you please one more time enumerate the existing partitions you now have.  Please either just provide written details as before, or perhaps post a screenshot from either DISKMGMT.MSC or from Partition Wizard itself.  If it's a screenshot from DISKMGMT, please spread the columns so that we can see all the text in each cell.

 

And I'm still mystified as to why/how you actually have drive letters (of K and L) for those two small system partitions.  There should NOT be drive letters for them.  You should only have C for Win8 (when booted to Win8), and then probably D and E for your new Win7 and "data" partitions (when booted to Win8), or C for Win7 (when booted to Win7) and then probably D and E for Win8 and "data" partitions (when booted to Win7), or something else of your own creation.

 

Note that in a multi-boot configuration it's always somewhat confusing to figure out how to letter drives, since other than with C (which cannot be changed) you truly have complete authority and capability to change all other drive letters (including for your CD/DVD drive) as you see fit.  To minimize confusion, in my own multi-boot environments I always set my CD/DVD drive to be N... no matter which OS I'm booted to.  And I also always set the other OS partition to be O, no matter which OS I'm booted to.  And I always letter my data partitions (I have multiple) starting from D, no matter which OS I'm booted to.  That way, no matter which OS I'm booted to, C is the "booted operating system", D-x are "data partitions" identically in all OS's, O is always the "other OS partition", and N is always the CD/DVD drive.  YMMV.

 

If you want to change your partition drive letters, use DISKMGMT.MSC and right-click on the partition whose letter you want to change, and then select "change" and follow the dialog.  You may need to temporarily change a drive letter to something else, and then change it back to something else that you really wanted it to be, say if you want to "reverse" the letters on two partitions.  This requires a 3-step process because there is no actual "swap drive letters" function between two partitions.

 

Glad to have helped out.

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