We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

How to: dual-boot Windows 7

If you're yearning to try the new Windows 7 beta everyone's talking about but don't have a spare machine lying around, fear not: you can install it in a small corner of your primary PC, without interfering with any of your day-to-day operations.

The secret: creating a new drive partition where the beta can take up residence. Lifehacker has a step-by-step guide that shows you how to do this, so I won't regurgitate the steps here.

See also:

Windows 7 review

Windows 7 news

Windows 7 forum

I will say that I tried this over the weekend and it worked like a charm. Ironically, it's easiest for Windows Vista users, as that OS has built-in drive-partitioning tools. (And you thought it brought nothing new to the table.) But you can do it in Windows XP as well, provided you leverage a freeware partitioning program.

After you're done with the install, you'll be able to boot to your original Windows partition or the new one containing Windows 7. Truly, this is an ideal way to take the beta for a spin. And when you're done tinkering (or the licence expires next August, whichever comes first), you can easily remove the partition to reclaim the drive space.

PCWorld.com

IDG UK Sites

The best iPhone 6 alternatives: Price and specs compared with the best smartphones

IDG UK Sites

The top 10 Apple products ranked by pixel density: Which Apple devices have the sharpest screens?

IDG UK Sites

SBTRKT's Look Away webcam-based interactive music video won't keep your gaze

IDG UK Sites

Retina MacBook Air release date rumours and specs: Gold 12in Retina MacBook Air almost 1cm thinner...