Windows 8.1 Pro Install?



Does Windows 8.1 Pro setup allow one to select where to install Windows like WinXP does? Also can it be installed to dual boot with WinXP? Previously I ran Win98 and WinXP dual boot with Win98 on the primary partition of the first hard drive (drive C) and with WinXP on the primary partition of second hard drive (drive D). In this configuration WinXP placed boot.ini and other boot files on the C drive. Can I keep this configuration and select another partition to install 8.1 Pro, or will I need to do some repartitioning to setup WinXP/8.1 Pro dual boot.


You should be able to choose which partition Windows 8.1 installs to.

Windows 8.1 should detect XP and install its own boot manager with an entry for XP.

But if things don’t always go as intended, EasyBCD should be able to fix it.


What size drive/partition should Window 8.1 Pro be installed on? According to Microsoft requirements are 16GB (32 bit) or 20GB (64 bit), bit I find Google search results showing 60GB or more space taken up by Windows 8.1 Pro. I like to have approximately half the drive space used by the OS leaving room for growth over time as apps and updates are added. WinXP took only about 6GB when first installed but has grown to 20GB over years of use even though disk cleanup and defrag are run frequently. What size drive are Windows 8.1 users here using for their 8.1 systems? Also Microsoft says 1GB memory required, but a friend’s laptop came with 4GB memory. My system currently has 2BG, and I would like to know if memory needs to be added and if so, how much to add.


My Win8.1 drive is a 256GB SSD, but if I were you I would make your OS partition at least 100GB.

Memory: Win8.1 will run on 2GB of RAM, but I’d expect it to be a bit sluggish. 4GB would be the minimum IMO, but you’ll need to check how much RAM your system can support. To address more than about 3.2GB of RAM will also require the 64bit version of Win8.1


Does “To address more than about 3.2GB of RAM will also require the 64bit version of Win8.1” mean just 3.2GB would be seen if I install 32 bit version with 4GB of RAM sticks? I plan to install 32GB version on 1 system that doesn’t have UEFI BIOS and 64GB version on another that has UEFI BIOS.


Yes, a 32-bit operating system will only be able to utilise about 3.2GB of memory no matter how much is installed.

A 32-bit operating system can only directly address values up to 2^32. In decimal this is 4,294,967,296, which through no coincidence at all is the number of bytes in 4 binary gigabytes. This gives us the limit of 4GB of memory which can be addressed. (Certain exotic 32-bit server hardware & operating system combinations could utilise >4GB of RAM by addressing the extra memory indirectly.)

But the RAM on your motherboard isn’t the only memory in the computer. So other things, such as the memory on your graphics card, need to be taken into account and deducted from the 4GB total (which is why [B]Dee[/B] can only give an approximate figure).

So if you wish to use 32GB & 64GB of RAM you must check if your motherboards support that much (and if there are any limitations on the type & configuration of the RAM when using such a large amount, which are specific to each model of motherboard), and you need to use the 64-bit version of Windows.

UEFI vs BIOS is not a factor. If one motherboard happens to support more RAM than the other, it is for other reasons.


Both motherboards support more than 4GB memory, but the non UEFI board is older and probably more likely to have driver support in 32 bit software versions I believe. Am I wrong in that assumption?


64-bit Windows has been a mainstream fact of life since Vista arrived 8 years ago. I would be astonished if any reputable mainstream manufacturer has produced a motherboard which can support 32GB of ram, but no drivers for 64-bit Windows.

But why assume when its so easy to check the manufacturer’s web site?

In any case, most of the drivers required will probably be included with Windows or available from Windows Update. And there are unlikely to be any drivers required which are written by the motherboard manufacturer themselves. The drivers for extra HDD controllers, onboard sound etc. will normally come from whoever made the chip.


Checked to find the PC I thought might do better with 32 bit Win8.1Pro installed supports up to 32GB RAM. Also for the newer PC on which I installed Win8.1Pro yesterday Windows automatically installed drivers including laser printer connected by LTP1 port. All Windows installs I’ve done before up through WinXP required install of drivers from disk that came with motherboard. The only hardware that doesn’t work for this recent install is a PATA PCI adapter which came with drivers only up to Vista that I use to connect PATA DVD burner in WinXP.