Dual-boot Win8/Win7 Environment

My 256 Gb (nominal) Samsung SSD arrived yesterday. It didn’t take long to install. But it did take a while to get Windows 8 RTM and my development environment set up. In short, the culprit turned out to be USB 3.0 on my Gigabyte motherboard. Once it was disabled, everything worked fine.

Prior to the install, my current setup was Windows 7 running on a 500Gb RAID1. I was a little nervous about impacting this, since it’s my bread-and-butter workstation. But changing over to either AHCI¬†or RAID/IDE had no adverse affects. The reason I needed to get Windows 8 running on bare metal instead of inside a VM was so I could use Hyper-V. Without it, the Windows Phone 8 emulator can’t run.

Booting up from my Windows 8 installer DVD went fine and installation was basically without problems. I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of my two monitors displayed the classic Desktop and the other the Start Screen. This is perfect for development. I dutifully installed Visual Studio 2012 and then the Windows Phone 8 SDK. After that, I enabled Hyper-V and was prompted to restart.

That’s when the machine hung on the loverly new Windows 8 logo. I did a hard restart and Windows 8 ran a diagnostic (quicker than any version of Windows ever has) and prompted me to revert to the last working version of the system. That got me back into Windows. However, I lost my installs of Visual Studio and the SDK. I got them started on re-installing.

Meanwhile, I did some research into the issue with Hyper-V and discovered that with certain Gigabyte motherboards (mine is the GA-P55-USB3) the USB 3.0 driver is the problem. I went into BIOS after enabling Hyper-V again and disabled USB 3.0. I really don’t need it and won’t miss it. After that, everything is working, including the Windows Phone 8 emulator. I’m going to need to boot into Windows 8 to develop for the Windows Store and Windows Phone 8 for a couple months. But that’s fine since I tend to set aside dedicated blocks of time for that. I expect in a couple months I’ll find some time to migrate my current Win7 system over to Windows 8 (after creating either a Ghost backup or a disk2vhd image).