Dual-booting Windows 8 and 7

I have a laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed.  I want to keep Windows 8, but put it on it's own little partition and install Windows 7 on another partition.  I can only boot from my USB (containing Windows 7 installer) when I'm in legacy BIOS mode and not UEFI.  But when I'm in legacy, I can't install it to a GPT partition.  And I can't boot to the USB from UEFI so I can install on a GPT partition.  I hope this makes sense.

Anyways, has anybody else dual-booted Windows 7 alongside a pre-installed Windows 8 installation?  Any help would be appreciated.  I've been Googling this and trying different things for several hours and I'm going nuts!  Thanks in advance for any replies.

Not that helpful unfortunately, but I've read that with Win8 you can boot virtual machines as if native to that device. I'm sure that requires a fully configured x64 system and likely the windows virtual machine software to go with it, but they made it sound as if you basically had a snapshot of say Win8 or Win7 and actually booted from it. It only sort of makes sense to me right now, but that's likely because I haven't messed with Win8 since beta. So...I would perhaps look into the virtual machine side of Win8 and see where that gets you as that's likely the path and 'possibly' could be done without resorting to partitioning(?).

Also, have you tried disabling (if the option exists) the secure boot function in the UEFI? That might enable the USB without being in a compatibility mode.

Here is what i know,

To install windows 7, you have to go into the bios and disable safe boot, then save the changes and restart.

next (make sure to disable fastboot or this will not work) it will give you a code and ask you to reinter it to change the boot option.

After that you can use your USB key amd boot the 7 installer.

Be VERY VERY VERY Careful when doing this as the UEFI Win8 partion will show as a unfomated disk, if you erase this your fucked. 

This should do it, then you can install a boot loader and choose your os every time it starts up

I've done both of these, but it won't boot to the USB.  I can boot to the USB if I switch it to legacy BIOS but my USB doesn't even appear if it's set to UEFI.  But when I use legacy BIOS and go to install Windows 7, it says I can't install on any of my partitions because they are GPT partitions.

Ah, I figured it'd be something like this. I didn't think they'd be able to exist on the same partition. I haven't tested it, but my once-over felt good/sound.

I've done this same thing before. Its a complete bitch. The ONLY way I was able to get it to work for me was I had to COMPLETLY format and wipe ALL traces of windows 8 and make the drive completly blank then install windows 7 FIRST then reinstall windows 8 second. Don't worry about not having the keycode the computer came with. When I did this windows 8 reactivated on its own. It seems that the new computers have the keycode written into the bios or stored somewhere within its hardware.

If you're worried about it, make the system image discs for windows 8 before wiping everything just in case it doesn't reactivate on its own. I'm like 99.99% sure that the new computers have their keycode stored on the board somehow and that windows 8 will grab the code on its own.

If you did a "Drive Backup" yes, but restoring that would wipe the Whole drive. Now if you have something to shrink/resize the Win8 Partition and then did a "Partition Backup" for the existing partitions and made sure that your new Win7 partition was Exactly the same as the space you just freed up, then it's probably going to work upon restoring, but that sounds...a tad tricky. I haven't used Norton in a while so not sure there.

As for the OEM ver of Win8 and the Key, I believe you are correct in that it is litterally stored in the BIOS. If not the BIOS, then it recognizes that you haven't changed the hardware (as opposed to putting it on a like model system).

Okay before you wipe your harddrive what are your reasonfor moving back to windows 7? is it solely the UI? in that case you should get Start is Back. this will fix your windows 8 pc and make it like windows 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqUAg3cQxQo     If your still wanting to install windows 7 i would recommend installing ubuntu via usb drive. this will let you repartition the harddrive and you can vm windows 7 with out much of a proformence hit. and you will still beable to dual boot windows 8 (you wont beable to game in a vm (128mb of video ram)

Alright I got it.  It took me all day, but I got them to cooperate.  Had to backup 8, install 7, install 7 again on another partition, and writer over the second Windows 7 installation with Windows 8.  Then, my Windows 8 wouldn't reactivate.  Every time I tried to activate, it said access denied.  So I called Microsoft and they did a remote desktop session with me, and even they couldn't get around the access denied crap.  So they gave me another Windows 8 product key and I downloaded Windows 8 again.  Now everything works!

Here's why I wanted 7: In Windows 8, the wireless just randomly drops out or stops working or says "limited connection."  It happens all the time.  And YES, I DID UPDATE ALL THE DRIVERS.  Also, there are some things I like about the UI in 8 (as much as I hate to admit it), but some of the other stuff drives me crazy.