1) Create the bootable “Recovery” media. Some of the backup utilities provide a choice of creating either a standard / basic bootable media or a WinPE based bootable media. The WinPE media is more compatible with various hardware and USB ports, I usually create both types of recovery media and if one doesn’t recognize you external USB backup drive the WinPE media will.
2) Next an “Initial Baseline” image backup of the entire drive will be created. 3) A second pre-Windows 7 baseline image backup of the entire drive will be created after you have shrunk the Windows 10 (C:) partition is to create space for use when installing Windows 7 or 8.1, this second baseline will be used as a starting point prior to installing Windows 7 or 8.1. 4) A third backup of your dual boot PC will be created after you have installed Windows 7 / 8.1 and associated device drivers but before you have installed the 150 or more Windows Updates. 5) After the backup has completed then install the updates in small groups of 10 or 20 at a time, saving the .NET Framework and IE11 updates for last. If something should go wrong when installing the updates you can start over by restoring just the Windows 7 or 8.1 partition from your previous backup created in step #4. 6) Once all your updates have been installed verify Windows 7 /8.1 is fully functional and then create another backup. 7) Install your applications and you guessed it, create another backup.
Note: For steps 5, 6 and 7 you can save time and external USB drive disk space by just performing a backup of just the Windows 7 or 8.1 partition or if you like a backup of the whole drive. Either type of backup will allow you to restore a partition.
Document backups: Obviously you will continue to use Windows 10 while evaluating Windows 7 or 8.1. This means you will day by day continuously add more data files (Documents, Photos, Music, Etc.) when using either version of Windows. If it’s not practical to create or schedule image backup on a daily basis most of the backup software mentioned above have files and folder backup options, check the user’s guide to see how to implement file and folder backups.
How to dual boot Windows 10 and Windows 7 ----->>> Understanding Disk Drive Partitions and what needs to be backed up ----->>> Image Backup Strategy ----->>> Initial Baseline Image Backup ----->>> How to create space for a Windows 7 partition on your disk drive ----->>> Installing Windows 7 ----->>> Final Image Backup ----->>> How to access the GUI (Graphical Boot Menu) ----->>> Chkdsk always runs on my dual boot computer ----->>>