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What's involved with replacing Win 8 with Win 7?


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#1 brian2009

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:51 AM

The more I read about Win 8 the more I'm thinking about going with Win 7 on my desktop.

 

I would hate to lose my Win 8 'investment' as I might want to use it at some future point in time. I bought the Win 8 dvd and installed it on a newly built desktop. I don't use that particular computer very much at all and haven't installed much of anything on it yet so starting fresh isn't a real hassle

 

I suppose an ideal scenario would be to have a dual boot 7 and 8...but I'm reading that you can't install Win 7 onto a computer with Win 8 already installed. (Maybe there are workarounds?) I have tons of space left on the 1T hard drive.

 

If I can't figure out how to add the 7 onto the 8 as a dual boot could I do a clean sweep of the HD and install Win 7 first and then add Win 8 as a dual boot? I've never purchased an OS separately before so I'm not sure if there would be a license or an activation issue when I would (re)install the Win 8 again onto a computer already having Win 7.

 

I really don't know much about dual-booting a computer but it certainly sounds like a cool thing to have. Especially with Win 8 being so iffy for many of it's users, like me. Is it a pain to use or upkeep dual booters once it's done?

 

Also. If I end up installing only Win 7 on it will my Win 8 DVD be useable again at some future time? If it can be used later with no problems I could probably get by with just the Win 7 on the computer. 8 doesn't seem to offer me much that I can't live without.

 

Thanks.


Edited by brian2009, 26 November 2013 - 05:18 AM.


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#2 ironpenguin

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:05 AM

Yeah, as far as i know you would have to uninstall 8 then install 7 then install 8. Could be workarounds, but i dont know them.

 

You shouldnt run into issues installing 7 first then 8 as a dual boot, at worst you might run into an irritating little part of windows claiming your 8 key is already in use. This typically is fixed within one automated phone call activation. I ran into this specifically last time i had to reformat my HDD, only a minor issue.

 

It is pretty easy to use a system with a secondary OS, going with 7 as the main OS and 8 as a secondary basically means that unless you tell your computer to, its still going to boot into 7. Typically during startup you press a key (varies from BIOs to BIOs.) to open a menu to let you select where to boot from. Ive personally got my system set up with a vista drive and a secondary drive with ubuntu. The only special upkeep is waiting for ubuntu to finish updating when i want to use it given that i typically dont use it often (And subsequently it develops a backlog of updates)

 

It should be usable, however, it can vary a bit.

Basically, normal copies of windows are linked to you. Stays with you. But if you got a system builder version then that means its linked to the computer itself. Not really meant for personal use so much as it is for people who build computers and sell them. This causes issues if you want to upgrade the motherboard in that you cant without obtaining another copy. Regardless, your copy of 8 can be used on this specific build so long as you dont swap out the motherboard (At that point its considered a new computer.), regardless of if it is OEM or retail. 5 minutes into the future or 5 years.



#3 Kilroy

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 10:49 AM

I'll give you another option, since this is a desktop.  You could purchase another hard drive and install Windows 7 to that drive.  I HIGHLY recommend disconnecting all drives, other than the Windows 7 drive and the drive you will be using to install Windows 7.  That will prevent you from "accidentally" writing to the wrong drive.  After you have WIndows 7 installed reconned your drives.  Use your BIOS to select your boot drive.  Set the drive you want to use as your primary OS as your boot drive.  When you want to change to the other drive you can change it in the BIOS or possibly select it with the BIOS boot menu by pressing a key during boot.



#4 brian2009

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for the ideas.

 

It's very helpful to see any options I can choose from in order to get this accomplished.



#5 drwmbt

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:18 AM

yes a complete hard disk format would be the best case scenario. What i would do first is if you have an OEM pc go to the manufacturers website and try to obtain as many drivers as you can for Windows 7 for your hardware, if you built the PC yourself, check the hardware manufacturer's website for their windows 7 driver.

 

If you find that you cannot obtain many key hardware drivers for windows 7 you may not be able to downgrade, usually this is not the case though, as windows 7 has many drivers. (this was the case when Vista came out, many wanted to downgrade to XP  only to find that no drivers existed for their hardware)



#6 dc3

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:32 AM

The motherboard should have come with a disc containing the drivers for it and should be pretty much all you need.  The plug and play devices will have native drivers assigned.  This will leave things like drivers for a printer and a graphics card, not much more.

 

You might consider using a program like Darik's Boot and Nuke to wipe the hdd to provide you with a fresh hdd to work with.


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#7 dc3

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:34 AM

I'll give you another option, since this is a desktop.  You could purchase another hard drive and install Windows 7 to that drive. 

 

This would require accessing the BIOS and changing the boot order every time they want to change to the other operating system.  It will get tired very quickly.


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#8 synergy513

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 12:05 PM

there are shell apps to make win8 UI like win7. win8 gets nice reviews for memory management among other things but gets quite a few jeers for the interface.. this topic shows up from time to time and i have read about it quite a few times.

 

 last i heard win8.1 is somewhat retro.


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#9 brian2009

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:16 PM

Well, the project is still in the planning stages. My newest gripe about Win 8 is that it you can only upgrade it to Win 8.1 by downloading a 3.2GB upgrade, pretty much an impossible task with dial-up.

 

It appears that the most recent version of Win 7 you can get is SP1, which was some time ago. So, keeping either OS will be a pain...but given the way Win 8 has been going with their update procedures Win 7 seems more and more desirable.

 

Makes me think I should have just bought a desktop replacement notebook instead of building the desktop. No wonder the desktop market is suffering in sales.






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