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Downgrading 8.1 to 7?

By mooney12
Dec 12, 2014
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  1. Hi, I bought a laptop with Windows 8 a year ago and its just horrible I hate it. So I'm thinking of buying a Windows 7 disc instead. Is there any restrictions on downgrading and is there special instructions so I don't brick my laptop and waste 100$?
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    There are some risks, but mostly you should be ok. Just check :
    (a) the hardware does have Win 7 drivers (Win 7 was still sold until a short while ago, so that should be the case. Check with the manufacturers website for Win 7 drivers set.
    (b) Win 7 installation media is still obtainable. From a short while ago, definitely not from MS, but stocks may still be obtainable elsewhere.
    (c) A recent laptop with Win 8 will very probably have secure boot, and you should be very sure before you start that you understand how to get round the many problems that will bring, starting from enabling a boot from removable media. http://windowssecrets.com/newsletter/how-to-solve-uefi-boot-and-startup-problems/ is a very full help. It might turn out you need to free register with windows secrets to view this, or even offer a small sum for 'paid access'. If that happens, take my word for it - well worth it.
    nickc likes this.
  3. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,540   +242

    It’s likely you are going to struggle with the installation of Windows 7. Windows 8 haters have largely got used to it or modified the OS to a form that suits them. I recommend firstly that you move to Windows 8.1 which is to be found waiting inside the Windows store. It’s a large but free download and installation will take some time. Next, let Windows update fully update the OS.

    There is plenty of third party software to set up Windows as you would like it to be. Just Google for start menu installation software. There are free options and paid for options. I like Startisback which costs a couple of pounds after a free trial. The result is a faster and more secure version of Windows than you would get with Windows 7. It will be far less risky than downgrading to Windows 7 which isn't going to be cheap either.

    Be aware that Windows 10 will be launching next year and is already in beta testing. You could miss out on a free or very cheap offer to upgrade from Windows 8.1.
    gbhall likes this.
  4. mooney12

    mooney12 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 88

    Thanks for the feedback guys, I have classic shell installed so it gives me a start button and not that screwy apps screen, I think ill just stick with 8. and thats a very good point, windows 10 coming out soon so yeah, probably worth it to stick to 8

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