Installing Windows 7 in Place of Windows 8

Posted on 2012-12-30
Last Modified: 2013-01-01
I needed to install Windows 7 on a new computer that had Windows 8.  I have successfully installed Windows 7, but most of the device drivers, including the network adapters, did not install.  The computer is an HP Pavilion g7-2297nr Notebook.  The HP site showed only Windows 8 drivers.  I could not find Windows 7 drivers on the sites I checked after Googling Windows 7 drivers for that computer.

Any ideas on how I can find Windows 7 device drivers for this computer?
Question by:JayEmEmm
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Stelian Stan
ID: 38731008
You can use "Driver Genius Professional" to detect the missing drivers and install the latest versions.
To identify missing drivers use Unknown Device Identifier

Expert Comment

ID: 38731012
Is the laptop connected to the internet by ethernet cable?
Windows 7 should search and download appropriate drivers itself if they are available.
It is doubtful that all the hardware of this machine is brand new, so there should be drivers available for it somewhere.
Whenever I have installed Windows 7 I just use the drivers that it finds and installs.
Any luck with that?
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38731015
If you can identify each system component, the manufacturer and it's version, you can go to that manufacturer's site and see if Win7 drivers are available.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 38731129
- Windows 7 will likely have many of the drivers, and if you let it run Windows Update (for additional products) it may find others.  
- Windows 8 drivers may also work for Windows 7.
- You can also use Windows 7 drivers from systems using the same devices on which HP does support Windows 7.
- You can get them from the various device manufacturers' websites (Intel, Realtek, Broadcom, etc.).

While I don't believe in using tools such as Driver Genius and Driver Detective - and I have not used Unknown Device Identifier, you can get the ID of the device by going to Device Manager (right-click [My] Computer, Manage), right-clicking the device, Properties, Details tab, change dropdown to Hardware Ids, and get the VEN (vendor) and DEV (device) ID's to assist you.  Sites such as can help point you in the right direction of the device's driver (make/model, etc.).

Author Comment

ID: 38731207
The biggest problem I had is that there were no network drivers, so going on line on that computer was not an option.  Also the device configuration in HP and also from device manager were only generic.  So I could not determine the identity of the devices to get the device manufacturer for their driver.

I was able to sort out the Wireless LAN device by looking at the adapter.  The model label was not a very useful identification in itself, but I found in an online forum an alternate designation for that device that let me find a Windows 7 driver.  So now that that is installed, it will make getting the other drivers easier.

I am still working on this problem, and I will post results later.

Thanks for all inputs so far.
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 38731249
Post the VEN and DEV ID's for any other devices you need.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38731260
To resolve the network driver issue, I suggest disabling the onboard nic in BIOS and adding a Nic to the server that has Win 7 drivers.
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 38731269
tg ... you realize this is a laptop, right?
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 38731440
A bit late to do this now ... but for future reference ==>  whenever you're going to load a system with a different OS than it currently has, FIRST to go Device Manager and make a complete list of the hardware components identified there, along with the VEN and DEV ID strings.      This will make finding necessary drivers FAR easier.

In addition, check the vendor's site to see what drivers they support ... and if they do not have drivers for the OS you plan to install, you may want to search for the drivers BEFORE you wipe the old system and do the install.

Finally, if you're installing "downward" in the Windows chain [e.g. '7 to replace '8; XP to replace Vista;  etc.]; be sure you really need to do this.    In some cases it's necessary for corporate standards reasons;  but if it's just an "I don't like '8" downgrade, you may be much better off looking at something as simply as the $4.99 "Start8" utility (which makes '8 behave very much like '7);  or simply running the alternative OS in a virtual machine.
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

mcsween earned 250 total points
ID: 38731677
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38734472
Have you made any progress?

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38734681
Graycase:  Thanks for your advice.  Good lesson learned here.  I will make that the procedure for future OS changes.<br /><br />Mcsween:  Thanks for the driver references.  I used the Realtek one to get my wired LAN adapter set up.  I had previously found the WiFi and video, and I did not need Bluetooth.  I still had the USB 3.0 controllers to do.  Windows Update did not install them.  After much search I found them as part of the generic AMD chipset drivers on the AMD site.<br /><br />This project started because someone asked me to remove Windows 8 from a new computer and install Windows 7.  I first had to get past the GPT partitioning and create a UEFI bootable disk.  I managed to do that but the device drivers turned out to be a bit harder.<br /><br />I appreciate all the inputs, especially from Graycase and Mcsween, who understood my problem and were helpful in getting the problem solved.

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