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Can I downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7

Posted on 2013-06-11
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Last Modified: 2013-06-14
I buying a new laptop and it comes with Windows 8 - can I downgrade it to Windows 7?  I searched online and got mixed responses.

Cheers
A.
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Question by:amacfarl
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9 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Jaroslav Latal
ID: 39239046
Hello amacfarl,
witch version of Windwos 8 do you have (standard or pro)? Is it OEM?

Regards,
Jarda
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 39239047
ONLY if it comes with Windows 8 Pro.  Windows 8 (non-Pro) has no downgrade rights, and you would have to purchase a Windows 7 license to run Windows 7 on that machine.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:aadih
ID: 39239062
Why downgrade?  And go through spending time, hassles, problem issues, etc.

Why not install Classic Shell (http://www.classicshell.net/) and use Windows 8 as Windows 7 (look and feel).

That's is the easiest and the best solution.  <An opinion only, of course >.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:tailoreddigital
ID: 39239083
In addition to aadih,

Classic Shell is free and takes only minutes to figure out if it's the right solution for you.   Switching the OS is whole bunch more work than simply trying Classic Shell.

With Classic Shell you can add a Start Menu and completely customize it.    The Windows 8 Apps are still available in menu within the Start Menu.


I definitely like 7 more than 8, but 8 can be adjusted to function like 7.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:aadih
ID: 39239111
In Classic Shell configuration, click on Windows 8 Settings and check Skip Metro Screen.  This'd boot up your PC directly to the Classic Desktop (Windows 7 like with Start Button).  

Other settings you can work at your leisure.
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

by:
Frosty555 earned 2000 total points
ID: 39239146
There's two important points that you need to be aware of:

From a technical point of view:

1) Laptops which are designed to run Windows 8 may be crippled if you run Windows 7 on them. Many manufacturers may not provide Windows 7 drivers for the laptop. Certain hardware might not work, etc. Your mileage may vary.

SOME laptops are specifically designed to run Windows 7 (e.g. Lenovo Thinkpads), but most of the cheaper, fancy ones (e.g. ones that have ExpressCache, touchscreens, capacitive buttons etc.) are designed solely for Windows 8.

You will have to research your particular model of laptop and doublecheck that the manufacturer provides a comprehensive set of Windows 7 drivers.



From a licensing / financial point of view:

2) If you have Windows 8 Pro, you are allowed to license and install Windows 7 Professional on the computer instead, although the process for doing this is messy: When you install Windows 7 Professional, you'll need to obtain and enter a valid Windows 7 key at installation time (even if that key will fail activation later), and then later you activate over telephone, talk to a Microsoft Rep, explain your downgrade rights, and they'll give you the necessary code to activate Windows manually.

Otherwise, you need to purchase a new key for Windows 7.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:aadih
ID: 39239502
No matter what is popular (and, therefore, agreeable to hear) Windows 8 is better than Windows 7.  Aside from the Metro interface [which is "hated"' so much, even by people who have never used Windows 8  ;-)] Windows 8 is more secure, stable, faster to boot and shutdown, uses less RAM, and works smoothly.  < An opinion only, of course >.
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LVL 2

Author Closing Comment

by:amacfarl
ID: 39247092
thanks all for your help.
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