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Downgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 7

Posted on 2013-11-19
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I am downgrading my Dell laptop from Win8 (which came preinstalled) to Win 7. I purchased a copy of Windows 7 from NewEgg.com but the packaging states "Intended for system builders ONLY ... If the individual software license is for a desktop operating system ... it also must be preinstalled on the hard drive ... using the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK)."

Since I'm not a system builder and am downgrading an existing installation, can I use this installation disk? I don't want to open the package and make it unreturnable if it turns out I can't use it.
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Question by:dgmoore1
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Expert Comment

by:Infamus
ID: 39661025
Technically, it is meant to sold with system and OS bundle.

You can install it but I would recommend returning it and get a full version.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39661070
dgmoore1 --
You can downgrade only from Win 8 Pro to Win 7 Pro .

If this is not the case, read no further.
 Except maybe the very last line.

Here are two detailed tutorial on downgrading.  
http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/windows/3459580/roll-back-windows-7-from-windows-8/
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417359,00.asp

Also you need to download drivers, and save your personal data, etc.  The instructions are in the above links.

More on downgrading using an OEM Win 7 disk.
http://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/downgrade_rights.aspx

As always MS is a bit indefinite whether the installation media for Win 7 can be OEM.  It may be that you can use the Product key from Win 8 Pro.
Did the OEM Win 7 come with a Product Key of its own?

You can see it is not easy to downgrade.  (MS probably does not want you to do it.)  
It probably would be much easier to install Win 7 on another partition or hard drive (if you have two).

Or buy another PC with Win 7 installed.  Staples has one in their ad this week.
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Author Comment

by:dgmoore1
ID: 39661119
What about formatting the hard drive and starting from scratch?
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Infamus earned 500 total points
ID: 39661120
I was thinking more of a fresh install than downgrading it.

It is always better to install it fresh from the scratch.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dgmoore1
ID: 39661131
I think this is my best bet. I have no data saved, and no s/w installed other than free Avira anitvirus, so I don't have anything to lose.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39661179
dgmoore1--
I am not sure that is going to work.  You have not consider the B IOS and other issues mentioned in my post.  
If it were that simple we would have lots of references suggesting a simple format and installation of Win 7..

Let us know if you are successful.


Remember "Or buy another PC with Win 7 installed.  Staples has one in their ad this week."

And just for my knowledge do you have Win 8 Pro and was the Win 7 disk also for Pro?
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Author Comment

by:dgmoore1
ID: 39662289
I've decided to take it to a local computer service and let them figure it out. This is a good company with knowledgeable techs. I'm way past wanting to spend my time dealing with this. I'll report back here with the results.
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