Load Windows 7 pro on a Windows 8 machine

I have a couple of Dells that came with Windows 8 however one of our critical apps does not run under that OS. I would like to install Windows 7 pro over the Windows 8 install but am running into issues when try to do this. Please help.

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

TG TranIT guyCommented:
You should be specific on the issues that you are facing so people here can get a sense on what you need.

Have you considered dual boot?
Doesn't the application work in compatibility mode?
Install Virtualbox on the Windows 8 system and then install/run your Windows 7 instance as a VM.
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

bjbrownAuthor Commented:
This application access a SQL database, is that an issue in a virtual environment? As for compatibility mode I can only go with what the vendor is saying which is that the program will not run under Windows 8. They had promised a release of the software to fix this issue in December but recanted at the last minute, unfortunately we had already purchased three Dell's from BestBuy which does not offer 7Pro. If I had known I would have gone directly to Dell for the purchase as they still provide a W7 OS.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you are trying to install Windows 7 on the physical drive and not have Windows 8 installed, you need to turn Secure Boot OFF in the BIOS. When you then try to install Windows 7, delete all partitions first.

If you are trying to run both, I definitely recommend a virtualizing product rather than dual boot. You got some options above. I use VMware Workstation for this and have a Windows 7 machine on my Windows 8.1 laptop.

... Thinkpads_User

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
bjbrownAuthor Commented:
Yes, I see some advantages to a VM, I think I'll move in that direction. Thanks.
or you could install Windows 7 on a separate partition, - or dual boot the system
Far more elegant to run a VM allowing you access to both operating systems and your critical app without having to reboot all the time.
Sikhumbuzo NtsadaIT AdministrationCommented:
Windows 8 Pro comes with Hyper-V, install that under program Fetures and you will be able to host your Windows 7 VM.

Of course other software choices mentioned by experts will work just as well, I was making you aware of more options.
bjbrownAuthor Commented:
So I created a VM using Hyper-V but I'm not sure it's going to fit the need if I can't figure out how to make the display fill the entire screen, any ideas on this? I'm to the point where I would like to just blow away W8 all together and load W7 Pro.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
As I noted above, you need to disable Secure Boot in the BIOS and delete all partitions. Then load Windows 7 as you say you need to do.

VMware Workstation allow full screen if you want a way to do this and still retain both systems.

... Thinkpads_User
Sikhumbuzo NtsadaIT AdministrationCommented:
Please see this technet link on how to switch between modes.


You can also look at VMWare player, it should be free as well.
bjbrownAuthor Commented:
This solution best fit my need, thanks.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@bjbrown - Thanks for the update and I was pleased to help.

... Thinkpads_User
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.