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Installing windows 7 on new windows 8 laptop

Posted on 2014-09-23
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Last Modified: 2014-11-15
I own my own copy of windows 7 and would rather put it on new laptop instead of the windows 8 that is installed.  Can this be done with losing or damaging the recovery partition of the new laptop
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Question by:tcands
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adez12 earned 500 total points
ID: 40340498
Yes.  When you get the "Where do you want to install Windows" portion, do not delete the partition where the Recovery data is stored.  Attached is the part where you should stop, and carefully take a look at which partition to NOT delete.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40340524
While it should work, be aware of 2 things:

1. Download ALL drivers for Windows 7 including for sure Chipset and Video and then all the rest.

2. Some new machines do not support going backward, so it may not work.

I use Windows 8.1 and NEVER use Metro, just Desktop Windows 8.1. It is indistinguishable from Windows 7 except that it is faster and ever more secure.
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by:adez12
ID: 40340562
8.1 is very distinguishable from Windows 7.  The most obvious being the how main interface itself looks, the lack of a Start Menu, and how Windows Search works.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40340574
I never use the main interface (no need). Using only Windows 8, I created a full function start menu that lacks nothing (right side instead of right side).My search function in Windows 8 has the same number of items as my Windows 7 machine. I launch in a different way but I get the same results.

So while there are some different details, but I use my Windows 8.1 laptop the same way as my Windows 7 desktop and get the same results.
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by:adez12
ID: 40340590
For an average end user, who doesn't create customized Start buttons like yourself, they will tell you right away that Windows 8.1 is distinguishable from Windows 7, just from looking at it.  

Now tell said end user to hit the Windows key on their keyboard, they'll be launched into a Start Screen [that only exists in Windows 8.1] and is very distinguishable from when hitting the Windows key in Windows 7, where you will get the Start Menu.

So while there are more than just minor differences in the details, Windows 8.1 is a different beast than Windows 7, and both are very distinguishable from each other.

@John Hurst Never use the main screen in Windows 8.1?  How do you open up apps without searching or clicking on tiles?  Desktop shortcut for each and every installed app?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40340600
How do you open up apps without searching or clicking on tiles?  Desktop shortcut for each and every installed app?

No. I have an enormous number of applications. Having a desktop shortcut for each one is simply impossible.

As noted, I have a full function start menu on the right side with ALL my applications.

I have been using Windows 8 / 8.1 for nearly 18 months now and have set up a couple of Windows 8.1 machines for "average" users and they are barely aware they are using Windows 8.1

Now I do understand that Windows 8 is different from Windows 7 is different from Vista is different from XP is different from Windows 2000 is different from Windows 98.  I have all these machines on my Windows 8 laptop and (within normal reason) they all look, feel and function the same.
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by:rindi
ID: 40341014
The first thing you MUST do is to get a USB stick that is just a little larger than the recovery partition is, and dedicate that for factory recovery.

Then open the control panel within windows 8.x, and select "recovey". Now click on "create recovey drive". Then make sure option "Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive" is selected. This create a bootable USB stick with the contents of the recovery partition which you can use for repair and factory restores of your original OS should the HD die.

After that do as thinkpad's already told you, get the drivers and install Windows 7 normally.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40341044
Actually you can do it much more easier. Get a copy of free backup tool: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/
Take a complete backup of your HDD to external USB HDD.
Then format the drive and install fresh Windows 7. Install all programs and drivers. Take another backup to external USB drive. So now you have both Windows 8 and Windows 7 backups.
If you need them - you can restore easily.
By keeping recovery partition you loose only space. And if the HDD inside the laptop dies - there is no way to get that backup out of recovery partition.
And external backups can be cloned to another drive if you want.
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