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Windows 7 on Dell Venue 11 tablet

Posted on 2014-12-11
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Dell Venue 11 tablet

I need to install Windows 7 on this tablet. It currently has win 8. how do I make that happen?
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Question by:dlewis61
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by:garycase
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ID: 40495097
It's not clear that you can.     First, confirm whether or not you can boot from an external DVD drive connected via the USB port.     If so, you MAY be able to install '7, but that depends on whether the 8.1 OS that's pre-installed is on the hard drive or embedded on a chip.

I assume it's on the hard drive, so if you can boot from USB you should be able to boot a '7 install DVD and load the OS.    But then you'll have a potential drivers issue, as the only drivers Dell provides on their site for this are for 8.1

Assuming you need Windows 7, and not just a 7-like GUI (which you could easily do with Start8 for $5), then I'd load '7 in a virtual machine using the free VMware Player.     The Atom used in this model has hardware virtualization support, so a '7 VM should run reasonably well.    You could run it full screen and it would be nearly transparent that you weren't running it natively.
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by:marsilies
marsilies earned 333 total points
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Windows 8.1 is really ideal for a Tablet. Windows 7 and earlier weren't really optimized for a touch interface.

That said, user saniko on this thread reported success dual-booting Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on a Venue 11:
http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/anybody-wipe-windows-8-1-and-install-win-7-on-venue-11-yet.60318/#post-371068

he mentions following the dual-boot instructions from this site, but I'm not sure exactly which ones:
http://pagestart.com/dualbootkorner.html
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by:garycase
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The key thing in that article is that the 8.1 drivers on Dell's site work fine with Windows 7.

Given that, installing Windows 7 should be VERY simple -- just attach an external DVD drive and boot to the '7 install DVD.    I'd have all of the drivers pre-downloaded and saved on a USB flash stick so you're ready to update the install when it's done ... then you'll be off to the races ...
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by:dlewis61
ID: 40496012
My group only supports win 7..... so my bosses want win 7. Yeah I know.....that's why I have to put win 7 on there
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by:marsilies
ID: 40496173
Do you have any additional questions about the installation method?

I'd suggest making a backup of the factory image to a USB drive in case you ever want to use Windows 8.1 on the Venue 11 in the future using the Dell Backup and Recovery Manager. See section 7.1 "Dell Recovery Media", page 26 in the manual here:
http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/dell-bckup-and-recvry-mangr-v1.3/manuals

Also, see this guide for "Manual installation through a USB flash drive" of the OS. You'll need a free Dell account in order to access the guide:
http://www.dell.com/support/Article/ae/en/aedhs1/635828/en/
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by:dlewis61
ID: 40496473
How do I remove the current installation of win 8?
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marsilies earned 333 total points
ID: 40496648
You can basically just install Windows 7 over it, as a "custom" install. That should wipe out the Windows 8 install.

You can also repartition the drive from the Windows 7 installer to wipe out both Windows 8 and the recovery partition:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/52291-partition-hard-drive-windows-7-install.html
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