So you don’t like Win 8 – well there is a solution for Win 8 Pro users, you can downgrade to win 7 pro. It’s a little tricky and you’ll need some bits and bobs but you can do it.
1> how “new” your machine is will dictate if there are drivers available to run windows 7. For instance, many of the TOUCH screens have specific drivers for Windows 8 only. Conversely, the Driver and Application compatibility issues is what is causing people to move back to win 7.
2> You will need Windows 8 pro (see below downgrade rights overview) – if you have win8 Standard then you will have to upgrade first before you downgrade (which is not a painful process)
3> this will delete the hard disk *that is you will need to reformat) – also may require to delete the recovery partition 🙁
4> this is NOT an ONLINE upgrade so you will need some things before you start
What will you need:
1> A windows 7 disk – you will need something to install Windows with – you can “find” a copy online somewhere – just burn it to disc – we are not after pirate software here, you will need a legitimate key to get it going, we’re just after the install media.
2> You will also need a Win 7 KEY – any key will do as you will be replacing this once you activate the software – you will be calling Microsoft for a MANUAL activation wherein you will need to supply the Win 8 key.
And obviously BEFORE you start, go to the manufacturer website and download all the drivers you will need – in particular any WIFI drivers or LAN drivers (so you can access the net to update)
SO Lets begin.
Backup all your data onto a separate drive – any documents photos etc will be DESTROYED by this process – remember you are reformating the disk and reinstalling windows.
Please make sure you’ve done Step 0 first!!!
Obtain genuine Windows media and a corresponding product key for the version of Windows that is eligible for downgrade.
- The media should come from a prior legally licensed version from the OEM or retail channels.
- Qualified OEMs have the option to distribute downgrade media and product keys directly to end users, per end user request.
- End users who are licensed separately through Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL) may provide their VL media and key to a system builder to facilitate the downgrade on their own systems.
Insert the Windows 7 media in the CD drive and follow the installation instructions.
Note, if this doesn’t work/Boot then you *may* need to change BIOS setting to disable UEFI and try booting again, Also try changing the BIOS settings for the SATA controller so it will recognise the CD drive – once you can “see” it in the boot options, you should be good to go.
Type the product key – not this is the product key from an EXISTING windows 7 machine, we are trying to get past the install only, not the Activation part – this will come later.
It’s probably a good time to install the Drivers for the network so we can activate the product.
So get the wireless network or LAN up and running.
Once completely installed, If the software was previously activated, you will not be able to activate it online.
In this case, Choose to “Activate by Phone” and the screen will display the appropriate local Activation Support phone number
Call the support number and (press the key for a representative – rather than type the Numbers given) then explain the circumstance that you are downgrading an eligible version of Win 8 pro to Win 7
When it is determined that the end user has an eligible Windows license, the customer service representative will provide a single-use activation code to activate the software. Please note that Microsoft does not provide a full product key in this scenario.
Activate the software.
thats it – now you will need to install/update the software and drivers.
Copy your data back
From Microsoft OEM website – know Downgrade rights overview
Downgrade rights are an end-user right, documented in the Software License Terms that customers accept upon first running Windows software. Thanks to downgrade rights, end users who have acquired a more recent version of the software (such as Windows 8 Pro) can use a prior version of the software (such as Windows 7 Professional) until they are ready to move to the more recent version. Not all products include downgrade rights. But if a product includes downgrade rights, the license terms for that product will indicate which prior versions of the software may be used.
Downgrade rights for Windows software
The following OEM versions of Windows software are eligible for downgrade rights.
Windows 8 Windows 7
Windows 8 Pro includes downgrade rights to:
Windows 7 Professional
Windows Vista Business
Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate include downgrade rights to:
Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate
Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, or Windows XP x64 Edition
Note Other OEM Windows 7 versions (for example, Windows 7 Home Basic and Windows 7 Home Premium) do not include downgrade rights.