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Downgrade windows 8 to windows 7?

  1. Dec 29, 2012 #1
    I was recently bought a dell 15R inspiron laptop for Christmas, which came pre-loaded with windows 8. I CAN NOT use this operating system (I wrote a list of reasons why, but my post got lost - just please accept I don't want this).

    My previous laptop broke. I can't afford a new one, nor can I afford to buy a windows 7 installation disk. I would like to - if possible - just downgrade windows 8 to windows 7 so I can get on with my life... if I have to use windows 8 I will just give this laptop back and do without a computer.

    Does anyone know if this is possible? I haven't called Dell support yet - I'm avoiding that at all costs - but I may have to. Maybe someone has been in a similar situation though and can give me some info or share useful resources. Also, I'm not totally opposed to installing linux, but I'm very worried that it would become a huge headache, especially because there's weird features on this latop such as blue-tooth and other crap that I can't imagine is going to work with linux...

    Any help is appreciated, I'm really feeling so discouraged right now.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2012 #2
    You'll have to obtain a Windows 7 installation disk (probably by buying it); it's extremely unlikely that Dell will give you a free copy. Or, you know, you could install Ubuntu and avoid these Windows headaches forever.
     
  4. Dec 29, 2012 #3

    russ_watters

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    Heh - my sister and I bought my parents a computer for Christmas. I looked hard to get them one with Windows 7, so I feel your pain.

    Sorry, but there is no such thing as "downgrading". You have to install Windows 7 from scratch.
     
  5. Dec 29, 2012 #4
    Actually there is, I'm just not entirely sure how to do it and how it works, but I think it may only be for windows 8 pro. Here's a link though.

    http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/downgrade_rights.aspx#fbid=YeUbhLildHa

    Like I said I'm not opposed to that, but I'm worried that there's going to be a ton of driver issues because of the stupid Dell hardware, and I don't know how to fix those kinds of issues if they occur. Also, I don't know much about the various Linux distributions and how to choose between them.
     
  6. Dec 29, 2012 #5

    rcgldr

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    Isn't there some means to switch the Windows 8 desktop to look like Windows 7? Is there some specific issue with Windows 8, other than the desktop, that is bothering you?

    Then again, I'm still using Windows XP because I haven't found a backup app that lets me do a verify and/or selective restore. (with XP, a file / folder copy from another instance of XP on a dual boot system will work for backup / verify / restore).
     
  7. Dec 29, 2012 #6
    The new interface and this whole "metro" concept is a big part of it, but I'm also having issues like IE constantly freezing, apps not working at all etc... I guess adding to the frustration is I have fellowship applications due soon, and I can't deal with all of this at once (I'm borrowing my girlfriend's laptop to write all this... thank God for her).

    Plus, for my research I work a lot with a unix terminal and I run a lot of demanding programs like matlab... I just can't imagine doing all that stuff with this new design.
     
  8. Dec 29, 2012 #7

    Borek

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    That makes the Ubuntu option quite reasonable, doesn't it? It is not like you will have to learn something completely alien.
     
  9. Dec 29, 2012 #8

    russ_watters

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    They are using "downgrade" in the legal sense. The windows installation isn't being modified, it is being replaced -- the link describes that.
    Nothing Dell uses will be proprietary, so drivers won't be a problem. You can just download them. Odds are, Dell will even have the Windows 7 drivers on their website for that computer, since the hardware probably hasn't changed much in the past year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  10. Dec 29, 2012 #9
    Sorry maybe I'm not making myself clear. I was responding to Number Nine about the drivers thing - my concern was installing Linux would create a lot of driver issues such as not being able to connect to the internet wirelessly which I need. I'm not worried about drivers for windows 7, I'm worried about cost/licensing for windows 7.
     
  11. Dec 29, 2012 #10
    What Dell model are you using? I can probably point you towards the right drivers, if you're interested.
     
  12. Dec 30, 2012 #11
    Or even better, tell us the model of the network card in your laptop.
     
  13. Dec 30, 2012 #12
    Hey all. So I never bothered trying to install windows 7. I just decided to try installing linux and hope for the best.

    I'm running Mint right now, and no problems so far. I don't know why I was so worried about it before, but I'm liking it so far and anything is better than windows 8... I really hope microsoft gets their act together.

    Thanks for all the suggestions though!
     
  14. Dec 30, 2012 #13

    phinds

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    WHAT an optimist !
     
  15. Dec 30, 2012 #14
    I read the MS page about the downgrade "rights", and they left me rather curious. Suppose I buy a Windows 8 machine and (for reasons that are nobody's business but my own) want to downgrade it to Windows 2000. Would I then be violating some law? Could I be sued by Microsoft? Or do I have the right to do with my newly paid-for property what I want PLUS what they advertise as "rights"?
     
  16. Dec 30, 2012 #15

    phinds

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    As far as Microsoft software is concerned, really the only right you have is the right to give them money to lease their software (you probably thought you bought it ... think again). All other rights are theirs.
     
  17. Dec 31, 2012 #16

    MacLaddy

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    I needed to replace my Windows Vista, and since I didn't want to purchase Windows 8- or an aging Windows 7, I decided to try Zorin OS 6.

    It's similar to Linux Mint but it looks and acts more like Windows 7, and like Mint it is based on Ubuntu. I would recommend giving this a try if Mint gives you any headaches. It has been seamless on my Dell.

    http://www.zorin-os.com/
     
  18. Dec 31, 2012 #17

    rcgldr

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    What normally stops an end user from doing this is the activation step. Older version of Windows like Window 2000 and Windows NT don't have an activation step. Some versions of Windows NT (like the ones from MDSN subscription) don't even have a product key. So then it's a legal issue, depending if you're running one instance of a Windows product on multiple machines at the same time.

    In the case of downgrading to Windows 7, an end user used to be able to get a free "trial" version of Windows 7, in which case, that version could be "activated" over the phone by supplying the product key for Windows 8.

    In the case of downgrading to Windows XP, the issue is where to get the install media, and if Microsoft will allow you to activate XP using the Windows 8 product key. This isn't clear since an end user is allowed to downgrade from Win 8 pro to Win 7 pro, and from Win 7 pro to Win XP pro.
     
  19. Dec 31, 2012 #18
    Thanks I'll check it out, but Mint has been great so far. Only one weird issue so far, which is when the battery is about to die the laptop doesn't properly hibernate, but it hibernates and sleeps fine otherwise.

    One thing to keep in mind is Windows 8 requires vendors to use UEFI instead of BIOS. In UEFI there is an option called "secure boot" which must be turned off to install other operating systems. My Dell gave me this option, and in fact it even gave me the option to use "Legacy boot" which is basically a BIOS emulation layer ontop of the UEFI so the linux install was easy. I have no clue if this is standard, but if some vendors don't provide this, then the installtion of windows 7 or otherwise might be a headache.
     
  20. Jan 3, 2013 #19
    I watched you youtube video showing how to use windows 8 without the Metro interface. It can be done and looks pretty close to previous versions of windows in terms of functionality. The Metro interface looks as though it may provide some nice extra functionality for sharing between applications.

    So if I had a new machine I’d give windows 8 a try but I wouldn’t rush to convert because I like both windows 7 and windows XP (lets forget about vista). Perhaps windows 9 is what people want because often when Microsoft makes massive changes they’ll have some bugs to work out. This is why you get the flop to success cycle between successive releases of windows.

    All this said, the zorin operating system looks pretty cool and I would like to give it a try.

    http://www.zorin-os.com/

    Let’s also not forget about emulators and virtualization. This also gives us to option to run older systems if we prefer.
     
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