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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Windows 8 to Windows 7

    I bought an HP laptop for my daughter that is preloaded with Windows 8. Can I reformat and then install Windows 7 on that machine? I would think so, but I thought I should check. Are the drivers going to be backwardly compatible?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Your best bet before doing anything would be to check and see if HP has a downgrade policy.

    Most likely many drivers will be compatible, but some may not, before proceeding you should check HP's website for Windows 7 drivers.

    If you do attempt to clean install Windows 7 and find some of the drivers are incompatible and need to get Windows 8 back, ensure that
    you image the drive in it's entirety prior to doing anything. Most laptop's will likely have a hidden partition that will need to be included
    in the image.

    [EDIT]
    It's also entirely possible that your new laptop may have UEFI instead of BIOS, you will need to check and research whether
    this may present an issue when attempting to clean install Windows 7.
    It's just another potential factor that may effect the outcome of what your trying to achieve.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-11-27 at 22:37.
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  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
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    I have heard of UEFI. Why would having it cause alarm if Windows 7 has to be reinstalled?

    In all the marketing stuff about Windows 8, I have not heard too much about this new approach and like to know what it's all about – in simple terms.

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Clint, I just got Acronis 2012, which is *supposed* to support UEFI, bit I'll check their board as well.

    Thanks,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MQG1023 View Post
    I have heard of UEFI. Why would having it cause alarm if Windows 7 has to be reinstalled?

    In all the marketing stuff about Windows 8, I have not heard too much about this new approach and like to know what it's all about – in simple terms.
    I don't know what the implications are, if any, but I'd like to know more about how UEFI and Windows 8 secure boot would affect the
    formatting and installation of another OS on a machine created to run Windows 8..

    I'll have a look around and see if I can't find anything meaningful on the subject. It may turn out to be completely irrelevant and have no bearing whatsoever.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Something interesting here from the WindowsEightForums:
    How to Downgrade Windows 8 to Windows 7

    Chuck, the above link should help clear things up if your new laptop does have UEFI with secure boot in place.

    I think we've covered this in another thread here regarding HP's downgrade policy:
    HP clarifies Windows 8 consumer PC downgrade and warranties
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-11-28 at 00:05.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Clint, not to ask the dumb question, but how would one know if UEFI is in place?

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    It seems Clint, that HP isn't taking a position that will end up being much more of a hassle than any O/S switch.

    I'm not clear as yet on the UEFI issues, but as Acronis does support backing such up, I will at least be able to go back to the system at purchase state.

    The drivers ought to be close enough, I would think...but then, one never knows...

    If they'd only had a W-7 machine in the store!

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Chuck, perhaps she would like Win 8 with a little customization done to make it work and look more like Win 7. This can easily be done. Perhaps you should leave it for now with the thought that you can always do this later.

    In the mean time, check out some of the threads in the Win 8 forum on customizing Win 8, especially the sticky threads. I do suspect the PC is pre-installed with Win 8 Standard rather than Win 8 Pro. For most average users yhis is fine.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    FWIW, Windows 7 is also UEFI aware.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    To see if you have secure boot enabled, open an elevated powershell, go to the following location in file explorer:
    "C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powers hell.exe", right click on powershell.exe and select "run as administrator".

    Powershell MUST be run as administrator.

    Then type the following:
    confirm-SecureBootUEFI

    True=
    yes, secure boot is enabled.
    False=no, secure boot not enabled.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Clint et al;

    You guys are probably right...I'll just leave it for the moment -- assuming Office and the needed software works on it OK. Then I'll revisit this if necessary later.

    Thanks,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    CW:

    When you're ready to take the plunge, do a complete image backup of the system, and then have at it. You can always restore the image, if things don't go right with the Windows 7 install.

    Come to think of it, all you need to do, since it is a brand new PC, is create the restore disks before you start. They will allow you to get back to "store bought" condition.

    You'll likely have to download drivers for everything. So make sure you at least have a Windows 7 NIC driver before you start, so that you can install it and get on the internet from that PC; then you will be able to download all the rest from the PC in question after you have installed Windows 7. Either that, or get a USB NIC, and hook it up after you install Windows 7.

    Let us know how it goes. I'm sure everyone reading this will have occasion to use that information.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2012-11-28 at 16:57.

  14. #14
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Mr. Jim, thanks, I shall...

    NIC driver? From?

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  15. #15
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWBillow View Post
    Mr. Jim, thanks, I shall...

    NIC driver? From?

    Chuck
    If you can't find it on the HP web site, then go to the manufacturer of your NIC and see if it is on their website.

    If you can't find a NIC driver, you can always purchase a USB NIC. Then after installing Windows 7, plug in the USB NIC, and you will then be able to get on the internet from that PC.

    The Windows 8 NIC driver may work with Windows 7, so download it from the HP website, just in case.

    After you install Windows 7, if you get the NIC going, you can then search for and download the rest of the stuff from the PC in question, making your task a lot easier.

    After installing Windows 7, check Device Manager, to see which devices don't have the drivers loaded (motherboard, audio, etc etc.). That will tell you what you will need to find. I would start by running a Windows Update, to see if any (or all) of them were listed. If so, then you are done. If not, you will have to hunt for the ones which are still listed as not working in Device Manager.

    I went through this process a while ago. A friend had purchased a Vista laptop, but he was running AutoCAD 2004, which required XP or earlier. So I installed XP, and then I had to search around for all of the drivers. Some of them were available on the laptop manufacturer's website. For those which weren't, I checked in Device Manager to see what was listed there. That pointed me to the manufacturers of the boards or the chips on the boards. For example, Foxconn may make the circuit board, but someone else makes the chip. You may find the driver in either place.

    When you find all of the drivers, make sure that you put them all on a CD (or two) and keep them in a safe place, in case you ever need them again.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2012-11-28 at 17:10.

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