I switched but it was more difficult than I expected.
by JDS05 - 2/1/13 8:17 PM
I purchased a new notebook with Win 8 and decided I wanted to stay with Win 7. I had an unused license of Win 7 Pro which I needed since the basic Win 8 license does not have downgrade rights.
The first problem was backing up the Win 8 hard drive so I could go back to Win 8 in the future. Microsoft disk imaging would not work because of some obtuse error. I created a recovery disk (on USB since Win 8 will not allow this on DVD) and I created a total disk image using the free version of Macrium. So far so good.
Then I had a problem getting into the Bios since Win 8 does not normally do a complete shutdown, even when you tell it to do so. A lot of rummaging through Win 8 commands finally found one to allow me access to the Bios. My computer came with EUFI and Secure Boot which are a new part of the firmware writtten specifically for Win 8. It was necessary to disable them to be able to boot Win 7. I also found that the new computer had Fast Bios enabled which is a feature that allows the computer to boot faster. That had to be disabled before the computer would recognize a USB DVD or USB flash drive that I could boot from in order to load Win 7.
Once those obstacles were overcome, the computer booted from the USB drive and I was able to delete all the existing partitions and install Windows. It helped that I found a web page on the computer OEM's website that showed each step with screen shots.
The computer then booted up from the hard drive into Win 7. However I still had hours of downloading Win 7 updates and then many hours more finding all the appropriate drivers and software from the OEM's website.
I thought about returning the computer and buying one with Win 7 already installed. That would have been easier but the latest version of this OEM's notebook has a few features like an extra memory slot that were not available on the versions that are still available with Win 7. Plus I like knowing I will have EUFI and Secure Boot for when I move to Win 8 sometime in the future.