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Rick

Downgrade win 8 to win 7

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Trying to do this on a friends computer. I've never done it before and can't seem to get it going. She has an HP laptop. I downloaded Win 7 32 bit home iso, and used this MS tool to make it bootable from a usb drive.

 

I change the boot order to USB first, but it never seems to hit the USB drive with the Win 7 installation. Any ideas?

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Is there any sensitive data on the disk(s)? As in, is your friend particularly against nuking the drive? (Probably best to check first...) The way you say downgrade as opposed to dual boot, implies win 8 is totally unwanted on the system...

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They are new and have nothing. She says nuke away. I'm not sure how to do that however. My concern is also if I clear Win 8 off, and can't seem to boot from this pen drive, I would be screwed then :)

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From XP and Vista times it was just a case of downloading GParted Live to a disc (it's a bootable image) then telling it to format the partition containing the bootsector. Then, presumably you would insert your Windows 7 CD because without any boot information on the hard drive it will probably go into the installer, where you should be able to install Windows as if there was nothing on the computer. Obviously your disc needs to be a retail or OEM disc, and not an upgrade (if they still do them), and you'll need a code that isn't in use. Certainly in the old days, retail, upgrade and OEM all had different product registration keys and weren't interchangeable with each other.

 

Just a warning though, a laptop may require an additional driver for the hard drive. If you put her exact laptop model number into google along with Windows 7 downgrade or dual boot, other people who have already tried this may know whether such a driver is needed, and where to get it. If it's needed you won't be able to install Windows without it, so definitely check that out before formatting the boot partition.

 

 

GParted Live understands ntfs-3g and had no trouble with Vista back in those days, but if Microsoft have updated the NTFS spec since then, it may not be able to fully understand (if at all) any such partitions (although it can always delete them, and let the Windows 7 installer put new ones in). However it definitely does understand the GPT partition table, which I believe Microsoft have finally caught up with and moved on to. I've been using GPT on Linux for years and the most observable difference is that there are no extendeds and logicals any more, it's primaries only, but there is no longer a limit of 4. I believe Windows 7 onwards uses GPT because of something to do with secure boot. I don't think secure boot works with the older ms-dos partition table, if I understood it right.

 

In any case, more reading needed. I can only extrapolate my knowledge of doing this sort of thing from Vista to XP. It may still apply, it may not, but there's a starting point.

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Best is to have a Win7 disk. From that you can format the hard drive thus removing Win8 and then load on Win7. You will need a product code for Win7.

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Which goes back to my original question. I have a bootable windows on a usb drive, and change the boot order to look at usb first, but both PC's don't boot from the USB. They keep just going to Windows 8 on the disk. :(

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Is this the new BIOS locking/Booting order **** getting in the way?

 

Robin

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hmm never heard of that, but maybe. How would I know/get around that?

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How did you write the bootable USB drive? Just copying the files over in Windows Explorer will often will often lose it's "bootableness" if that's a real word.

 

My awful netbook never seems to allow USB booting even though it says it does. I've got USB sticks that boot on some computers, but the netbook totally refuses. If it's like that, then all you can do is plug an external disc drive.

 

My normal method (would need Linux) to create bootable USB sticks would to insert the Windows CD into the drive and dd it to an image file, then dd the image file directly to the USB drive (NOT to one of its partitions). Wikipedia dd entry

 

 

Back the USB drive up first and exercise extreme caution - dd has has many nicknames, including "disk destroyer" and "destroyer of disks" etc. So if that sounds a bit dangerous, you may want to research a different method - that's just how I would normally do it.

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MS has a program that takes a Win 7 iso (well any iso) and makes it bootable on a USB drive. That's what I did for this, but one of the laptops is a netbook so might be screwed on that, but the other is an HP so would think it would work on there, but it doesn't.

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Try turning off all devices apart from the USB. Get it to boot then and you've cracked it.

 

Robin

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Sometimes it's just not possible. I've tried setting the boot order on my netbook to: USB HDD, Disabled, Disabled and it still refuses to boot USB sticks. Can't know for sure, but I think it's treating USB sticks as standard hard drives. Some BIOS's will not only let you decide which type of device to boot first, but also which exact device of that type to try first. Mine however doesn't let you pick which hard drive to try first, so to fully test that theory is a case of removing the boot flag from the main hard drive.

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a lot of usb stick can not been read by the bios

some bios only like some type of usb format, i can tell you bad bios for so many usb stick do not boot

or the bios select floppy and not Harddisk or the other way around is one of the problem with bios

 

i would try to find a stick you can boot from plus try using the HP usb format that seem to work with a lot of bios

 

if you can get a normal 4gb stick to boot with the hp usb format, then you may find doing the window 7 usb key be easy

 

hope that helps a little

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Maybe since you have used a tool to put a ISO onto the USB-Drive you need to use the order to boot like

CD/DVD - HDD instead of USB - HDD ?

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Hirens boot CD might work http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd ...download link is here: http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

 

...this is a link to the set up the USB version, you still have to download hirens.... http://www.hiren.inf...tcd-on-usb-disk

 

 

If that one boots up just fine ...then you could format the drive ...once the drive is formatted it might read the USB stick to look for a new OS... I have that problem with a few home computers ..the CD/DVD rom refuses to boot if an OS is installed ..even if you tell the computer to boot from it..

 

You could tell the computer not to boot from the OS drive...if there is no USB option it will still search for another drive to boot from...

 

For my kids laptop...hers is missing any CD/DVD rom or floppy drives...but the external USB CD/DVD rom seems to work just fine ..even for booting from a CD/DVD..

 

ALSO if the laptop doesnt have any CD/DVD or floppy drives the BIOS may not have an option to boot from anything else .... it should have an option to boot from a USB though...

 

Only other options I can tell you are try pressing F8 or F5 RIGHT before windows starts it gives you different boot options..

 

Well...you could also wait until Windows 8 starts up and find a way to get MSCONFIG to run ...look in the boot options ...you might be able to force it to boot from a USB from there ...sort of like the dual-boot screen for selecting an OS..

 

Sorry these are sort of random thoughts thrown together ...try them though..

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