10-29-2012 04:22 PM
You may be able to install a clean copy of Windows 7, but it wouldn't be officially support.
Is there a particular problem with Windows 8 with which I might be able to help? If you're not interested in the new interface, you can still select "Desktop" from the Start Screen to reach the Desktop Mode that's very similar to Windows 7. The biggest difference is that there is no Start Button, but the Start Screen contains all the shortcuts that the Start Menu did.
12-29-2012 11:47 AM
I've recently downgraded my mum's laptop (Toshiba C855, UK spec) from Windows 8 to Windows 7. I bought a Windows 7 OEM disk from eBay to do this. Unfortunately it's not quite as straight forward a task as I was hoping, but for the benefit of others here is the procedure:
1) Go to the laptop manufacturer's website and download all the relevant Windows 7 64bit drivers for your model. For me that was Toshiba at
(Note I needed at least the Chip Set Utility, Bluetooth Filter Driver, Lan Driver, USB Driver and the Realtek Wireless LAN Driver)
2) Prepare a bootable partition manager CD/DVD or USB (I actually used Puppy Linux for this), such as gParted, e.g.:
1) If your new laptop hasn't been configured yet for Windows 8 then let it proceed to completion. I found I couldn't shut the installation down even with holding the power button, it just went into sleep mode and started up from where it left off.
2) Let it boot into Windows 8. Shut down Windows 8 and power off by holding down the shift key while clicking the power off button.
3) Restart the laptop, and enter the BIOS (F2 on the Toshiba).
4) Adjust the boot order to look for the CD/DVD (and USB if you are using that for the partition manager) first before the hard disk.
5) Disable Secure Boot Mode (i.e. so it does not require a signed bootable device).
6) Change the boot mode in the Advanced tab to CSM (i.e. Compatibility Support Mode). If you don't do this the Windows 7 installation disk will just hang.
7) Boot your partition manager from the USB/CD/DVD and delete all the partitions on hard disk. Bye bye Windows 8!
8) Create a new partition table, and create one single primary partition, format with NTFS and mark as bootable.
9) Insert the Windows 7 DVD and restart the laptop.
10) Follow the install instructions.
11) Boot into Windows 7. At this point you'll probably find some question marks or unknown devices in the device manager with uninstalled drivers, so go ahead and install the laptop specific drivers you downloaded earlier.
12) Hopefully the LAN and/or WLAN drivers will have installed now and you can get internet connectivity. As a final check go to http://downloadcenter.intel.com/ and choose the Intel Driver Update Utility to scan your laptop and check for driver updates.
13) Make sure there are no question marks or unknown devices in the device manager and all seems well with the drivers.
12-29-2012 01:43 PM
Thanks for posting that helpful advice, Perkmeister.
I would just add a couple of comments.
1. You really do need to remove the existing partitions and create new ones. That's because you need to change the GPT partitions to MBR. But you don't need a partition manager to do it. During Windows 7's Setup, you have the opportunity to remove partitions and create new ones.
2. Windows 8 Pro has downgrade rights to Windows 7 Professional. It means you don't need to purchase a product key for Windows 7 under some circumstances. It may even pay to upgrade to Pro in order to take advantage of this.
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