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Installing Windows 8 over pre-installed Windows 10

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gx240

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
I'm buying a new laptop, but it has to have Windows 8 on it. Can I just buy a system with Windows 10 pre-installed, buy an OEM copy of Windows 8 (like this one here), and then wipe the hard drive and install Windows 8 from scratch? I know most systems that come pre-installed with Windows 10 store the license key in the UEFI/BIOS. Would this cause any problems when I try to install Windows 8? Would using a Windows 8 OEM key be an issue with a computer that previously had Windows 10 on it?
 

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Welcome to the forums.

If it were me, I would take the laptop hard drive out and connect it to PC.
I would only format the laptop's Windows partition, then make a drive image of the *entire* remaining hard drive, which would at this point only have the recovery partitions, and a few hidden system partitions. This way the drive image file is smaller without the laptop's Windows partition. I would do this in case I wanted to restore the laptop to factory Windows 10 settings in the future. The image file would contain the recovery partition.


Then I would completely nuke the entire hard drive, removing all partitions.

Then I would format the drive so that it only has one partition.

Then you would clean install Windows 8.



[If it were me, I would take an extra step and also partition the drive and install Windows on a relatively small partition for easier imaging/reimaging, leaving the bulk of the hard drive for storage, including the drive images of the Windows partition.]

I would use this program for drive imaging.
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-windows.htm
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I would think just a simple format of the drive with the Windows disk should do the job just fine. I can't imagine there would be an issue. That said, outside of privacy concerns, why would you use W8.1 over 10?


You might have a hard time finding drivers for windows 8.1.
Why wouldn' they be at the MFG website? Even though W10 is out, there are driver versions for previous versions of windows available...

All he needs to do is check with MFG website for his laptop for drivers.
 

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
You might have a hard time finding drivers for windows 8.1.
Hardware manufacturers do go out of their way to not make drivers available for different OS, but it's usually for OS that follow, not previous OS.
Since you're going backward, if you cannot find Windows 8 drivers, perhaps some Windows 10 drivers would actually also work on 8?

The reason why I posted what I did is because doing it that way frees up a *considerable * amount of hard drive space because you are nuking all the partitions which contain the original image which you won't be using, and which can be stored elsewhere if you ever change your mind...
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
OEMs will do the driver shutout in both directions. I bought a compaq/hp with Vista soon after the OS release. I had planned to go back to XP but there was never a driver created for the wireless. HP never made any XP drivers for that notebook, only Vista. I had all the other XP drivers from the component makers, but no wireless. I replaced the wireless G with N and upgraded to 7 after a couple years. I got most of the 7 drivers from Intel.

Some models have OEM support for multiple OSs, some don't. You just need to check before you format the 10 install. :)
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I would think it depends on when the laptop came out. If it was pre 10 release, I surely expect w8 drivers to be there. But as I noted earlier, and JLK just mentioned, check the website first. :)

Biggest question to me here is WHY is W8 a requirement?
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
I would think just a simple format of the drive with the Windows disk should do the job just fine. I can't imagine there would be an issue. That said, outside of privacy concerns, why would you use W8.1 over 10?


Why wouldn' they be at the MFG website? Even though W10 is out, there are driver versions for previous versions of windows available...

All he needs to do is check with MFG website for his laptop for drivers.

I tried to go back to windows 7 from 8.1 on a new OEM ASUS laptop and they just did not support any drivers other than what it came with.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
So, was it released after w8 was out or before? That's what I am saying. If the lappy was released while the older OS was out, it would still, shoud still, support the older OS.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
That doesn't answer my question though...I asked if that model laptop came out before windows 10.

I'm certain support won't be like the desktop (z97 is w7 forward, z170 is w8 forward), but I have to imagine of the model bridged the gap between w8.1 and w10, it would support both...
 

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I'm certain support won't be like the desktop (z97 is w7 forward, z170 is w8 forward)...

It's going to be fun figuring out how to install Windows XP on a July 2016 motherboard for me ;).
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Id definitely say driver support varries widely depending on the machine. If you buy something from HP/Compaq business line such as an elitebook then you expect to have drivers for before and after OS as the enterprise market is VERY different from the consumer market. If its a lower-mid range machine I dont see the OEM bothering too much with it.