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Windows 8 Thread, Dell Windows 8 Pro to 7 Downgrade media in Technical; Hi Anyone managed to downgrade a Dell to win7? I have the rights to do it just not the media. ...
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    Hacksawbob's Avatar
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    Dell Windows 8 Pro to 7 Downgrade media

    Hi Anyone managed to downgrade a Dell to win7? I have the rights to do it just not the media. Microsoft pointed me in the direction of Dell as the OS was purchased with the desktop. The machine was purchased from a 3rd party who want paying to do the downgrade. From what I understand the product key is hard coded into the motherboard and as the system is approved for 8 or 7. All I need is that Dell reinstallation media and all will be well for a clean install. Apparantly its easier to acquire if you are in the US. (typical!) Any ideas where I can get hold of this?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    You have to disable Secure Boot in the BIOS. This will then allow you to insert a Windows 7 media, format the computer and install Windows 7. You can then download/install Windows 7 drivers as required.

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    I have found this article on Ars Technica to be very useful as it includes links to the legitimate downloads of Windows 7. See the paragraph 'Getting Windows install media'.

    Blowing away bloatware: a guide to reinstalling Windows on a new PC | Ars Technica
    I'm just not sure if it will work as a "downgrade" without a proper activation key. Worth a go though.

  4. Thanks to casey from:

    Hacksawbob (25th April 2013)

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    Hacksawbob's Avatar
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    Thanks I'll take a look at that, From my discussion with microsoft they implied that unless I have the correct Dell installation media for my system it may not work as the product key is not available as it was in the past I am relying on the Disk picking up the key from the hardware.
    More specifically If I had a retail version installed I needed a retail disk, If it was a volume licence I need a Volume licence disk, but a 3rd way was the dell recovery disk for my system with Win7 rather than Win 8 Which is what I am trying to get hold of . The Ars Technica site mentions this "System Locked Pre-installation" BIOS based product key with windows phone activation. so fingers crossed!

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    Would be good to know how you get on and what you had or have to do to downgrade from 8 to 7

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    You basically have to have the cell media which is hard to get. And its their image. If using some other win 7 media the key is stored in uefi, you need a win 7 key any will do, activation will fail. You can call ms say your exercising your downgrade rights and they can allow the activation. The dell media will update the key in uefi.

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    Hacksawbob's Avatar
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    Thanks. The problem we have is that some somftware doesn't work. I cant get google Earth working, and Uniservity Life doesn't work very well with IE10 (when editing) But the main issue is that half the suite is WIN7 and the other half is Win8. When the school purchased the machines from the LA the school insisted that the machines would be touch screen (to match the existing win7 machines) and the LA informed us them that DELL would only supply touch screens with WIN8 at the time. They have installed some software that makes WIN8 look like WIN7 but it's quite easy for it to go back to the WIN8 interface by accident. In a primary setting it is very difficult to explain that half the class perform a task one way if your on this machine and another way for a different machine. It's hard enough as it is. The general feeling is that we would rather have them all on the same OS for a consistent learning environment. The LA will do the downgrade... at a cost. So I have imaged the WIN8 disk and will attempt a downgrade today. If it all goes pear shaped I will hopefully be able to restore back to what is there now.

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    Your Dell system keeps the licensing information in the SLIC table that is part of the BIOS flash. Different versions of the tables are used for licensing various versions of Windows. The way it should work is if the machine shipped with Windows 8 Professional you should be able to pop in an OEM Dell Windows 7 Professional disc and it'll install with no questions asked pertaining to licensing. The discs typically come with business model Dells. It'll give you a clean install and the only difference you'll see is there will be a Dell logo in the system properties.

    ISO files of these discs can typically be found on any torrent site if you can't obtain a physical copy. I'm not going to link to any on here since I'm unsure of the forum rules regarding this though. While there technically isn't anything illegal happening since you are allowed by Microsoft to perform this downgrade I'd rather not risk incurring moderator wrath.

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    Kem
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    how about
    Legal Download from DigitalRiver: Windows 7 SP1, 13 languages
    If this is breaking any mod rules then i apologise in advance but it all looks above board.
    Last edited by Kem; 2nd May 2013 at 08:54 PM.

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    Hacksawbob's Avatar
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    Just an update for those interested. I managed to install the digital river Downloaded X64 disk used a product key from another WIN7 PRO machine to get it installed, Then added my software. Followed the none sysprep option here (it was going on same hardware anyway) http://answersthatwork.com/Download_...ws_7_setup.PDF . I am not sure if I try to use this image past the grace period date whether it would still work though my machine had "3 days to activate" in the properties.
    Took my image with clonezilla, rolled it out to the new machines and then went trhrough the activation process on the phone. The fist few went through OK, then on the 4th one the phone activation failed. I tried again and second time I was put through to an MS operator who activated it for me once I said I was exrecising the down grade rights. I am guessing because they all have the same product key the automated system is throwing a wobbley. I was able to activate several machine with the same operator one after the other so its a good idea to have the machine all at the same activation stage ready to read out the codes.

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