It’s Not Easy, But You Can Uninstall Windows 8 And Revert To Your Old OS

no windows 8 logo   Its Not Easy, But You Can Uninstall Windows 8 And Revert To Your Old OSIf you’ve installed Windows 8 and found yourself wishing that you could go back to Windows 7 or another operating system, there’s a way to do this. If you installed Windows 8 in a dual-boot environment and kept your old operating system around, it’s not too hard – but if you’ve installed Windows 8 over your old operating system, you’ll have to reinstall the old operating system from scratch.

Bear in mind that this process will remove all the files on your Windows 8 partition. if you want to save some of the files, be sure to back them up ahead of time.

Remove Windows 8 From Dual Boot

If you’ve installed Windows 8 in a dual-boot configuration with Windows 7, you’ll need to boot your old version of Windows to remove Windows 8 from your system. If you’re using Windows 8, restart your computer and select your old operating system.

dual booting windows 8 and 7   Its Not Easy, But You Can Uninstall Windows 8 And Revert To Your Old OS

From your old Windows 7 system, press the Windows key, type msconfig, and press Enter. Click the Boot tab, select the Windows 8 boot entry, and click the Delete button. Click OK to save your settings and then click Exit without restart – you don’t need to restart your computer just yet.

This prevents Windows 8 from booting and removes the Choose an operating system screen that appears at boot – you’ll boot directly to your old Windows 7 system. However, Windows 8 is still installed on your hard drive.

delete windows 8 boot entry   Its Not Easy, But You Can Uninstall Windows 8 And Revert To Your Old OS

Next, press the Windows key, type Disk management, and press Enter. In the Disk Management window, locate the Windows 8 partition, right-click it, and select Delete Volume.

To identify your Windows 8 partition, bear in mind that it won’t be the C: partition – that’s your Windows 7 partition. If you need more help, you can open Windows Explorer and browse each drive to locate the drive letter with Windows 8’s files on it.

delete windows 8 partition   Its Not Easy, But You Can Uninstall Windows 8 And Revert To Your Old OS

After you confirm the deletion, Windows 8 will be removed from your system. However, there’s still some unallocated space going to waste. You can reclaim it by right-clicking your C: partition and selecting Extend Volume. Use the default options in the wizard that appears to extend your C: partition by the maximum amount, reclaiming all the unallocated space for your C: partition.

extend c partition   Its Not Easy, But You Can Uninstall Windows 8 And Revert To Your Old OS

That’s it – if you installed Windows 8 in a dual-boot configuration, Windows 8 has now been completely removed from your system. Your computer will boot directly to Windows 7 and you’ve reclaimed all the hard drive space you assigned to Windows 8.

Reinstall Your Old Operating System Over Windows 8

If you performed an upgrade installation that upgraded your Windows 7 system to Windows 8 – or installed Windows 8 over another operating system, such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Linux – there’s no way to uninstall Windows 8 and get your old operating system environment back. Windows 8 replaced your old operating system during the upgrade process – to remove Windows 8, we’ll have to reinstall another operating system over it. You’ll have to reinstall all your favorite programs and restore your personal files from a backup after reinstalling the old operating system.

The process for installing another operating system over Windows 8 is the same process as installing an operating system on your computer. If your computer came with a recovery partition, you can restore it to its factory default state using the recovery partition. To do so, restart your computer and press the recovery key during boot – often F10 or F12, but it varies from computer to computer. The key may be displayed on-screen during the boot-up process. If it’s not, you’ll need to consult your computer’s manual for instructions on recovering your computer to its factory default state.

You may also have a recovery disc – or set of recovery discs – that restores your computer to its default state. To use them, insert the first recovery disc into your computer and restart your computer. it should automatically boot from the recovery discs. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to press a key to access its boot menu or use the BIOS setup screen to change its boot order and have your computer boot from the discs. If you don’t see on-screen instructions telling you which key to press during boot-up for either of these options, consult your computer’s manual.

Assuming you don’t have a recovery partition or recovery discs, you can install an old operating system using its installation media. For example, if you have a Windows 7 disc, you can insert it into your computer’s disc drive, restart your computer, and begin the Windows 7 installation process. If your computer doesn’t have a physical disc drive, you can put Windows 7 on a USB stick using the same process you can use to put Windows 8 on a USB stick. During the installation process, tell Windows 7 to perform a custom installation and select your Windows 8 partition. The installer will place the files from your Windows 8 partition into a Windows.old directory on your C: drive, so you won’t lose them.

install windows 7 over windows 8   Its Not Easy, But You Can Uninstall Windows 8 And Revert To Your Old OS

This same process works for other operating systems – for example, if you prefer Linux or Windows XP, you can install either operating system over Windows 8 in place of Windows 7. Just go through the normal installation process, telling the operating system to take over your entire hard drive.

If you’ve installed Windows 8, what did you think of it? Have you stuck with it and loved it? Or did you end up uninstalling it and going back to Windows 7 or another operating system? Leave a comment and share your experience!

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64 Comments -

ReadandShare

If folks wishing to change out their OS would just take a quick and easy moment to first do a system backup (ghost) of their current set up — then it would be a total piece of cake to restore the old system if the new should fail to live up to expectations!

To me, there’s no excuse for not doing a system backup — as there is none for not doing data backup’s…

michel

In theory, a great idea. Last time I had to do a re-install, I made the system image backup with Windows 7’s own tools. Now that, once again, Windows is broken beyond usability, it turns out I wasted my time and disk space. Windows cannot use the backup and refuses to restore from it.

Why is windows so fragile? Why, after all these years and “improvements” does it still suffer the same stupid flaws and annoyances?

ReadandShare

Ouch, sorry to hear that!

I’ve had failures in the past using Norton Ghost and Window’s own.

Since last year, I’ve been using Win 7 (64-bit) and I use the free Easeus Todo Backup software that you can download from Cnet.com — and maybe from here as well.

I like to do reckless experiments and I have done 4-5 full system restorations — all without any hiccup’s.

Don’t give up on system restore. Give Easeus a try.

Qin Tang

Wow, thanks for this article, it’s useful.

Ken Gaming

OMG is Windows 8 that bad?

NotoriousZeus

Yes sir.. it’s that bad ;)

Brenden Barlow

i dont think so. i really enjoy windows 8. the first hour or so were a bit iffy (i wasnt entirely sure i liked everything), but after a few tweaks (and bumping up my mouse sensitivity to the max), i greatly enjoy windows 8 (and get fairly close to the touchscreen experience, without a touchscreen).

Paul

Yes, Windows 8 is horrid. Biggest pain in the rear end to remove from a new computer that has it installed by the manufacturer.

This article was extremely helpful.

jimbo

I agree,win 8 sucks big time, must have been thought up by a bunch of kids.

jimbo

I agree,win 8 sucks big time,must have been a kindergarten project.

Kristy

HELP! I bought an ASUS PC with WIN 8 installed and they will NOT help me remove it. I did try hard to like WIN8 but after 3 months am frustrated and angry. I even bought Startup8 to add a “work around WIN7 interface desktop” but too many other problems to talk about here.
I have WIN 7 Pro and Home Premium disks and want to remove WIN 8 and load one of them.The ASUS has a UEFI BIOS I am very unfamiliar with. I tried to do a Custom install and found that ASUS has 5 partitions I cannot touch.
GRR! So I downloaded KillDisk and want to wipe my drive clean and start fresh. BUT…how do I setup the BIOS? I cannot figure it out?

RoboCop

Dude, they dont know what they are talking about windows 8 is freaken amazing!
The access around where ever you want is so fast, theres so much you can do with windows 8

Michael

Yes,Yes,Yes Sir OMFG it is Absofuckinlootely that bad. What am I a fucking genie. I’d have an easier time trying to summon elvis presley back from the dead than trying to shut the shit certified windows 8 down or finding the schizzophrenic start menu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael Good

Try it and you will see how bad it is.

vineed gangadharan

Thanks for the usefull article :)

Alan Wade

Great article butwhat I did was create an image backup just before the upgrade then it was easy to revert back. For me it was only after two weeks that I reverted back so not a lot of updating to do.

Chris Hoffman

Smart move, if you have the external storage space!

ha14

perhaps windows 8 took metro to stop at Windows 7 station:)

Terafall

I think it is better to try Windows 8 in Virtualbox first before replacing their OS with Windows 8.

Dimas yudha

or, You just simply NOT install windows 8 rather than messing up with your harddisk … just saying

Chaos Emperor

Is it really is bad until you want windows 7 back?

Dhaval Patel

can i tripple boot my system e.g. Xp, WIn 7 and WIn 8

dragonmouth

Yes, it is possible to triple boot. It is not easy to set up but it can be done. The procedure is probably in MS Knowledge Base.

Dan

I installed Windows 8 on my laptop. I didn’t find it as awkward as some reviews I have read seemed to make it sound. Unfortunately the main reason that I wanted to do so was to get the added protection from rootkit viruses, but that was not supported by my hardware. I didn’t find the new interface any better than the old one so there was really no advantage to the upgrade. One of my pieces of hardware (video projection) was not supported by Windows 8 and the manufacturer told me it wouldn’t be so I went back to Windows 7 fromm my backup and put Windows 8 on a virtual machine on the same computer in case I want to play with it.

Ronald Raquier

Great information. It’s amazing what one learns form MakeUseOf

Muz RC

I agree with you…

Easton Wiki

great instructions for removing win8 from dualboot!

Ole Funch

THX – good article.
Just installed Win8 on a dual boot, BUT Win 8 can’t fins my WiFi `??
Looked it up every where, and think I found a solution, but if not I have to role back my system.
In this case I’m glad for the article how to, expand my drive Again.
BUT still hope to find a driver so I can use the Win8 and WiFi agani.

Chris Hoffman

You may have to install Wi-Fi drivers from your laptop or wireless card’s manufacturer. Hopefully they’re still producing drivers and supporting the hardware…

Ruthless Phil

One way that i founnd the drivers was to go in device manager and locate the hardware ID. the i found a site called driveridentifier . com and typed the hardware ID and VOILA! you have access to drivers that were built specifically for that hardware instead of computer manufacturer specifics… I’ve been using a “lenovo wifi driver” on my HP envy and it’s been working like a champ and it seems to be alot “thinner” too.

hope this helps

SoftwareDemons

Thanks Chris for this awesome post

Suvadeep Paul

I am using HP Pavilion DV6 6165TX and current OS is Windows 7 (64Bit). I want to know whether I can upgrade to Windows 8? If yes then do I need to do a fresh install?
I am also curious about the benefits of windows 8..whether the hard work will be worthy or not? Thanks..

michael

I do not care for windows 8, my pc does not support the nx ame thing that windows 8 is demanding, lot of pcs will not be able to use windows 8, its dumb to throw a perfectly working computer in the garbage because of stupid microsoft making windows 8 more cpu demanding, my pc runs windows 7 just fine. I am sure windows 8 will get alot of hate from people because it refuses to run. Like windows vista got alot of hate,

GraveDigger27

The best way to restore the original OS is to have made a disk image of your system BEFORE you install any operating system. Whether you’re moving to a dual-boot setup or totally replacing an OS, having a way of going back to your original setup is always the best choice. I made a full backup of my laptop’s hard drive (including the “recovery” partition) using Macrium Reflect’s free edition prior to configuring the laptop to dual-boot Windows 7 and 8. Eventually I decided to go back to the original setup and the disk image of the original drive was easily restored.

Afterwards I decided to completely go with Windows 8 and do a clean install, totally erasing the hard drive, repartitioning the drive into a single partition and installing Windows 8. But I still have the original disk image in case I find that I really miss Windows 7.

Hunbuhbhuygb Ygygbgybygb

Why would anyone waste 40+$?

Burt Philp

Thanks for this article. I was using separate physical drives (drive caddy): one for Windows 7 and one for Windows 8, but ran into stability/annoyances. In addition to the drives with the OS, I have a couple drives that only store data. Every time I switch from one OS to the other, Windows runs CHKDSK on the data drives. I even turned off indexing on these data drives – made NO difference. I am now going to try the dual boot hoping that the CHKDSK fiasco will go away.
If dual booting has the same result, I now know how to get rid of Windows 8!

Don Fey

I’ve purchased a new HP pavillion with windows 8. So far- it’s a disaster. No novice here, we have 8 computers now and 30 years experience. We passed on 7 and stayed with XP pro on the others, and this one is a shock. Started to set up by adding the emails it should have. Shot down immediatly

Win 8 will not support a number of email systems, specifically no ISP that uses POP protocol. Must be IMAP or EAS- and our ISP, Cox Communications, has no IMAP servers. Microsoft has no legacy allowance for that- it’s their new way or no way. It get’s uglier.

With Win8, your computer system password is not part of your system- IT’S A DIRECT MICROSOFT PASSWORD. When you boot up and log in, it verifies directly with microsoft. To reset it, you have to get on another computer and go to “microsoft live” online to reset your own system!! In other words, they want the keys to every house in town and want to be able to access your machine at will. Not only incredibly invasive, but bovine manure in it’s purest form. I think we will either be dumping Win8 or selling this computer and going back with XP on something more friendly and a lot less intent on accessing all our personal information.

Suzie Creamcheese

Windows 8 is a total piece of cr@p. I stupidly (very stupidly) upgraded from Windows 7, but no biggie. I mean to get Windows 7 back it will be like the old saying: a house fire is equivalent to five home moves (or something like that). I am now in the process of backing up my files onto my external hard drive (really I’m not using the windows 8 machine much, except for testing my websites so that’ won’t be a big deal). Hmmm… maybe it’s time to make a total move to linux, which I haven’t looked at in about 7-8 years. Oh, and don’t get me started on their filthy stinkin’ internet explorer 10!!! It’s like that 3rd-world company who lobbies to have more visa folks come to the usa to try and really screw up our free spirit wants to ‘take out’ all the good techies and replace them with subcontinental types… MSIE 10 is like Opera 4 or something like that. I despise that traitorous company and am more and more glad I live in Texas, cause WE CAN leave the union. Oh well thanks for the vent, I needed it, the gun range is closed today it being Sunday and all. :)

Calvin Thomas

Hate win8 not much of an operating system. Did not want a cell phone system wanted a good computer system.

Ruthless Phil

AMEN!!!!!

KELLY

Hello.I have a Dell Computer with windows 7 and my sisters boy installed windows 8 the free version right before it hit the shelf.Now i get a message that says Reinstall windows now. Your license to use this evaluation of windows has expired.your PC will restart in one hour and continue to restart every two hours .Now hes gone to North Carolina and i cant figure this out.Im not Computer Savy when it comes to programs.Any suggestions that i might do to fix it.Id rather take it out but dont know how to do that either.If you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment with suggestions.

Nik Staitis

Windows 8 sucks and it is worthless as boobs on a boar hog. Microsoft scewed up again. However, I dislike Apple even more. So, MS, provide us a way out of Windows 8 or I’ll be forced to go to Apple, allah forbid.

dragonmouth

You can always switch to Linux. That way you avoid both MS and Fruitco.

Ken

I’ve rarely been more frustrated than in the W-8 environment. Glad I didn’t jump with all my systems and I have built in redundancy. Thanks for the thorough go-by.

Mark Humphryes

Stuck with Windows 8 for three months. Now completely fed up with it and returning to 7. It might be great on a touchscreen computer, but not on a standard laptop. Trouble is, so much of it is just not intuitive. Some of the Apps in the app store seem OK, but for most of them, you are better off using the original programs, or just a web browser and going to their website …

It is going to take me a full day or more to reinstall all my core applications, but it is going to be worth it. Then further work as I realise what I have missed. I loved Win 7 from day 1 – I’ve hated Win 8 from Day 1!!

Chris Hoffman

I still prefer Windows 7, too. Maybe I’m just stuck in my ways at the ripe old age of 26.

James F Dooris

windows 8 sucks sucks sucks, I would rather have a colostomy!

Denise Puente

Windows 8 is horrible! Since I have downloaded it my computer has frozen up sooooo many times. Trying to do my homework and nothing is compatible with it. I need to uninstall windows 8 and go back to the 7.

Michael Good

I bought a windows 8 machine and I hate it. No Pop email. 6 month old printer does not work with it. programs hang up. Can I buy a full version of windows 7 and install it over windows 8?

gava

very nice article…
the win 8 was horrible…..
maybe i m not comfortable with it…
may persons are so used to with it that they love win 8 but there r some ppl lyk me also who doesn’t like it…..
by the way..
thank u so much 4 the article…..
i did it myself insted to telling others…
THANK YOU

William Pietrak

Can’t you just say that Windows 8 has mugged me, and how to get the bloodsucker off and put new software back on? I don’t care if all of the information goes to Saturn! I pu thet Windows XP disk in, and it will not let me format or go backwards at all. What people want to know is, and you’re not telling them, is that Windows 8 is the Black Death, and it seems that all of the tech folks out there fear for their lives and livelihood if they just say “insert disc ,press this sequence to access the disk tools, run format, and get back to life.”

The truth seems to be that W8 is some sort of domestic terrorism, and Ye all fear it! ;)

rabiak3

thank you so much .. very helpful post ..

Suleiman

Perfect, I have done it, so simple, I got rid of Wnd 8, back to Wnd 7, yes, I lost all files and software but I had my files backed up and I have them back.
Thank you

Saurabh Mukhekar

Here is another Super easy way to uninstall windows 8 http://bit.ly/HQndg9

Jo

Windows 8, what was I thinking? Absolutely horrible and what a nightmare I have ahead of me reverting back to windows 7. Thanks for the article, you’ve saved me a visit to the tech nerds.

Andre

I do have to admit it looks great on my HTPC, however, it has a lot of problems with playing video, it’s laggy and tends to freeze the screen. (and it doesnESPECIALLY with Mediacentre, wich you have to get seperately. (The pirate’s life for me)
I believe i’ve tried tuns of free mediaplayers but none seem to get the the job done, now i’m dual booting Ubuntu on it and now i play my vids on that.
(wich works like a charm with the default mediaplayer)

The second thing that annoys me is the horrifying support(or lack of) for games/programs of earlier versions of windows.

Rob Rusbridge

Bought a new lappy. Win8 preloaded. Win8 stinks. Which banana thought that pile of trash was the future of Microsoft? Stand by for the profit warning and the shares in free-fall. Can’t get my new lappy to boot off the Win7 DVD. No way no how. So fed up with every simple task being at least six mouse wiggles away that I’ve ordered a new hard drive for this baby. Win8 is harder to remove than any virus I’ve ever killed off, so I’ll go for the last resort. After all, spent four hundred and fifty quid on lappy, so well worth another fifty for a drive which has never even met Win8.

Jscott004

Windows 8 should be classified as a virus

John Crane

Installed Windows 8 over Vista 32 bit.Computer is slow to start. Get a start-up error of “driver_violation”,and a complete check of the system is made. When I leave the computer idle for 30 mins or so I cannot start it again or shut the computer down;I have to switch the computer off at the mains power supply,and restart again-with the same recurring problems.Another difficulty is when I plug in my Segate or Western digital external Hard drives,they are not recognized. I looked to see how to uninstall W8 and I will return to my old Vista (with its problems). AT least I can use it without too many problems.

Bill Yates

I did a upgrade to win 8, but having a lot trouble booting up.
It boots up to a black screen.
I keep shutting it down, and about the six time it will boot up right.
I like the program, not having much luck in fixing the boot up problem.
Really don’t know what to do.

Bart

great article but how do you get around the error code 0x80004005? the one about not enough free space.

Tina Sieber

At what point do you see this error, Bart?

Bart

before the installation starts.
Gateway SX 2370-EW10
QUAD CORE A6 3620 APU
BIOS ACER Version 2.15.1227 no legacy boot option

Chris Hoffman

I have no idea; I’ve never seen the error code before in my life. Feel free to ask on MakeUseOf Answers, where other people may have seen the error before and may be able to help: http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/