I tried such on a newer Windows laptop that had that secure EFI boot enabled and could not access the drive from GPARTED. To get around that, I had to change the BIOS to Legacy Mode.
What's going to hurt here is that there is no standard for what they call this setting or mode.
I became a member of this forum just for one reason. I recently ended up with a computer that my client need to downgrade to Windows 7. His computer had a manufacturer preinstalled Windows 8 (Latin American version) so the whole system was in spanish.
I started looking for some information online on how to do this, and couldn't find anything that could help. So I decided to share with you guys my experience so in case that you want to do something similar to a computer that doesn't allow you to downgrade it.
My first attempts were making a clean Windows 7 installation but the problem I encounter was that Windows 7 and 8 partition formats are different.
But even before that the computer wouldn't load windows 7 installation because now new windows 8 computers come locked so you can only use windows 8 on them. This lock can be easily removed by accessing into the BIOS under security and changing the Secure Boot Mode, and also changing the Boot Mode to Legacy and saving the changes and also don't forget to change the boot order so the computer loads the CD/DVD-ROM first.
By doing this it will start the installation of Windows 7 but still it wont let you intall it completely, because of the partition formats. For this you have to use the GParted software that is a linux based application that will allow you to delete and format your partitions. In my case I deleted all the partitions and tried to fomat the whole hard drive but it didn't let me, it gave me some error. The good thing was that I already deleted all the windows 8 partitions and now I was able to run Windows 7 Installation again and not just that but format the whole hard drive using the Windows 7 disc to the correct format for that specific system.
After that I installed perfectly my original copy of Windows 7 and now the computer is working excellent. I just had to look for some drivers on the Sony website. But other than that everything was simple, I just had a hard time finding out how to do it.
I hope my explanation was good. If there is something that you guys may not understand please comment and ask all your questions.
Thanks for reading.