Windows 7 forum


downgrade from Windows 8 or 7/64-bit to Windows 7/32

by headless3767 / November 11, 2012 6:32 AM PST

Is it possible to downgrade a new desktop harddrive from Windows 8 or Windows 7/64-bit to Windows 7/32-bit? How does it work?
If not, any suggestions where I might acquire a desktop harddrive with Windows 7/32-bit or no operating system?

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All Answers

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Re: downgrading
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 11, 2012 6:50 AM PST

Step 1: you buy a Windows 7 disk with license key (if you don't have one).
Step 2: you boot from it and install Windows 7 32 bit (it will let you use the partition where Windows 8 or Windows 7 64 bit is located on, while formatting it)
Step 3: you download all drivers for all hardware that aren't on the Windows 7 disk
Step 4: you install those drivers

There's a small caveat: a desktop that is 'certified for Windows 8' and sold with Windows 8 is not sure to be able to run Windows 7. Read about the new UEFI in and

Be sure the BIOS of your PC supports "legacy mode" boot or Windows 7 won't work at all! That's called 'security'. Some say it's a deliberate move by Microsoft to ensure a fast and wide spread of their all-important Windows 8.


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Some tips for the future
by wpgwpg / November 20, 2012 1:38 AM PST

The only way to change from 64 to 32 bit version (or vice versa) of either is to reinstall in a clean partition. I have to question the wisdom of downgrading from 64 to 32 bit though because to me it makes more sense to go to XP Mode in the 64 bit version. XP Mode is free if you have the Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate version of Windows, and it runs as a started task under Windows 7 (probably 8 too, but I haven't tested that). If you have the Home Premium version of Windows 7, you can upgrade to the Professional version using the anytime upgrade. Another option is to download the free virtualization for Windows 7 and install your own copy of Windows XP in that. When upgrading from any version of Windows to 8, I would create a new partition and install Windows 8 in that. This gives you dual boot where you can access all your data without a hassle.

When you've gotten your system back like you want it, I urge you to get yourself an external hard drive and a good 3rd party backup program. You can set it up to do everything automagically at the time and frequency of your choice. 1 TB external hard drives are about $70 these days and a really good FREE backup program is the Easeus todo backup free which you can download from . That can save you a lot of time and frustration the next time something like this happens. Sooner or later it happens to all computers for one reason or another.

Good luck.

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by mkrock / November 23, 2012 2:20 AM PST

I had the same question as you posted here, and found out thru HP that Windows 8 can't be downgraded to Windows 7 without possible damage/harm to the pc.

Since my Vista has never given me any grief what so ever, just minor hiccups that I fixed myself, and I did not want to invest in a new desktop of Windows 7, since I'm not sure if the nightmare Windows 8 platform will be the only thing available several years down the road, I chose to purchase a new Windows 7 disk.

Best Buy, and even HP are not selling Windows 7 disks anymore, so I went to EBay and there I found many of them for sale. I just purchased the Full Windows 7 32 and 64 bit disks, with License and certificate of authenticity from EBay. I didn't want to do the bidding war thing, so I offered $100 for the set of 2 disks and the seller took my offer.

If your not an EBay person (I wasn't either until just 2 months ago, and so the W7 disk is the 2nd item I've purchased at EBay with no problems), then Walmart Online is still selling Windows 7 disks. The Windows 7 Full 32 & 64 bit that I bought at EBay for $100 are selling for $174 at Walmart, but they also have cheaper versions available.

If you want to buy Windows 7 disks, then I suggest you start your search for the disks NOW. EBay still has the 32 bit for sale, the 64 bit for sale, the Full version, and even the Pro versions. Some sellers want a "fixed" price for their disks, and some do the bidding thing. If you do decided to go with EBay, be careful and read the FULL DESCRIPTION of the item. I almost bid on what I thought was the Full version, only to read that it was not the ENGLISH version. Make sure the item has the license and certificate of authenticity, and I would recommend to NOT buy any "used slightly" or any "open" items.

The disks I purchased came in the usual Windows 7 box, and still had the shrink wrap on them, and I bought from a person living in the USA. (yes, I have trust problems) Also make sure the seller has a track record of excellence.

I just received my W7 disks this past Monday in the mail, and with Turkey Day and shopping, I haven't had time yet to prepare my Vista for the transition. But I'm excited to get on with it.

One more thing... Best Buy has no, none, zip, nada, zero, Windows 7 computers at all, but HP Online still does. Best of luck to you! and Happy Holidays! Mary

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