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Help me successfully get my Windows 8 laptop onto Windows 7


Help me successfully get my Windows 8 laptop onto Windows 7

New Computers: Laptops and desktops with Windows 8. I'm not happy with Windows 8 that came on my new laptop and I want Windows 7 back. I'm at an age where I don't feel like I want to learn new stuff every time I turn around! Windows 7 worked just fine; it wasn't a radical change from previous Windows, but Windows 8 makes me change everything from sizing and closing windows to loading software! I've built several desktops; the most recent with Windows 7 (I still like XP better) and it's not a problem with a clean formatted disk. You have your O/S and your drivers—you're good to go. I'm not sure with the laptop—I would have to buy the O/S of course, but not sure about the drivers. What do I need to do to ensure I can successfully get my Windows 8 laptop to run Windows 7 without a hitch? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

-- Submitted by: Bill C.

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And you've tried Classic Shell?

Going back to 7 is fraught with problems. Get Classic Shell and make it work more like 7.


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Classic Shell is the answer

I'm using Windows 8.1 on a laptop and a Surface. It makes Windows 8.1 work much like Windows 7. So much in fact, that I actually now like Windows 8.1. I can use both desktop applications and Window 8 applications as I want. The look/feel is very much Windows 7 when using the desktop. IT's a win/win here. You don't have much to learn as far as Windows 8.1 is concerned. Anything you do need to know, you can look up online. It's how I do it.

I read that on some computers, installing Windows 7 isn't possible or it's a major pain to do. It's easier to use Classic Shell and you'll know your computer will work. You can even download a gadget add-on with a number of gadgets at

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Classic Shell is great

Classic shell is the best answer to your problem. It's free, easy to install, gets win 8 to act like win 7 with a start button, keeps the win 8 metro/modern interface if you want to use it, and you won't have to worry about drivers not working. I've installed it on my laptop and many friends laptops and everybody has been happy.

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This is nothing against you, but basically, what you are saying is to install a shell over windows 8 that converts the windows 8 commands to appear like windows 7, on an operating system which already has a shell over DOS to apply a GUI ?

And this is a solution?

This is not a solution. This is holding your muffler in place with bailing wire, duct tape, and chewing gum.

I wonder why NOBODY at Microsoft had the balls to get up and say that Win 8 was an accident looking for a place to happen? I guess there ain't many Wosniak's left out there, hey?

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Bad Analogy

While I use Linux on my everday computer, I have both a laptop that runs Windows 8.1 and a home entertainment center PC that dual boots Linux and Windows 8.1. Both use Classic Shell. I have also set up many friends' computers with Classic Shell as it works better on a non touch enabled computer than the "Metro" tile interface. However, alternate shells and desktops have been a part of operating systems for decades. Windows had many and there are multiple choices available in Linux as well. While I agree Microsoft probably should have offered a similar choice, what your saying is the same as saying if I buy a car without cruise control, or air conditioning, or a CD player, installing one professionally from a third party is equivalent to repiaring a broken muffler with bailing wire, duct tape, and chewing gum. In other words, you've never bought anything that wasn't exactly as you wanted it and changed it later.

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Bad Analogy

"bought anything that wasn't exactly as you wanted it" ? Why buy it then?

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Why Buy It Then

Here here! If you need a laptop, by all means - buy one, but just put Ubuntu on it and learn Linux.
You'll be much more in-control of your experience, and it's FREE! You'll only need to buy a new laptop because of hardware failure, not because Gill Bates is abandoning your current OS.

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OP won't like Linux

The OP doesn't like change and Linux is a major change. So please everyone stop with the Linux bit. It's not going to fly.

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Not exactly true

Windows hasn't been a shell that runs over DOS in years. I know they said it wasn't when Windows 95 came out but now it definitely is not. There may be a few snippets of code left here and there.

As far as Windows 8 being a big mistake, there are plenty of people to argue both ways. Most of the pro crowd doesn't seem to visit CNET forums.

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No shell

Ya? Try forgetting a Wifi network in 8.1.
Get to typing.

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Ummmm... What does a command interpreter have to do with the fact that Windows 8 is derived from the Windows NT family, which is well documented as having been written entirely from scratch and sharing absolutely no ancestry with DOS? You might be able to make an argument that it shares some ancestry with OS/2 Warp, but even then we're talking about an entirely different OS from DOS.

WindowsMe was the last Windows release to be based on the old DOS kernel. Windows XP was derived directly from Windows 2000, which was the direct successor to NT4, the direct successor to NT 3.51 and on back to NT 3.1. Windows 95, 98 and Me were all DOS based, Windows XP was not, nor has any version of Windows since.

Just because you can pull up something called a DOS prompt in Windows 8 doesn't mean that it is running DOS in any way.

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Agree. Like installing Linux and then running everything in a Virtual Machine.

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Not quite

Not quite... A little late to the party on this little subthread, but...

If you look at Classic Shell, and programs like it, it's more of a small extension to Windows Explorer, not a full-on replacement. Still, if you want to go with the classic american car analogy... It's more akin to replacing the factory stereo in a car, maybe mounting a sub in the trunk. It's a minor alteration of the car, and not even a really necessary one. The start menu was always a horrible idea from a GUI design standpoint and it should have never been born. I get that Microsoft wanted to try and create a central point for interacting with the computer to try and make it easier to understand, but as is kind of a Microsoft hallmark, the execution of this otherwise good idea went horribly awry.

Of course over the subsequent two decades (give or take) since Windows 95 introduced the concept, people have accepted it as the new normal. Plus Microsoft had a truly massive advertising campaign for Windows 95, almost all of which centered on showing someone clicking on the start button. Part of marketing is educating customers on how to use your product. With the Great Recession, that sort of thing didn't exactly happen with Win 8. So everyone cowers in fear at this strange new world they find themselves thrown into. Fear becomes anger and self-righteous indignation as the cognitive dissonance sets in. People get angry and lash out as a means of keeping people at arm's length and preventing a scenario where the person has to admit their ignorance. Which is ultimately kind of self-defeating, because you just end up living in ignorance and are unable to improve your station in life.

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Been using it for ages and advocating it to anyone that has issues with win8 GUI. Best of both worlds and lets you tailor the new interface to items you really use. It does a fantastic job and it's free. Donate or not, your choice, works fantastic.

There is no need to go to Win7 !!!!! (Unless you want XP Mode for the odd old app)

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Classic Shell is what you want

I was the same is you, stuck with Windows 8 and hating it. Then I found Classic Shell and now I love my computer. Classic Shell will give you the Start Button back along with the Start Menu. Classic Shell will make your computer run just like Windows 7 or even XP. It has different style of Startr Menus you can set up. I promise you that you will be happy installing Classic Shell as it does not come with any bloatware, spam, or anything bad.Do a search for Classic Shell and install it to change your computing experience to enjoyment!!!!

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JWolf42 hit the nail on the head

When I got my wife a new desktop with Win8 I was prepared from what I had read, but amazed and the stupidity of M$ and the obnoxious steering of users to the M$ way. Which sucks IMO. Metro is just not a deskop or laptop interface. I imagine it probably works okay with a tablet/touchscreen, but can't really say because I don't have one.

It's abhorrible that M$ doesn't have a "this is a desktop/laptop" checkbox in the setup, and makes users fight to get a Win7-looking interface. Sure, Windows-D brings up the desktop, but you can only click on the icons that are already on your desktop. I first tried the Win8.1 update (which takes forever) but found it only returned the start button (which still brought up the Metro apps window). You can disable the Metro interface on boot up too if you get tired of doing Windows-D. However, Classic Shell was really the key, it brings back a Win7-like start menu.

This shouldn't be that surprising with the direction they previously took with the ridiculous ribbon bar in M$ Orfice. Good idea, replace a menu structure that everyone knows with a bunch of silly icons that no one can remember. There's a menu tool you can install to create a classic menu ribbon (Ubit Menu), it's good, but not quite the same. If you are a short-cut key user like me (someone who cares about efficiency) you know what I'm talking about.

M$ is very out of touch with real users. Apparently they don't care what people want, they want you to have what they want. I guess I knew this years ago when I started switching to Linux. Most of the computers in the house and about 1/2 at work are now running Linux because of this. Works great, I'm never going back. Some day soon I will have my wife convinced as well.

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You can create whatever shortcuts
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classic shell is the way to go

By going to classic shell you will have windows 7 but 8 will always be in the background

Check it out with some friends I have put it on club members and runs like 7


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What do you mean in the background?

You never have to use it or even see it if you don't want to. It's available if you need to.

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Classic Shell ( to start with,
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yeah, tell some one who hate change to do a radical move.

haven't you pay attention? the OP does not like changes.
who is moving to Linux any less intrusive than moving to new revision of the same OS?

also let me tell you somthing Linux is not ready for casual user at the moment (I am still at awe as why is it taking so much time for Linux devs to figure out the best way of doing thing to make Linux a perfect OS for the masses but I digress...)

I am currentyl toying eith an ides of mooving couple of my PCs to Linux.
it has nothing to do with Win8 per say, just the fact that #1. this machines are over 5 yo and were not best config even at the time of pourchase. #2. I do not want to spend money on win8 if I can get a way with free OS, as this machines are mostly for internet and email thus not too much issues with compartibility there.

so , the biggest issue is drivers. yes I hear all the time that in the recent years Linux is getting better and all but trying to find drivers for video and wireless card on my laptop is a quest. installing it so it works is another exercise in futility. lots of posts with steps to take and none of them work. took me 2 days to find a sugestion that actually worked as advertized. and even though it is not really a Linux fault, the MFG of hardware should be more helpfull here, but still.. and issue is an issue regardless of whos fault it is.
keep in mind that I am in IT business for the last 15 years, I had build my own PCs for years and had fixed alot of them for my self and my friends and family, I am preaty good at troubleshooting things
and at finding help and fixes. also most times I do not mind tinkering with my PC if something is not working but I have no emergency need for it to work.

but an average user might not have thins kind of attitude to begin with, he/she might not have a second PC to go and google for help if needed, and even may not have enough knowledge to do so as well.

windows is very good at gurding the end user from many things. no matter what anybody say in years of working with windows (and I am a windows guy, have been from very begining) starting from Windows XP, there is very few issues that I came upon that windows did not fixed almost by it self, with very litle intervention from me. that is why win XP have been so loved by the users. it was and still is a very robust and capable windows version surpased only by windows 7 and not by much.

never the less you can not just dump "if you do not like windows use Linux " c@#p on any one and go your merry way. eather put your money where your mouth is and go and help a person with the move(help him/her research Linux version, help with install and troubleshooting, give some support to the new user, and belive me they will need it.) OR shut the hell up and let other people give proper help and advice that actually worth something.

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I've installed Mint and

I wouldn't call it more user friendly. I was trying to turn graphics on in Thunderbird and I googled and found many ways they say to do it (one was even similar to updating a registry item in Windows) but nothing worked so I have to go into each email and click display content.

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Classic shell

Will you please tell me How can I get classic shell?

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Right here -
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May not be possible

to make it work as the mfg. intended if it came with Win 8 installed. For instance, I have a Toshiba gaming laptop with a lot of bells and whistles , a lot of extra function buttons for lighting , camera, etc. etc...... Unless Toshiba has the correct drivers to make all of these functions work with Win 7, the laptop would be an expensive brick . Contact the mfg, to see if they have Windows 7 w/drivers available for your laptop.


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Classic Shell

When / IF I ever get a windows 8 machine (or install it as a VM for giggles) that sounds like a good option! Thank you for sharing this.

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Please try Classic Shell for a while before you discover how

That's one deep question. In fact you could ask why MSFT didn't make it easier to install given a few decades.

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W8 to W7

I am not sure how old "at an age" is but I am 76, my wife 73 I have a Windows surface my wife Lenovo both on W-8.1 we found W8 a bit of work at first but no way we would go back to W7 . We love the touch screen. My advice - take the time to get used to W8 then enjoy it. Old Marine

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your assuming he has a touch screen!

btw your assuming that this person asking the question has a touch screen....

not all laptops have touch screens, it might be that he doesn't have one, in which case Windows 8 would be a right nightmare to use - Windows 8.1 is a bit better, the best way I've found to use 8 is with 8.1 on a dual screen set up and with Stardock Start 8 installed to give me my start menu back. Metro can clear off and sit on the second screen if it wants to!

I had a customer recently with Windows RT and she got that fed up with it she took it back to the shop and swapped it for an iPad. When she took it the shop they claimed that Windows was faulty on it and it wasn't working correctly. I'd used the tablet a day before and there was nothing wrong with it, it was just working the way Windows 8 is supposed to work, but it seems even the store assistant couldn't deal with it!

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