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Going back to Windows 7 from 10: how?

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NoCforMe:
My Windows 7 computer blew up. I got a decent used one for $cheap, but it has Windows 10, which I hate more than any other OS I've every used. So I want to "downgrade" to 7.

I confess I don't know exactly what I need to do this. Looking on eBay, I found a bunch of Windows 7 discs for sale. Most of them require that you have a product key, which I don't since the old system was secondhand to me. But there are some that include a product key, like this one. Will this work? Can I boot my Windows 10 system with this disk and install 7? (The disc comes with a "non-working hard drive" which came with the original package, but which you don't need to install the OS.)

I'm wondering because this is what it says on the outside of the package:


--- Quote ---The software is intended for preinstallation on the hard drive of the fully assembled computer system, using the OEM pre-installation tools. For information about using OEM pre-installation tools, see [Microsoft web site].
--- End quote ---

Obviously I don't have any of these "OEM pre-installation tools". Will I be able to just put this disc in my DVD drive and go?

I was thinking maybe I could reformat the primary hard drive and then install: will the computer boot off of the installation CD? or do I not need to go to this extreme?

Shintaro:
You could try something like Linux Mate. and use a Virtual Machine for Windows programming.If you don't want to, that's cool.
You can find windows ISO images and serial number on the internet. Yes, there is a risk, but you are installing Win 7, a 13 year old OS, so putting it on the internet would be a mistake.
There are people selling the serial keys on eBay, but again you don't know how many times they have sold the same license.
I am not sure if you can still buy a license of Win 7 from M$, but that would be the safest way, but most likely the most exspensive.
Yes, the Win 7 disk should boot, so then I suggest that you remove the partitions and install win 7.
The OEM software is for brand name PC's like Dell, etc so it will not install on a non-dell machine.
A standard version of Windows will install on most hardware, but the drivers will be required to make things nicer.

NoCforMe:
Aaaaaaargh, forgot about drivers. Computah is a Dell, but again I have no OEM stuff. Isn't the OS install smart enough to figure out what it needs and copy it?* Seems like all that stuff is pretty well known.

And I really do not want to mess w/Linux (or any *nix for that matter), thank you very much.

* I will say that Windows 10 is a lot smarter than preceding versions. I forget exactly what I was doing, but the OS "filled in the blanks" for me while setting something up, a shortcut or startup item or some such.

Shintaro:
Yea, that pre-installation is for the OS already installed on the Hard Disk. You get to make only ONE backup and once you have done that, It's done, so it will not install again. But I think it also relies on a hidden partition.
It depends on the hardware whether or not Win 7 will have the drivers. At any point though you would be better off looking for the latest drivers.
What is the hardware or Dell model No?

On a side note, I personally like the Dell OptiPlex GX280 and Latitude 610, but only for retro stuff.
I am sorry, but I don't know how much you know about computers, so if I say something that seems simplistic, I am not being condescending.

hutch--:
David,

If you can get hold of Win10 pro, its a lot better version that the home version and if you hunt around the legal cheap licences for it, you can generally get it for peanuts. In the last year I installed my own 64 bit Win7 ultimate retail on one of the Xeon boxes and it ran, but in comparison to win 10, it was old, slow and toothless. In particular, the graphics were poor in comparison.

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