Windows 7 v Windows 8

  Splodge 15:11 02 Mar 2013

I do love Windows 7. Rather elderly, I do not want to strain trying to understand Windows 8. I have had a go at it but disliked it. My question is:

I back-up to an external hard drive twice a week. In the event that I need to buy a new computer, would I be able to restore Windows7 over the pre-installed Windows 8 running the external hard drive?

  chub_tor 15:36 02 Mar 2013

Not sure that I quite understand the last part of the question. If you buy a new computer with Win8 installed yes you can delete it and install Windows 7 instead but of course you would have to buy a copy of Win 7 to do so. That being the case you could buy a computer with no operating system installed and install Windows 7 yourself.

What are you using to back up to your external hard drive? Windows own built in back-up or another proprietary software such as Acronis or maybe are you just dragging your User files to the external drive?

  Splodge 16:03 02 Mar 2013

I actually back-up twice a week to separate external drives . I have lost all my data before so I am cautious. Should this Windows 7 computer go - I would expect to only have Windows 8 installed computers available.

As I understand you, if I buy a Windows 7 Installation Disk (£100 ish) I would be able to over-install that on a W8 machine and subsequently copy my info back from my external in full witout having to re-install pograms either.

Am I just a hopeful idiot or can that happen?

  chub_tor 16:41 02 Mar 2013

Yes it can happen if that is what you want to do. Click Here for a guide. Alternatively you could use your newly purchased Win 7 disk to dual boot so that you can select either Win7 or Win 8 at boot up but you will need to partition your hard drive first. Click Here

  Splodge 16:58 02 Mar 2013

Thank you very much! That is exactly what I needed!

I have copied a link into my favourites and will print that out also.

Great stuff!

  Chronos the 2nd 17:08 02 Mar 2013

You will need to reinstall your programs either into Windows 8 or a fresh install of widows 7 or both for that matter. Whereas you can copy your personal files to the new PC all programs will need to be reinstalled.

  onthelimit1 18:41 02 Mar 2013

If you struggle with the layout of W8, there are numerous free downloads that give it the appearance of W7. I find that gives the speed of W8, but the convenience of a conventional desktop, start button etc.

  Splodge 08:54 03 Mar 2013

Ah, there is some disagreement here.

I have my full C drive stored on the external drive using the "SYSTEM IMAGE" program.

Normally that will replace everything in one transfer. I imagine that should my hard drive break down, installing my W7 program on the drive and then I would be able to copy back the system image which then opens up.

My question really was, could I buy a new computer, install Windows 7 and THEN copy back the old system image to the new computer.

  Chronos the 2nd 10:27 03 Mar 2013

I might work but I doubt it as the drivers for your old system are not the same as the drivers of the new PC. I think it would cause a lot of conflict which would be difficult to solve.

Surely it is simpler just to install the programs afresh?

  Secret-Squirrel 10:37 03 Mar 2013

"My question really was, could I buy a new computer, install Windows 7 and THEN copy back the old system image to the new computer."

System images are really designed to be restored onto the same PC. For example, if the hard drive fails and you replace it with a new one, or a catastrophic problem with Windows that you can't fix.

Like Chronos has said, restoring the image onto a different PC with different hardware is unlikely to work, and even if it does, Windows will recognise this, and depending on your Windows licence, you may not be able to reactivate it.

I think the best thing you can do is to buy a Windows 7 installation disk now with a view to using if you need it on a new PC.

  Secret-Squirrel 10:41 03 Mar 2013

....forgot to mention that most system images allow you to extract individual folders and files so you can easily recover all your personal data (such as photos, music, videos, and e-mail etc) so your image would still come in handy with a new PC. However you need to check that this will work for you. If you're not sure then let us know which backup program you're using.

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