Many people feel uncomfortable with the water after upgrading to Windows 10, especially some old laptop users are suffering, many want to go back to Windows 7 system, but found so simple. The following methods can help you easily achieve system downgrade.
Windows 7 helicopter Windows 10 users
If you upgrade to a new system from a lower version, by default there will be a directory called “Windows.old” on the C drive, where the old operating system is stored (Figure 1). For this type of users, if you want to downgrade to the old system, you just need to re-release the files in it to the original system partition.
Figure 1 The “Windows.old” directory
First, open the C drive and make sure the above directory exists on your partition. Next, type “Change advanced startup options” in the search box, and in the window that opens, click “Reboot Now” under “Advanced Startup” on the right (Figure 2).
Figure 2 Select Advanced Boot
After rebooting, follow the prompts to enter the WinRE repair environment, click “Troubleshooting/Advanced Options”, click “Command Prompt” to enter the Command Prompt interface, and enter the following commands in order to recover the system (Figure 3).
Figure 3 Copying files
Md d:boot Create directory structure
Copy c:windows.old d:windows.old Copy the old version of the file to the D drive
Copy C:bootmgr d: Copy boot files to D drive
Copy c:boot d:boot Copy the boot directory to the D drive
Format c: /q Format the C drive, pay attention to the backup of the C drive before operation
move /y d:windows.old*. * c: Copy all old files to C drive
move /y d:bootmgr c:
move /y d:boot c:boot
Reboot your computer as prompted, so that the original Windows 7 system will boot. The “Windows.old” directory is a backup directory that Microsoft uses when upgrading to a new version (including Windows 7 to Windows 10, and also Windows 10 1709 to 1803). Therefore, if you encounter problems after upgrading, you can also manually downgrade and restore it by the above method.
Pre-installed Windows 10 users
If you have deleted the above “Windows.old” directory or purchased a pre-installed Windows 10 system, you need to use third-party software to complete the operation if you need to downgrade back to Windows 7. This is because most pre-installed Windows 10 computers now use the GPT partition format and use UEFI boot mode. For users of older laptops with lower configurations, when using traditional Windows 7 installation files for system reinstallation, they may encounter problems with the partition not being recognized or not being able to boot after reinstallation. So to successfully install Windows 7 on these computers, we need to set up GPT partition and UEFI boot.
First determine if your hard drive partition is in GPT partition format, type “Disk Management” in the search box, right-click on the current hard drive in the open window and select Properties, switch to “Volumes” and see if the hard drive partition format is displayed as “GUID Partition Table (GPT)”, if so, you need to convert it (Figure 4).
Figure 4 View partition form
The partition format conversion needs to be performed in PE system, and the conversion tool can be realized with the help of Diskgenius. After preparing the PE boot disk and booting into the PE system, please do a good data backup operation in advance, then select the hard disk that needs to be converted, right click and select “Convert partition table to MBR format” and follow the prompts to convert (Figure 5).
Figure 5 Converting partition forms
Since GPT partitions are all primary partitions, while MBR only supports up to 4 primary partitions, so for users who have more than one GPT partition, please reduce the extra partitions (to less than 4) before performing the conversion operation. After completing the partition conversion, right-click on the C drive and select “Activate Current Partition” to activate the first primary partition so that the original system can boot from this active primary partition (Figure 6).
Figure 6 Activating the primary partition
Boot into a command prompt in PE and enter the following command to change the system boot to a traditional BIOS boot (Figure 7).
bcdboot C:Windows /s c:
Okay, now go back to the Diskgenius window and click “Save Changes” to save all the above changes. After rebooting the laptop, enter BIOS settings and set the default boot sequence to legacy boot. For example, for HP notebook users, enter the relevant settings and set the Boot Mode to “Legacy BIOS Mode” and save it (Figure 8).
Figure 8 Setting up a traditional boot
This way the computer boots to Windows 10 in BIOS, now prepare the Windows 7 installation files as prompted and we can boot and install it via a media such as a USB stick. Since the GPT partition form change and UEFI boot change have been done, this way the installation of Windows 7 will not encounter difficulties.