Windows 8 back to windows 7

I guess I just dont know as much as I thought. I saw that the developers preview was out, and my friends told me it was awesome, and my step dad said it was cool too. So I installed it wanted to see how it felt. Anyways, I selected the copy files thing or whatever with it and it installed. Now I cant seem to uninstall it. I keep looking through the computer, but all I found was a window.old with all of my stuff in it. What can I do to get windows 7 ultimate back?


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
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You'll have to clean install it I'm afraid.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Clean install? I have years and many many GB of data that I CANNOT aford to lost that I cannot backup


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I suppose I should mention, if Windows 8 is working, it might be a good idea to back up the data to another location. If you can't find it in the Windows 8 install, look in the Windows.old folder.

Backed it up to my desktop in the windows 8 area. The most crucial items.


Noob Whisperer
Clean install? I have years and many many GB of data that I CANNOT aford to lost that I cannot backup
Hello and welcome to the forums.
As others have already mentioned it does look like you've overwritten your previous Windows install with your install of Windows 8 Developers Preview and a reinstall of Windows 7 is likely the path you'll need to follow. That's the bad news.
The good news is that contained in the Windows.OLD folder you should be able to locate most of if not all of your previous data associated with your former OS (docs, images, music, spreadsheets, etc.,) All of your programs however, will likely need to be reinstalled.
I would definitely take some steps now to make sure that however you decide to proceed you protect the Windows.OLD folder by backing up to an external media device.
Microsoft has some documentation as to how you may recover from your current situation which might be helpful if you care to read it, it's located here How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder . While it is not intended exactly to fit your current problem you may find it somewhat useful.


Senior Member
What went wrong: You attempted to install the Win 8 DP from within Win 7. This will indeed replace the current version with the new OS and create a folder called windows.old which does contain everything from the old installation.

Correct Installation Method:

1) Use a partitioning app and decrease the size of the Win 7 partition by at least 20 GB (I used 50 GB). This will leave unallocated space to install the Win 8 DP into.

2) Insert the Win 8 DP DVD you created and reboot. Choose Boot to Disk. Early in the installation you will be asked where you would like to install Win 8 DP. Choose the unallocated space you created in the previous step.

The installation process will create a dual boot situation with Win 7 and Win 8 DP.

To fix your present problem:

1) Click on the windows.old folder. The folder will open just like any other folder. Find all the data you wish to save. Move it onto removable media (DVD, flash drive, Ext HD, or another partition on your HD). Once you have all the data safely backed up on removable media or a separate partition you can proceed to the next step.

2) Either use the procedure outlined by the article Trouble linked to or:

3) Insert the Win 7 installation DVD and reinstall Win 7 from scratch. (At this step you could actually use a DVD you create after downloading the Win 7 iso file including SP1 from Digital River. This would save you a step of installing this large update. Your original key should work although I have heard of a couple of times where a call to MS solved an activation problem.)

4) Install your AV/AM app of choice and any software firewall.

5) Install all updates offered.

6) Install all the apps you wish to keep.

7) Restore the data from your backup you created.

8) Use a good Imaging software and create an Image of your restored Win 7 installation.

9) Once your Win 7 is restored, follow the Correct Installation Method outlined above to dual boot Win 7 and Win 8 DP.

10) Use the Imaging software and create an Image of the dual boot scenario.

11) Enjoy playing with Win 8DP while preserving your Win 7 installation.

I hope this helps to solve your dilemma. It is really not as bad as it looks. Please check out Imaging to give yourself Peace Of Mind when making these types of changes.

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