Many users want to bring back their old Windows operating systems if they don’t like the way Windows 10 works. However, there are some things to consider. We talk about what needs to be done in advance and explain the exact algorithm for moving to an older version of Windows.
Recovering old Windows operating systems: a guide
If you are thinking of returning to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then we advise you to take into account some crucial nuances in advance. It is worth knowing that as of January 2020, Windows 7 no longer receives security updates: this makes the system easily vulnerable. Better to return to Windows 8.1 – this version is guaranteed security updates until July 2023. If the lack of updates does not play a unique role for you, then follow our tips:
- First of all, you should find out your Windows 10 product key and create a backup.
- If you have been using Windows 10 for less than a month after the upgrade, you can revert to a previous version of Windows using Microsoft’s onboard tools. However, this option disappears after 30 days.
- If this opportunity is no longer available to you, you need to act differently. You will have to install Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on your computer from scratch. To do this, you will need an installation disc or a flash drive with versions of Windows 7 or Windows 8.
You can now overwrite Windows 10 by installing your old operating system. However, do not forget that all data will be lost if you have not backed up your files. The license key you received in Windows 10 can also be entered in an older version of Windows. By the way, if you later want to switch back to Windows 10, you can do it in the same way.
How to create a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 7: a simple guide
Modern PCs are equipped only with the Windows 10 operating system. It has better security and is regularly updated. But it is not suitable for older computers. We will show you how to make a bootable installation USB flash drive with Windows 7.
The procedure for creating a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 7 does not take much time, and you can do it yourself. Such a flash drive will be useful for you as for installation on a “clean” PC without a preinstalled OS, or will allow you to restore the system after a failure.
In the second case, you need to know what version of the OS you had installed before and use the ISO image of that system, for example, Professional or Home, to create a bootable USB flash drive.
How to make a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive? To create it, we suggest using two different methods. In the first case, the most comfortable and most convenient way is to use the official utility from Microsoft – Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool, which automatically creates a media with the necessary set of files to install the OS.
In the second case, we will use third-party programs that have more options for getting a flash drive with an extended set of functions.
Also, in this article we will tell you how to use a free utility to create a USB flash drive with a portable Windows 7 (Win to Go), which can be run directly from the flash drive. But for this you need a medium-fast enough.
Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool
This is the official utility created at the time by Microsoft for creating bootable installation media with Windows 7, designed for both burning images to DVD and USB, which was especially important for users of ultrabooks and other PCs that do not have DVD drives. The company is almost no longer involved in the Windows 7 project, so the program is hidden in some archive. Below we will show you how to create a bootable Windows 7 USB stick.
You can download it by first following this link on the official Microsoft website, where you need to select the desired program interface and click on the Download button.
After downloading, you will receive the Windows 7 installation file in your folder, which you need to run by double-clicking and agree with the user rights.
After starting the program, first you need to select the Windows 7 image, if it is already available on your PC, or first download it from the official website.
By pointing the program to the desired system image, you have to choose which medium you want to write it to. In our case, this is USB. Note that to copy image files to a flash drive, it must have a capacity of at least 4 GB, or better – 8 GB. Also, its file system should be in the Fat32 format.
Click on the USB device button and in the next window, select the storage device for recording and click on “Begin copying”. You will need to click on the confirmation button to delete all data from the flash drive. The process of deploying the image to a USB stick will begin.
This completes the process of creating a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive. Wait until copying is complete and then check the drive for bootability. To do this, you need to insert the USB flash drive into the USB port, restart the PC and, without waiting for the inscriptions on the screen, press the function key F8 (different keys can be used for other PCs). In the proposed menu, select your USB flash drive as the boot disk.
WinSetupfromUSB how to create a bootable USB flash drive 7. This utility is deservedly popular due to the broader possibilities for making a bootable USB flash drive with Windows. Among its features is the ability to write multiple distributions to one USB flash drive. Also, it contains several useful tools for working with disks, such as MULTIpartitionUSBstick, Grub4DOS, SysLinux, etc.
You can download it from the official page of the project. The program does not require installation and is immediately ready to work. When launched, the program will independently determine the USB media for installation, and you only need to indicate which system image you intend to use.
In the program menu, you can put a tick (check the checkbox) to activate additional options (Advanced options), after which a window with advanced settings will open. To write the image to a bootable USB flash drive, you have to click on the GO button. A similar instruction will come in handy if you have a question on how to create a bootable windows 7 Rufus USB flash drive.
UltraISO – how to create a bootable Windows 7 USB stick? This is another top-rated free program for burning bootable USB flash drives. It has an entirely localized interface; however, some points may seem incomprehensible to an inexperienced user. For example, to start deploying an ISO to a USB flash drive, you need to select “Burn hard disk image” from the menu.
How to create a USB flash drive with a portable Windows 7?
How to burn a bootable Windows 7 USB stick? If above we talked about creating a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 7 for installing the system and repairing it, then here we will speak of a USB drive that will allow you to start the plan directly from it. You can make such an excellent flash drive using the free utility WinToUSB Free. Download it from the official website of the project and install it on your PC.
After starting the program, you will also need to specify the system image that you intend to use to create from a USB flash drive, including Windows 7, and also specify a USB drive. The latter should have a capacity of at least 16 GB and for more or less comfortable work – fast. Of course, for these, it would be desirable to use a media with a USB 3.0 connector, but, sadly, this OS in its initial state of deployment does not support this connection standard.
Before starting the process of deploying an OS to a USB flash drive, the program will ask you which boot record format you prefer. Usually choose MBR for BIOS. Click Yes. Then you need to confirm the size of the system partition by clicking “Next”.
The program will start writing data to the USB flash drive, and this may take a long time, and there is no way to stop the initial process in the program. Exit the program only.
Why users are still using old Windows?
There are many different reasons for going back to the old Windows operating system.
So, many users criticize the lack of privacy in Windows 10. While there are some steps, you can take in Windows 10 to help you protect your data, not all spyware can be completely disabled. In previous versions, Windows did not use such personal data, so many people are thinking about going back to the old operating system.
Another critical point is program compatibility. Some older programs only work under Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Users who have installed such applications are forced to use the old operating system.
Hardware issues can also play an important role. If a computer running Windows 10 often slows down and freezes, users have to revert to an older and lighter version of Windows.