Out with Windows 8 and back to the future with Windows 7

So, I managed to remove Windows 8 from my new laptop and it really wasn’t that big of a deal. First, let me say, I don’t actually hate Windows 8 as an OS, I simply hate the Metro UI, Microsoft bolted on top of it. I think it is the worst UI they have ever come up with. It simply doesn’t work and it looks horrible!

Anyway, I used a Ubuntu disk to blow away all the Windows partitions. As usual, Dell makes like 5 of them so it was probably a good idea to get rid of them anyway.

Once that was done it was easy to boot into Windows 7 and install. It ran just like it normally does. I did have to turn off the Secure Boot in BIOS and I turned on the Legacy Boot option just for good measure.

Everything installed fine, but there were some issues. Seems to me that in order to help the adoption rate of Windows 8, Microsoft is strong arming vendors into not releasing Windows 7 drivers so users can’t downgrade. I checked ahead of time and my Dell Inspiron Laptop does have Windows 7 drivers. There are lots of models out there that don’t.

That being said, I had to download the network, audio, video and Chipset drivers for the laptop. Windows 7 installed fine and everything seemed to work, but Device Manager listed multiple errors for hardware including USB 3.0 support. The drivers were all available on the Dell website, but they have to be downloaded individually. There are several under Chipset alone. Not a big deal, just a bit time consuming and multiple reboots.

As an aside, I kept checking Device Manager and put the name of the problem device in Google to find the right driver. There are quite a few Dell posts pointing people to the correct Windows 7 drivers.

But, when all is said and done, Windows 8 is gone and 7 is back in place. Yes, I did try the new options for turning off the UI, but the Charms kept jumping out at me and to be honest, there was so much Dell junk on there I would wipe it out either way. To be blunt, Windows 8 is in fact Windows 7 with a different UI. It’s really nothing more than a Service Pack so no, I don’t really think I’m losing out on anything by "downgrading".

If Microsoft put the old UI back on and I had the ability to turn off all the "hot spots" that annoy me to no end, Windows 8 would be fine. It’s not a bad OS under the hood, but it looks terrible. It’s like getting in a car with a big engine and good handling on to find a family of skunks had died in the back seat and the smell permeates ever pour of the fabric. Even with the windows rolled down the car still smells like death. You just don’t want to drive it.

Get the stink out and I’ll drive Windows 8.

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