I was a little gung-ho with my installation of W8 and installed it on my main PC. How do I revert to W7, keeping programs etc?
See "Notes about Installing The Developer Preview"
You may have a "windows.old" folder on the C drive, this will contain all your files that were in the W7 installation, unless you formatted the partition prior to installing W8.
As @Moab said
Using this article from Microsoft support you can recover data from
The article is intended for Windows Vista, but you can follow the steps and see if it still applies for reverting from Windows 8 Developer Preview to Windows 7.
GOING BACK TO WINDOWS 7 from WINDOWS 8
As an engineer, I was curious about Windows 8. Thus I bought Windows 8 online directly from Microsoft which automatically was setup on my USB thumb drive. I did a BIOS update on my computer, also saved an image of my Windows 7 system (VERY SMART STEP!) and then I was ready. I choose to do a clean windows 8 install! Played with Windows 8 for a month and realized what a mess.
So then, I thought, its time to put Windows 7 back on my computer. This should be simple. Just restore my Windows 7 image. WRONG ! ! ! !
You have no idea how many problems and errors I discovered. There were so many I did not even keep track of all the error codes and everything that would not work. And I was armed with everything: I had a Windows 7 bootable USB recovery drive, a Windows 8 bootable install/recovery USB drive, a Windows 7 image file, and the latest and greatest BIOS. All were of no help !
What I discovered was that Windows 8 changes your hard drive from MBR to GPT (boot sector) and each one does not like the other. Thus you CANNOT boot a Windows 7 recovery USB drive AND/OR do a Windows 7 image restore if your hard drive is set as a GPT volume/disk; likewise, you CANNOT do a Windows 7 MBR image recovery from a Windows 8 recovery bootable USB drive.
After spending 16 straight hours of research and work on this problem, I finally found the solution. It's a painful solution but it works.
What I had to do is: (this assumes you installed Windows 8 and thus your hard drive is set as GPT)
Once you know that GPT is gone, your set! Just reboot using a Windows 7 recovery USB/CD drive and select restore an image (Windows 7 image). It works! You now have Windows 7 back.
You could try using the original Windows 7 install CDs, but my new laptop does not have a CD player.
This blog explains how to do it: