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I have:

  1. a Windows 7 recovery image and a Windows 8 recovery image.
  2. a desktop and a laptop with Windows 8 installed.
  3. a desktop with Windows 7 installed.

I would like to:

  1. on one of my desktops, uninstall Windows 8 and use the Windows 7 recovery image to install Windows 7.
  2. on my other desktop, uninstall Windows 7 and use a recovery image to install Windows 8.

What steps do I need to take to do this?

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This is unlikely to work. The recovery images will be tailored to the hardware that the image was made for, also, some images will only install on the hardware that they were made for. A Dell image, for example, will give an error if you try to install it on a non-Dell machine. – Tog Nov 29 '12 at 7:53
@Tog ok, well i still have the old windows 7 64 bit disc; so can i just download windows 8, transfer all my files over to an hard drive and use the product key to install that on my desktop? – Henry Nov 29 '12 at 8:04
That sounds feasible but you may have trouble if the product key is for an OEM version of Windows. Best to ask that question or search this site for the answer before you proceed. – Tog Nov 29 '12 at 8:07

While reinstalling windows, all old files will be baked in windows.old folder, and you can access anything from your old windows.

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