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I bought a Toshiba laptop and don't like Windows 8. I'd like to revert it to Windows 7. I'm fine with leaving the Win 8 Recovery partition, unless I need to remove it. Can I just format the Windows 8 partition or do I need to format the whole disk? Can Windows 7 be installed on GPT or does it require MBR?

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Windows 7 64-bit supports GPT disks, provided you boot in UEFI mode rather than BIOS mode. Note that you will need to boot the Windows 7 install disk in UEFI mode to get a UEFI installation of Windows 7. –  Harry Johnston Dec 9 '12 at 23:31
    
Do I need a new disk? My windows 7 disk won't let me install on a GPT partition. –  Stuart Jan 21 '13 at 0:07
    
Is it 32-bit or 64-bit? Only 64-bit Windows supports UEFI/GPT. –  Harry Johnston Jan 21 '13 at 0:45
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@HarryJohnston - Would you mind elaborating on how to switch the install disk to UEFI? I had this issue come up a while ago, and ended up reformatting the HDD due to time constraints. Interested in a better method. –  Jeeva Jan 22 '13 at 9:48
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@Jeeva: it depends on the model of computer. On a Dell box, you would press F12 during POST to bring up the boot menu; the install DVD will appear in the menu twice, one option for BIOS boot and one option for UEFI boot. –  Harry Johnston Jan 22 '13 at 23:48

3 Answers 3

Having multiple partitions is like having multiple wifes and/or girlfriends, it's all fun and games until it all ends terribly. Clean the disk, and format it in NTFS, and stick with Win7. If you ever decide to go back to 8, you'll be able to get the ISO from microsoft if need be.

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Will I lose my Windows 8 license key? There is no sticker on the laptop with this information. Will I be able to install with a normal ISO or will I need a special one for this laptop? –  Stuart Jan 8 '13 at 22:56
    
What kind of laptop comes w/o a key? check under your battery or run a program to extract the key for you. Belarc Advisor may still work for that. –  MDT Guy Jan 9 '13 at 5:14
    
    
To summarize that site: the license key for windows 8 is embedded into the BIOS. –  Stuart Jan 21 '13 at 23:51
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I could not get my Windows 7 64-bit disk to work with the default UEFI BIOS, but I could switch it under: Advanced -> System Configuration -> Boot Mode = CSM Boot

This opened up a new option: SATA Controller Mode and the Win7 disk would work with either AHCI or Compatibility. I currently have it on AHCI Mode.

I needed to delete the whole hard drive and change it to MBR though, since I could not install Windows 7 after deleting the Windows 8 partition. So to change the disk to MBR I followed this site:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/26203-convert-gpt-disk-mbr-disk.html

Then I installed Windows 7 easily. Lastly I just had to add the drivers for a couple things (Network and USB). The Toshiba website didn't have any Windows 7 drivers, so I had to find them online. I used Realtek's website for the Ethernet and Wifi drivers. I used Unknown Device Identifier to determine the exact product number that I needed the drivers for:

http://www.zhangduo.com/udi.html

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You can check the Intel site for your Toshiba drivers. Just identify the chipset, may require a call to Toshiba Tech Support. Mine is a P75-A7200 with the HM86 chip set. A little trick for all the drivers as follows:

Installed two disks, one GPT UEFI boot windows 8 and the other CMS AHCI boot Windows 7. In Windows 7 device manager locate any unknown or flagged drivers and select update from a specific location. Navigate to the Windows 8 partition and select the drive letter:/Windows directory, include all subfolders and most of your driver issues will be solved.

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