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I just got a brand new computer, which comes with windows 8 (not pro), but I use an application that can only run on Windows 7 pro; thus, the need to downgrade. I have a Windows 7 Pro DVD (designed for upgrading from vista) but I can't use the CD drive. Is there another way to install from scratch with no DVD?

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make a bootable USB pendrive from the DVD you just mentioned. you can use microsoft's tool: microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/… –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Jan 11 '13 at 2:17
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can burn the Windows ISO image to USB flash drive and then boot from it. You have to change the boot sequence form your BIOS settings. Most of the time, you have to press DEL or F8 or F2 button while booting. Depends upon your motherboard brand. Then set your first boot device as USB drive and boot from it. All next steps are as usual.

You can use Rufus or LiLi or Windows official bootable USB drive creation tool to burn the ISO image to your USB drive. The drive should be more than 4GB in size.

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considerably more than 4Gb, since the QA should previous to format or changing whatever he is planning to do, make a full download of all needed drivers, specially ethernet/wifi & sata/raid/ahci and add them to the USB pendrive, just to be on the safe side. –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Jan 11 '13 at 10:56
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