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I bought a laptop recently which had Windows 8 preinstalled. Unhappy with the new OS, I stuck the Win7 installation disk in. The installation disk wouldn't allow me to install Windows on any of the existing partitions due to disk being GPT, so I used a Gparted live CD to remove all of the old partitions and add a new partition table of type MSDOS and then added two NTFS partitions.

Now, the Windows 7 installation disk won't boot. I just see a blinking white line in the upper left corner. There's also no option to access the BIOS. Gparted still boots, however.

Did I remove the only access I had to the BIOS by formatting the hard drive, or is the BIOS only accessible through an installation of Windows 8? Is there any way to install Windows 7 and, if I can, will I ever be able to access the BIOS again?

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Win7 can be installed fine on a GPT drive as long as you boot the installation media in UEFI mode. See this question and the forum post it links to. –  Karan Apr 29 '13 at 14:38
    
What do you mean by "there's no option to access the BIOS"? How were you accessing it earlier? If you boot without any installation media in the drive, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to access the BIOS/UEFI settings as before. Also, when you do get in there, don't forget to turn off Secure Boot before attempting to install Win7. –  Karan Apr 29 '13 at 14:50
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reading your subject, "recovering after uninstalling windows 8" I thought you meant psychologically. –  barlop Apr 29 '13 at 23:31
    
@barlop, Haha, that too. It's really unbelievable that they thought it would be a good idea to scrap the start menu, force booting to the Start Screen, and not allow access to the BIOS without interfacing the OS. MS being brilliant as always. –  mowwwalker Apr 29 '13 at 23:44

2 Answers 2

It would be great to know what type of laptop and model you have. I would recommend you enter the BIOS and disable the UEFI boot mode and set it to legacy. If there's any other option, use AHCI as boot option. This should allow you to boot from the CD/DVD again. As far as I can remember, Windows 7 should install on the laptop flawlessly.

Boot menu on most laptops is F12, on HP F9. I assume your machine is set to boot from HDD first, so it would be good to set it to boot from CD/DVD.

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After looking around online, I came across a comment on another website where someone said that ASUS allowed access to the BIOS by holding the "del" key on boot. I was successfully able to access the BIOS on my ASUS K55A by holding "del" and saw that, even though I had changed it before, the DVD drive was no longer the first boot option. I made the DVD drive first in the boot order and restarted the computer. The Windows 7 installation disk then booted properly and I installed Windows 7.

From a comment on a makeusof article about accessing the BIOS on a Windows 8 computer,

The UEFI spec has no user interface requirements. If a manufacturer wanted to implement this, they could. (My ASUS motherboard has UEFI firmware and uses Del to access its setup utility, for instance.)

..so I got lucky. Moral of the story: keep a backup of the original Windows 8 installation because you might not be able to access the BIOS without it.

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