I've installed the Windows 8 Developer Preview on a separate partition, and it seems fine enough to keep. Now I'm wondering if it's worth installing on top of my original installation.

I really don't want to mess up my original installation, so I have a few questions:

  1. Has anyone already done this?
  2. Is doing so a bad idea?
  3. Is it easy to go back if I don't like it?
  4. Does it expire at any time?
  • I just installed it to VirtualBox and it's working fine. So I recommend to go this way.
    – bakytn
    Sep 15 '11 at 6:48
  • VirtualBox is not an indication of overwriting Windows 7 in order to install another OS. Mar 6 '12 at 19:12

Simple answer... No! You should not install it on top of an older version of Windows.

Has anyone already done this by any chance?
Yes - This guy did and he regretted his actions.

Is doing so a bad idea?
Yes - It isn't even beta yet. Even then it's not a good idea.

Is it easy to go back, if I don't like it?
No - It's not possible.


How good is your backup system? If, and/or when it does blow up will you be able to easily go back? Are you willing to accept that you will almost certainly have to reinstall Windows when then next release or patch comes out? Do you have the tools and ability to actually backup your data under Windows 8, so if you have to re-install, you can accept that and do it easily?

Microsoft did not support converting from any of the pre-released versions of Vista/7 to a full version. I don't believe there is any reason why you should expect them to support it here. Microsoft doesn't even support using a pre-release of service packs, and this has cause problems for many people in the past.

Based on Microsoft's past release behavior, if you try to use this as your main OS, you will basically be at a dead end from a upgrade standpoint. Your system will almost certainly not be getting security updates, you may not have any ability to update or anything. You will not be able to patch or anything.

The dialog you clicked past when you downloaded it had this to say.

The Windows Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment.


You can't uninstall the Windows Developer Preview. To reinstall your previous operating system, you must have restore or installation media.


I did it!

I installed Windows 8 over Windows 7. Technically it worked smoothly, kept all my account settings, machine name and stuff. It connects to the internet, and to my Homegroup. And I don't regret it because it's not my main machine.

However, I do realize that one day I am going to have to reformat, re-install and start all over again.

Here are more details:


  • I did it too, but I'm a developer. I have noticed several issues but nothing major. Most notable is lag and rendering issues in Internet Explorer. If you want to try it, go ahead. I really only use the machine I installed it on for browsing the web and keeping notes. I will be trying VS2012 on it as well but that's a whole other kettle of fish.
    – Ciaran
    Jun 9 '12 at 23:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.