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So, yes I foolishly upgraded my Windows 8 Pro machine to the Windows 8.1 preview without really reading that you cannot upgrade to 8.1 RTM when the time comes. The machine I did this on was originally a Windows 7 Home Premium system which was upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, then to 8.1 preview.

I want to somehow 'trick' this 8.1 preview machine into thinking it is Windows 7, so I can upgrade to Windows 8 and avoid the hassle of backing everything up and reinstalling. I'm sure it could be possible. Does anyone have any idea how? Thanks.

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This is not possible. The restriction is not just an arbitrary registry key or licensing restriction, it's based on how the system actually works on a lower level. You will need to do a reinstall at some point to get back to a "real" version of Windows.

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