I plan to buy an HP Pavilion (500-252eg) with Windows 8.1 pre-installed, and already have a Windows 7 DVD with a working key. What I want to do is get rid of Windows 8 and install Windows 7 instead, as if that had been pre-installed.

I don't want to mess anything up, but I have little experience with OS installation, especially the hardware part. I know HP discourages what I'm trying to do, and warns about possible driver issues with Windows 7.

To be slightly more precise than before: How do I ensure that the hardware supports Windows 7?

  • Install it and see if it works. There's no other way.
    – gronostaj
    Aug 13, 2014 at 12:45
  • I will be honest. Most 8.1 hardware will have Windows 7 driver problems. HP isn't going to publish Windows 7 drivers for hardware released 4 years after they stop selling Windows 7 hardware. The first generation of Windows 8.0 hardware was a little different, the OEMs didn't spend a great deal, to release Windows 8 specific hardware only they simply updated the drivers for their existing devices and released slightly different models.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 13, 2014 at 13:07
  • Q: How do I ensure that the hardware supports Windows 7? A: Technically, you can't do anything to ensure that the hardware supports Windows 7. If it doesn't support Windows 7 then it doesn't support Windows 7. You can't make it support Windows 7 if it doesn't. What you should do is to go to the HP web site and check for Windows 7 drivers for that model and download them if they're available.
    – joeqwerty
    Aug 13, 2014 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


When it comes to PCs, it's nearly impossible to ensure anything.

I'm not exactly sure why you'd want to replace 8.1. Overall it's a better OS in terms of data processing and efficiency, and going forward, Windows 8 will be the standard until Windows 9, so it's better just to stick with 8. With all of MS's changes to mitigate the metro stuff, it's not even that different from 7.

That being said, there are still plenty of legitimate reasons to downgrade (like legacy software), so if you need to, just hold your breath and hope.

If it's a pre-built machine (OPs case), you can navigate to your machine's driver page and see if they have any drivers. I also tried to downgrade my HP Envy-dv7 (I got it when win 8 was brand new and still aggravating), and my rig was completely decimated. 800x600 resolution, no networking... Nothing worked, and HP support just told me, "We don't support installing new OS's, and we're not releasing win 7 drivers" (paraphrased).

If it's a custom build (possible reader's case), then you're probably in luck. Most parts manufacturers in this author's experience have support for 7,8, and even sometimes Linux. Just navigate to the drivers' pages of your various parts and see if they have 7 support.

  • Thanks. At the risk of sounding stupid, could I in theory just install Windows 8 again if 7 ends up not working?
    – vvye
    Aug 13, 2014 at 14:02
  • Yep! Just make sure you download all of your drivers (or at least your networking driver) beforehand, because you won't have network access without it, which will make accessing the internet to download drivers difficult, to say the least.
    – sonictt1
    Aug 14, 2014 at 14:37

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