Author Topic: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?  (Read 1413 times)

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Offline pfletch101

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2018, 11:44:22 AM »
Win 10 can be easily configured with an interface that looks like Win 7 (the traditional/classic look and feel) instead of that stupid "Metro" one that 8 defaults to (8 also can be made to have a classic look).
To the best of my recollection (it has been a while!) the ability to boot to the old-style desktop without installing third-party software was restored in the 'upgrade' from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1. Windows 8.0 was an unmitigated disaster - 8.1 was only slightly mitigated!  :-) I would concur with your advice to go to Windows 10.
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Offline Jstx

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2018, 07:02:48 PM »
Opera ain't Opera no more.  It's been pushed around, shoved around and sat upon so much it barely resembles it's former self.

Opera has seen some changes made, it's still the best.
I started using it in the mid '90's, it was great until they came out with the 'all new' version 15, then it had a few bumps (version is up to 56 or 60 something).
Prior to v15, Opera used its' own rendering engine "Presto", with v15 it began using the Blink engine, which was derived from Chrome.
I still use two older versions sometimes (I had downloaded a number of versions).
Opera also used to have a great email client built right in, now it's a separate program.

Opera is still the best browser out there. I also use two Comodo browsers, two Firefoxes, Safari, and a couple other obscure ones, but Opera is the main one.
The feature set is very extensive, it is extremely stable, it can be loaded down with dozens of 'windows' and many hundreds of tabs. And if you set the option, when you do a reboot or whatever, it all comes back just as you left it, including website page histories (fwd-bkwd).
Plus it has a built-in VPN and superb adblocker.
It has many features and advantages, read the Wiki link below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_(web_browser)

Offline Jstx

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2018, 07:18:31 PM »
Win 10 can be easily configured with an interface that looks like Win 7 (the traditional/classic look and feel) instead of that stupid "Metro" one that 8 defaults to (8 also can be made to have a classic look).
To the best of my recollection (it has been a while!) the ability to boot to the old-style desktop without installing third-party software was restored in the 'upgrade' from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1. Windows 8.0 was an unmitigated disaster - 8.1 was only slightly mitigated!  :-) I would concur with your advice to go to Windows 10.

Yep, the Microsoft ijits tried to ram a tablet touchscreen interface onto mouse/keyboard PC's with Win 8. It was a disaster. Then they fixed it up a bit with Win 8.1, but the damage had been done. Very few people worldwide would leave Win 7 for that Win 8 POS.

Win 10 is very different, well worth upgrading to and using. Stability has always been an issue with me, as I would push a machine hard. Older Windows OS's were always plagued with crashes, I almost never have any lockups or crashes with Win 10, and recoveries have been clean (older Wins could damage themselves during a crash...grrrr).
In most aspects anyway. The auto updates, with very little control over them are a PITA for nerds. If one carefully goes through the Setup/System applets and restrict some of the intrusive stuff from running you save agro and processing power.

Offline Jstx

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2018, 07:25:49 PM »
I meant to respond to those mentioning buying "refurbished" PC's
Yes, a very economical way of getting late model, near state-of-the-art computers at very good prices.
I recommend getting refurbished 'business class' HP machines. They are great to begin with, but a very useful extra is that HP has a long 'support cycle' for these business PCs.
And a very valuable adjunct to that is that they have an extensive set of downloadable documentation available, along with supported drivers, etc.

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2018, 12:03:32 AM »
The feature set is very extensive, it is extremely stable, it can be loaded down with dozens of 'windows' and many hundreds of tabs. And if you set the option, when you do a reboot or whatever, it all comes back just as you left it, including website page histories (fwd-bkwd).

I do that with SeaMonkey, the current iteration of what used to be Netscape and Mozilla Suite.

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2018, 08:32:29 AM »
I've always bought Dell business refurbs.  Years ago one my mother bought an HP.  I was sold on HP printers, but they were just starting to produce PCs.  It was a dud.   A big dud.  Since then I have stayed away from HP computers.  Working on my granddaughter's old computer was the first HP I've worked with.  It seemed fine, though the monitor needs replacing (looks like it might have taken a hit on the edge of the screen).  Next time I prepare to buy another computer I'll take a look at HP.  I'm sure they've improved them and maybe they won't have the peculiar proprietary stuff that Dell slips into some of there systems. 

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2018, 09:46:10 AM »
Hmmm....

Just installed the Opera browser.  So far I'm looking at it negatively.  Upon installation it took it upon itself to set it as my default browser without giving me the option.  Not good, I don't like "push" tactics.

Second negative item...  When I open a new tab the little bookmark squares are there but also a long narrow Google search engine window.  I've selected Bing to be my default search engine and searching from the URL/address bar results in a Bing search.  I hope that I'm missing something here, certainly Bing isn't in Google's pocket, too.  #-o

I'm not liking it with the Google search bar there.  I can get over Opera setting itself up as the default browser without asking me first, but having a Google search bar in a new tab's window just isn't going to work.  My intent this morning is to distance myself from Chrome and Google...and any other Google-related "thing".  I know Google is a thieving company, I've put up with it for several years, but I'm over it, finished,...I'm done.   So, how do I replace that Google search bar that shows up in a newly opened tab with some other search bar?

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2018, 10:04:38 AM »
Interesting.  Chrome allows me to set Bing as my search engine that opens in new tabs but Opera will not (Opera only shows Google).  :-k

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Offline Jstx

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2018, 10:23:33 AM »
The feature set is very extensive, it is extremely stable, it can be loaded down with dozens of 'windows' and many hundreds of tabs. And if you set the option, when you do a reboot or whatever, it all comes back just as you left it, including website page histories (fwd-bkwd).

I do that with SeaMonkey, the current iteration of what used to be Netscape and Mozilla Suite.

Yes, but does SeaMonkey have a built in, one click, very effective VPN (which hides your actual IP) and adblocker (almost never see an ad anywhere), plus many other very useful features?
Both of those features are complicated extra addons with other browsers. (note that the Opera VPN is only for Opera, it isn't in effect for other apps using your IP connection, like other browsers or email*, etc; as a full IP VPN would do.)
I don't even use many of its' features, but some might; just a matter of your own style and habits, in which Opera is flexible enough to accommodate almost everybody.

Firefox will retain webpage tabs and history too, but MS Edge retains tabs but not their history.
Opera is simply the all around best there is.

* Writing of "email", how many of y'all have an account (free or paid) with the absolutely secure, fully encrypted end-to-end Swiss email provider called "ProtonMail"? No ads, no 'analysis' of contents, no spying; nobody, not even ProtonMail, has access to your email content. (I was an invited beta tester from PM's early days)
Plus, I think it's neat to have my encrypted mailbox securely stored 1000 meters under a Swiss mountain. Not in a Google server farm accessible to thousands of ?.
Our modern 'surveillance state' governments worldwide hate it... so it's gotta be good.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProtonMail

Offline Jstx

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2018, 10:34:57 AM »
Interesting.  Chrome allows me to set Bing as my search engine that opens in new tabs but Opera will not (Opera only shows Google).  :-k

I don't know where you're getting that.
Opera gives you a long list of 'search' providers to choose from and use as a default on the "Settings" option page. Plus you can add on your own URL if you find one not on the list.
I use Bing or Duck as default. I will sometimes specifically go to "Google.com" for certain things, but never as a default.
Have you gone through the 'advanced' Settings options yet? There's lots of selectable stuff in there. Read the descriptions, and "help" if necessary.

Opera is/can be complicated, if you dig into it, because it does so much (lots of stuff I've never even looked at yet).
But you can simplify it. Like anything new (to 'you' or anyone), it takes a little getting used to.

Offline Jstx

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2018, 10:46:41 AM »
Hmmm....

Just installed the Opera browser.  So far I'm looking at it negatively.  Upon installation it took it upon itself to set it as my default browser without giving me the option.  I never saw this happen, Opera has always given a choice of default.  Not good, I don't like "push" tactics.

Second negative item...  When I open a new tab the little bookmark squares are there but also a long narrow Google search engine window.  I've selected Bing to be my default search engine and searching from the URL/address bar results in a Bing search.  I hope that I'm missing something here, certainly Bing isn't in Google's pocket, too.  #-o
You can get rid of that whole 'initial page' stuff in the "Settings" options.

I'm not liking it with the Google search bar there.  I can get over Opera setting itself up as the default browser without asking me first, but having a Google search bar in a new tab's window just isn't going to work.  My intent this morning is to distance myself from Chrome and Google...and any other Google-related "thing".  I know Google is a thieving company, I've put up with it for several years, but I'm over it, finished,...I'm done.   So, how do I replace that Google search bar that shows up in a newly opened tab with some other search bar?
Google is a "spying" apparatus...

I've never seen Opera 'make' a browser default selection, it always gives a choice option during setup.
Go into the Opera "Settings" options, select the "advanced" display, and carefully go to each settings page and make your selections. Some options might require a look at "Help", but you can customize almost everything about Opera.
I'm 100% with you on Goog, have been for years, avoid it like the plague (except for one gmail needed for my Android stuff)

Offline Jstx

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2018, 10:58:10 AM »
I've always bought Dell business refurbs.  Years ago one my mother bought an HP.  I was sold on HP printers, but they were just starting to produce PCs.  It was a dud.   A big dud.  Since then I have stayed away from HP computers.  Working on my granddaughter's old computer was the first HP I've worked with.  It seemed fine, though the monitor needs replacing (looks like it might have taken a hit on the edge of the screen).  Next time I prepare to buy another computer I'll take a look at HP.  I'm sure they've improved them and maybe they won't have the peculiar proprietary stuff that Dell slips into some of there systems.

HP acquired/merged with Compaq long ago to try to become dominate in the computer/PC biz. It didn't work out too well.
A new HP machine will have some proprietary stuff aboard. But a refurb from a reputable refurber will have a clean OS installed, and little else. They wipe the disk.
The HP business class machines are different from the 'consumer class' ones. Their support windows are much longer, and the documentation and things like drivers, etc is better (documentation especially).
I have 4-5 biz HP's (and some Compaqs), like the HPs better than any others I've had, the old Compaqs not so much; except maybe some Sonys. The HPs are expandable too, I've added and upgraded a lot of stuff into them (memory, drives, video cards, etc).
 I got all my HPs from Newegg refurb.
Have never owned a Dell.
Have built a couple of machines from scratch though, for special purposes like navigation aboard the boat. Thinking of building something like a RaspberryPi micro-machine for my WX stuff, to minimize power usage, etc.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 11:03:53 AM by Jstx »

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2018, 11:41:53 AM »
John, Opera definitely set itself as the default browser.  Suddenly there were red "O"s scattered over the desktop.  Click on a link in an email...POOF!!!...Opera opens up.  :-|  I had no input into that.

Where I get a Google search bar showing on an freshly opened Opera tab....I wish I knew.  I had already gone in and selected Bing as the default search engine (as I mentioned in my previous post).  I've actually gone into settings and brought up the search engine list several times to verify that Bing is selected for the default.  I can enter a search string in the address/url bar and it will Bing will search.  But, a freshly opened tab window still shows a Google search bar.  I don't know where I get it from, but I'd like to get rid of it.  Seems a lot of the extensions available also reference Google.

Interesting to read your post regarding HP/Compaq.  I'll consider an HP on my next refurb purchase...I'm happy where I'm at, for now.  Dell's have always performed well for me, though.

I still need to check out the browser that WeatherHost mentioned...Seamonkey.  Netscape was the first browser I ever used...been a few years back now.

Seems that Google CEO, Pichai, is getting (rightly) grilled on Capitol Hill today.


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Offline Bushman

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2018, 12:13:27 PM »
...
* Writing of "email", how many of y'all have an account (free or paid) with the absolutely secure, fully encrypted end-to-end Swiss email provider called "ProtonMail"? No ads, no 'analysis' of contents, no spying; nobody, not even ProtonMail, has access to your email content. (I was an invited beta tester from PM's early days)
Plus, I think it's neat to have my encrypted mailbox securely stored 1000 meters under a Swiss mountain. Not in a Google server farm accessible to thousands of ?.
Our modern 'surveillance state' governments worldwide hate it... so it's gotta be good.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProtonMail

Hilarious. Not.  Ask Jamal about encryption.  :(   
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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2018, 12:48:45 PM »
Wow... (said with a little bit of intimidation)

I just downloaded the data that Google says they have regarding my online activity....over 13GB of data!!!!  :shock:  I don't even have that much data on me!!!!!!!!!!

I see that you are supposed to be able to delete this data.  Really?  Ya think so?  Probably just delete what I can see and it and other data is "archived" elsewhere.  I hope they hang Pichai and the horse he came riding in on.  :evil:

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Offline Jstx

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2018, 01:34:41 PM »
John, Opera definitely set itself as the default browser.  Suddenly there were red "O"s scattered over the desktop.  Click on a link in an email...POOF!!!...Opera opens up.  :-|  I had no input into that.

Where I get a Google search bar showing on an freshly opened Opera tab....I wish I knew.  I had already gone in and selected Bing as the default search engine (as I mentioned in my previous post).  I've actually gone into settings and brought up the search engine list several times to verify that Bing is selected for the default.  I can enter a search string in the address/url bar and it will Bing will search.  But, a freshly opened tab window still shows a Google search bar.  I don't know where I get it from, but I'd like to get rid of it.  Seems a lot of the extensions available also reference Google.

Interesting to read your post regarding HP/Compaq.  I'll consider an HP on my next refurb purchase...I'm happy where I'm at, for now.  Dell's have always performed well for me, though.

I still need to check out the browser that WeatherHost mentioned...Seamonkey.  Netscape was the first browser I ever used...been a few years back now.

Seems that Google CEO, Pichai, is getting (rightly) grilled on Capitol Hill today.

Can't explain that 'default' stuff, have never seen anything but having a choice before (and I always add Opera to a new machine, tablet, or phone).
Either they have changed things, which I doubt, or you missed a little checkbox or something.
I always select a "custom' install option to see everything going on.
I always let MS Edge or IE be the default browser; then am careful about using links from email or whatever, always C&P them into (Opera), never just click one and let it use the default browser.

Go to "Settings" on the options menu (click the red "O" at the upper left corner), then click "advanced", and scroll down making your selections.
The ones you're concerned with are in there, even if the initial setup/install isn't what you want, and can be selected or deselected, including how a new tab looks when it opens.
You can get rid of that Google bar on a new tab (one of the first things I get rid of). Some experimentation with seeing what some of those options do is necessary, Opera is one of the most powerful, fast, customizable browsers around and can be complicated..
Get through the initial, understandable, agro and you'll like it.
Talk about agro, in checking through the options I accidentally made Opera the default browser. You have to go to Windows "Settings/Apps or Edge to change back to Edge (or whatever you want).

Some pertinent options:
Search engine
Default browser
Instant Search
Search pop-up
Personal news (select never)
Start page  (hide search box, think that that is your irritating Google bar) and speed dial (I sure don't need it), the rest off)
User interface  (lots of stuff here, you have to experiment to find how you like it)

For all browsers I always make my 'start page'  "about:blank"

Plus many other options I didn't mention. Adblocker and VPN are the most important IMO. With the VPN you can also select where in the world you want to be 'from', that selection is made from the blue VPN button on the (left of) address bar. Click it and see all the options, like 'optimal', Americas, Europe, Asia).
Most have a "Learn more" link right there to check them out.
Opera is super-customizable. I guess I've just got my setup worked out over the years where it's second nature.

Offline Bushman

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2018, 02:55:50 PM »
Opera's "VPN" is more of a proxy but well, it is free.  And it logs your stuff, etc.  If you really need a VPN use something like OpenVPN.
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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Can I downgrade a laptop from Win8.1 to Win7?
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2018, 06:03:10 PM »
I use IPVanish, which seems to do a pretty good job.  I got a good deal on it a few months ago so I thought I'd give it a try.  I use it off-and-on, not constantly, as it takes a little (enough to notice?) speed away.  We're on the low-end of Centurystink's food pyramid at a whopping 3Mbps connection speed so I don't want to impact our speed anymore than needed.

What about Firefox?  I used it for a long time, but it seemed it kind of "fell apart" for a while.  I just read a blurb on it that it's not as memory/resource hungry as Chrome is.

Here are the pertinent settings in Opera...first two are setting pages and third screen capture is what a new tab opened up immediately after leaving these settings look like.
OperaMainSettings by Intheswamp, on Flickr

OperaManageSearchEngines by Intheswamp, on Flickr

OperaFreshTabWindow by Intheswamp, on Flickr

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