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Glenn9999

Downgrade Windows 10, now?

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I ended up with 2 computers I need to fix up so they can be sold.  The primary problem at hand for me is to find any of the personal files that might have been missed, copy them off and then wipe the drives and reinstall the OSes so any of the personalizations and all the other crud accumulated over use is gone.  The main problem with doing that is that the current owner of these systems didn't keep the install media (or just doesn't know where it is), as most users seem to be, nor preserved the COA stickers (worn and torn up).   Thankfully the computers have both been activated, have both been automatically updated several times (should prove they're legit enough), and I was able to get both CD Keys off the current installs, which I hope will activate again.   One is Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which it looks like I should be able to download an ISO from Microsoft for replacement media. 

Unfortunately, the other one has (given its age) likely been auto-upgraded to Windows 10 from whatever its original OS was over the Internet (so no install media anyway).  Any advice on how to handle this one?  Ideally, it would be best to verify what the original OS was and back it off to there (especially since this computer is from 2012 and is slow as molasses on Windows 10).  But I'm not sure how to find that out or if Microsoft locked the key out to Windows 10 only.  Ideally, I'd like to back this one out to Windows 7 too, but if I'm stuck with reloading Windows 10 on this one, any tips on it?

Of course, if I'm off-base on how to handle these best, please let me know too.   The ideal thing is for both of these systems to be clean of whatever personal stuff or extraneous garbage, and if I can do that another way besides wiping them, that would work the same...

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Don't these computers have a restore partition (with the original OS of course)? In the case of Windows 10 someone said that they stop access to the restore partition but it is still there (so you must be able to find and use it somehow).
 

17 hours ago, Glenn9999 said:

Ideally, it would be best to verify what the original OS was and back it off to there (especially since this computer is from 2012 and is slow as molasses on Windows 10).

If the PC is from 2012 then it had probably Windows 8 originally installed.

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7 hours ago, Tripredacus said:

You don't need a product key for reinstalling a Windows 10 free upgrade type. For making that media, you can still use MS website:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Good to know.  The problem may be that I may not be able to get to it with the little loader it mentions, but if it'll let me have a regular ISO download, I should be fine.  The only problem will be if this computer will end up in the same situation it is now, with boot up and use taking an eternity.  I got things moving on the Windows 7 one (barring no problems), so hopefully it'll be ready to sell in short order and then I can concentrate on the 10 one a bit more.

2 hours ago, HarryTri said:

Don't these computers have a restore partition (with the original OS of course)? In the case of Windows 10 someone said that they stop access to the restore partition but it is still there (so you must be able to find and use it somehow).
 

If the PC is from 2012 then it had probably Windows 8 originally installed.

Nope.  They're both off-brand home/computer shop builds.  I figure since I have the other key I may see what Microsoft offers me in return for the key, but I'll probably have to put 10 back on it when I blow it up if Microsoft ended up invalidating the key when they did their auto-upgrade schenanigans.

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On 6/2/2017 at 3:48 PM, HarryTri said:

Don't these computers have a restore partition (with the original OS of course)? In the case of Windows 10 someone said that they stop access to the restore partition but it is still there (so you must be able to find and use it somehow).

It depended on the disk type at upgrade. In one way, the upgrade would replace the original recovery partition and in another way it would leave it and add a new one. You wouldn't be able to boot into it unless you edited the BCD. In either case or OS, it would not touch additional partitions such as if it had a partition for the recovery image.

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I think that I am reffering to what you call "partition for the recovery image".

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Partition for the recovery image is not bootable. If used, it would only store the .wim file that the recovery partition (WinRE or 3rd party) used to restore the original factory image. It would be between 5-whatever GB. However there are some companies that do other things such as not having a partition to store recovery image (it would be on the DVD only) or there is only 1 recovery partition that has both the WinRE and the .wim file, or third party solution could be a number of different things.

If you need specific help on these systems, then you would need to share disk layout information.

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4 hours ago, Tripredacus said:

Partition for the recovery image is not bootable.

Yes but there is always a way to access and use it in order to restore your computer to the factory settings (varying from vendor to vendor).

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On 6/2/2017 at 2:48 PM, HarryTri said:

Don't these computers have a restore partition (with the original OS of course)? In the case of Windows 10 someone said that they stop access to the restore partition but it is still there (so you must be able to find and use it somehow).

Some news.  Got the 7 one wiped and reinstalled/activated correctly and ready to sell.

But on the 10 one, got all the personal files copied off of it, found out it has this restore tool, complete with restore partition on the drive.  Boot up into Recovery Mode and select the "Reset PC" task, thinking I'm going to get a virgin 10 install with all personal files and things wiped.  Ran a little bit, said "could not wipe some personal files", and then borked the install so it wouldn't reboot into the OS anymore.  Woops.

Went ahead and wiped the drive, as I get a feeling Microsoft already effectively did that for me.  Seems like Microsoft did end up invalidating the key when I presented it on the Windows 7 install site (likely what it is, the 7 one was a newer PC), so hopefully downloading a fresh Windows 10 install disc it will be, assuming I can, and assuming there's no alternative way of figuring out how to handle getting a valid OS onto the machine (is there a Microsoft support channel for this I'm not aware of?).  Funny how this stuff always conspires to be a lot more of a headache than is reported on the tin.

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And another piece of news.  I had to really work to jury-rig an Internet connection for this Windows 10 machine (don't have a solid ethernet connection now, just enough to do stuff like post here) because I couldn't find an activation avenue for it other than the Internet.  Of course, the problems just multiplied when it came to everything wanting to connect out.  This was especially true when I tried to load help or any other web page (nope!).  Of course, trying to find out what drivers it needs was a trick too (though I figure it's okay since it is 10 on an old system).  At least the reinstall cured the slow as molasses problem.

All I can say is that I hate Windows 10 the more I have to work with it.  If Microsoft wanted people to try Linux or whatever else, they couldn't do better than having to put up with Windows 10.  Cripes!

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