Downgrading New Win8 Laptop to Win 7 OS

This is a story that took many days to finish.  It’s still not done and during the process inspired much anguish and passion.  Something that should be easy was very difficult.  I learned a lot; things I didn’t know I wanted to learn.  Hard work, times where I felt stupid, many points where I considered giving up, and yet after the first task is completed, many of hours of work still exist.  And all of this to set up a tool that will be used for creating new works.  Here’s the story of getting a new laptop.

Process to install windows 7 on lenovo ideapad 400s touch win 8 computer

Basic Desire—Set up a computer that does what I want, not with stupid blinky tiles optimized for consuming, not creating new stuff.   So I decided that I needed a window 7 machine.

Starting point: Brand new windows 8 touch screen computer.

Task: Downgrade computer to Window’s 7

Tools:  Bob had bought both computer and OEM copy of window’s 7.   I also ended up using a MAC for computer research, Liz’s PC for downloading drivers, an IPAD for research and capturing images of codes.

First job – ensuring I can go back to original state

Two tasks – Create restore disk and write down the Window’s 8 product key.

  1. figure out how to make a backup disk
    1. download Lenovo product manuals
    2. read manual that says we need to use the novo key
    3. find the novo key on computer.
    4. go buy several different sized chips
    5. none of them are big enough, so go buy yet another memory stick
    6. make backup disk and put it aside


  1. Finding win 08 product key
    1. Read multiple pages on internet to find out that it is written on the bios
    2. Special tool is needed to read this data, review multiple tools and finally download one of these tools.
    3. run tool.
    4. create snapshot picture with IPAD  and save away


Second Job—Install window’s 7

Tasks—turn of secure boot mode of bios, install software, provide product key, update Lenovo drivers to make computer work properly, get needed service packs,


  1. Getting rid of secure mode (new win 8 feature) in bios
    1. Read lots of web pages to understand what this is
    2. Look up how to turn off computer in windows 8 (Microsoft made this a brand new 4 click process for this version of the OS)
    3. Figure out how to use the NOVO button on the computer to enter bios.  Again had to read Lenovo product manual as well as multiple window’s 7 downgrade instruction webpages
    4. Figure out which commands turned off the secure boot mode and changed the boot device to a cd reader
  2. Install new windows 7 operating system
    1. Put CD into CD reader
    2. Turn off computer and enter boot mode from bios
    3. Eventually determine that we to get a new cdreader that is window’s 8 compatible.  The older reader was not supported by the existing operating system and there were no drivers we could find on the internet to support this reader.
    4. Buy new cd reader
    5. Spend many trials getting the combination of boot mode correct before finally achieving success – the new operating system would install.
    6. Enter product code for windows 7 and get the message it’s invalid.
    7. Time for Robine to have a temper tantrum, Bob does research that says it’s probably because we don’t internet access.
  3. Get computer functional – internet, reading chips, camera, etc.  Note that I’m still not sure if the camera is working correctly.  That will be another day’s problem.
    1. Read and discover that we need a bunch of drivers for the Lenovo computer in window’s 7.
    2. Go to Lenovo website and download these onto Liz’s computer.
    3. She copies them to a chip.
    4. Discover that my computer still can’t read chips because it needs a driver.
    5. Find a big blank usb disk for copying driver executables.
    6. Liz copies drivers onto disk.
    7. Begin installing executables.  Find that half of them won’t install because the files are corrupted.
    8. Eventually get enough drivers installed that the internet access can be established.
    9. In the meantime, have another temper tantrum when things don’t work correctly.
    10. Bob works on getting internet access, I get to finish the task by turning off the offline mode.
    11. Put in the product key, still bad.
    12. After many tries, more tantrums, some brandy provided by Bob, and more tears, I realize that an 8 was really a B.  Now product key works.


Tasks left after the OS is finally installed

  1. Add windows OS patches and service packs (need to figure out what is needed)
  2. Check the Lenovo drivers and install anything missing
  3. Install Office 2010 (done, software gave me a chance to purchase monthly subscription in addition to the full licence already purchased, I declined)
  4. Add dropbox (done but not yet configured)
  5. Check all computer functionality (readers, ports, usb cables, cdreader, camera, and other stuff)
  6. Add Arduino programming environment
  7. Add GNU C programming environment
  8. Add HTML and CSS programming environment
  9. Purchase snagit and install
  10. Configure all the software so it works the way I want it, not how the programmer (especially Microsoft) thinks I should use it.
  11. Get a mouse.
  12. Get used to the keyboard.  Things are in different locations so I keep hitting weird keys.  My finger memory is
  13. Put all the snapshots and notes into a single place for reference.
  14. Install anti virus software.  Thought I had downloaded the free version of AVS, but that also has a 29 day shakedown period where it wants money.  That’s ok, I have a few days to get that resolved.


And most of all – thank everyone who helped me with this process.

BOB–thank you very much for all your help.  I would not have completed this task without your support and having a working window’s machine does make me happy.

Liz and Kate — thanks for ignoring the temper tantrums while I tried to


Then I get to use the computer for what I wanted

  1. Setting up an Arduino programming environment
  2. Writing lecture notes and materials for class I’m going to teach starting next month—teaching computer programming to artists.
  3. Work on writing my great American novel about dragon cats.
  4. Organizing vast libraries of photographs and music / audio files.
  5. Perhaps set up a dual boot with LINUX and Window’s 7
  6. Get the CSA Art foundation website working properly.

Seems like a lot of trouble to set up the basics.  After all the computer is a tool.  Now the attitude that I should like learning new stuff like Window’s OS 8 because it’s progress is all wrong.  I want a tool that works, not an exercise in relearning how to use the basic tools.


Author: Heres to ART not Cockroaches

Welcome to my life. My life as a mom is changing as the kids grow up, leave home, and build their own lives. This gives me a chance to rebuild myself as an artist, develop a spiritual path, and most fun of all, start going out on dates with my husband. Come here the stories about the small things in life that can make one very happy. Dogs running on a beach, great breakfast dates, kids and their adventures, and my own adventures in this wacky life. I'll share some of my progress in learning art while juggling a full time job as an engineer. And best of all, it's a chance for me to practice writing stories while keeping in touch with my kids. I look forward to hearing from you. Comments, thoughts, and invitations to meet for coffee are all welcomed. Enjoy the stories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s