Lost windows 7 for 10,want it back but have no discs

I had windows 7,and it worked fine. I decided to go to 10 since it kept prompting me and I thought they knew best. Well,it seemed to work fine, but now some of my games keep crashing. I tried updating graphics drivers (it said I had the best suited for my pc) and when I got drivers from intel, it said my computer couldn't handle ANY of them. I wanted to restore back to 7, but I lost it. I have no discs either. Can't Windows just give me a free download of 7? I mean, if 10 is free, can't it be free to go backward? Any tips?
 
Question Info

Last updated June 23, 2018 Views 210 Applies to:
Answer
Re-build Windows 7

If you are going to do a re-install, you may be able to take your data off first.  Remove the hard drive and put it into a USB external drive housing.  Connect to a working PC, copy the data off.

Always check to ensure the hard drive you are about to rebuild is actually sound from a hardware perspective.  Download and run your hard drive manufacturer’s drive testing software.

If you had or have Windows 10 installed, you are unlikely to ever get Windows 7 working again satisfactorily unless you do a complete re-install.  The Windows 10 reverting program just does not do the job correctly, and will leave your system in a state that you will not find satisfactory.   In this case, a System Repair disk is not going to help you.

If you have a corrupted Windows 7 system, you are trying to recover, you want to try a System Repair disk to boot the PC.  It may be more successful in fixing and offer other alternatives.  If you do not have one, go to any other PC that has windows 7 with the same bitness (32/64).  Start globe, All Programs, Maintenance.  You need just a blank CD.  When you boot, ensure that you are in fact booting on that CD and not the hard drive.  Usually pressing F12 will lead you to the option to do so.

Best alternative strategies to rebuild are the following in preference order:

  1. Factory restore — replaces everything on the hard drive with exactly what it had on it when you bought it.  You access this before Windows starts using a special key that can varies by brand.  F11 is the most common. This is an option only if the installed hard drive is the original.  This is not a valid strategy on a failing hard drive.
  2. “Upgrade” install using the Win7 install disk. (This is not an option when recovering from a Windows 10 installation). You start as if you are re-installing from scratch but when it gets to the point where it offers the Upgrade choice you choose that.   This is not a valid strategy on a failing hard drive.
  3. Full Clean install.  The only absolutely sure way to have a perfectly clean system.  If you are not using a brand new disk, when it shows the screen to select where you want to put Windows, click on the Advanced link and delete all partitions.  Do not install any software until after ALL Windows Updates are installed and Device Manager shows all devices installed.

You will need a Win7 install disk for 2 or 3.  You will need a legal product code for 3 and the win7 disk must match the edition of the code and its bitness (32 or 64).  If you do not have the original Windows 7 install disk, borrow one from a friend.

Clean Install tip

After Windows 7, system drivers and all updates are installed and any stable applications like Microsoft Office are installed and updated, and before any data or dynamic applications are installed such as antivirus software, create a system image.  It will take 3 or 6 DVD +Rs (not -Rs) and about an hour.  When you are done you will have a very nice bit of insurance.  Should you ever again need to re-build a corrupted system or replace a hard drive, you will have a precise duplicate of your system as it was at that point.  You can restore that image to a hard drive in about 20 minutes.  Creation of System Image is found in your menu under Maintenance, Backup and Restore. 

Another great feature about using the image is that you do not need an install disk or a product key to do the re-install the next time.

I emphasize the need for PLUS R DVD blanks.  Do not use the more common MINUS R DVD blanks.

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Answer

The modern way to recover an OS is from a  you make System Image Backup  you should have made so you can go back in 20 minutes. 

If within 30 days Windows 10 Upgrade has a less stable roll back function: How to uninstall Windows 10 and go back to Windows 7 or 8 | PCWorld

Without either of these you'll need to Clean Reinstall Windows 7.

But since obtaining the media can be a hassle as explained in Step 1 of the link above, what I would do instead is the vastly superior Clean Install Windows 10 Upgrade which avoids all problems with the Upgrade if you will stick closely with the steps in the link.

I will be glad to help you all you need to get the same perfect Windows 10 install which I have been enjoying for over a year now.  Just read over the link, ask back any questions, and keep us posted as you go.

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Approaching 100,000 helped in forums. I don't quit for those who are polite and cooperative.

Windows MVP 2010-19, Moderator

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