Feeds

back to article HP warns consumers: Don't downgrade Win8 PCs to Win7

Windows 8 got you down? Don't worry; even if you buy a new machine with Windows 8 preinstalled, you should be able to downgrade it to Windows 7, if you prefer – that is, unless you bought a new consumer PC or laptop from HP. It's a little-known fact that Windows licenses include the right to downgrade to earlier versions of the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

FAIL

I was under the impression that MS discounts OEM licences to such as HP in return for undertaking the support.

Whilst I can understand HP not doing any drivers etc they may not actually have a choice but to "support" the end-user with a valid HP OEM licence... otherwise they could end up in doo-doo.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Off the list then...

... was going to buy a new laptop in a week or so....it now wont be a HP laptop.

22
0
Linux

Re: Off the list then...

My message to HP is to stick their computers where the sun don't shine. Frankly, I would rather upgrade to Linux rather than downgrade to 7. But that is another matter. I resent Redmond trying to tell me what i can use on my computer!

14
0
Silver badge

Re: Off the list then...

The downgrade rights are restricted only on the consumer laptops.

Who the hell would buy a consumer HP laptop anyway?

3
1
Happy

Re: Off the list then...

Hmmmm I have had huge fights with HP / Lenovo....

So bad...

So incompetent...

So ruthlessly incompetent....

I'd KEEP a HP laptop only and ONLY if I was given one....

Then I'd upgrade it to Xubuntu with the Xfce desktop and the Nautilus filing system - with all the amazing bells and whistles - being things that you actually need and use - the genuinely useful stuff.

But HP in general? American Corporations have a real tendency to appoint shit heads and idiots into their ranks because they are shit heads and idiots.

The bag lady from Ebay got a job there.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Hmmm...

The account manager we recently used to order half a dozen HP machines strongly recommended not going for Windows 8 and to stick with Windows 7 "until the dust settles".

Didn't have to twist our arms too hard either.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm...

Of course he did, he has been told to shift the remains of the Windows 7 stock as quickly as possible

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm...

You are probably right, except in this case they are Windows 8 boxes downgraded to Windows 7.

0
0

The Microsoft downgrade rights only apply to pro and above licences, even then you need a volume licence to activate the downgraded os... So most consumers can't take that route

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Minor correction

It is possible to install a downversion upgrade (the word "downgrade" doesn't do justice to the benefits!) using OEM media, and activate it via the activate-by-phone option. One just has to ignore the IVR prompts until you get put through to a real person.

We have a lot of Vista-era machines that run XP Pro... in the beginning MS were quite picky and wanted to know the key from the Vista sticker, but for quite a while now they'll happily activate an XP Pro installation as soon as they hear "it's a Vista downgrade".

Not sure if the same will be true for W8->W7...

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Not sure if the same will be true for W8->W7

Initially, no.

Give it about 6 months and try again.

0
0
Devil

We always downgrade to vanilla 7 anyway.

Removing the HP crapware is so time-consuming and causes all sorts of stability issues, so we always wipe them and install vanilla 7 anyway.

There are all sorts of rubbish on them from Mcrappy encryption to Notone AV, to all sorts of hp branded nuisances.

None of them serve any valid purpose on a business machine.

11
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: We always downgrade to vanilla 7 anyway.

I work in HP's tech support in Gateshead and the first step when resolving Windows issues on supported products is to remove the bloatware. Step 1, always always always, "system refresh" with a clean windows install. Same goes for their printer support; if it's a software issue, do a reinstall de-selecting everything but the printer driver itself. We're outsourced and our #1 report to HP every month is to stop adding so much fucking bloat, and while they'd made some headway (the new printer drivers [v28] are only 50mb, down from 250mb a few years ago), the bloat and poor software are the biggest sources of issues for us.

Also, in my opinion, not supporting downgraded products is fair enough. The support agreements clearly state that the manufacturer will only provide software support for the software provided with the system - in this case Windows 8. This isn't unreasonable and all manufacturers do the same [most manufacturers dont actually provide any software support - HP is aping apple in this regard: apple's tech support teams are based in the same building as HP's teams in Gateshead, entirely by coincidence]

Now, while not supporting downgrades is pretty reasonable, HP are being seriously disingenuous in another way. At the moment, if you buy a Windows 7 PC and buy a Windows 8 upgrade alongside it, a purchase HP will refund you, effectively making it free, <u>HP will not support that machine with Windows 8 installed</u>. Even though it was shipped advertised as supporting Win8, and even though HP have given you a free Win8 license alongside it, if you get any software issues and call to get them resolved, you'll get sweet FA from the PSG support until you've reformatted and reinstalled Win7.

And just to show how absolutely insane HP are, while PSG (laptops and desktops) are doing everything they can to avoid supporting Win8, IPG (printers, scanners) are providing absolutely free, no strings attached software support and diagnosis for any customers with windows 8.

And just for a final note of insanity, IPG and PSG were supposed to be merged six months ago.

And HP's management wonder why they're losing money.

17
0
Silver badge

Re: None of them serve any valid purpose on a business machine.

The article isn't about business machines.

And while consumer machines are also greatly improved with less bloatware, not being able to find and download the correct driver for your system is a huge problem if you're trying to work back.

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

Didnt know

HP did Apple sauce....

1
0
Silver badge
Coat

Headline Translation

"HP warns consumers 'Don't buy a PC from us'"

Yep that's how that headline looked after being processed through my brain.

38
0

Re: Headline Translation

+100.... to that...

Too bad nobody that matters at HP is watching this forum.

1
0

Crapy decision ...

I've got such laptop and now thinking about returning it to the store. The price was good, configuration is suitable. But windows 8..... its a ....... unimaginable stupid, not human friendly OS.

To start with a multitouch mouse pad, you need to be really careful with that. Otherwise it starts flipping screens or doing zoom in and out in the browser.

Second thing is a whole white program borders and sliders on regular desktop. Its impossible to see where one window ends and starts another.

Windows 7 indeed installed like a charm, but there are no drivers for wireless (atheros). I don't mind working without a camera, but wireless... Really?

5
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Crapy decision ...

"I don't mind working without a camera, but wireless... Really?"

Seriously? Wifi issues in 2012?

Maybe one of these years will be the Year of Windows On The Desktop. Until then, it's plainly not ready for prime time.

(sorry, couldn't resist).

24
0

Re: Crapy decision ...

When you say there's no driver....are you saying you couldn't find a driver from Atheros either? No driver from HP wouldn't surprise me, but no driver from Atheros either.....that would.

Technically Atheros would be the ones providing the driver to HP anyway....HP would just make some branding tweaks to it, if they even bothered to do that.

1
1

Re: Crapy decision ...

Just swapped out the Atheros card on my old Lenovo R60 because it doesn't work with Win 7. Check the forums.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: HP would just make some branding tweaks to it

No, companies as big as HP often rewrite part of the code because of a proprietary tweak elsewhere. If you don't get the driver from them the prime can't help you.

Biggest offender there use to be IBM, but they've left the hardware biz. I don't remember the name of it anymore, but they had a weird sound card modem combination. Even though they were separate pieces, if you yanked the modem card to upgrade to a faster one it would fail. You had to reinstall the old modem, manually uninstall the driver, then remove the card before the next boot. Then you could upgrade the modem.

1
0
Silver badge
Stop

Re: HP would just make some branding tweaks to it

Time Computers, bless 'em had a custom conextant driver that locked the modem to one provider. Supanet.

Despite people returning their computers in droves to complain, TC would NOT provide support on how to do it.

Ahh, yes, the fog clears a bit now, unless you had bought the cover plan or had paid by credit card and had complained to the CC company.

Right until its final retail demise back in 2004/5/6 whenever i have never come across such a bunch of charlatons..Most complained about company in it's time....

Oh, i was the head engineer in their flagship store.....It was a job ffs!

0
0
Silver badge

Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

Install Linux - that way you avoid crapware as well as getting something better.

9
3

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

Bummer, I thought the days of "Install Linux it shits all over Windows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" where over.

6
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

I took your advice and installed Linux, but found none of my current software works on it. When I contacted the software companies to find out how to get it working, they told me they don't do Linux versions of the software, so what now?

8
8
Silver badge

@AC

I think now would be a good time to try and get your money back, if possible :/

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

Really? Explain what's better about linux... There are plenty of linux distributions out there that can't recognise wireless cards, etc.

2
5

Re: @AC 00:55

You are now enjoying software freedom.

1
0
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

> There are plenty of linux distributions out there that can't recognise wireless cards, etc.

You only need one that works.

Given that there's more than one, you have a far better chance of finding something suitable.

3
1

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

Wireless working fine on BackTrack 5 ;o)

You use WEP, right?

1
1
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

"Really? Explain what's better about linux... There are plenty of linux distributions out there that can't recognise wireless cards, etc."

When did you last try Linux then? Could have tried the graphics card angle, that might have given you some truth to back up your claims, but wireless is pretty well supported.

Tell you what, I think most Linux distro's out of the box will give you working wireless, while a fresh Windows install will make you search for that cable and network socket so you can download the driver from the net.

7
0
Gold badge
Coat

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

Well, you got what you paid for......

0
0
Linux

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

Install Wine.

0
0
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

Or alternatively download a few Linux iso's, burn them to CDs and do a livedisk test. Then you can confirm what hardware/drivers work and don't without even touching your HD before you commit to anything.

Did that with an old laptop whose Win XP resolutely refused to drive its wifi card and reliably recognise and/or connect. As it turned out all three distro's I tried picked it up and connected first time, which was quite a pleasant surprise (as I was beginning to suspect the wifi card itself was fubar'd).

6
0
Trollface

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

No you didn't, you are just astroturfing. Work for Microsoft?

In the course of a single thread you could downloaded an ISO of a Linux distro, burned it, and installed it because doing ALL that takes less than an hour if you have a reasonably fast connection. BUT, you could NOT have contacted all "the software companies" and gotten a reply so quickly.

Native Linux software doesn't work on Windows (or Mac) and native Windows software doesn't work on Linux or Mac, but that is no surprise to any except a newb. You new to computers? Obviously not, since you claim to have installed Linux and contacted software companies within the course of this thread. If you switch to Mac you use Mac software which is equivalent or better than Windows software. Same for Linux., and Linux has world class software that matches or exceeds similar software in Windows.

While HP laptops are or are becoming junk, their printers are still top rate, and I've never used one which wasn't recognized out of the box by Kubuntu 12.04, my distro of choice. I turned my HP LaserJet P1606dn on, plugged it into a USB port, and within 15 seconds it was recognized and configured, with the spool icon setting in the system tray. Same for my HP PSC 1610 Bubble Jet.

There are some laptops, notebooks, etc. which Kubuntu fails to recognize and configure some peripherals, but for more than 95% of all hardware it is a "it just works" experience, "out of the box.

1
0
Trollface

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

Really? And Win7 recognizes them all? I just did a Google search on:

"windows 7 doesn't recognize wireless"

for ONLY the last HOUR and got seven pages of links to posts by people who can't get their Win7 to recognize their wireless. I originally searched for the last year, but there were too many listings.

So, by your standard Win7 fails as well.

What's better about Linux?

1) It is much more secure than ANY Windows installation because it has a Unix security model built in from the beginning, not tacked on as an after thought. That's why you don't see the equivalent of a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botnet">30 million Windows zombie bot farms</a> springing up over night, created by the release of one email bearing a Trojan. Each distro has its own very secure repository from which users can download GPL software that has been vetted. Ubuntu has nearly 60,000 offerings covering every conceivable range of computer use.

2) Almost four years ago Steve Ballmer said that Linux had over 10% of the desktop market share. Then VISTA hit. The Linux desktop share has only increased since then. Win7 has, no doubt, slowed down the Linux adoption rate, but has not reversed it. Probably because people are beginning to recognize the lack of ethics demonstrated by Microsoft (and Apple). Apple's DE market share has increased as well, for the same reasons. Some estimates puts Windows DE market share at around 65%, some lower. With the release of Win8, and news like HP not supporting downgrades to Win7, the market is betting that Win8 will be another VISTA, but with LOCK-INs and LOCK-OUTs (UEFI). Because Linux runs on SO MUCH of the existing hardware, and even on hardware that was designed to lock it out using EUFI, game developers have taken notice and begun developing and releasing games for Linux. In the last 6 months I've purchased almost a dozen games that were formerly available only for Windows. HumbleIndie, Steam, etc...

3) Linux is world class. The kernel alone is being developed by over 5,000 programmers, 75% of whom work for companies which pay them to work on the kernel because of the return in license savings the companies get from using Linux in their businesses. Most of the developers have degrees in computer science. Many have advanced degrees. Most of the application projects have a team of coders working on them. Some paid, most volunteering. It is not a "hobby" to them, they work with a passion and devotion that one doesn't see from coders hired on a three month basis and then let go.

4) There are over 300 varieties of Linux desktops because Linux is about choice. Ubuntu, Kubuntu, RedHat, PCLinuxOS, Mint, Mandriva and OpenSUSE are just a few of the top rated ones. Tell me you think that choice is bad and consumers should have only one car available to them. A Yugo?

5) I can't speak about the other desktop environments, but my favorite is Kubuntu, and it is HIGHLY configurable to almost ANY look and feel that I wish. For 95+% of the hardware out there it "just works"out of the box. Kubuntu 12.04 on my Acer V3-771G it works very well. The NVIDIA GT-650M GPU gives me 170 fps in most games, and more than that in some. I plan to stay with Kubuntu 12.04 until its EOL, in 2017. Security, stability, speed and longevity, sans lock-in or lock-out. That's what most users want.

I don't feel sorry for HP. They chose to run their business according to Microsoft's business plan. How could they not see that such a course would only benefit Microsoft? Perhaps key personnel were paid well NOT to see.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

So don't believe everything you read about the wonderfulness of Linux.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Why downgrade from Win 8 ? Upgrade from Win 8!

And THAT is your reason?

Poor.....

0
0

I enjoyed a similar experience downgrading an HP notebook from Vista to XP a few years ago, when I felt Vista was too new to be trusted. There were some problems with some drivers not being available from HP but with some perseverance and tinkering, I managed to get everything working.

1
0
Silver badge

Drivers...

Are the most up-to-date hardware drivers available from HP? Fair play to them if they are- some of their competitors don't have the most recent drivers on their website, and users have to hunt down the OEM's site to avoid BSOD.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Drivers...

I'm the same AC from HP from above (AC for blindingly obvious reasons). HP's software/driver availability, as far as windows is concerned, is superb. You just have to learn how to navigate their website.

You'll never learn how to navigate their website.

8
0
Silver badge

Re: Drivers...

Even in the olden days HP was guaranteed for driver problems. Part of the art of Fixing a brand new HP system is to make sure you know *exactly* which hardware they've ..."installed" ... in there and make sure you've downloaded and tested all you need on a system that actually works.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Drivers...

Yep ... I've been working with HP software for donkey's years and have to agree ... their website is possibly one of the worst in the industry.

0
0
h3
Bronze badge
WTF?

I have only had one HP Laptop - 8710w Mobile Desktop Workstation it was a junk laptop (Flimsy as hell - really heavy - good screen though) but you had a choice of Vista / XP / Suse Enterprise Desktop 10 and any was supposedly fully supported.

Suse couldn't be used though because it had Xgl and hence was incompatible with the commercial linux software I needed.

0
0
Silver badge

OK, well that's HP off the list of vendors for my new laptop then. Looked at Win8. It was shit. No thanks.

1
0
Silver badge

Pfft. I haven't bought a HP since..

...they were busy knocking out all those shitty laptops with dodgy motherboards.

While they did the honourable thing and replaced the faulty motherboards FOR A WHILE, they replaced them with other faulty motherboards with the same design problem.

Fucking shite-peddlers.

4
0
FAIL

I also got bitten by the "buy nice little hp laptop, get stuck with the windows 8 horror" issue. I can see this coming back to bite HP on the bum.

0
0

ok but....

Ok, fine, but who is still buying HP consumer PCs? They're junk. I hate to work on them and I routinely recommend that customers not buy them. All HP has done is give another reason for that recommendation.

3
0
Mushroom

Well, HP, you're not getting any help from me.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.