Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


System Image Only of Recovery Partition Before w8Downgrade

  1. #1

    Making Recovery Backup Before Win 7 Downgrade


    Hello 8 Forums,

    This is my first post here but I suspect I will be a member for a long time because I have yet to see such comprehensive tutorials anywhere else online. Not even close. Steps are always left out.

    After reading many many well detailed tutorials I beleive I am ready to "downgrade" ...feels like upgrade... my Windows 8.1 (came with OEM 8) Lenovo w530 to windows 7 ultimate. I have 1 TB HDD space and 16 GB SSD.

    I do not have anywhere to store a system Image with around 600 GB of data. Even if I deleted all the data (because I don't care to back it up im an image form- it's already on a family members Mac to be dragged back over, albeit only about 25-30 GB... I scrificed abour 3-400 in videos..) I do beleive that the remaining system files may be too large for me to back up on their computer (which is my only option for storage) without feeling guilty for hogging their memory (even though the computer belongs to a computer illiterate person who barely used any memory despite having tons)

    Maybe I would do a complete Image backup if I could get it down to 100 gb but I doubt that's possible.

    So my question is: Can I only back up the system restore partition and If I do, will this be viable once I have followed the instructions on this site and wiped my C drive to istall windows 7? Could I use it to restore windows 8?

    I am new to system images.
    Could I back up the recovery image to the SSD? (that might be a retarded question)

    I am also open to backing up the ability to restore windows 8 if I need to in different ways. This might not be the best for me.

    I also may be wrong about how much space the image would take after deleting all my unwanted data and stripping to the system & programs. I read that am image is the same size as the data- not compresses- but then read elsewhere it compresses 50% of the data... -_- Which is it?

    Also one more question while I'm at it- should I use the entire TB to to put windows 7 on or leave some space, and why? I will be installing a linux partition later (probably kubuntu... used ubuntu for years between XP and this new (about1-2 years old now) windows 8 computer) but I know they now have extremely easy ways to create these after windows is installed so I guess I'd rather do that unless there's a big advantage.

    It took about 2 years of dealing with frustrating things, not liking the os, mourning customization abilities, bug bug bug bug bugs, laziness and being busy to finally crack down and try. Before finding your site I spent 7 hours using incomplete tutorials and fell asleep not being able to boot into windows 8 or the installer (dont worry I knew how to fix it... i rage quit) hoping it goes better tonight when Im home from work.

    Thanks for any responses ahead of time...
    -Caitlin
    Last edited by caitlin; 16 May 2015 at 16:24.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    I suppose my first question may be disregarded as I am going with creating a recovery disk with the partition included instead...

    but the second question still stands and I could use any advice
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Well you really don't need that recovery partition since you can Install windows 8.1 and activate with your OEM embedded Key it should activate automatically as long as you use an ISO that is the same type as you original Core or Pro or Bing or Singe language
    Lots of information here on the search https://www.eightforums.com/gtsearch....stall+8.1+UEFI

    For you to install window 7 UEFI since your system should still be UEFI with 8. I think no mater what your going to need to back up that data, In the BIOS turn off secure boot and enable CSM.
    I would use the tutorials in the 7 Forum to install 7 How to install Windows 7 in UEFI Mode with a USB - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Edit: I forgot to remind you that your going to need win 7 drivers for your hardware. Insure you have these before you start you will need at a minimum WiFi LAN Bluetooth, those will be needed to get back on line which ever one you use. Most win 8 drivers will work but some won't WiFi and Bluetooth both form my notebook required drivers.

    I'm guessing that yesterday for you. You probably have a MBR 7 install media you'll have to modify it some to get it to install UEFI. Also SP1 is required to install UEFI I didn't go through that link I gave you but I'm thinking the information on modifying the ISO to boot UEFI
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Clintlgm- thanks for your response!
    Good to know about the disk because apparently I can't create one in 8 and I dont have a second USB. (I was reading outdated info without knowing it)

    I just tried to install again before you posted- turning BIOS secure boot off and enabling CSM, turned off fast boot capability. used the tutorial Create Bootable USB or DVD with Windows 8 ISO for creating the USB with Rufus. I chose "Both" mode for both UEFI&legacy, CSM enabled. Needless to say it didn't work when i rebooted. Just flashed black for a sec when I tried to select USB.

    So now after reading your suggestion I will follow those instructions you gave me to manually create the USB again instead of the ones above. My dad (no Im not a child lol) suggested just copying the entire drivers folder off of windows 8 (he's a programmer/sharepoint IT guy so he knows some stuff about computers... he was helping me for awhile on the phone but really he doesnt know much about this in particular- we ended up bouncing links off eachother.) and insisted they would work in 7 but it is good to know that the wifi wont. I dont need bluetooth really but I could get that offline later.

    As for the install media being MBR- well here's a note from the freind who I got it from.


    "A boot.wim from Win 8 is used to get Win7 to work with ESD format.
    * This makes setup resemble Win 8, but it is 100% Win 7.
    "

    Does this help? I know the ISO works.
    I can always find a different ISO I guess if you think it's an issue . I honestly dont know it if it is MBR or UEFI... sigh. I guess it's ESD cause thats what is says so what would you suggest for using ESD?

    by the way it's win 7 ultimate sp1 x64 i'm installing

    edit: did some reasearch. Its ESD inside the ISO. Dont know about mbr vs UEFI.


    HOLY CRAP I just realized I was using the USB 3.0 connectors. Going to be honest Ive had the computer for 2 years and I never knew -_- I didnt know there was USB 3.0. I've been too busy in school to pay attention to such updates... still it's my computer & I should have known

    I feel like this changes almost everything

    UPDATE: well I downloaded a new official microsoft ISO so now I know it will be the one that you all are used to working with. Also I will try instructions from scratch with this new ISO. And then report back to everyone.. I have high hopes!

    Trying to find option in BIOS to set USB (before... set all options back to normal for now to look at the net) to boot first. Cant find it... found USB 2.0 option... safe boot... OS optimized settings.. SATA settings (which I dont need to change) UEFI settings... cant find boot order changing settings or how to do this... working on it though.. I havet googled that one yet.
    Last edited by caitlin; 16 May 2015 at 22:52.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    USB 3.0 Ports have a Blue tang inside the port - Just how to tell..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Thanks, Kyhi. I feel like a HUGE dolt. I guess I had just forgotten about it? The worst part is I read everywhere make sure it's USB 2.0 and I was like... oh of course it is what else would it be... maybe I shouldn't even admit to this.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    All that matters is you get your PC working the way you want it to..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    All that matters is you get your PC working the way you want it to..
    Yes, very true. ISO is taking a bit to DL but should be done soon and then I can try again and post results. Im glad I'm doing this now... knew it would be a huge PITA though.. I put it off despite disappointment and agitation until I really got to the last straw because I was just busy and also it took me awhile to get reaquainted with windows. Needless to say it wasn't a good re-acquaintance and It was a shock realizing how much of my XP & linux based computer knowledge was useless... god I didn't have to deal with any of this. But I also couldnt get a lot of games to run.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by caitlin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    All that matters is you get your PC working the way you want it to..
    Yes, very true. ISO is taking a bit to DL but should be done soon and then I can try again and post results. Im glad I'm doing this now... knew it would be a huge PITA though.. I put it off despite disappointment and agitation until I really got to the last straw because I was just busy and also it took me awhile to get reaquainted with windows. Needless to say it wasn't a good re-acquaintance and It was a shock realizing how much of my XP & linux based computer knowledge was useless... god I didn't have to deal with any of this. But I also couldnt get a lot of games to run.
    one other thing when you boot the USB media you need to hit one of the F Keys not sure which one it is for you but my Asus is the Esc key some are f12 or f8 or F9 which ever one brings up a boot menu from that menu select UEFI USB --- not just the USB --- that will start the install in UEFI very important step.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Clintlgm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by caitlin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    All that matters is you get your PC working the way you want it to..
    Yes, very true. ISO is taking a bit to DL but should be done soon and then I can try again and post results. Im glad I'm doing this now... knew it would be a huge PITA though.. I put it off despite disappointment and agitation until I really got to the last straw because I was just busy and also it took me awhile to get reaquainted with windows. Needless to say it wasn't a good re-acquaintance and It was a shock realizing how much of my XP & linux based computer knowledge was useless... god I didn't have to deal with any of this. But I also couldnt get a lot of games to run.
    one other thing when you boot the USB media you need to hit one of the F Keys not sure which one it is for you but my Asus is the Esc key some are f12 or f8 or F9 which ever one brings up a boot menu from that menu select UEFI USB --- not just the USB --- that will start the install in UEFI very important step.
    Thank you

    f12 brings up boot menu and f1 brings up boot setup for me. Boot menu is just choice between hard drives and the usb.... let me check if it says UEFI specifically. I do know there's only one option though. If it doesn't say UEFI when I check this time I'll post back with a camera pic. My BIOS looks different from about 95% of bios pics I see on here. Lots of toshiba & asus pictures on here.

    And to double check- BIOS should be set to only uefi with csm enabled, correct? NOT legacy & uefi mode. Just formatted the USB again according to directions by immersive and got the USB set up so I do believe I'm ready to try again.

    Will make sure to hand out karma (or whatever it's called at this forum, if I can give it already) when I am done for the help
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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System Image Only of Recovery Partition Before w8Downgrade
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