What if I roll back

  1. Posts : 18
    Windows 10

    What if I roll back

    Dear Friends,

    I have 2 systems. One is a laptop, which came pre-installed with Windows 8.1 (64 bit). Another is a PC, which I built myself (bought all the components- motherboard, processor, RAM, HDD etc.) and installed an OEM version of Windows 7 Home Basic (64 bit) on it.

    As I understand, users with genuine Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 on their systems will have the chance to upgrade their system to Windows 10 by July 29, 2016. And if they do not like Windows 10, then they will also be allowed to roll back to previous versions of Windows within a month of upgrade to Windows 10. But if one does roll back, the the updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 will continue beyond the deadline ie July 29, 2016? This deadline has nothing to do with future update for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, correct?

    If I upgrade both of my systems on the very last day of free upgrade to Windows 10 ie July 29, 2016 and roll back to previous versions of Windows within less than a month (as indicated by Microsoft itself), say Aug 28/29, 2016, is it OK?

    • If it's been less than a month since you've upgraded to Windows 10, you'll be able to go back to your previous version of Windows from Settings > Update & security > Recovery.

    But, once the deadline for the free upgrade to Windows 10 goes by ie July 29, 2016 - I will not be able to upgrade both of my systems to Windows 10, no matter what, right?

    As mentioned earlier, my laptop came pre-installed with Windows 8.1 (64 bit) and I have not been provided the original Windows installation disc and instead I have been asked to create a repair disc/system image discs, if I need to re-install Windows 8.1 - in case of system not booting or other problems. Then how will I be able to do a clean install of Windows 8.1, if I want to?

    While my PC has an OEM version of Windows 7 Home Basic (64 bit) installed on it by myself only - since I was provided a disc. So as I understand- I will be able to install Windows 7 on my PC as many times as I want, right?

    Any idea, as to how long Microsoft will continue to offer update for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1?

    Thanks a lot.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 170
    Windows 7 and Windows 10

    Hi - the Windows 8.1 PC - yes make the recovery discs (this is not the same as a system image and system repair disks). It will probably be manufacturer software that's installed that allows you to make recovery discs. It will use probably 3 DVD's and will give you a reinstall disc which will basically set the laptop back to factory settings - with Windows 8.1 and all the preinstalled manufacturer software. It's a good fallback to have in case a system image doesn't restore.

    So before upgrading you need to do four things (in my humble opinion)

    1) Save copies of all your personal files - music, documents, videos, photos, possibly the downloads folder - just normal copies onto a usb or portable hard drive (you can't use a portable hard drive that you use for System images though as that's set to NTFS rather than FAT32). Just save them on something - either sd cards, usb sticks or a combination of these, or another portable hard drive.

    2) Make manufacturer recovery disks - to give a complete Windows 8.1 recovery to factory settings if needed.

    3) Make a System image of your Windows 8.1 System. A lot of people recommend using Macrium Reflect to do this. I've only every made Windows System images (yet to try Macrium). You could do both! So you make a System image via Windows to a portable hard drive, and it then asks you if you want to make a repair/recovery disk and you make this afterwards. You need this disk to restore a System image. I used to find it quite confusing that they were both called "recovery" discs - when one is the OS and programs to reinstall (manufacturers recovery discs) and the other is just a disk that allows you to reinstall from a system image (and repairs windows as well).

    4) Make the recovery disk after doing the System image.

    That way if you every need to reinstall Windows 8.1 from Scratch you have two options - manufacturer restore, or system image. I reckon you need both as I had a problem with one laptop accepting a System image after I've had Windows 10 on the laptop - but that might not be the case with a Macrium system image, I'm not sure - and I had to restore to factory settings with the manufacturer recovery disks (which installed fine) and then use my system image from within windows, to get the system up to date. Either that or just do all the windows updates, remove any manufacturer programs you don't want and start afresh.

    The PC with OEM Windows 7 should be less of an issue as you have a Windows 7 disk to reinstall from - but still make a system image and repair disk to reinstall from as if you can reinstall from that it is the quicker option. You could use the W7 disk to format if there are any issues with restoring the system image, and then restore from the system image.

    As for the upgrades. I believe this was on another thread recently. Once you upgrade to Windows 10 before the July end date, your system is activated to Windows 10 (on the motherboard). You can then rollback to the previous OS without reinstalling. You can then burn an ISO for Windows 10 (download from Microsoft) and if and when you want to put Windows 10 on you just install from that and your system should just activate as it's already been activated on Windows 10.

    I found, after rollback, things were ok but I preferred doing a reinstall from system image afterwards as I wasn't sure it had rolled back exactly as it was before (maybe just me being OCD!).

    The end dates for updates to Windows 7 and 8 and 8.1 are published somewhere by Microsoft - googling should find them. But off the top of my head I think Windows 7 is 2020. It's on the link below. Windows 8 and 8.1 are 2023.


    The reason for all the backups is in case you mess something up! I had one machine that had a particular processor that won't run anything except Windows 7 and it kept bluescreening, so I couldn't rollback. So I tried a clean install of Windows 10 in case that worked (it fixes things in most cases) but because of the Cedartrail processor it still didn't work. I couldn't get my Windows 7 image to work on the computer after the upgrade, so reinstalled from manufacturer recovery disks and all was fine.
      My Computer

  3. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 11,344

    Leaving upgrade to last day is really dumb. If you get issues or activation servers get overloaded due to late upgraders, you could miss the boat.

    Simplest option is to image backup both pcs in their current state eg using Macrium Reflect Free, and upgrade to get free upgrade, then restore old image to go back - more reliable than the rollback method.

    You can just remove hdd, put a spare one in and install windows 10, and use old 7/8 key to activate it.

    If you have an external flash drive of 16+ GB capacity or a spare usb hdd, you can create a bootable usb drive using UEFI boot manager, Windows To Go Creator, All-in-One Microsoft Windows Setup software - The EasyUEFI Development Team, and activate that.

    If you wanted to clean install 8.1 instead of your image backup, you can download iso from MS.

    Updates will not be free after end July 28th.
      My Computer


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