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Windows 7: Win 10 drivers on Win 7 - worth a shot?

30 Mar 2018   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Win 10 drivers on Win 7 - worth a shot?

Thinking about buying a new laptop that only ships with Windows 10, would prefer to wipe it and install Win7 instead. The only available drivers for it are windows 10, as windows 7 isn't supported.
I don't want to know if these specific drivers will work on this particular machine, I'd like to ask:

In general, is it a waste of time trying to make the win7 OS work on win10 hardware, with generic win7 drivers, or even the manufacturer's win10 drivers?

Would really appreciate any enlightening answers.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2018   #2

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

Windows 10 drivers might work with Windows 7. But I wouldn't be very hopeful of that. Windows 10 is a lot different than Windows 7.

What you could do is, decide which laptop you want, and then go to the vendor's website and see if they provide Windows 7 drivers for that laptop. If they don't provide Windows 7 drivers, see if they provide Windows 8.1 drivers. Sometimes the drivers from the next version of Windows (or from the previous version of Windows) will work with the version of Windows that you have installed. Windows 8.1 drivers would be chancy, but they would be more likely to work than Windows 10 drivers. But it's still a gamble.

If the vendor doesn't provide Windows 7 drivers for the particular laptop you have chosen, then you are taking a big gamble by buying that laptop, if your intention is to install Windows 7 on it.

Make sure that the drivers match the bittedness of the Windows 7 version that you install. In other words, if you install Windows 7 32-bit, you will need 32-bit drivers; and if you install Windows 7 64-bit, you will need 64-bit drivers.

Another issue is that with the new CPUs, if you want to do automatic Windows 7 updates, you will have to do a hack in order to be able to do automatic updates.

If I wanted to run Windows 7, I would not purchase a new laptop that didn't come with Windows 7 unless I KNEW that there were Windows 7 drivers for that particular laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2018   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64


> "Thinking about buying a new laptop that only ships with Windows 10, would prefer to wipe it and install Win7 instead"

I did just that a few months ago. I had a very old backup machine running XP (upgraded from W2k !) which finally fell flat on its' face. Resurrection was Mission Impossible but it was about 15 years old. I replaced it with a cheap Celeron machine, brand new from a reliable manufacturer, that only came with Win10. After a few days I decided I could not live with Win10 (forced updates, seemingly mostly junk, and forced advertising for the MS store - too rude) so I installed Win7 Pro x64 from a legitimate ISO bought from an MS reseller located near enough to where I live.

Subsequent results ? Device Manager is the go to utility here.

The essential parameters to look for: graphics, chipset, usb, audio and wifi.

Audio worked straight out of the ISO. The driver was a routine part of the Win7 install - a Realtek chip, no problems.

The screen graphics only took a day or two to sort out. Workable drivers were easily available from the video chip manufacturer (use the Device Manager ID's to find exactly which video chip you have). In my case, Intel had suitable drivers for download. I had to wrestle with the font selection and size a bit, but freeware Winaero Tweaker is very helpful here.

Chipset driver again was from Intel, with a download driver for the chipset ID'ed in Device Manager.

USB ports, including a useable mouse driver, was an issue at first. BUT Intel has released a driver generic to its' ports named as USB3 eXtensible Host Controller. This lights up the usb ports and installs a usb3 driver where none exists in native Win7. Installing this driver was the turning point in reverting to Win7.

Wifi, network adapter, WLAN, etc. This proved the most irksome and difficult. The Intel driver installed perfectly and Device Manager reported the network adapter as working correctly, resources not conflicted and all was rosy apples - but the wifi would NOT turn on. Nothing I did changed that. So I installed a 3rd party, external USB3 network adapter (about USD$20) and this did the trick.

The reverted Win7 installation is now functioning perfectly as a backup machine running off Win7 Pro x64 for a total of USD$300, including the initial purchase of the machine, the purchase of a Win7 ISO and the USB3 network adapter.

NOTE of caution: when you go to install Win7 over the existing Win10 installation, first read up on installing Win7 under the new "BIOS" known as UEFI. This forum contains an enormous amount of very useful information and experience on how to do this. I suggest you research this in detail before starting installation.

Hope some of this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Apr 2018   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win 10 drivers on Win 7 - worth a shot?

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