Windows 8: Can I Return to My Previous Version of Windows? Not ExactlyMicrosoft claims that, in the first three days after the release of its new Windows 8 operating system, over four million copies have already been purchased. The number is impressive, especially considering the fact that the normal user has not had an opportunity to see the new Windows 8 operating system, which is touch-enabled, in action. It’s hoped that this will not create an issue for those with older computers. I say this because on Monday evening, October 29, 2012, a friend who had purchased Windows 8 asked me if he could revert back to Windows 7 if he didn’t like Windows 8.

This made me wonder how many of those who bought, or were contemplating buying, Windows 8 might wish to know the answer to this question. To find a definitive answer, I went to Microsoft’s Windows 8 website where the first two words spoke volumes about the odds of you reverting back to a previous version of Windows. Those two words were: “Not exactly.” Microsoft then went on to state:

“The version of Windows that you had on your PC before you upgraded won’t be there anymore. To get it back, you’ll need to reinstall the previous version of Windows from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC. Typically, this is on a DVD.

If you don’t have recovery media, you might be able to create it before you upgrade from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer. Check the support section of your PC manufacturer’s website for more info. Be sure that you have this recovery disk before you upgrade, because after you install Windows 8, you won’t be able to use the recovery partition to create a recovery disk.”

Many of you who are reading this article may be wondering what the problem is — and for the experienced user, it won’t be. However, for newer or less experienced users, there are a few issues that could surface. First, for those users, it is not uncommon for them to miss the fact that anyone buying a new computer system should make recovery disks. Second, these same users may not realize the importance of making and keeping adequate backups of their data. Without both of these recovery systems in place, they could be in trouble.

You may be asking yourself why I even bothered to write this article, since the information sounds like child’s play. Well, my main purpose was so that you, the above-average user, would take the time to advise your family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, or whoever of the potential pitfalls that could happen and then to advise them on how to revert back to a more familiar desktop environment if they need to do so. I don’t know about you, but it always amazes me how people who have been using Windows for many years lack what we consider basic knowledge of how Windows works. These folks may become dependent on your expertise to assist them in making an informed decision on whether or not to upgrade.

To further explain, let me go on to say that, in a recent survey conducted by phone, over 50% of the consumers surveyed had no idea that Windows 8 had even become available or what changes Microsoft has made to the operating system. However, with all of Microsoft’s advertising, I am sure that it won’t be long before the knowledge is widespread. Then, once consumers do become aware that a new operating system is available, it will be all of our responsibilities to assist these people in determining if Windows 8 will be right for them. That responsibility will include not just assisting them with an install, but could also include which flavor of Windows 8 they should choose: Windows 8, Pro, Enterprise, or RT.

This means that you, if you like to be considered a guru in the computer field, will want to have the answers so that you can share your expertise about Windows 8. This expertise translates into power. If you have any tidbits on returning to a previous version of Windows, please add your bits of wisdom as I am sure that many newbies would appreciate it.

Comments are welcome.

Image: Microsoft