Questions About Drivers

Curious Adrian

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I have an Aspire ES1 - 431 Laptop and I plan on downgrading it from Windows 10 to Windows 7.

The problem is, Acer doesn't have drivers for a Windows 7 Operating System. My first question is: Would the drivers in the Windows 10 work in Win 7?

I also have a driver pack from a different MSI motherboard. Would it still work on my Laptop since the driver names for both motherboards are quite similar?

Thank you in advance :)
 
Question 1: Almost certainly not. Windows 10 is a pretty fundamentally different operating system from Windows 7 - including huge under-the-hood changes to software and the underlying framework. Drivers written for one are virtually guaranteed not to work for the other.

Question 2: Again, almost certainly not.

General elaboration:

Drivers are not magic. "similar" is not "same" and "same" is what drivers have to be. You must get drivers that match your operating system (10 vs. 7, for instance) in almost all cases - there's some leeway for similar systems like 8 and 10, but support is rare and not at all likely. They must also be a match for your hardware. The only really safe sites to be getting these from are the manufacturer (in the case of pre-made systems) or the motherboard/graphics company (in the case of custom builds). Other sources are often illegitimate, unsupported, or frequently contain malware as it's an easy trick since a lot of people think you can just mix/match and download them from wherever, which to emphasize: you can't. Number two: you can't just move drivers around from systems - they will almost certainly be different in many of the ways that are important, and therefore will not work.

I would strongly suggest against downgrading to Windows 7. There are not really any justifiable use cases for using such an old OS on a new computer. Support is reduced, if nonexistent, as is compatibility, security, and speed. Keep in mind as well, if you perform activities like online banking on such a system, it is almost certainly in their contract to deny you security coverage should you be compromised in any way and be found to be using an unsupported OS (I know this, as I've read several from major banks. It seems pretty boiler-plate).

If you need Windows 7 for reasons of running a specific application, you should try running the application in "Compatibility mode" (right click -> properties -> Compatibility -> set for windows 7) or if that is not enough, install a free virtual machine program like Oracle's Virtualbox or VM player and install a copy of Windows 7 to run those apps in a virtual environment. This takes care of the compatibility problems I've mentioned above, as the VM sort of lies about having compatible drivers and does the adapting necessary.

This is a bit more involved resource-wise though, but you can then still enjoy the full benefits of Windows 10 with fantastic Windows 7 compatibility if needed.

If you simply do not like the user interface, something like Classic Shell (free) or Start10 (great software from Stardock... only $5) might help alleviate some of those pains. On the whole though, Win10 is pretty similar to 7 in terms of the UI, so I really don't think it'd take that long to get used to.
 

Curious Adrian

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Thank you for such an informative response sir. Downgrading just came to mind as an alternative solution because my Laptop has become slow and one reason I was thinking was Win10 was an OS too "Heavy" for an Intel Pentium Quad Core and 2GB RAM system. I have also neglected the banking aside since this computer was already off-warranty.

Anyways, your answer was much of something to learn from. Thank you and I shall now proceed to downloading the drivers from ACER's website on a 1-mbps internet plan :(
 
Windows does not work well with 2GB of ram. Microsoft has worked pretty hard trying to optimize recent builds like 8 and 10 for mobile computing on low end chromebook-esque systems, but honestly, there's not much they can do. The reason your computer is slow is because it has to go to the slow hard drive so often for data because RAM cannot hold enough. (Prices in CAD)

Your best options for fixing this, dependent on the unit, and in order of increasing expense:
1. Try a low weight Linux Distro; something like Mint XFCE would probably be a good option. This reduces the overhead for the OS that uses RAM. May not be compatible, but it's free, so you can always try it. Note: you can't run Windows software, but it has an analog for most of the major stuff. $0
2. SSD; since it has to go to the disk so often for data, getting a much faster disk such as an SSD is basically the only way that you can get a decent system with 2GB of RAM. Cost varies; starting as low as $39 for a 120GB.
3. Upgrade RAM. Add more RAM to the unit - but be aware that especially in cheaper laptops it is often soldered RAM which for all intents and purposes cannot be upgraded. RAM is pretty pricey right now.

Why download the drivers? You said yourself they were not for Windows 7, and presumably you already have Win10 loaded?
 

Curious Adrian

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Your suggestions are very much appreciated and I am grateful for that sir, however, as much as I want to do them, I couldn't because I am only a student and I have not much budget to purchase any hardware as of now. Epecially those RAMs which are crazy pricey.

I forgot to mention that I still plan on reformatting my Laptop, so I still need to download those Win10 drivers. Reason is, I just have so much things on my drive and most of them I do not know anymore if they are still used or not.

 

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