[SOLVED] Would like to downgrade from W10 to W8.1?

williamholder2010

Honorable
Apr 5, 2018
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10,510
Good Morning. I have a 2016 Dell laptop with an anemic I3-6006u processor and 4G of ram. It came with Windows 10 and it really struggles to provide even a minimum level of usability. I have been very happy using 8.1 on other machines and am fairly confident this laptop would perform better with this OS. The software is available on ebay for under $50.
My question is; what issues might I encounter? Is this a fairly simple procedure or will I end up pulling my hair out and wishing I had picked up some takeout instead with my 50 bucks? Thank you for sharing your experience.
 

williamholder2010

Honorable
Apr 5, 2018
12
0
10,510
Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, I could benefit from more RAM on this unit but there's definitely a difference between older OS's and the current iteration of W10. I've used them all from W95 through the most current build. The first release of W10 was snappy but it has been all downhill since in my experience. That Dell laptop would definitely be capable with W7.
My question remains - what issues might I encounter if I downgrade to 8.1.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, I could benefit from more RAM on this unit but there's definitely a difference between older OS's and the current iteration of W10. I've used them all from W95 through the most current build. The first release of W10 was snappy but it has been all downhill since in my experience. That Dell laptop would definitely be capable with W7.
My question remains - what issues might I encounter if I downgrade to 8.1.
  1. Its a full wipe and reinstall. Not a simple "downgrade"
  2. No applicable drivers. It came with Win 10, some things may not work with 8.1
  3. $50 thing from ebay....suspect. Is that just the install, or a potentially bogus license?

I would consider getting a new drive, and doing this 8.1 on that.
Or, a recoverable full drive Image of the current thing. That way, if 8.1 does not work, you have a fall back place.
(Not a System Restore, or simple 'Windows backup'....possibly something like Macrium Reflect)
 
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The first release of W10 was snappy but it has been all downhill since in my experience.

I have never noticed that. Slowly expanding space used on my hard drive is about all I do notice.

What level of maintenance have you done over time....regarding processes running, RAM used, applications running in the background, malware scans, disk cleanup, and on and on?
 
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williamholder2010

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Apr 5, 2018
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10,510
Thank you USAFRet - you seem to suggest the biggest hassle will be just bringing it up to date once 8.1 is installed. I just went through the updating process with another PC I recently purchased - fortunately Microsoft came through like a charm.

Lafong - I'm religious about maintenance and background apps. I've been fine with an i3-8100 8GB unit I purchased a few years ago but it seems like with W10 it just stores a skeletal outline of many programs and loads the rest from the internet along with any updates virtually every time you open them. Irritating also is the obvious tracking software - it's so in your face. I do have my browsers set to delete cookies and trackers and periodically run CCleaner - maybe that results in some slowing down.
 
Lafong - I'm religious about maintenance and background apps.
You sure you found the right religion for you?

Irritating also is the obvious tracking software - it's so in your face.
Bad religion?

If Internet Explorer is the big boss in your religion, then the penguin is mine (feel free to shift side).

No, that was kind of joke, but seriously? If you can't stand Windows, why continue to use it, even to try to revive the corpses (as in W8 - how many years support from now?) - when there are so much good free stuff out there (ref. distrowatch).
 
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Lafong - I'm religious about maintenance and background apps.
Check out Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC. It has some minor limitations vs. Professional or Enterprise (which are actually pluses, not negatives, to many people).
I have used it for years and, despite what Microsoft would have you believe, is very suitable for every day usage. The only reason why I recently switched to the latest Windows 10 Enterprise 21H1 on my main desktop is for gaming (Direct X 12 ultimate). I still use LTSC on my business computers and love it.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Check out Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC. It has some minor limitations vs. Professional or Enterprise (which are actually pluses, not negatives, to many people).
I have used it for years and, despite what Microsoft would have you believe, is very suitable for every day usage. The only reason why I recently switched to the latest Windows 10 Enterprise 21H1 on my main desktop is for gaming (Direct X 12 ultimate). I still use LTSC on my business computers and love it.
Well, Enterprise is generally not available to regular consumers.
 
Well, Enterprise is generally not available to regular consumers.
True. But it only takes an extra 15 mins to think up a sole proprietorship name and purchase it through a reseller (CDW, for instance). No rules or laws bent or broken.
You will pay a premium. But you will also get one of Microsoft's most stable OSs.

...and let me tell you about the wonderful lack of version updates. You only get critical and security patches and they're not even forced.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
True. But it only takes an extra 15 mins to think up a sole proprietorship name and purchase it through a reseller (CDW, for instance). No rules or laws bent or broken.
You will pay a premium. But you will also get one of Microsoft's most stable OSs.

...and let me tell you about the wonderful lack of version updates. You only get critical and security patches and they're not even forced.
And counterpoint to the 5x price of Enterprise, why not Linux if regular Win 10 offends...
 
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You will pay a premium. But you will also get one of Microsoft's most stable OSs.

...and let me tell you about the wonderful lack of version updates. You only get critical and security patches and they're not even forced.

Alceryes:

That intrigues me a bit.

How much is the premium?

What are the longer term drawbacks, particularly regarding future changes in hardware...motherboard, CPU, etc. Is an enterprise license effectively "retail" that allows clean installs onto new hardware indefinitely, just like my current Win 10 Pro?
 
Alceryes:

That intrigues me a bit.

How much is the premium?

What are the longer term drawbacks, particularly regarding future changes in hardware...motherboard, CPU, etc. Is an enterprise license effectively "retail" that allows clean installs onto new hardware indefinitely, just like my current Win 10 Pro?
Cost will depend on your particular reseller. Google around to check. There may even be deals on the last version of LTSC, which will actually be supported longer than the newest edition of LTSC due to lifecycle changes (Microsoft wanting to discourage people from getting LTSC).

Future hardware changes can be an issue. Not as much from a licensing perspective as from an actual 'this CPU is not supported' issue. This has been the warning from Microsoft regarding LTSC/LTSB versions of Windows forever. How true it actually is, I'm not sure.
 
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