View Full Version : How to uninstall windows 8?

05-09-2012, 12:14 AM
Hi all,

I see two of my friends both install windows8, everything is ok, so I decided to have a try. But I got an problem after I installed. I have the "system Recovery" disc set (all three) for "windows vista Home premium". I would like to uninstall 'windows 8 consumer preview' and reinstall 'windows vista home premium'. Can anyone advise me on uninstalling windows 8 ?

Anything and everything is appreciated.

05-09-2012, 12:52 AM
1st of all it was 100% wrong to install this beta OS where your Vista was. You never replace or overwrite an existing OS w/ a beta.

Anyway, this is how you do or accomplish what you are asking.

Install Vista... as part of the install the drive will be formatted, thereby wiping Win8.

However, in view of your mistake, this may not work using 'Recovery Discs'. May need to get a hold of a regular Vista disc. Use the key you have for the original Vista that was in your machine.

How do we ever get ppl to not do this??!!


No Beta OS should ever be installed, except as, follows:

1. On a spare machine
2. Virtually
3. As a dual-boot.
4. Run from a USB stick

Never as an Upgrade or replacement to an existing, current, non-beta OS. Never on a production machine.
Nor, BTW, can one move from 1 Beta of an OS to the next or from Beta to RTM, etc... from Build to Build or stage to stage, except by clean installs.

Programs & software must be installed, after a fresh OS install.


05-09-2012, 01:06 AM
Perhaps if the PC has a recovery partition, or if the recovery disks are what most manufacturers are including in a recovery partition now, that might work, otherwise you might be out of luck.

This is why I keep harping on people to create a system Image before doing ANYTHING like installing a new OS, especially a BETA OS. As Drew states you never replace a released OS with a Beta OS.

There is not even a good location to download a complete Vista iso file. Perhaps a friend will have a disk you can borrow. If not, you may have to buy a Vista or Win 7 disk to install.

05-09-2012, 09:20 AM
I'm at a total loss.....to understand why anyone would think that they can just install and then uninstall Win-8 like a game. ??? It's a dang Operating System that wipes out whatever was on that drive or partition when it first installs!

If there are recovery disks for that PC, then use them to do the recovery. If not you'll have to find an OEM Vista install disk and use the Registration Key on the label stuck to the side or back of the PC. If it's a laptop then the sticker will be on the bottom.
Such an install will again, wipe out everything on the hard drive. So if you have any data files on there, that you want to keep, copy them to a flash drive, before you do anything more with that PC. OK?

Any reliable repair shop would be able to do all that for you.

* Never allow anything to overwrite your primary OS on your computer. EVER!

Good Luck,
TechnoMage :cool:

05-09-2012, 10:10 AM
Notice to All:

Sorry, if, we 'in the know' may seem to be getting a bit frustrated @ this phenomenon.

We try so hard to get this simple, basic concept across, repeat it over & over & scream it from the mountaintops.



05-09-2012, 11:36 AM
Is there an Echo in here?


05-09-2012, 02:07 PM
I hope so, then perhaps someone will actually hear it and not do this any more. It seems it does not matter how often we repeat the same thing over and over and over again, people just do not pay attention. Earlier today someone was asking if he should upgrade his Win 7 to Win 8, and if so how should he do it. Geezshh (I have no idea how to spell that, I get so frustrated)

05-09-2012, 03:11 PM
I either spell it Cheeeeech! when I see or hear something stupid, or just plain Grrrrrrrrr! If it pi**es me off.
Depends on what mood I'm in.

But what ever happened to "Read before you post!" ??? That does seem to be a lost art.

Before I ever post a message for Help, I use Google, Ask, and whatever other search engines I can think of to find an answer to my problem. I recently did that and was referred to a post I made about seven years ago, on another forum. I knew the answer was "out there" I just couldn't remember where I'd seen it before. It was reassuring to find out that I'd posted that answer years before. lol

Cheers Maties!
TechnoMage :cool:

05-09-2012, 03:37 PM
I often forget a post I made previously. That's what happens as we age less than gracefully my friend. Google has become a close friend to me as well. I also use the search feature at the top of every page in our forum.

It's also just as easy to simply go to a particular Forum, say Installation & Setup, and start reading through the threads. There is a wealth of information there, and not just from the "experts" here, but from our members as well. We have some very technically sound and experienced members that offer terrific advice. Just because that advice was offered for someone else's problem does not mean it will not work for your problem.

If you have a problem with a driver, then read through the Driver Forum. Win 8 CP was released on February 29th, I believe. Any threads after that date are most likely concerning Win 8 CP.

Just take a read through the many excellent threads presented here. If your question still isn't answered then post it and we will do our best to provide an answer!

The Terminator!

Joe S
05-09-2012, 06:32 PM
The other thing I hate is people just jumping on old multipage post and just saying I've got the same problem and nothing else. If you follow the original post from the beginning it may have changed several times over the months.

05-09-2012, 08:27 PM
wills, welcome to the forum! Sorry to hear that Windows 8 CP didn't work out for you. Perhaps you may wish to give Windows 8 RP a shot?

As far as your question goes, it's a simple one. Being that you have your Recovery Disks (which every computer user should have, in addition to an image backup), it's easy. Boot the computer, then press & hold the key that allows for which boot option you want, usually the HDD & DVD/CD. Open the DVD ROM, insert the 1st DVD, and select that drive to boot from.

You're going to have to babysit this, so please take note of what I'm stating. The first DVD usually formats the HDD, the 2nd & 3rd installs the OS & original programs. You'll be prompted as to when to insert the next one. After the final one is through, there will be a reboot or two, then your computer will take a few minutes setting up. Finally, there may be a EULA, both from the OEM of your computer & MS, to agree with the terms of your software license, just routine stuff.

There may be a final reboot. Since it's been a while back that Vista was released, & you haven't posted any other info, you will likely have a lot of updating to do, the latest SP2 will be needed for updating, & may be one of the 1st updates offered, as a standalone update. Then you're going to have a ton of updates to apply (over 300MB), & Vista is slow when it comes to updating, I've been there.

Finally, you can re-install your favorite programs, defrag the system, make sure to run a COMPLETE virus scan, backup your computer & you're done.

Have FUN!! You have a day's worth of work ahead of you. When you could have backed up what you had with 100% Free backup software like Macrium or Todo & re-installed the image within a few minutes. After that, you'd only need to update Vista & your programs.


05-10-2012, 01:33 AM
Ahhh, Imaging! I could install a completely new HD in my PC and in about 1/2 hour (yes you read that right 1/2 hour) I could have 2 OS's (Win 7 and Win 8 CP) and a data partition all restored on my PC. That's what an Image will do for you. Anyone that does not use Imaging for a complete HD backup deserves to spend the days to restore their PC when they make such a bone head mistake as this.

05-10-2012, 04:30 PM
10 or 15 mins. to install the OS & 5 mins. to grab the stuff from the Data drive, eh, Ted? & what the hell, 10 more for odds & ends, lol.

You guys noticing how often the wording in the queries sounds like the person is running nothing but, a beta OS?? Hmmm, imagine that, eh?

Must be a lot of ppl who can't read or should not be anywhere near a computer.


05-10-2012, 07:53 PM
I don't really have an issue with those who runs Windows 8 CP as their primary OS, as I'm one of them. After all, one can only learn the OS by using it.

But not at the expense of wiping my OEM installed OS out w/o a way to get it back, as Drew notes, many has. In fact, my OEM OS is on an entirely different HDD, dual booting with Ubuntu 12.04. I very rarely use that OS, but I'm keeping it there, for my more important tasks, one example is my tax preparation software. That's only to be installed on a STABLE OS.

I wished that more of these users who disregards good advice (that was posted on the MS download site for Win 8 CP) lived around here. Seriously, I could make a small fortune restoring their computers for them.

Mabye I should place an ad?


05-10-2012, 08:57 PM
At an early stage, I was going to ask the OP for details as to how he actually installed Windows 8, before an appropriate answer could be given. However, there seemed to be an assumption that he had overwritten his legacy (Vista?) OS. - That was a fair guess! But I thought, without that information, an answer was inappropriate. In fact, looking through the thread, he never did get an answer, only criticism of his (unknown) method of installing. The thread, as so often here, drifted away from the actual request, and my guess, in the lack of response, is that the poster has found his answer elsewhere.

05-10-2012, 09:26 PM
davehc, your point is a very valid one, there were assumptions & criticism of the unknown method of his install. Thing is, the OP created the thread, & never followed up on it. Clearly, more information was needed, but the OP chose not to provide it.

In fact, I did directly answer his question with my very first post in this thread (or tried to w/what info was provided), being that he stated that he wanted to remove Windows 8 CP & possesses recovery media for Vista. I described to the best of my ability how to re-install his OS. What else was he looking for? It wasn't stated in his OP. Drew & Ted also suggested to use his re-install disks or re-install function (if it was still working). The re-install disk route was the OP's best choice, considering what was on the table.

This is the issue with many new participants on forums, many are one time posters only, gives little detail as to what's going on & expects the membership to know what's going on. If the OP (of any thread) takes the time to follow up on their issues & provides more details, the better we can help.


05-11-2012, 01:40 AM
Actually Dave, he got an answer in at least 3 separate posts in addition to criticism. Post #3, post #4 and post #11 have suggestions on restoring his original OS.

Based on his original post and his lack of any response, it appears the original guesses on his installation method was indeed correct. Why else would he have to restore his Vista installation.

05-11-2012, 02:04 AM
You know the question should not be "How to Uninstall Windows8". It (seems) it, more appropriately should be, "How TO INstall Windows8"!! Or maybe, "How NOT to install Windows8"



05-11-2012, 05:36 PM
Windows 8 is a BETA TEST version of a forthcoming OS. It's not the final version, which by the way, will not be FREE.
Anyone, and I mean ANYONE who is not familiar with Beta Testing should not be messing with Win-8 at all.

Microsoft used to have a set group of knowledgeable people who did all their beta testing for them. Why on earth they released Win-8 to the general public, is freakin' beyond my understanding.

There are a litany (whole book full) of rules and regulations about Beta Testing. Who should do it, how they should do it and how to report their findings back to Microsoft.
Nubes, boobs and rank amateurs should not even be messing with it at all.

The subjects of way too many threads prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the person has no clue what they are doing.

When all these Beta test versions go DEAD in a few months, that's going to totally separate the men from the boys, so to speak. (sorry Ladies)

The people who shouldn't be Beta Testing in the first place, come October, will be sitting there looking at their DEAD computer wondering "What do I do now?". It won't boot, , , it won't run and if they created any data files, they will be GONE.

I predict, it will be an Armageddon type event of Biblical Proportions. MS strikes again!

Good Luck Y'all !

TechnoMage :cool:

05-11-2012, 07:25 PM
The real issue is, many users don't know jack crap about maintaining a computer, plain & simple. Many expects it to work 100% of the times it's booted, & when the day comes that it doesn't boot, it's like when their ride broke down & unprepared for it. Standing on the side of the road looking dumb.

It would be my guess, just from the sheer number of forum threads/posts that I've read & participated in over the years, that less than 10% doesn't use their owner's manual for anything other than the initial setup of the computer. Most of the things that are required to maintain a computer (the basic things) are covered in the owner's manual. And many probably doesn't even know where that manual is anymore.

I credit the OP for this, he has recovery disks for his OEM installed OS. That's more than most owners that I know has, many has never heard of them, doesn't know what they're for, & yet there's usually a program that reminds the user to create this disk set. There's usually the option to make them, "Remind Me Later", or "Don't Remind Me Again". I have to wonder, just how many users selects the last option, as though it's a nag screen?

As far as participating in beta testing for Windows, I feel is a good thing, as it's "real world" testing by potential end users, rather than testing in a tightly controlled lab. The issue is that many of the testers don't know what they're doing, in spite of the fact that MS placed a Q&A link on the page, which gave clear instructions that only experienced users should attempt this, as well as other important info. Yet many users totally ignored this page & proceeded anyway to run Windows 8 CP w/o backing up their computers, nor having any knowledge as to what to do when dealing with issues that ARE GOING TO ARISE when testing beta OS's. This info was on that Q&A page.

Thing is, Windows 8 CP & RP will cease to operate by early next year at latest, & many users has no recourse, they've gone too far w/o realizing what they're doing. I know of at least 3 personally & I tried to warn them. And whenever that date comes around, that they don't have an OS to boot into, I feel for them, but that's the way that the cookie crumbles.

I'll be prepared to do some re-installing at that time, & will run an ad, but this is for sure, it won't be for charity. $100 a pop, cash only. If one is going to play, then they can expect to pay when things doesn't pan out. And if they feel my price is too high, the Geek Squad will gladly stick them for another $100 & a waiting time also.


05-11-2012, 07:33 PM

I am a Microsoft Partner, so is my Company. I am one of those "set group" of Beta Testers. I beta tested Vista & had to jump through a lot of hoops to be accepted as such & then was invited to beta test Windows7 & again for Windows8. I do not remember Vista (beta) being offered to the public. I do seem to recall some pre-release offered of Windows7, I think. Of course, w/ both, there were the think-they're-so-smart twits that grabbed weird stuff from god knows where, like uTorrent & found hacked Reg Keys but, let's no go there. Yes, we had tasks (homework assignments), meetings via Live Meeting w/ the Build Teams & Feedback submissions to the Team regarding bugs & critiques of what we liked or disliked, things to keep, reject, add or change... we were an intergal part of creating the finished product.

Now, we are, again, beta testing Windows8. And, true enough, this time, they sure have, also, offered pre-releases to the public; personally, I feel this was done, solely, as a marketing tool to (hopefully in MS's mind) entice & excite ppl over the forthcoming OS. But, there is a difference between the two offerings. (1) What the public gets does not come from the same site as what we get; ours is only available to Partners & accepted beta-testers AND (2) w/ ours we have a Feedback submission tool w/ which we report directly to the Win8 Build Team, again, expressing our feelings, observations & concerns to help construct the final release. As well, we have the option of making comments to MS & the Build Team through the same site from which we get the ISOs & other products MS wants us to test... there lots besides the Operating Systems.

Does giving it to a public that lacks understanding or the ability to READ create problems?, yeah, probably. On the other hand, I think the idea is or is thought to be, that it will promote sales @ release time (debatable, I know), makes it easier to use when it IS purchased cus they will have, already, been introduced to it, had some exposure & an opportunity to learn it, ergo, again, leaving folks more prone to buy than if walking into it cold.

Often, in many ways, on many levels, I wish they'd just left it to us but, as you say, mostly cus of the sad fact that much of the public don't treat a beta OS properly no matter if the rules are written in the sky in neon lights. I'm sure many will come crying & even try to blame "Windows" & "Microsoft" as the error of their ways comes to bite them in the ass & we are expected to tell them how to rectify the mess THEY caused... & then, they will stomp their feet some more when they DO get the answer.

I once told my late mum I wanted to get a T-shirt made. Of course she asked, "What do you want on it?". I said, "Common sense isn't common & I hate stupid". She said, "Oh, no, Drew, you'll offend people". I said, "Nope. Those who get it will laugh w/ understanding & those it's about won't get it, ergo, won't be offended".

'Member the comic w/, "Here's your sign"?

& I always think of a T-shirt Harley has that says, "If I have to explain, You wouldn't understand".


05-11-2012, 08:54 PM
I'm glad that MS has allowed public beta testing of Windows 7, Windows 8, Office 2010 & MSE. I always participate in future MSE testing (by invitation) & I also beta test for other security companies, such as F-Secure & Webroot, by invitation, as well as Mozilla (future Firefox & Aurora, their 64 bit browser) versions.

Real world testing by non IT pros is very useful, provided the tester understands what's going on, knows that risks are being taken by using beta software, & reports daily as to any negative issues. As well as the marketing issues that Drew mentioned.

It doesn't take an IT Pro to be a beta tester, but it does require one who can follow instructions, who takes the time to read ALL pertinent information in regards to the product. This includes taking steps to safeguard one's installed OS, by imaging the HDD prior to doing anything, or running it on a separate HDD, totally isolating it from the rest of the computer.

If one chooses to beta test a major OS like Windows 8 CP, then that person MUST read the warnings that is on the page with the download. Some of the info may be in links on the main page, those MUST be read also. If only those who chooses this route took the time to do this, these users would have a much more positive experience, because they were prepared. Some would also back out, not wanting to chance the loss of data or their OS, or not wanting do deal with the real life issues of beta testing, which is fine. Let those with knowledge & patience work the bugs out.

Better to leave it to those who knows how to test, rather than those who don't. The majority of threads created by beta testers shows this, by the content of the OP, & some of the posters also. Those who are truly serious about seeking answers to issues does Web searches on them before creating a ridiculous thread with little to go on. I always search for possible answers before creating a thread that's already been answered dozens of times. Usually, I find it, in more than one place.

Unfortunately, I don't see the current trend changing any time soon. Hopefully, it won't get to the point of MS keeping their betas in house, or only a select few getting the chance, as beta testing is a good marketing practice. By experienced users running the OS for several months, for the most part as their daily OS, it would feel like a step backwards to "downgrade" back to the OS that he/she was running prior to the beta, & will likely become customers.

Hopefully, MS (& other brands of OS's) will keep their beta channels open.


05-12-2012, 01:45 AM
I will not be quite so verbose as my learned associates here. The key words here are "READ THE INSTRUCTIONS"! Most of the people that have downloaded and "upgraded" their OS's probably do not use English as their first language, perhaps not even a second language and may even be working through an interpreter who uses English as a second language. Speaking English is much different from reading English.

It's pretty obvious that many of our members do not read the various threads posted here. Otherwise half the threads we see would not be posted. It's also pretty obvious that those same members do not know proper Forum etiquette to post back to state whether there problem has been resolved.

I also do not know for sure exactly what will happen when the beta versions deactivate. Do they die (not boot), or do they just deactivate as Win XP or Win 7 do and are not allowed any further WU and start getting nag screens. That is not clearly stated that I have found.

Anyway I said I would not get verbose, so I'm done!

05-12-2012, 02:26 AM
Perhaps this thread could be closed by a moderator, as it no longer has any relevance to the departed op's query..

05-12-2012, 03:54 PM
I agree, thread closed.