Downgraded Windows 8 to Windows 7, be careful

Written by stevey on December 27th, 2012

Recently I purchased a Lenovo ThinkPad T430 loaded with Windows 8 64 bit. A few days later I tried to downgrade Win8 to Win7 in order to be consistent with my company’s standard which is currently Windows 7; I thought it would be easy – just pop in the Windows 7 CD and let it delete the old partition and create a new NTFS partition, then install the Windows 7 32-bit. Well, yes, it did delete the partition where Win8 was installed. But I was unable to reformat it to NTFS that is required to install Windows 7. Windows 8 is only installed on GPT (Guid Paritition Table) format; at that point, I was basically in a limbo – I could not go back to Windows 8 because the GPT partition was deleted and was unable to install Windows 7 because it requires NTFS. Eventually, I got someone from Lenovo Community Forums to point me to using a DOS utility called DISKPART. With that, I have successfully overcome the biggest hurdle – re-partition my disk to NTFS format. Here I recorded the steps I just went through ( I also posted these to Lenovo Community Forums), hoping it will be useful to someone who might want to do the same:

  1. Powered up T430 and let the Diagnostic tool run “Preparing Automatic Repair”
  2. On screen showing “Diagnose your PC” then “Attempt to repair your PC”
  3. Automatic Repair failed, then two options button showed “Shutdown” and “Advanced options”; selected the “Advanced options” button
  4. Selected “Troubleshoot”, then “Advanced Options”
  5. Clicked on “Command Prompt” on Advanced Options screen
  6. Now we are in command prompt: c:\>; typed “diskpart /?” to list a possible commands
  7. Followed the instruction on to get the proper command switch
  8. At C:\> typed “diskpart” to enter DISKPART command mode; then type ? to list all the switches, such as GPT, Help, etc
  9. Diskpart>format fs=NTFS Label=”86DB-AC90″
  10. Did not format; message returned
    There is no volume selected.
    Please select a volume and try again
  11. As matter of fact, the problem was that I had not selected a disk; after reading this post at Diskpart-to-Create-and-Format-Partitions.aspx, I did a “list disk” command at DISKPART>, and that got me a list of disk online.
  12. Then I did a select disk command: DISKPART>select Disk 0; it returned message “Disk 0 is now the selected disk”
  13. I ran “clean” command again; this time, message returned, “DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk”
  14. Diskpart>format fs=NTFS quick; still got the “There is no volume selected”
  15. Tried DISKPART>convert mbr
    DiskPart successfully converted the selected disk to MBR format
  16. DISKPART>create partition primary
    output: DiskPart succeeded in creating the specific partition
  17. DISKPART>select part 1
    output: Partition 1 is now the selected partition
  18. DISKPART>format fs=NTFS label=YangT430 quick
  19. Put in Windows 7 32-bit CD and installation now just sailed through.

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