My Downgrading Of Windows 8.1 To Windows 7 For Reliability And Driver Availability

Sometimes, more whistles and bells don’t mean more if the support foundation isn’t reliable and working just fine.  Windows 8.1 is this very case!  Although Windows 8.1 is bold and exciting, I’ve found it’s too unreliable and not stable.  Perhaps, it’s not Windows 8.1’s fault, but it’s more of that it’s too new and thus not enough drivers that are designed to work with its core services, leading to a very unreliable operating system.  I’ve encountered more computer issues with Windows 8.1 more than any other operating systems that I’ve ever used.  Thus, nowadays, whatever computers in my vicinity that have issues with Windows 8.1, I don’t have any hesitation to downgrade the computer’s Windows 8.1 to Windows 7 operating system.  I’ve to say I’m fond of Windows 7 for its reliability.  Sure, Windows 8.1 is more appealing in term of features and user interface, but reliability is more important in my opinion.  With reliability, Windows users don’t have to waste time in figuring out why their computers suddenly aren’t working the way they should, and such reliability enhances productivity.

As I was downgrading a computer of mine from Windows 8.1 to Windows 7, I’ve found UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is nice but troublesome.  Nice in a way that UEFI has more whistles and bells and prettier than traditional BIOS user interface, but UEFI is a troublemaker.  How?  When installing other operating system that isn’t Windows 8.1 or newer, computer user might encounter a hairy situation.  For an example, a newbie computer user may not be able to figure out how to enable Boot\CSM(Compatibility Support Module) and set Boot Device Control to UEFI and Legacy OPROM.  Without enabling Boot\CSM support within UEFI Bios settings, a newbie computer user would find that it’s impossible to install Windows 7 and have Windows 7 boot up.  Of course, this would also hold true for installing Linux and other operating systems when a motherboard is using UEFI and not a traditional BIOS settings.

I’ve also found out that when installing Windows 7 under UEFI system, it might be confusing and hard to make sure Windows 7 would install its reserved partition on the intended hard disk/drive.  I’m not sure about you but when I didn’t physically disconnect a second hard drive that is larger than 2 terabyte from the internal arrangement of my PC, Windows 7 got confused and installed reserved partition on the second hard drive, thus nullifying the ability to convert the second hard drive to GPT (GUID Partition Table) filesystem.  Without being able to do a conversion of a second hard drive to GPT partition/filesystem, Windows 7 won’t recognized that my second hard drive is a 3 terabyte drive, thus my PC can only use 2 terabyte out of second hard drive’s 3 terabyte hard disk size/space.  Here is a tip for you, perhaps when installing Windows 7 under UEFI system, you might have to physically disconnect all internal hard drives except for the main hard drive that you are using for installing Windows 7.

Through the trial of downgrading Windows 8.1 to Windows 7 for a PC, now I learn a lot more about UEFI.  According to TechRepublic’s “10 things you should know about UEFI” article, UEFI BIOS user interface supposes to simplify how drivers would be written for most operating systems… which is to write one driver for a specific PC component that would work for all operating systems so a developer won’t have to write different drivers for different operating systems.  Save time and effort!  Nonetheless, in practice UEFI makes life harder for PC users.  Nonetheless, I guess UEFI does have a benefit of making life easier for the developers.  Still, I think more emphases need to be emphasized for PC users, because without PC users (and their happiness) the developers won’t have customers to write software for (thus will not be able to generate incomes).

In conclusion, I think Windows 8.1 is a step in right direction for Microsoft to embolden the effort of improving Windows operating system ecosystem, but Microsoft’s execution is not in synch with the mass.  Drivers for Windows 8.1 should be readied at the inception of the Windows 8.1 official release.  Still, 3 months after the Windows 8.1 official release, I had read many driver compatibility complaints and see many Windows 8.1 driver issues first hand, thus I’m not having an easy time with Windows 8.1.  Instead of relying on Windows 8.1, I’m backpedalling toward the stream of Windows 7.

Source:  http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-things-you-should-know-about-uefi/ (link)

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