Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Can I reinstall Windows XP after installing this non-genuine copy of Windows 7?

I have a rebuilt PC. I had Windows XP on it. An idiot put non-genuine Windows
7 on it. How do I undo this mess? I do have an installation disc for Windows XP,
but no CD for Windows 7. Is it possible to uninstall or delete Windows 7 and
reinstall Windows XP on my PC? Thanks for any help.

In this excerpt from
Answercast #34
, I look at the steps necessary to revert a computer that has
been upgraded to Windows 7 back to XP.

]]>

Uninstalling windows

So absolutely. Sure, you can do that. Especially since you have the installation media for Windows XP.

  • All you need to do is to install Windows XP from scratch using that media.

It may be helpful to erase the hard disk first; and it may be safer to backup your hard disk first to make sure you don’t lose anything that happens to be important to you on that Windows 7 system.

  • After backing up, erase it with a tool like DBan;

  • Then boot from the Windows XP installation disc;

  • And you should be able to install Windows XP from scratch.

  • At that point, you would simply go ahead and

    • Reinstall the applications you care about;

    • Reload your data perhaps from your backup or elsewhere;

and you should be good to go.

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Tech problem solving & safety tips & a weekly confidence boost in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow

Slow Computer?

Speed up with my special report: 10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow, now updated for Windows 10.

NOW: name your own price! You decide how much to pay -- and yes, that means you can get this report completely free if you so choose. Get your copy now!

1 thought on “Can I reinstall Windows XP after installing this non-genuine copy of Windows 7?”

  1. A quick PS to Leo’s advice: When you do your backup, don’t use a Windows-7-only backup program or you could end up “shooting yourself in the foot” when it comes time to restore. Be sure the backup program you use will run on your version of XP. The Macrium products Leo often mentions (www.macrium.com) are a good choice.

    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.