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New Dell Inspiron 660/Win 8 ordered - downgrade the O/S?

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December 28, 2012 10:37:03 PM

I've ordered a new Dell Inspiron 660 to replace a workhorse seven year old Dell Dimension 3100. I'm going to use the new box for internet surfing, listening to music and watching DVD's/Blu-ray's occasionally. As it comes from Dell it satisfies 95% of what I need it to do and to get the last 5% I'll be installing a Blu-ray drive.

The new box is is a really good deal for what I will be using it for and is equipped as follows:

It's back! $449.99 after $200 instant discount buys this Dell Inspiron 660 desktop including a 3rd gen 3.0Ghz Intel Core i5-3330 processor (with Turbo Boost 2.0 to 3.2Ghz), 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, bigger 2TB 7200RPM hard drive, 16x DVD+/-RW DL, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT620 graphics card (new addition!), 802.11b/g/n wireless, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 5.1 audio, 8-in-1 media card reader, Windows 8, 15-month McAfee Security Center, and a 1 year warranty. Expires 12/26/12. DELL INSPIRON 660 DESKTOP DEAL

I was going to build a new box but by the time I was done I was at over $800 since I was starting from a clean slate.

As a long-time XP user I'm not too hot on Win/8 but I'll give it a try. If I decide I don't like it I'd like to go with either Win/7 or all the way back to XP. To accomodate an O/S downgrade I'll purchase a new copy of Win/7 or use an existing copy of XP when I ditch my old box and I will also remove the 2TB drive on the new box with Win/8 and put it on a shelf.

I'll replace the 2TB drive with a 120 or 180 SSD for the O/S and applications and either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive for data since I have both laying around. I may even splurge on a 240GB SSD for on the box storage instead of the old style spinning drives. My need for on the box data storage is not great so I can get away with a smaller data storage drive.

My reasoning is that by going to a new SSD with a new copy of Win/7 or XP I can preserve the factory setup on the 2TB drive that comes with the box and then setup the downgraded O/S from scratch on a separate drive.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on my O/S downgrade plan should I decide to take that path. Is it a reasonable approach? Is it even possible to downgrade as far as XP on a late model machine?

Bob
January 31, 2013 7:35:30 PM

I am in the same situation as you.
I want to downgrade to Win7.
I have a legal install for Win7. I am not sure if it will install, I read that W8 blocks that.
So, if it does not work the easy way, I will wipe the disk, then install W7.
For the drivers, I found this: http://ftp.dell.com/Pages/Drivers/inspiron-660-all.html
I will put them on an external drive, ready to import during installation.
What do you think?
Best

rfross said:
I've ordered a new Dell Inspiron 660 to replace a workhorse seven year old Dell Dimension 3100. I'm going to use the new box for internet surfing, listening to music and watching DVD's/Blu-ray's occasionally. As it comes from Dell it satisfies 95% of what I need it to do and to get the last 5% I'll be installing a Blu-ray drive.

The new box is is a really good deal for what I will be using it for and is equipped as follows:

It's back! $449.99 after $200 instant discount buys this Dell Inspiron 660 desktop including a 3rd gen 3.0Ghz Intel Core i5-3330 processor (with Turbo Boost 2.0 to 3.2Ghz), 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, bigger 2TB 7200RPM hard drive, 16x DVD+/-RW DL, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT620 graphics card (new addition!), 802.11b/g/n wireless, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 5.1 audio, 8-in-1 media card reader, Windows 8, 15-month McAfee Security Center, and a 1 year warranty. Expires 12/26/12. DELL INSPIRON 660 DESKTOP DEAL

I was going to build a new box but by the time I was done I was at over $800 since I was starting from a clean slate.

As a long-time XP user I'm not too hot on Win/8 but I'll give it a try. If I decide I don't like it I'd like to go with either Win/7 or all the way back to XP. To accomodate an O/S downgrade I'll purchase a new copy of Win/7 or use an existing copy of XP when I ditch my old box and I will also remove the 2TB drive on the new box with Win/8 and put it on a shelf.

I'll replace the 2TB drive with a 120 or 180 SSD for the O/S and applications and either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive for data since I have both laying around. I may even splurge on a 240GB SSD for on the box storage instead of the old style spinning drives. My need for on the box data storage is not great so I can get away with a smaller data storage drive.

My reasoning is that by going to a new SSD with a new copy of Win/7 or XP I can preserve the factory setup on the 2TB drive that comes with the box and then setup the downgraded O/S from scratch on a separate drive.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on my O/S downgrade plan should I decide to take that path. Is it a reasonable approach? Is it even possible to downgrade as far as XP on a late model machine?

Bob

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February 1, 2013 2:37:20 PM

@rfross: So which windows you are planning to put on 660? If you got 660 with WIn8 Pro, you will have an official option to downgrade to Win7, otherwise you would need retail version of WIn7.
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February 2, 2013 7:19:19 PM

The Dell comes with Win8 standard (not the Pro); I already have Win7-64.
I intend to copy the drivers located on the HD, migrate my existing HD, then update the drivers.
If I have problems, I will do a clean install which will erase the HD completely and I will use the drivers I found on the Dell's ftp site.
I am staying with Win because I need absolutely MS Word (not another word processor) for my work; if I did not, I would go for Linux Mint.

Anyway, I hope I am not missing something. Best,
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August 5, 2013 10:37:21 PM

Keep the Windows 8 - there is a learning curve but it is worth it. I have never cleaned a virus off of a Win 8 system buy older Windows systems are being murdered. Win8 takes full advantage of the security offered by the new BIOS replacement, EUFI.

EUFI offers much better protection against rootkit attacks.
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