General Question

rojo's avatar

Is it possible to buy a stock desktop computer without having to accept Windows 8 as your OS?

Asked by rojo (24179points) June 23rd, 2013
20 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I mean without purchasing an Apple product.

I have not heard very many positive things about Windows 8 online and the three people I know who purchased new equipment recently all detest it.

Other than wiping the hard drive and purchasing and installing Windows 7 over it (something I do not feel capable of accomplishing without major consequences) is there anything I can do? Can you go to someone like Dell and request an older OS or am I just SOL?

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ETpro's avatar

I bought a copy of the OS to install on a machine we picked up from the meltdown of Studio38. I sent it back and after the promised refund failed to materialize, I filed a chargeback. I had plenty of documentation proving that it flat would not work on my system with one disk for OS and software and a second for application files. After working for about a week, it suddenly refused to boot any application, warning that there was an error, and asking that I run a troubleshooting exe which did NOTHING. They didn’t dispute the chargeback.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Yea alot come with Linux OS as well.

phaedryx's avatar

So, to clarify, you want windows, but not windows 8?

Lightlyseared's avatar

Dell are still putting 7 on their PC’s and giving the option to change it to 8.

Vincentt's avatar

With the major OEMs you have to put in a lot of effort, but it is possible judging by some such stories on the internet. It is a lot of work though, having to call the OEM and keep being redirected to other people who will often not understand that you want that.

Alternatively, e.g. ZaReason sells computers without operating system (or with a Linux distribution of your choice). Their website looks a little shady, but I’ve ordered a laptop from them that had to be shipped to the Netherlands, and they delivered—and provided excellent support afterwards.

That said, if you want to save some more money as well, I can recommend try assembling your own computer. It’s not that hard to do, perhaps even fun, saves some money, and avoids having to also pay for another operating system than what you’re ending up using.

hearkat's avatar

My company just got me an updated CPU with Win 7. Microsoft offered XP for ages because businesses demanded it; it seems that Win 7 is better – especially for the work environment – so I think Dell isn’t the only manufacturer offering a choice.

rojo's avatar

@phaedryx Not necessarily although that is the system I am familiar with and so there would be time spent re-learning. I also have an older Macbook that I use but it is nearing the end of it’s lifespan and I don’t care to spend what apple wants. I have also used Ubuntu but am not proficient with it.

jerv's avatar

If you can build with Legos, you can build a PC. OS install discs for Win7 and most of your major Linux distros has been simplified greatly to where the OS almost installs itself; you only need to know your username and timezone.

njnyjobs's avatar

You can still order off-the-shelf systems from outfitted with Win7 OS. Some resellers also offer refurbished units with Windows XP Pro loaded.

jaytkay's avatar

Look for computers aimed at business instead of computers. Another bonus is they generally have much less unnecessary bloatware.

Also check the manufacturers’ outlet sites for refurbished and close-out models.

As well as Dell, I would look at HP and Lenovo.

HP Small & Medium Business

Lenovo Outlet

Axemusica's avatar

I don’t know what the big deal with people not liking windows 8 is. I got a hand me down HP from a friend that came with Vista installed on it and it could barely run IE. When I tried getting the install disc(s) from her to try & do a fresh install only to find she had lost them I had no choice but to buy an OS. I’ve always been leery about new windows OSs since vista first launched. There were so many problems with it. So opted to get windows 7. Searching local places here in Anchorage to find 7 after 8 had already launched was impossible. So I bit the bullet and got Windows 8 Pro. After first installation I saw nothing wrong with it except the fact of new things I had to learn. In fact most of things that are supposed to be down with touch screens are easy to bypass using standard key strokes like any windows OS. Honestly in my experience with windows I’ve been on everyone except 7 and I think 8 is really stable. I’ve since upgraded the CPU, RAM & video card on the original HP MOBO & I’m running windows 8 64 bit flawlessly. My windows experience index is as follows…

Processor: 7.3
Memory (RAM): 7.3
Graphics: 7.9
Gaming graphics: 7.9
Primary hard disks: 5.9

The MOBO (Motherboard) & hard disk drive (HDD) are the only original things from the computer.

Also, just to say, I’m currently downloading HD video from my GoPro while transferring files and chilling here on fluther all at the same time with no problems. :)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@jerv Exactly my thought. Building a computer is like Lego’s for big kids.

jerv's avatar

@Axemusica The learning curve alone is enough to put many people off. While you and I have no issue with keyboard shortcuts, many other people feel differently.

The incompatibility with much Win7 software turns off many others, especially gamers and businesses. Add in that the Tablet OS side of Win8 offers absolutely nothing I want, the code for that is just a waste of disk space.

The inconvenience of how to get a regular desktop and the inability to boot to it by default is a deal-killer for me, in part because of the impenetrable barrier between the two interfaces; you are effectively running two OSs.Of course, the only way to do that is to run one in a sandbox, and if I wanted that sort of wall, I’d switch to Apple.

Like previous crap versions of Windows, the next version will have much of the good things about Win8 with less of the bad… and between the Win8 backlash and Xbone 180, Microsoft can’t afford to get the next version wrong.

Axemusica's avatar

Agreed @jerv. The incompatibility between Windows 7 & 8 would turn me off too. Good thing I didn’t have much I wanted to transfer. What do you mean by “regular desktop”? I don’t have a tablet or a touch screen so I understand what you mean about useless code, but using it so far it acts just like any other windows, I’m assuming windows 7 was close to the rest of the family counter parts, though I have yet to actually use it.

Yes, I’ve been out of the “power user” category for many years, but jumping back in & starting fresh on Windows 8 has been super easy, IMHO & after upgrading some components, switching to 64bit was super easy and it doesn’t over write your preexisting files. The only grip I really have with the whole OS so far is the start menu tablet thinger. If I had a touch screen, it would be neat, but I don’t so it’s kind of a pain and an eyesore. Other than that I really enjoy it.

jaytkay's avatar

Regarding the tiles interface – Microsoft has not quite said so, but tech writers are saying (hoping?) that Window 8.1 will allow skipping the tiles and booting straight to the desktop.

According to Microsoft, Window 8.1 update will allow you, ” to boot into alternate screens. For example, if you prefer to see the Apps view versus all the tiles, you can choose to have the Start screen go directly to Apps view.”

IT Pro – Windows 8.1 update: release date, price and features

Microsoft – Continuing the Windows 8 vision with Windows 8.1

jerv's avatar

@Axemusica By “regular desktop”, I mean the usual windows, folders, and files instead of just tiles and charms and basically turning your display into an oversized tablet screen. The lack of a Start menu is annoying, but the intentional blocking of re-adding that feature was a dick move.

answerjill's avatar

I bought a computer that was discontinued and on clearance. It was pretty much the only computer in the store that still had Windows 7.

El_Cadejo's avatar

If you get a comp with win tablet ME 2.0 8 you could always just format the HDD and put 7 on there. I know you mentioned in the details you don’t feel capable of doing it but it’s really not all that complicated.

Axemusica's avatar

yea, @jerv I got you. It is annoying when ever I startup the tiles thing pops up, but I always constantly click the desktop tile and use everything through that. You can also set files up to view in desktop mode too, but too often they open in silly app form which is annoying. Although, what I built this system for was not entertainment and most of the programs I’ll be using aren’t “Apps” so they’ll be running via desktop.

Well that’s cool @jaytkay. I wonder if it’ll be an update or if M$ is gonna make you pay, because I own 8 & like @jerv said, dick move.

ETpro's avatar

I want my start menu because it’s my answer to desktop clutter. As a Web Developer, I have lots and lots of apps, but only a few I use regularly. The rest all stay only on the desktop. The regulars are in Startup. Works like a charm for me, except Microsoft got on to the fact it works, and naturally they corrected it so it can’t be done in Windows 8. They either fix it or my next OS after Windows 7 will be a Linux distro.

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