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Windows Vista/Windows 8 and Windows Vista


QUESTION: I have a windows 8 gateway all-in-one desk top. I would like to work from home but all of the companies require windows 7 or older. I have removed the hard drive from my old toshiba laptop that the screen crapped out on which has windows vista. Can I use this as a boot drive for work only? Do I need to install it (is there an expandable port for this) or can it be a portable sort? Is this possible?? I have considered a possible ghost drive and purchasing an older version of windows but before spending money on something that I am not sure would work I figured I would "ask the expert"

ANSWER: Hello Jennifer

too many issues in your suggestion  , the first one is the license , you can not use the Toshiba windows vista license on a different hardware , it will de-activate that copy of windows vista and Microsoft probably will not re-activate that for you.

lets say Microsoft will activate that for you somehow .. do you have a secondary hard drive bay on the all in one desktop? because if you don't , every time you want to switch between Operating systems you are going to have to switch hard drives , turn off the machine unplug plug the other one and turn back on ..  , booting an os from external hard drive using a usb or fire wire is not recommended and its slow.

not mentioning gateway may not have the necessary driver software for windows vista and you may end up without a computer sound or no network adapter or no graphical adapter.

so to sum this up you want to contact Microsoft and check with gateway and see if
1.transfering the license is possible.
2.going to gateway website and locate your all in one desktop model # and see if they have drivers for windows vista.
3.make sure that there is a secondary hard drive bay on your all in one desktop. " otherwise you are going to have to switch hard drive everytime you want to use windows 8 or windows vista"

now let say Microsoft wont activate the vista license  for you then you have 3 solutions a cheap laptop used or new that runs windows 7 or older. for about 200$ " you can find some on craigslist for 100$"  or see if you Toshiba screen can be fixed/replaced for cheap price. a windows 7 or vista retail copy then

A. install it with windows 8 " same hard drive will have the 2 operating systems after you install 7 or vista along side windows 8 and you will get an option to choose to boot from any of them when you turn on your computer" this may be an expensive way because windows 7 or vista retail licenses are expensive if you found anyone that sell that.

B. use a virtualization software to install windows 7 or windows vista in windows 8 using virtualbox or VMware player
check this link on youtube

3. contact gateway and see if they can provide you with a OS downgrade DVD for your all in one desktop , some OEM have that option , for people who didn't like windows 8 , they offer a downgrade dvd to windows 7 some times for free or for way less money that buying the whole retail license.

I had that issue before but I went and used virtualization software's , but if you do CAD engineering or movie editing and anything related to heavy multimedia programs virtulization is not the way to go , it runs but it will slow everything down.

if you need more help or need more clarifications please contact me back
have a good day.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My husband tells me that I am a special case all the time :) I am going to try to work through your wonderful responses to see you you can figure out what I am now trying to ask you LoL It is a shame you are not accepting rating because you are 5 star in my book :)
I understand the 1st portion about the Toshiba conflict with licensing issues. The Toshiba was a good laptop and still functioning when the monitor died but I don't think the specs are what I need as far as work speed and memory etc.
I purchased my machine factory certified refurb off ebay so I feel that unfortunately limits my getting help from Gateway who's response to you doing anything yourself is "Installation of additional Operating Systems may interfere with the recovery media and methods used to restore a computer to factory defaults. Gateway does not provide support for the installation of additional Operating Systems that did not originally ship on your computer." With the way I purchased my comp asking for a downgrade disc I assume is out of the question especially since I couldnt find any info about that on Gateways website. Everything that I have been able to find about downgrading from 8 has not been good news like you have to purchase the ultra premium version of 8 to get downgrade rights then turn around and purchase what you want to down grade to... I think not.
I really don't mind switching hard drives it will actually be ideal to keep my confidential and sensitive work files separate from my sons online pokemon games.  
I have found through some creative searching instructions from a forum on how to remove the cover to check out the "goods" for my gateway model. There is a secondary bay for an additional hard drive. I would like to load a secondary OS (I have ordered a copy w/ license of windows 7) on to a different hard drive. Speed and available ram are very important to the job I will be performing so I am scared to partition the hard drive. That is also the reason why the virtulization would not be an option for this issue but I will for sure remember that little tid bit! Can I install the old Toshiba hard drive and wipe everything off of it then install my windows 7 on to it when it arrives?

Hello Jennifer

haha everyone is special case , I just cant believe that they require windows 7 or older for you to do your job. I run many software applications and programs,  my transition to windows 8 from 7 , was smooth and I never looked back.

well it looks like you have done your own research and you have eliminated most of the options

yes you can wipe everything off the Toshiba hard drive and install windows 7 on it when it arrives , just make sure the hard drive fits in the secondary bay and the connectors match other wise you may want to buy some cable convertor.

if you do not want to screw up with your windows 8 hard drive or repartition it , then you may want to disconnect the windows 8 hard drive and connect the Toshiba hard drive and install the windows 7 on it , then if you want to use the windows 8 hdd you have to reconnect it and disconnect the windows 7 one.

remember always to backup your windows 8 installation if you do not have OEM disk then you can create one just incase something wrong happened. there might be tool included by gateway to create recovery disks your you can use the windows 8 backup to create system image on disks or external hard drive.

it is kind of tricky to dual boot windows 8 and windows 7 with windows 8 preinstalled first
if you google/bing install windows 7 alongside windows 8 you will find many articles with successful stories and little issues ,  read the comments and reviews and see the one that work best for you.

if you need more help feel free to contact me back anytime at or directly at with a subject all-experts.

have a wonderful day.  

Windows Vista

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Saed Shawwa


I will do my best to answer all the questions that is related to Microsoft Windows Vista Operating System.


I am an experienced computer technical in the field of Networking , Hardware Support , Operating System Support and Troubleshooting.

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