It’s worse than I thought.
The new ASUS U47A comes with a whole host of “security” features to prevent downgrading of the operating system, Windows 8.
This particular U47A system was purchased in preparation for a federal criminal trial in Las Vegas in which I will be relying heavily on the system to serve up dense amounts of information. I learned my lesson from my last case to not rely on Windows 8 (more on that later), so, downgrading was part of the plan all along. ASUS’ position that “No,downgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 7 is not an option,” was unacceptable for me.
Attempting to boot from the Windows 7 DVD resulted in a “Secure Boot” BIOS error. Once Secure Boot was disabled, then it would just freeze on the Windows logo without any further information. So, I scoured the forums and discovered that it is indeed intentional, and as a result of a BIOS update. So, I downgraded the BIOS, however, this proved to be a chore, since ASUS prevented the downgrade of the BIOS as well.
The trick was to use ASUS’ built in tool WinFlash, executed via the command-line with the “/nodate” flag. Once the BIOS was downgraded to the magic version that would permit the installation of another operating system — installation was smooth and effortless.
This is a stopgap. This was only possible because there happened to be a compatible BIOS. In the near future, the prospects of downgrading are slim. A dire era of computing where choice is limited, functionality is truncated and productivity is stifled, looms.