PC ER: Downgrading Windows on an ASUS U47A


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.

Comments (3)

  1. […] PC ER: Downgrading Windows on an ASUS U47A […]

  2. weedlord420goku666

    a 5400 mechanical hdd in tyol 2013????? a shameful purchase

  3. 11ryanc

    This is the kind of behavior I would expect to see on a mobile phone, or tablet device. They typically contain modded firmwires and operating systems that aren’t designed to be removed. Bad enough as is. This is why I like sticking to basic laptop/desktop. I simply want nothing to do with a product unless I have say so in what I can use in it. Absolutely unacceptable to see this kind of regression to software choice, on a personal laptop of all things. It’s not like a mobile carrier to which runs it’s own selection of software.
    All seems to be a part of Microsoft’s tactics to keep it’s users under control. Always online, always fairly up to date on OS. Starting to feel like Apple or Google. Apple pretty much just drops support for a system after a few short years, and software vendors tend to follow the trend. Put’s people unwilling to “upgrade” in an uncomfortable disposition. Google simply wants everyone connected via account to their servers. So I see a mix in trend. Like how signing into Windows 8.1 requires a MS ID.
    I guess this is the future of computing. Watered down, bubbly software. Manufacturers that choose software setup(s) their consumers are granted. Pity..

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