Copy your data off first. If you can not boot your system, remove the hard drive and put it into a USB external drive housing. Connect to a working PC, copy the data off.
Always check to ensure the hard drive you are about to rebuild is actually sound from a hardware perspective. Download and run your hard drive manufacturer’s drive testing software.
Read Woody Leonhard’s advice first, to see if you can complete the restoration without a re-install. http://www.infoworld.com/article/3033806/microsoft-windows/how-to-roll-back-your-windows-10-upgrade.html
However, if you are unable to make the reversion back to Windows 7, or your system is not right after you did that “reversion.” You should do a complete re-install. The only absolutely sure way to have a perfectly clean system. In the install process, it is called a “Custom” install.
First go to your computer’s OEM support site and find and download the drivers for your computer and store them on a USB stick.
You will need a Win7 install disk. You will need a legal product code and the win7 disk must match the edition of the code and its bitness (32 or 64). If you do not have the original Windows 7 install disk, borrow one from a friend. If that disk has SP1 (Service Pack 1) on it, it will save you many hours.
Do not install anything but Windows Updates until your system is up to date. Once you have the update list, install all of them together. Installing updates in batches will not speed the process or make it better.
Boot your system to the Windows 7 install disk. When it asks where to store the system, click Advanced. Delete all partitions. Proceed with the install until you get your new desktop.
Change Windows Update setting to Never check for updates. This is the setting you will keep. Restart. Set Windows Update service to Stop. Start globe, type services in text boxt that pops up, select services from the list. Find Windows Update in the list, right-click and choose stop.
Download and install the following:
- KB3020369 Win-7 32 https://download.microsoft.com/download/C/0/8/C0823F43-BFE9-4147-9B0A-35769CBBE6B0/Windows6.1-KB3020369-x86.msu;
- Win-7 64 bit https://download.microsoft.com/download/5/D/0/5D0821EB-A92D-4CA2-9020-EC41D56B074F/Windows6.1-KB3020369-x64.msu
- KB3138612 Win-7 32 bit, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=51208
- Win-7 64 bit, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=51212
Now proceed to Windows Update and begin the update process.
When you get the list of proposed updates (some 200 plus), look for the Windows Section in the Recommended update section. Find the updates in that section that are NOT labeled security. Click once on each. Right click and hide any and every update who’s date is after 2014. FYI, all updates after 2014 are to grease the skids to Windows 10 or install Microsoft spyware on your computer.
Allow the Malicious software removal tool or any C++ updates. Do not use ANY optional updates or place a checkmark in any unchecked updates. Proceed to update.
Check Device manager to find out if any drivers are missing. Start globe, type device into the text box that pops up, click on Device manager. If you find any item in the list with a yellow exclamation point, that driver is missing. Install them from the USB stick you stored them on earlier.
After Windows 7, system drivers and all updates are installed and any stable applications like Microsoft Office are installed and updated, and before any data or dynamic applications are installed such as antivirus software, create a system image. It will take 3 or 6 DVD +Rs (not -Rs) and about an hour. When you are done you will have a very nice bit of insurance. Should you ever again need to re-build a corrupted system or replace a hard drive, you will have a precise duplicate of your system as it was at time you made this image. You can restore that image to a hard drive in about 20 minutes. Creation of System Image is found in your menu under Maintenance, Backup and Restore.
Another great feature about using the image is that you do not need an install disk or a product key to do the re-install the next time.
I emphasize the need for PLUS R DVD blanks. Do not use the more common MINUS R DVD blanks.
Prevent Windows 10
You must adopt a protective stance to prevent your Windows 7 system from becoming something you do not want.
Change the Windows Update Setting to Never check for updates. Once a month, about a week after the 2nd Tuesday, you are going to start and run Windows update. From this point onward, you are going to hide every non-Security update in the Windows section.
Some may feel uncomfortable with the setting — NEVER. Well you needn’t be. Never means you are never giving Microsoft a chance to decide what you download and install. It should NOT mean you will never update. The difference is that now you take control and the responsibility of updating of Windows and Office.
Read Woody Leonhard (one of the most respected writers in the trade) http://www.infoworld.com/article/2983777/microsoft-windows/how-to-clean-the-windows-10-crapware-off-your-windows-7-or-81-pc.html?nsdr=true Woody calls the Windows 10 download “crapware.” Woody’s advice is that if you have Windows 7, keep it, you are better off by far.
Download and install GWX Control panel. http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads/ Click the buttons as necessary.