(Edited as of 11/24/2020 at 7:32 PM - Re-done some parts)
Time to make a post on how to live with Windows 7, just like I did with 8.1.
Part 1: Right hardware
First things first you want to know what your hardware is. Pretty much 7 will work on any hardware you throw at it unless it is old. 10th gen Intel is known to work, don't know about Ryzen, but Ryzen works on Vista so. I would say if you want a genuine non-modding experience, go with 6th gen Intel or the AMD FX series. NATIVELY SUPPORTED: AMD:
Up to Ryzen 2xxx (X470) Intel:
Up to 6xxx processors NOT NATIVE BUT DOES WORK: AMD:
Ryzen 3xxx+ Intel:
Part 2: Getting an ISO
Finding Windows 7 ISOs aren't really that hard. If you have a genuine product key, you can visit the download site
that Microsoft for god knows what reason still provides. It's like they themself know you can still use it.
If you don't have a product key, you can use tools like the Windows ISO Downloader
to fetch it.
Part 3: Pre-install configuration
You can use your favorite NT-based OS modding tool. I use NTLite. You can do whatever you want. What I do is integrate my network drivers, USB, NVMe and all the updates.
After you modify it, you can throw it onto a USB, DVD,
, whatever storage medium you choose.
If you have a 9th gen or newer Intel CPU, you need a modded Intel eXtensible driver. Intel does not provide Windows 7 functional ones as this driver is USB 3.1, not 3.0. You need to disable driver signature re-enforcement. You can find it here
Part 4: Installation
Plop in your storage medium, head to your boot menu and install to the drive, partition, whatever you want. Go through OOBE and configure it to your liking.
Part 5: Post-install configuration
Install your drivers / mods first.
Second, you want to get all the updates done before installing your programs. Outdated Windows 7 does not play well with applications and the internet anymore, and you will get security issues in Chrome. Plus, you need all the security you can get at this point.
Install Katmouse or X-Mouse button control. Both programs allow more control on how scrolling works and impliment a feature which allows scrolling on inactive windows.
For those who play games, you only support DirectX 11. Most games still work with this, but some modern triple-A titles may not. Install an Antivirus and Firewall.
This is absolutely needed on Windows 7 after end of life. I use Bitdefender, but you can use Malwarebytes, Kaspersky, any one that isn't McAfee. I use Glasswire for my firewall. If you want to go more advanced, a network based firewall like pfsense
is a great option.
Windows 7! Rock hard stable and what we are used to! Customization like crazy!
Some programs such as Discord, OpenBroadcasterSoftware, really any program that records the screen can cause lag if you use aero. It is just a Windows 7 design flaw with modern screen-recording technologies.
Microsoft recently made a policy for your driver to be signed by Microsoft, it must be using a new format only supported by Windows 10, effective sometime next year. This means driver updates are nearing the end for Windows 7 and 8.1.
Long Live Windows 7!