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WMC: Anyone here switch from Win7Pro to Win8.1Pro and happy?


Oct 24, 2000
Am about to build an HTPC. I hate Win8/8.1 with a passion. But part of me wants to go with the latest and greatest just because one tries to do that on a new build.

So Win7 Pro SP1 or Win8.1 Pro?


Junior Member
Jan 23, 2014
Win8 doesn't run everything that Win 7 runs. Plus you have to learn a new way to get around unless you load Classic Shell or one of the other interface helpers. If you ignore the interface and the occasional software incompatibilities, Win8 Pro is solid. I have Win 8.1pro one one PC and Win7 pro on 2 others. I can put Win 8 pro on both any time I like. I'd rather not since I prefer to use computers rather than fight with operating systems.

A good NAS can work as a HTPC. So can an android tablet with a bluetooth keyboard / mouse combo and HDMI or an old laptop attached via hdmi to your tv that you put to sleep and awaken with a mouse jiggle. Wake-on-LAN is a little unreliable but works great if you can get it to work at all. Take a look at my site for some detailed articles on this subject.


Diamond Member
Oct 17, 1999
You've already experienced the joys of 8 but in all honesty if you specifically need features of 8 like faster boot/shutdown, installing Classic Shell or StartIsBack will cure most ills with the OS.

Basically +1 of what AdvHomeServer posted.


Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
At work, so I'll just copy and paste something I typed up a few days ago in a different thread:

As far as the OS goes, I like Windows 8.1 on my HTPC and I run it without a start menu app. I think the metro interface is decent for a 10 foot interface, much easier to use from the couch than the start menu in XP was. I prefer the look and feel of XP and 7 for a desktop, but I like 8 for a HTPC quite a bit. If you want a start menu, Classic Shell is very good. I don't really use any Metro Apps, but, for example, the NetFlix app is easier for my extended family to use than the browser.

As for no DVD support in 8.1, this can be fixed by installing VLC (free) or any player that you would use to watch Blu-Rays.

I did have to get a discrete GPU when I installed Win8 because AMD decided to not make drivers for "legacy" chipsets, even though those chipsets were only a few years old.

BTW: I read someone that Windows 8 still comes with downgrade rights, so you can buy 8 and install 7, but if you buy 7 you can't install 8 in the future.


Platinum Member
Mar 20, 2002
Am about to build an HTPC. I hate Win8/8.1 with a passion. But part of me wants to go with the latest and greatest just because one tries to do that on a new build.

So Win7 Pro SP1 or Win8.1 Pro?
Just a heads-up, I think you're able to get Dolby Digital sound via the Windows 8 netflix app, if I'm not mistaken (if that matters to you). AFAIK, that's the only way to do so on a HTPC (for netflix).


Nov 27, 2001
I tried out Windows 8 on my NUC when I first built it, but I couldn't justify spending $140 MSRP on Windows 8.1 Professional OEM just so I could get WMC (for an additional $10) when I can get Windows 7 Home Premium OEM for $100, which includes WMC for free.

If you really want to try Windows 8 without buying it, you first need access to an ISO, you remove the version information from the ei.cfg in the Sources folder (Microsoft reference), and install Windows 8 without a product key. Note that there's nothing illegal about this as you aren't circumventing anything. This isn't going to let you use Windows 8 forever as it will pester you for a product key! However, you can just quit out of that Metro UI dialog. :p


Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
Windows 8 won't let you share tv tuners over the network...which is pretty lame.