Is 8.1 much better for Surface 3 (Atom)?

Discussion in 'Surface 3 (Atom)' started by TallSurfaceUser, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. TallSurfaceUser

    TallSurfaceUser Member

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    I had to go back to 8.1 on my Yoga thinkpad because the drivers on 10 were so messed up. Took me days to realize it was 10 that was the issue with Lenovo. What I learned in the process was that 8.1 kills 10 for tablets or hybrids. It's also more stable. Wonder if I can downgrade my Surface 3 without rebuilding my system.
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you'll need to rebuild if you try Windows 8.1 . Be sure to back up items to save time later.
     
  3. kundas1

    kundas1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    yup and even then you will have driver issues and hardware compatibility issues... don't think it can be done
     
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Um, why not? My Surface 3 came with 8.1 and it works as well actually better than an SP4 with W10. The hardware has not changed. .
     
  5. TallSurfaceUser

    TallSurfaceUser Member

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    Why are you so sure I will have driver issues if I downgrade? The more I use Windows 10 on my Surface and 8.1 on my Lenovo Yoga, the more I prefer 8.1.

    I think I'm going to downgrade. It won't take me that long to rebuild the system. I just have to figure out how to do it.
     
  6. Argus Tuft

    Argus Tuft Member

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    I've had more compatibility issues with W10 than I had with 8.1. I can't get W10 on both my desktop and S3 to talk wirelessly to our printer. I can only get my S3 to read my portable external HDD by way of the USB 3.0 connection.

    Fortunately, my missus still runs 8.1 so if I need anything printed, I just send it to her to print
     
  7. TallSurfaceUser

    TallSurfaceUser Member

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    Windows 10 would not talk to my NAS and would not work with the Lenovo internal microphone.

    There are many other issuer with it. Trying to change the window size with a stylus pen is murder.
     
  8. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Did the Surface 3 originally have 8.1 on it or did it come with 10? If it came with 8.1 then it will be much simpler. With your Surface serial number you can download an 8.1 Recovery image. AFAIK You can only download the image that came on the Surface from the factory so if it came with 10 you would have to get a 8.1 Recovery image from another user for this method. Otherwise you need to download the 8.1 media (unless you already have a copy) from here Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help to do a clean install. How to downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1

    There are a few details to work out so don't dive in just yet.
    You might want an image backup of your current system, I recommend Macrium Reflect (free) for that.
    Separate copy of your files, Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, Downloads, etc.

    Inventory of current programs to reinstall and any downloads you may need for that.
    I'm not sure how the Product key/registration will work... so that needs some consideration.
    Bitlocker Recovery Key
     
  9. TallSurfaceUser

    TallSurfaceUser Member

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    thanks! should be simple since not much i cant easily reinstall.
     
  10. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I could be wrong but the best I can tell a Surface 3 that came with Windows 10 Home would not have downgrade rights and you would need a valid 8.1 product key.

    The often referenced downgrade rights document states Windows 10 "Pro" can be downgraded but does not mention the Home edition. However it says the rights are included in the agreement when you setup... If anyone ever reads those and knows what they are for a Surface 3 chime in.

    Furthermore it appears even the Surface Pro with Windows 10 Pro does not include downgrade rights. The wording of the afore mentioned document left me with then impression that this was "Optional" and depended on the actual license provided by the OEM.
    Ref : Surface Pro 3 w/ Windows 10 - My Nightmare / Buyer Beware

    Update:
    I confirmed with a well known tech writer that the Surface 3 with Windows 10 does not have downgrade rights.
    He said the Pro would though but the jury may still be out on the downgrade rights for Surface Pro as I got the impression he was just quoting common OEM practice, we may need a tiebreaker. (Obviously that contradicts the above information however, any individual support incident can have the wrong outcome YMMV.) This does not apply to Businesses with Software Assurance, they have their own rules.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  11. kundas1

    kundas1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought all S3 came with win 10 and not win 8.1 if that's the case then there shouldn't be a problem...
     
  12. Argus Tuft

    Argus Tuft Member

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    I got mine with 8.1, and did the online upgrade which keeps the 'old' W8.1 files for about a month. This allows you to give W10 a try, and if you have too many problems, you can 'downgrade' back to 8.1. This is how I was able to go back to 8.1 on my desktop, but I have since installed Ubuntu.

    I'm still waiting to upgrade my Windows phone to W10, but I'm not holding my breath!
     

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