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Ergh, if you get a new laptop it'll come with Windows 8. I hope you can find a way around that!
I'm actually prepared to threaten a sales associate with bodily harm if they try to offer me anything with Windows 8 on it. The family computer uses Windows 8 and it is a nightmare. I could always shop around the interwebz for a Windows 7 laptop instead, and it'd be cheaper too. Hell, I could even try to find the same model of Asus I have now and work from there.
If I don't mind going refurbished, it's available.
Also, I have a question for the more technologically knowledgeable of us: A bit of research revealed that taking a hard drive from an old computer and installing it into a brand new computer is, if even possible, a difficult endeavor, due to the drivers and other elements. However, if I were to take another of the exact same model and plug in the old hard drive would there be less complications, or are we still looking at a FUBAR situation?
Well, you could probably still find OEM copies of Windows 7 at a computer store. The store where I bought my most recent PC still sells it. Then it would just be a matter of installing the correct drivers for your new laptop's video card, sound, ethernet, etc. Those should come on a CD with the new laptop, or at least be downloadable from the company's website.
Trying to put an old hard drive in another laptop of the same model sounds iffy to me. There might have been slight upgrades to the hardware or drivers since then, so god knows what might happen. Besides, Windows 7 is much better than Vista (or so I've heard, having avoided Vista like the plague like so many others). Come join us. We all float down here.
I received an email today saying I got denied NeoGAF membership. Wasn't very serious when I made the account in the first place, but considering I did have a legitimate business email I figured I had a shot.