Before the release of Windows 8, people were able to download and install the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Roy Cresswell, a New Zealander living in Townsville, Australia, asks how he can remove the preview version from his computer.
Removing it depends entirely on how it was installed. If you installed it as an upgrade to an existing version of Windows, then unfortunately, there's not much you can do.
The Microsoft Windows 8 FAQ (windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/faq) contains the question "can I uninstall Windows 8 Release Preview?" followed by a very direct answer, "No".
To go back to your previous version of Windows, you'll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC; typically DVD media. Ensure that you backup your data files before commencing any recovery installation.
If you don't have recovery media you might be able to create it from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer.
The good news is that if Windows 8 was installed on a separate partition, then you can simply remove it in just two steps.
The first step is to remove the Windows 8 Consumer Preview from the boot-loader. This is the screen you see when you start your computer, prompting you to select the operation system (OS) that you want to load.
The second step is to delete the hard disk partition containing Windows 8.
To remove the Windows 8 entry from your boot-loader you need to use a free (for non-commercial use) application called EasyBCD (neosmart.net/EasyBCD).
For instructions on using the EasyBCD application, and on how to remove the partition, you can follow the directions provided in the Removing Windows 8 Consumer Preview Tutorial Video (youtube.com/watch?v=Kldwy7Il4HQ).
David Hallett is the chief nerd of Need A Nerd in the Waikato. Need A Nerd can be reached on 0800 633 326 (NEED A NERD). To ask a question email firstname.lastname@example.org and be in with a chance to win Norton 360 Version 6 by Symantec ($129 for three PCs).