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How to reinstall Vista

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How to reinstall Vista

My friend's Acer laptop needs a new hard drive. Unfortunately a restore disk was not made so I am at a loss how to reinstall Vista Home Basic when it comes back from the repairer.
He can reinstall the OS but wants to charge £40 for it. Acer will charge £50 for a disk to be sent.
I have two Vista Home Basic  disks but OEM so I cannot really use those.
Should I just pay the shop owner to set it up or is there any way that I can do it myself and save a bob or two?
25 REPLIES
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: How to reinstall Vista

cant you just download your friend windows vista  from the web?
hopefully she can find her windows  key to authenticate the copy later after 30 days
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: How to reinstall Vista

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/products/get
may get a  trial copy here for 30 days then look and find the key
Community Veteran
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

You want to re-install an OEM copy of Vista and you have an OEM disc (two, in fact).  I don't see the problem.  Just use the product key on the sticker on the Acer laptop.  Or do you mean you have Recovery Discs, not OEM copies of Windows Vista?
Community Veteran
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

It depends - sometimes that doesn't work as it depends if the OEM version is linked to a specific motherboard.
I also have had the situation that the OEM key won't work with a standard  OEM disk as the key is linked to a proprietary version (this was with XP - I don't know if Vista is different)
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: How to reinstall Vista

the backup of the oem it is  backed up normally on a separate partition on the hard drive in case windows fails
if you can find and windows  can see  it fine copy to dvd and just copy it over to the new drive
if it wont /cant open the drive and  that up and copy  it to dvd
than as its a  lot of work finding a free trial version of vista and the key
maybe your friend needs a treat buy windows 7 its out now
why install an old system on a new drive
from Target IT windows 7 is £68. 00i may buy it my self too when i have £68
its self installing too from disk rather than OEM
N/A

Re: How to reinstall Vista

RR - I think that I get a bit mixed up with what is OEM and what is recovery (sorry).  :-
I have a Fujitsu disk but IIRC it did say Recovery on it. My MSI says External Recovery Media. When I reformatted the latter a few months ago it completed  remarkably quickly so I thought it was just a return to factory settings one - usually a reformat takes longer than this one did.
Oldjim - the gentleman at the shop said exactly the same thing. I have had another chat with him and he will reformat the new hard drive with a full copy of Vista Basic and will activate it with its own key which is still on the base of the laptop as it is not that old.
My friend hasn't a lot of money and is a pensioner so I offered to do all the setting up with updates and what have you if he would bring the price down a bit.
Anyway, he did bring it down and he is still going to do all the work so I think that the price he is charging is very fair.  
Thank you for your advice - I find this Windows license business a tad confusing (as do many others it seems). When I get the lappy back I will do a full back up/restore DVD.
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

Quote from: Oldjim
It depends - sometimes that doesn't work as it depends if the OEM version is linked to a specific motherboard.
I also have had the situation that the OEM key won't work with a standard  OEM disk as the key is linked to a proprietary version (this was with XP - I don't know if Vista is different)

There is a system by which Microsoft allows some OEM computer manufacturers to install a version of Windows that does not require activation but is linked to the motherboard.  However in my experience (which must be at least ten different instances) you can still install a regular OEM copy of Windows and activate it using the product key on the machine.  It must be an OEM key with an OEM disc (and the same version of Windows, obviously).  I have a colleague who thinks that some of the last machines sold with XP SP3 used a new set of product keys that don't work with older discs.  That's the only key incompatibility I know about.
Anyway, that's by-the-by as it turned out Poppy didn't have the OEM Vista disc.    
Community Veteran
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

Just for information - I tried that on a Laptop , I think it was a Toshiba, and it wouldn't work
In the end we had to extract the data using a Linux boot disk and then load the image from the recovery disk
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

Quote from: Oldjim
.. I tried that on a Laptop , I think it was a Toshiba, and it wouldn't work...

But I have done it maybe ten times on different computers and it has always worked.  If you count repair re-installs on XP (which require the Windows product key) as well, then it's several tens of times.  So based on my experience, Oldjim either made a mistake or was unusually unlucky.  Sometimes those product keys can be quite tricky to read; it's easy to confuse a "B" and an "8" for example.  If you don't have faith that what you are doing will succeed, it is easy to make a mistake and give up.   
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

Vista is NOT like XP when it comes to OEM installs, it's much more tightly controlled so any experience of XP is largely irrelevant.
Many OEM installs of XP don't even require a key, Vista does. But it sounds like that is available, presumably on the usual "sticker".
If there is no appropriate OEM install disk (and no recovery disks have been made) then it's likely you'll have to acquire one. £50 from Acer sounds plausible.
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

Quote from: ReedRichards
But I have done it maybe ten times on different computers and it has always worked.  If you count repair re-installs on XP (which require the Windows product key) as well, then it's several tens of times.  So based on my experience, Oldjim either made a mistake or was unusually unlucky.  Sometimes those product keys can be quite tricky to read; it's easy to confuse a "B" and an "8" for example.  If you don't have faith that what you are doing will succeed, it is easy to make a mistake and give up.   
It is possible you are correct as I was doing it remotely (it was my daughter's laptop) and I can't guarantee that the key was read correctly
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

Quote from: poppy
the gentleman at the shop said ... he will reformat the new hard drive with a full copy of Vista Basic and will activate it with its own key which is still on the base of the laptop ....

I guarantee he will do this using a standard OEM Windows Vista installation disk
Quote from: poppy
I find this Windows license business a tad confusing ...

It is very confusing!
It's my job to fix computers.  In my tool kit I have OEM discs for Windows XP Home, XP Professional and Vista (one disk covers all versions with Vista).  I have never yet experienced a product key incompatibility problem using these disks provided the computer is running its original OEM version of Windows.
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

Checking old posts this is what I tried - I wonder if it was the SP3 which mucked it up
Quote from: Oldjim
To explain my daughter's Toshiba  laptop suddenly wouldn't boot even in safe mode and she didn't want to use the recovery CD as the documents weren't backed up.
So I sent her the following - XP OEM SP3 disk, BartPE boot disk and pclinuxos-2009.1 disk.
First try - full repair install using the OEM key on the laptop - invalid CD key  Angry
Second try - BartPE with network support - booted fine but couldn't see the other computer nor a USB stick  Angry
Third try - Linux - booted fine, both computers can see each other and now files are being transferred -  Grin  Grin
Next stage is the recovery CD once everything is backed up.
This is at long range (over the telephone) with someone who has never used anything other than Windows
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Re: How to reinstall Vista

The XP discs I use are modified ("slipstreamed') so as to include SP3 as part of the installation (which saves a good deal of time).  This presents no problems.  However, as I said a few posts up, I have a colleague who says there are problems with as-supplied OEM XP SP3 discs because these (he says) use a new set of product keys, so would not work if the original installation of XP was SP2 or earlier.