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Reinstall Windows

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,276
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Reinstall Windows

Has anybody reinstalled Windows (7) on a laptop from the pre-installed D drive on to a re-formatted C drive.
Sounds straight forward but, is it?
How is done? the manual is online and I currently can't get online with the machine that needs the re-install.
Do it need a product key? If so how is it found.
I have 3 copies of Win 7 but are all single licence, if the best way is to install from disc, then I will bite the bullet and purchase another one.
One of the copies is on my wife's now largely unused laptop. Am I likely to get away with using this copy, its internet connection is through "my" system.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Reinstall Windows

Not entirely clear what you mean in relation to the C and D drives - explain a bit more?
Product key is in the documentation supplied when you bought W7. If it's an OEM copy it's normally on a sticker on the case of the computer it is licensed to.
Community Veteran
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Re: Reinstall Windows

Might have found something..  in the program list is there a folder called PC Help & Tools? If so, look in it and you'll probably find a link to the Recovery Manager.

Community Veteran
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Re: Reinstall Windows

@ HP sauce. After some protracted attempts to get my internet working with a lot of help (see the "No internet" thread It seems regretfully that Windows may have to be reinstalled.
I have installed Windows 7 a number of times from disc, but never on a laptop that doesn't have installation discs supplied or apparently the means to record your own from new. I'm asking how Windows can or if be reinstalled (if an attempt at Windows Repair fails) on such a machine presumably from the pre-installed D drive after formatting the C drive should that be necessary first.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Reinstall Windows

Quote from: Petlew
Do it need a product key? If so how is it found.

A couple of weeks ago I restored my Sony Vaio to factory defaults before giving it to SWMBO as new.
It was a simple job of running the Restore Complete System from the Recovery Centre. No need to reformat the C drive first as the program did it anyway.
During the procedure it prompted for the Product Key which was found on a label on the underside of the laptop.
Hope that helps you somewhat.

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
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Community Veteran
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Re: Reinstall Windows

Indeed it does Mav, filed for probable use.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Reinstall Windows

Quote from: Petlew
I'm asking how Windows can or if be reinstalled (if an attempt at Windows Repair fails) on such a machine

That's definitely a RTFM question as it depends on the manufacturer as to whether or how such a facility is provided. There is NO standard answer.
(It isn't always even possible and may require you to do a full system backup using W7's own tools)
What make and model is it and what does the documentation say about such things? Is there a recovery tool on the main programs menu and a help to explain it?
Is see that Mav has confirmed my answer re the product key label.  Wink
Quote from: HPsauce
..normally on a sticker on the case of the computer it is licensed to.
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Re: Reinstall Windows

When you buy a new computer and switch it on for the first time you are rarely if ever asked for the Windows product key.  Unless that happened the first time round it won't happen if your restore a computer to its factory-supplied state. 
Al3x
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Re: Reinstall Windows

1. Before windows starts up with the "splash" screen tap F8
2. Now select "repair computer"
3. Choose full system restore, a warning about all your data being wiped will appear
4. Choose yes to wipe system, then windows 7 will restore to when you first bought it.
You will at no point have to input your liscence key or reactivate windows.
JOB DONE
(Please note, I do this every day at work, have done it 1000s of times over the last 13 years, this method works)

You will have to probably install the following after the restore is complete:-

Service pack 1
All updates after service pack 1
Internet explorer 9
Uptodate anti-virus and anti spyware

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Re: Reinstall Windows

Quote from: Al3x
1. Before windows starts up with the "splash" screen tap F8
2. Now select "repair computer"

I'm afraid that is manufacturer-specific misinformation and DOES NOT WORK on all systems.
Please read this MICROSOFT document before doing anything: http://windows.microsoft.com/is-IS/windows7/What-are-the-system-recovery-options-in-Windows-7
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Re: Reinstall Windows

Quote from: HPsauce
I'm afraid that is manufacturer-specific misinformation and DOES NOT WORK on all systems.

HPsauce is right but unless you have the manufacturer's instructions in front of you it's not a bad thing to try first.  The option to "repair/reset", if it is there, will be an additional option to those listed in the link cited.
if Al3x does this every day at work then he takes the easy way out way too frequently, in my opinion.  I'm in the same line of work and I resort to this option about once a year.
Anyway, didn't Petlew say on another thread that his problem magically resolved itself?  http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,107290.msg916963.html#msg916963  
Community Veteran
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Re: Reinstall Windows

It did, and I'm using that PC now, I'm still totally mystified. Nothing was actually done to alter any settings. The only really technical options were a couple of cmd commands to get some readings and one cmd addition which didn't work.
That's Windows for you I suppose...
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,276
Thanks: 72
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Reinstall Windows

You might consider this then. For a while now in all of my PC's my browser has been quite slow to open at start up (I think I mentioned this in the other thread) Since this PC magically "repaired itself" all three machines have resumed their normal speed.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Reinstall Windows

Browsers can often "degrade" due to increasing temporary files etc.
For FireFox the SpeedyFox tool is useful. (Google it)
For IE it's worth checking the space reserved for temporary internet files, this is often too large or even corrupted to an implausible value. I use 25MB to 50MB at most.
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Re: Reinstall Windows

Quote from: ReedRichards
When you buy a new computer and switch it on for the first time you are rarely if ever asked for the Windows product key.  Unless that happened the first time round it won't happen if your restore a computer to its factory-supplied state. 

Yup, good old SLIC BIOS.
Best off using the manufacturers install disc. If you're lucky it'll be customised to them, check the SLIC table and you won't be asked for a key or to activate at all.