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Microsoft Windows 7 Software Recovery

Corrine

Site Administrator, Microsoft MVP, Security Analyst
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Upstate, NY
It used to be that when you purchased a new PC you received a copy of the software along with it. Then that stopped. Many OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. started charging extra for the software. Some would allow customers to purchase the software for a while and then that was no longer possible.

If you have a Windows 7 computer and no recovery software, you can now do one of the following:
  • Create a Windows 7 DVD for installation on a new hard drive
  • Create a backup Windows 7 DVD
  • Create a bootable USB drive with a copy of Windows 7
Instructions are available here: Microsoft Software Recovery.
 

Corrine

Site Administrator, Microsoft MVP, Security Analyst
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Posts
9,323
Location
Upstate, NY
This may not work with OEM computers as I thought. Reading the website link, it refers to "retail":

This site enables you to recover and install Microsoft software purchased through a retailer. (bold added)
If anyone with an OEM machine tries it, please let us know the results.
 

Digerati

Forum Moderator, Hardware
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Aug 28, 2012
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Nebraska, USA
That link does not work for me with IE or FF, but does with Chrome and PM. ???

Anyway, just another reason to build your own computers and buy the disks separately. But of course, not possible with notebooks.

The OEM computer and Windows should still allow the user to create a recovery disk. I don't know why it says that. And note you can buy OEM software from a retailer (like Newegg) so I don't think it applies to the "retail" license only. If you buy a Dell that comes with OEM software, Dell is the retailer. And as the "System Builder", they are responsible for 1 year of free Windows tech support. But of course, that means you must be lucky enough to get someone on the phone who actually knows what they are doing.

But frankly, as a hardware guy (NOT - by any means - a Windows expert) I think the recovery disk method is too much a PITA - and not very reliable as a means for complete recovery. Instead, I would recommend using a decent image backup program instead. And then use it frequently so you don't end up having to recover to an image that is years behind.
 

UnionThug

New member
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Posts
1
Location
NJ USA
This may not work with OEM computers as I thought. Reading the website link, it refers to "retail":

This site enables you to recover and install Microsoft software purchased through a retailer. (bold added)
If anyone with an OEM machine tries it, please let us know the results.
Hi, long time lurker, first time poster. :wave: Doesn't work with OEM-SLP key. :noidea:

key.JPG
 
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