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  1. #1
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    Question Tutorial Discussions

    Clean Re-Install Windows 7 or Windows Vista
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    Last edited by writhziden; 07-07-2017 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Reflect the original tutorial before discussion


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  2. #2

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    Question Tutorial Discussions

    Great stuff. Though it does sound more like this is designed for a clean install rather than a reinstall. A clean reinstall I think would entail some usage of the Windows Easy Transfer or Windows.old folder. I personally have have mixed results with Windows.old folder but I believe that's only because I can never recall exactly how I did the transfer that ended up well. Details on it vary a lot on the internet, but I wouldn't mind hearing yours and others' perspective on it.
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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    One minor issue I have with this is this:
    but if your system was pre-built, the license key for Windows will not be the same as that on your sticker.
    It states that the key will not be the same as the one on the sticker, but doesn't say where to find it. It's probably worth adding something extra.

    Other than that, fantastic. I might actually use this myself soon, I need to do a re-install on my Dad's vista laptop.

    Stephen


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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekno Venus View Post
    One minor issue I have with this is this:
    but if your system was pre-built, the license key for Windows will not be the same as that on your sticker.
    It states that the key will not be the same as the one on the sticker, but doesn't say where to find it. It's probably worth adding something extra.

    Other than that, fantastic. I might actually use this myself soon, I need to do a re-install on my Dad's vista laptop.

    Stephen
    Taken care of with a new note.

    Thanks Stephen.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vir Gnarus View Post
    Great stuff. Though it does sound more like this is designed for a clean install rather than a reinstall. A clean reinstall I think would entail some usage of the Windows Easy Transfer or Windows.old folder. I personally have have mixed results with Windows.old folder but I believe that's only because I can never recall exactly how I did the transfer that ended up well. Details on it vary a lot on the internet, but I wouldn't mind hearing yours and others' perspective on it.
    Do you suggest I change the title? I do mention backing up important files prior, but there is a chance for confusion, which I would like to avoid.


    @Both: Would you two mind if I move this discussion to a separate thread to prevent cluttering the tutorials? I could start a separate thread within each tutorial section for discussions about the tutorials.
    Last edited by writhziden; 10-02-2012 at 04:05 PM.

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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Ok Mike,

    A question of my own regarding that. Just out of interest, in case I wanted to ever do a clean install and because I'm curious, I ran Belarc advisor and looked for my Windows 7 product key. Belarc shows two keys, one shorter with OEM in and one longer with lots of letters and numbers in. Neither match the sticker on the underside of the laptop and I have no install disks. What would I do in this situation? Which one would I use?

    Stephen


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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    You would want to use the sticker OEM key. The OEM key that Belarc advisor shows is a factory OEM key that they use for all their systems. It can only be installed by the vendor using that key through an automated process; as users, we must stick to the OEM key on the sticker.
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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Ok, thanks! Very useful to know :)


  8. #8
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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    If you have a factory image to restore from on a recovery partition or on recovery discs, you would not need to use either key as the factory image already has the factory OEM key built in.

    How were you planning to re-install if you do not have install discs?

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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    I am not planning to reinstall any time soon, this is all hypothetical. However, from my time at 7F, I remember the MyDigitalLife .iso files (http://www.mydigitallife.info/offici...digital-river/) being mentioned a lot. AFAIK, they are perfect iso's of Win7 SP1.

    From what I remember, it is possible to use the OEM key to install using this .iso. Am I correct or is this wrong? I wouldn't want to use the recovery image, I would like a clean install from scratch, the one that came with this Dell was very bloated and slow - 120 processes running in Task Manager when new!! Down to ~80 now.


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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Agreed, a clean install is better than a factory recovery on most systems. I have an HP desktop that was plenty fast out of the box, but I find it is much easier and less annoying to use without all the bloatware it came with.

    The .iso files from digital-river are perfectly fine with the OEM key on the sticker as long as the version matches that which is printed on the sticker, i.e. Windows 7 Home Premium. One stipulation that I rarely see made when recommending those is that they can only be used if you already own a valid Windows 7 license. The activation period was not intended as a trial period, and using it as such is a violation of the license agreement with Microsoft.

    Stephen, the above information regarding the activation period is not directed at you. It is for informational purposes to those who read this discussion.

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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Thanks again Mike, helpful as always.


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    Re: Tutorial Discussions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vir Gnarus View Post
    Great stuff. Though it does sound more like this is designed for a clean install rather than a reinstall. A clean reinstall I think would entail some usage of the Windows Easy Transfer or Windows.old folder. I personally have have mixed results with Windows.old folder but I believe that's only because I can never recall exactly how I did the transfer that ended up well. Details on it vary a lot on the internet, but I wouldn't mind hearing yours and others' perspective on it.
    I renamed the article to Backup and Clean Install... I think that is a better reflection of the tutorial. Thanks for the feedback.

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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Usually true. Using a restore to factory conditions from disks or the recovery partition will include that code and you normally will not need to input any. But you need the external code if doing a clean install vs. a factory restore unless you did so before with the same OS - then you used the proper key before and this new clean install will have the right key in Belarc because it was input the prior time - assuming you can get to it depending on why you're doing the clean install in the first place.

    Kosh


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    Re: Tutorial Discussions

    My other far longer post was just wiped out because I replied before refreshing the screen and so it went to the old name/location before move I think (but can't find it anywhere). Is it recoverable?


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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kosh Vorlon View Post
    Usually true. Using a restore to factory conditions from disks or the recovery partition will include that code and you normally will not need to input any. But you need the external code if doing a clean install vs. a factory restore unless you did so before with the same OS - then you used the proper key before and this new clean install will have the right key in Belarc because it was input the prior time - assuming you can get to it depending on why you're doing the clean install in the first place.

    Kosh
    I had thought of this, as well. I did not want to confuse people further by adding in that if they had already done a clean install, the Belarc Advisor key would be the same as the sticker. I feel it is better to have users always use the key on the sticker than to have them think they got a valid key from Belearc when they may not have and then have no way of activating Windows to use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kosh Vorlon View Post
    My other far longer post was just wiped out because I replied before refreshing the screen and so it went to the old name/location before move I think (but can't find it anywhere). Is it recoverable?
    I have wondered this myself at times. When typing posts, I often get a notification that the content was saved, but where is it saved? How do we access it, or can we? This is a question probably best posed in Site Suggestions & Trouble Reports.

  16. #16
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    Re: Clean Re-Install Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Quote Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
    I have wondered this myself at times. When typing posts, I often get a notification that the content was saved, but where is it saved? How do we access it, or can we? This is a question probably best posed in Site Suggestions & Trouble Reports.
    Hi Mike,

    If you don't know as an Admin and can't find a way, I for sure don't know. Do you use alerts and did you get one for that post you can PM me so I can copy/paste the content? Otherwise forget it and let's go with a shorter version of at least the concepts I mentioned if not the details I'd added.

    Anyway, the short version is I had some comments about Vir's comments and replied in part but before morning coffee so it was still incomplete but there are several things. Danger of using Easy Transfer if doing it because of infection as it may well reinfect new installation. Having proper equipment to do Easy Transfer (and limits to what will transfer and need to load programs before doing it or settings won't transfer). Doing full backup anyway just to be safe (seen too many hosed "easy" transfers). Windows.old only works with custom install - if formatting, there'll be no windows.old. Consider partitioning situation to see if a change is warranted and then format accordingly - especially if planning on or using dual boot (not necessary but best time to get best results). Making sure of drivers on flash drive if changed things in meantime (like hard drive) that may or may not be on genuine disk. No such thing as clean re-install (may confuse people with System repair/upgrade troubleshooting method (and that differs between Vista and W7). Issues if upgraded after original installation - especially if have only upgrade vs. full disk (may need to install original first and then upgrade it to get upgrade product key to activate on upgrade version) - but then that depends on OS as W7 may have a workaround for that but I don't think Vista does. Oh, and process to manually activate if automated method fails (or links to processes). Making sure to install AV program ASAP (probably should have on flash drive to install offline and then update as soon as go online to minimize risks) - and then worry about other upgrades and online stuff. Scan backup before restoring (even if done before and especially if clean install due to infection) just to be on the safe side.

    Can't remember rest except offer to try to help further and in greater detail (including editorial suggestions aside from thoughts about what to include/exclude) if you wish.

    See point on Belarc. Thing is that works on desktops usually - but any laptop over a year or 2 old actually used on your lap will wipe out the label. I need a magnifying glass to see the dang thing even on a new machine let alone if parts are dimmed or rubbed out. Should a "plan B" for lost label be included and this included in that or is the whole idea of lost product keys and proper product keys with upgrades and different operating systems getting too far off-topic? I think it fits but if you're concerned about confusion, maybe it can be done by reference rather than including it all.

    Not going to report lost post problem - haven't had much luck doing that anywhere. Think this was due to move and my posting to version before move which should have either gone to new location or errored me to change location - but not often enough to make a big deal about it.

    Thanks and great work. Have to start calling you "Brink-2." LOL!

    Kosh

    P.S. This is fast writing not grammatically proper or typical of my style. I'm just rushing because it feels like I'm doing it again and that's frustrating. Actual comments/feedback would be far more proper.


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  17. #17
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    Re: Tutorial Discussions

    Thanks Kosh. I'll add the step about the antivirus. I too agree that should be one of the first things installed and don't know why I omitted it. (DONE)

    I do think I covered to the best of my ability what to do if the sticker is unreadable. Contacting the vendor is probably the best option under those circumstances unless the user has the money to buy a retail version and not sweat it. Very few users I've encountered seem to be made of money. Some cannot even afford to buy a blank set of CDs or DVDs when they come for help. The vendor is usually able to supply that information for free or at low cost.

    I also think an activation tutorial or an outside link for information on activation would be in order. Activating Windows FAQ comes to mind.

    The upgrade install tutorial needs a disclaimer about needing to have the same or an updated version to install, i.e. if SP1 is installed on the system, a Windows 7 disc with SP1 integrated needs to be used for the upgrade install. (DONE)
    Last edited by writhziden; 10-03-2012 at 09:57 AM.

  18. #18

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    Re: Tutorial Discussions

    just as general info:
    There is a product ID code.
    There is a product KEY code. The KEY code is 25 characters long and is the one that one needs.

    The product ID and the product KEY are called by different names by different programs.

    The clue is always that the product key is 25 characters.

    Other sources of your Product Key and Product ID are:
    SPECCY http://www.piriform.com/speccy/download/standard
    and
    SIW http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.php
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  19. #19
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    Re: Tutorial Discussions

    Question for this tutorial - I am doing a clean install on an old Dell Inspiron 1545 to sell it. It has two partitions, the main C: partition and a recovery partition. Now, I do have some disks that came with it - Vista Install disk, Dell Drivers, Dell Software. I don't have any recovery disks.

    Now, what do I do with the recovery partition? Do I...

    Keep it but run the risk of it not working?
    Format it?
    Format and then delete it?
    Just delete it and format the remaining partition?

    I've never done a clean install before so I'm slightly unsure here.

    Thanks,
    Stephen


  20. #20
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    • specs System Specs
      • Manufacturer:
        Sony
      • Model Number:
        VPCF232FX/B
      • Motherboard:
        Sony Corporation VAIO
      • CPU:
      • Memory:
        8.00 GB Crucial CT2KIT51264BF1339 DDR3 1333
      • Graphics:
      • Sound Card:
        Realtek High Definition Audio/nVidia High Definition Audio
      • Hard Drives:
        TOSHIBA MK5061GSY 500 GB (465 GB actual)
      • Case:
        Laptop black matte case with backlit keyboard
      • Cooling:
        Air cooling via fan and heat exchanger heatsink
      • Display:
        Laptop display
      • Operating System:
        Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

    Re: Tutorial Discussions

    If it were my system to sell, I would use the recovery partition to recover it and create the discs so I could provide those with the system to whomever I sold it to.

    Do you plan on providing the person you are selling it to with a recovery process if something goes wrong? An installation disc or your own recovery discs made with backup software?

    I had an XP system that I gave to my school, and I provided three discs to recover it that I made using some backup software I use. With a clean install, you could probably use paragon best compression to create 3-4 recovery DVDs. If you can create recovery discs, it should be safe to wipe the partition.
    Tekno Venus says thanks for this.

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