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  1. #1
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    A decent article worthy of a mention here, as many questions are related.

    Restore Windows 7 Without the Crapware
    Windows 7 Tip of the Week
    Tip date: July 10, 2010
    Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows

    If you have a retail Windows 7 Setup disc, you can easily wipe out your PC and start over again with a clean install of Windows 7 at any time. This isn't as necessary as it used to be in Windows XP days, of course, but it's still a nice option if you need to do this for whatever reason. Power users, I know, are fond of routinely wiping out Windows and reinstalling, convinced that this keeps the PC running optimally and free of gunk.

    If you received Windows 7 with a new PC, however, your PC restore possibilities could be less straightforward. These days, most PCs no longer come with restore media, but instead provide a restore partition on the hard drive and force you to manually create the necessary restore DVD(s) yourself. (So be sure to do so.) Some PCs provide two separate discs, where the first is a standard Windows 7 Setup disc, providing you with the same simple PC restore scenario that retail Windows 7 users enjoy. (The second can contain drivers, applications, and crapware.) Some, however, provide their own front-end to the Microsoft tools. And when you restore the PC using these tools, you may have no say over what gets installed. And for many PCs, that means you're getting it all: The OS, the drivers, the apps, and the crapware.

    For those unlucky enough to own a PC with such restore discs, it may seem like the opportunity to easily wipe out your PC and return it to a pristine state is impossible. But it is possible, assuming you don't mind doing a little bit of work up front. That is, you can restore your PC once using your PC maker's restore scheme. Then, you can remove all the crapware and other applications you don't want from the install. Then, you use Windows Backup, part of Windows 7, to create a system image (described below) and a system repair disc, which can be used to boot the PC and re-apply that system image back to the PC. The end result is a pristine PC restore capability that should do exactly what you want.

    Final thoughts
    If all goes well, you should be left with a clean, properly-configured PC that can be restored to this same state again and again if need be. Indeed, this process is so useful that even those with retail Windows 7 Setup discs might want to try it, since it's a good way to create a system restore with all the proper drivers and applications you like to use as well.

    You may also want to update the system image from time to time. This is advisable from a backup perspective, of course, but also because Windows and your various applications will be updated over time as well, and if you're working from an up-to-date image, you can be up and running that much faster.

    Either way, the system image and repair tools are much improved in Windows 7, and good to know about. They're there if you want to use them.

    --Paul Thurrott
    July 10, 2010

    I'm not posting the entire article here, as there are some screenshots on the site and other links as well.
    If you own one of those OEM, imaged, or hidden partition restoration os's, this will undoubtedly be a worthwhile read.
    The use of PC Decrapifier figures prominently in this article.
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Paul Thurrott also shows the steps involved in a Clean Install Windows 7 with Upgrade Media. This is also a very worthwhile read.
    Have a Great Day! Ted

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