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    Question Win7′s no-reformat, nondestructive reinstall

    I want to do a Win7′s no-reformat, nondestructive reinstall on my computer, it's slow and I think it's full of junk, and want to know if i can use the Win7 home premium family pack disk as the standard Win7 installation DVD?

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    If your computer is an OEM [brand] it may not work if asked for the Product Key. I have that disc and it's a Retail Upgrade version, sometimes the Product Keys don't interchange.

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    Thanks, that's mine, I used it to upgrade one of my laptops from Vista to Win7. I kind of had a feeling that there might be some problems.

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    crzn,

    You should be able to get the Product Key by running Belarc Advisor:
    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

    Then, try using your disc or a disc burned from the appropriate .iso file here:
    http://www.mydigitallife.info/offici...digital-river/

    Be sure before the reinstall that all of your libraries are in the default locations, and that you have as much free space on your C: drive as your Windows folder +9 GB. Good luck!

    Zig

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Make sure you have everything backed up prior to proceeding too.
    I don't care what anyone says, these nondestructive reinstalls fail/fault, nearly as often as they succeed.
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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juscrzn4fun View Post
    I want to do a Win7′s no-reformat, nondestructive reinstall on my computer, it's slow and I think it's full of junk, and want to know if i can use the Win7 home premium family pack disk as the standard Win7 installation DVD?
    According to Berton's #2 post the disk you have is a retail DVD. If your computer has an OEM version of Win7 then the retail DVD probably won't work.

    Also, if your Win7 has "Service Pack 1" (SP1) then you will need to either use a DVD that has SP1 or uninstall SP1 (not recommended) first for the repair-reinstall to work. If your Win7 is OEM and has SP1 then you could ask around family/friends/workmates to borrow a Win7 SP1 OEM DVD (would save a lot of trouble).

    Before you do anything at all you should make sure you have the product key for your existing Win7; it should be on a "COA" (Certificate of Authenticity) lable somewhere on your tower (if it's a desktop) or on the underside (if it's a laptop). Or you could extract the product key using "Belarc Advisor" (see Zig's #4 post) or ProduKey.

    And as CLiNT says in his #5 post make sure you have everything backed up.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    This SF tutorial explains the type of install disks that can be used http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...r-install.html

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    This SF tutorial explains the type of install disks that can be used http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...r-install.html
    I have looked at the "sevenforums" webpage you linked to but have serious reservations about some of what is stated on it, especially in regard to what is listed in the "Warnings" section.

    Some of the "warnings" listed are either misleading or just plain wrong.

    E.g.: "You can use a retail OEM Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with" confuses "retail" with "OEM" (apples are not oranges), and "You can use a retail (full or upgrade) Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with" - sorry, wrong, a retail Win7 installation disk will not work if the computer has an OEM version of Windows (and vice-versa) and the listing fails to take account of "bitness" (32bit or 64bit) or Service Pack level, and "You can only do a repair install from within Windows 7" is wrong - I have several times booted to a suitable Win7 installation DVD and ran a repair-reinstall (but it is a bit "tricky" and once-or-twice the needed "Upgrade" option was not available).

    Garbage in: garbage out.
    Last edited by Coochin; 2014-10-24 at 05:37. Reason: further comment
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
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    I can only assume SF are speaking from experience to post that info and they are usually reliable.

    I once tried a repair install out of curiosity and booted up with the Win 7 SP1 ISO downloaded from DR and the info MS gave for the options was that the Upgrade option had to be done by booting up with the disk, whereas the Install was done from within Windows.

    Anyway, for some reason it got to what seemed to be almost to the end and then reported as failed and then I had to sit through the revert.

    On trying it a second time it got to exactly the same point on my Tosh laptop and failed at exactly the same point.

    However, on one occasion I had to boot up with the ISO and selected Install to get back in and then factory reset it so it had the Tosh bits back on - that was in the days before I'd learned about the offboot sfc /scannow which may have fixed it and could have saved me from having to reinstall the other bits and WUs.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-10-24 at 08:20.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    I can only assume SF are speaking from experience to post that info and they are usually reliable.

    I once tried a repair install out of curiosity and booted up with the Win 7 SP1 ISO downloaded from DR and the info MS gave for the options was that the Upgrade option had to be done by booting up with the disk, whereas the Install was done from within Windows.

    Anyway, for some reason it got to what seemed to be almost to the end and then reported as failed and then I had to sit through the revert.

    On trying it a second time it got to exactly the same point on my Tosh laptop and failed at exactly the same point.

    However, on one occasion I had to boot up with the ISO and selected Install to get back in and then factory reset it so it had the Tosh bits back on - that was in the days before I'd learned about the offboot sfc /scannow which may have fixed it and could have saved me from having to reinstall the other bits and WUs.
    Initially I wondered what you meant by "SF", but then worked out you meant "SevenForums".

    Re: "I once tried a repair install out of curiosity and booted up with the Win 7 SP1 ISO downloaded from DR".
    Did the ISO you downloaded match the OEM (32bit/64bit/initial Win7/Win7 SP1) version of Win7 installed on your computer? If not, then that alone would explain the failure.

    If you extract the Windows "product key" from your existing Windows installation be aware that it probably won't work for a "repair-reinstall" or a "clean-install" because that product key will certainly be a special OEM key that the MS activation servers will recognise as ineligible for re-installation. You must use the product key on the "COA" lable on the underside of your laptop or somewhere on your desktop's case (otherwise if desktop look in your "motherboard box" for the Windows OEM kit which should have the COA lable on the Windows installation disk package).

    When an "OEM" (Original Equipment Manufacturer) such as HP, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, etc. sets up a new model run they generally will install Windows on one computer then image that install to the other computers in that model run. To do so they use a special "product key" from MS to allow that to happen. If you subsequently attempt to re-install Windows on such a computer using that same special product key, even though it is the same OEM model computer, Windows activation will fail because there will be a mis-match of certain hardware serial numbers (use your imagination).

    "Life wasn't meant to be easy" (Malcolm Fraser, former Australian PM after he was "caught with his pants down" in the foyer of the New York Hilton, I think sometime in the 1970s) or famous Scots author Robbie Burns "best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley" (modern English "best laid plans of mice and men often go astray").

    Confucius (famous ancient Chinese philosopher) said "no use running harder if you are on the wrong road" (too true).

    If you decide to try a Windows repair-reinstall (XP, Vista, Win7, not sure about Win8/8.1) by booting from a CD/DVD (or ISO as suggested by Sudo15) then you must first make sure your boot-media is compatible with the Windows installation you are attempting to repair. Otherwise, you may well find you are "running on the wrong road" and your "best-laid plans have gone astray" and "life isn't easy".
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    I downloaded the Win 7 SP1 x64 bit which is the same as I have pre-installed and can't remember now if the COA sticker worked or if I had to use Toshiba's generic key which I got through Belarc Advisor.

    I know I used the generic key when I used the Install option.

    While a little off topic but mentioned, you can do a repair install for Win 8/8.1 as well http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...ndows-8-a.html

    You need to work your way through the hyperlinks in the article if you don't have the relevant install disk and I guess you could call this an EF tutorial

    While it gives some "emergency" product keys you can use to activate, as Win 8/8.1 machines no longer have COA sticker keys (so I've read on the forum), I'm not sure which you would use permanently - but I haven't read fully through the tutorial.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    ...Win 8/8.1 machines no longer have COA sticker keys...
    In certain contexts (read legal) there seems to be some "discussion" re the apparent decision by Micro$oft to hide the "product key" from end-users.

    I suspect Micro$oft is likely to turn out loser from such "discussion", similar to the "anti-trust" situation in the late 1990s/early 2000s.

    I.e.: if I buy a new computer which has a licensed version of Windows installed on it then obviously I own that licence and have every right to know what the licence "key" is, so that in the event I need to re-install that same Windows software which I own by virtue of having paid for a licence I am prevented by Micro$oft having failed to have honestly and effectively provided me with the necessary licence key which I have paid for.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

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    But do the OEMs/Brands also participate in the process for their own reasons? It could drive up some sales.

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    @ Coochin - I'll let others argue the toss on that as I have no intention of upping from Win 7 as I'd then have to dump a perfectly serviceable Epson printer which is only compatible up to Win 7.

    I suppose Belarc could still get the key for you ?
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-10-24 at 12:07.

  15. #15
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    Belarc Advisor gave me two different product keys than what is on my COA. So, if i use the .iso disk that I can burn from the mydigitallife and figure out which product key to use, I should be able to do the Win7′s no-reformat, nondestructive reinstall? If it works, you will hear from me, if it don't work it will take a while to hear from me...
    Sid

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