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Windows 7: How do I backup my OS so I can install it on a new HDD?


03 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
How do I backup my OS so I can install it on a new HDD?

Yes, I'm pretty much a noob

I have Windows 7 Home Premium and a looking to buying a new hard disk drive. For some reason the Windows 7 CDs/DVDs were not provided with my laptop and so I am wondering how to create a clean install on a new HDD (I don't really want to copy the entire "image" (is that the right word?) but wish to start afresh).

Soon after buying my laptop I created - at the computer's insistence - some CDs. I assume this may have been an image of some kind? It copied on to 5 disks each of 4.7GB capacity. I checked the first disk and it has a boot.exe (or something like that) on it.

Can I then just use these once I've fitted in the new HDD?

Is there a way I can get hold of the Windows 7 OS as a file for future installs? I have a free 8GB USB stick. I'd like to do this in case the 5 disks fail.

I've made a note of my license key for the OS, and will of course back up any personal files. I can reinstall/update everything else I think...

Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hey,

In Windows 7 you can create a system image disc. To do this go to start > control panel > backup and restore > (on the left) create a system image.

Simply follow the onscreen instructions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks Jamie,

But won't that simply copy everything over rather than me starting with a fresh install of the OS and the basics (which I assume the disks I created shortly after buying the laptop have on them)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jul 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

Hi,

You already have a licence key (on your COA sticker underneath your laptop), so all you need to do is download the correct Windows 7 ISO for your version here:
Official Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Digital River My Digital Life

You can burn it to a bootable USB drive using this tool, and install it to your laptop by booting from the USB:
USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create

You use the 25 digit key on the COA sticker to activate this installation. Voila! Job done.

More information, tips and help can be found here:
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Apologises, I totally skimread your opening post!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks, Golden. That's great. Silly question - but how can I be sure my Windows 7 Home Premium is x86 or x64?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

Hi,

It doesn't matter - your key will activate either. If you have 4GB or more RAM, use x64, else stick with x86.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Start > Search/run > msinfo32.

It will be under System Summary > System Type
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #9

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Hit the Windows Flag Key and Pause Key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jul 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thx all - says my system is 64-bit (I have 3GB ram) so I guess I dload the 64-bit iso
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I backup my OS so I can install it on a new HDD?




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