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Windows 7: Wipe HDD and re-install Windows OEM along with recovery partition.


21 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 
Wipe HDD and re-install Windows OEM along with recovery partition.

Hello everyone!

I am using a DELL INSPIRON N5010 series notebook. Have been using it for about 3 years now and for some reason I want to completely wipe my HDD and clean install windows along with the recovery partition.

What I plan to do is take out my HDD, plugin it in to a SATA to USB converter and using another computer, completely format the HDD. I want to do this to increase the performance of the HDD and remove bad sectors. This will also erase the Recovery Partition present on the HDD. The only way to recover then would be by the recovery disks.

I have got the recovery disks as well as the recovery partition right now on the HDD. I do not have the Windows 7 product key that comes on a sticker on the back side of the laptop. It has been erased with time and use.

Now I need suggestions on how to carry out the process.

If I completely wipe my HDD, will the recovery disks install windows and create the recovery partition automatically? Will I need the Windows Key?

What are your suggestions on this and if there is an alternate or easier solution?

Thanks a lot!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jul 2013   #2

 

The Product Key will be needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
The Product Key will be needed.
That's bad

Is there a way I can recover the key? From a software or by calling up DELL?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 Jul 2013   #4

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HussainHaider View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
The Product Key will be needed.
That's bad

Is there a way I can recover the key? From a software or by calling up DELL?
I'm not sure by software, but I would say that calling Dell is a good idea. I didn't think of that!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi Hussain,

I am sorry for the wrong information presented to you in the above posts.

1. If you have created Recovery Disks on your system and they are good to go, you will not require any Product Key when you reinstall using that. The OEM-SLP Key and the digitally-signed Microsoft authorisation certificate will be embedded in the Recovery Disks and the installation will auto-activate after checking the SLIC table embedded in your Bios by the OEM to safeguard against piracy.

2. You need not take the HDD out to wipe it clean. Find out what make HDD is being used from the Device Manager. Download the manufacturer's diagnostic/repair utility. Most of these utilities will have an option to write zeros to all sectors. You can create a bootable CD or pendrive, boot from it and wipe your HDD. (If you need further help, post the manufacturer's name/model and we can guide you.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HussainHaider View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
The Product Key will be needed.
That's bad

Is there a way I can recover the key? From a software or by calling up DELL?
Download Speccy - System Information - Free Download and install in your PC. Look under Operating Systems in the program for the Product Key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

I have to repeat, if the OP wants to reinstall using the Recovery Disks created on his system, he will not need any Product Key, for reasons I had already given in my last post #5.

If he wants to clean install with any other regular media, he will require the COA key on the sticker to activate and that he does not have since it is no longer readable.

The OEM_SLP key that he can extract by using any Key finder is not the same as the COA key on the sticker and he cannot activate such a clean install with the extracted OEM_SLP key which is a generic key used by that OEM for all the systems having that OS edition and version (in conjunction with the MS Certificate).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2013   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

And you can not remove bad sectors, they are a physically damaged part of the drive and can not be repaired.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

The OP hasn't indicated any problems like clicking/groaning noises from the HDD. If his running system has not given out any read errors or I/O errors, the zero fill (especially with the Manufacturer's utility) will take care any undetected soft bad sectors and remap those to the available reserved sectors. ( That is what is done by Windows check disk when run with that option as well as automatically by the HDD controller all the time. The manufacturer's utility, being repair specific, is supposed to do it better. It is the ultimate scrub.)

So there is absolutely no harm if the OP wants to run the Quick Test, even the long Test and the zero wipe if that is going to bring him a good night's sleep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Wipe HDD and re-install Windows OEM along with recovery partition.




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