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Windows 7: OEM Windows 7 Re-installation questions

27 Jul 2015   #1
smurofneves8

Windows 7 Home Prem 64
 
 
OEM Windows 7 Re-installation questions

I'm planning on reformatting my hard drive, and I needed some help before I ruin something.

I have an OEM copy of windows 7, does this mean that I can not use the same product key if I'm reformatting my computer? I read that I can only use it on the same computer, but how will they know this is the same computer once I've reformatted my drive?

Do I note down my product key, and just reinstall windows through a bootable USB/disc and enter it in later on?

Do I need to be concerned about saving any drivers before I reinstall?

Do I actually need to reinstall windows, if my only need is to reformat my drive?

note: I also don't have the original disc and I would appreciate some help on creating one, as I don't have access to a large enough USB drive at the moment.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Jul 2015   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smurofneves8 View Post

I have an OEM copy of windows 7, does this mean that I can not use the same product key if I'm reformatting my computer? I read that I can only use it on the same computer, but how will they know this is the same computer once I've reformatted my drive?

Technically, you can legally install it only on the same hardware, but in reality Microsoft often doesn't enforce that. But you are using the same hardware, so it doesn't matter. MS "sniffs" your PC, looking for new hardware. You have no new hardware.

Do I note down my product key, and just reinstall windows through a bootable USB/disc and enter it in later on?


That's generally what you would do.

You need to eventually enter the Product Key found on the Windows Certificate Of Authenticity sticker found somewhere on the PC. It's 25 characters in 5 groups: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.

If you don't have that Product Key, don't proceed. You can operate for 30 days without the key, so you don't have to immediately enter it.


Do I need to be concerned about saving any drivers before I reinstall?

Generally, no. Worry about that later.

I would go to your manufacturer's web site and download the "NIC" driver, aka "Ethernet" driver. Put it on a burned CD or on a USB stick. Windows installation disc should supply it, but occasionally it doesn't. It's the most important driver as you need it to get on the Internet.

If you are worried, download all available drivers, but I wouldn't use them unless I later had an issue.


Do I actually need to reinstall windows, if my only need is to reformat my drive?

You lost me there. If you intend to re-format your drive and do so, your PC will not have an operating system and would be totally useless. Why would you re-format if you did not intend to reinstall Windows?

If you want to reinstall Windows, you DON'T have to specifically re-format the drive. That's done automatically as part of the installation process.


note: I also don't have the original disc and I would appreciate some help on creating one, as I don't have access to a large enough USB drive at the moment.

I assume you have a pre-built PC from someone like Dell or HP.

You may be able to order a disc from them.

Until the last 6 months or year, you could have downloaded a Windows 7 installation ISO file and burned that to a disc. Microsoft has taken that option away as they want to force everyone toward Windows 10.

You could borrow an installation disc from a friend or neighbor.

Or you could download the ISO from non-official and unauthorized sources and hope it is not contaminated.

Or you may be able to do a "factory restore" to put your PC back to the state it was in when shipped--without using any type of installation disc. Most pre-built PCs have this capability.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2015   #3
smurofneves8

Windows 7 Home Prem 64
 
 

Thanks for the help! I have some follow up questions/comments.

My purpose of reformatting was to get a fresh computer, I wanted to know if there was a way to get that same experience without having to bother with reinstalling windows.
Luckily the product key sticker is still on my computer and legible

Also, I don't have a prebuilt PC, other than me ordering the individual parts and having someone assemble it for me, I haven't gone through any company like Dell or HP.

Finally, if I were to wait for windows 10, could I do a fresh install then, and not have to worry about all these troubles. If so would I be able to do that in 2 days?

Once again thanks for all the help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Jul 2015   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smurofneves8 View Post
Thanks for the help! I have some follow up questions/comments.

My purpose of reformatting was to get a fresh computer, I wanted to know if there was a way to get that same experience without having to bother with reinstalling windows.

Why would you want a fresh computer? What's the problem with the non-fresh computer?

"fresh computer" is poorly defined. If you have failing hardware, a reinstallation of Windows would not help.

If your problem is directly related to Windows per se, a reinstallation would help.

But maybe you are guessing as to the source of the problem.



Luckily the product key sticker is still on my computer and legible

Write it down and put it in safekeeping. Those stickers deteriorate.


Also, I don't have a prebuilt PC, other than me ordering the individual parts and having someone assemble it for me, I haven't gone through any company like Dell or HP.

It's up to you to locate Mr. Someone and lean on him for the installation disc, which you should have done before opening your wallet. If he can't or won't cooperate, you have to find another way, per the suggestions in my first post.

As it is now, it's anybody's guess what type of license you have. Maybe legit, maybe not. Maybe System Builder, maybe OEM, maybe whatever.


Finally, if I were to wait for windows 10, could I do a fresh install then, and not have to worry about all these troubles. If so would I be able to do that in 2 days?

Again, "fresh install" is not defined.

If you have a legit Windows install now, you would qualify for the "free upgrade", scheduled to begin Wednesday and to be sent out via Windows Update. This would give you an "upgrade install" for the time being. You could then later download a Windows 10 ISO if you want and then burn that to a disc and do a "clean install" if you prefer.

What you can do on Wednesday remains to be seen. You would probably be near the end of a long and unruly line, waiting for the free upgrade.

My advice would be to wait a few weeks or a couple of months to see what kind of hell the upgrade process is and whether or not you want to partake. Maybe you'd think Windows 10 is ridiculous.

In the meantime, reacquaint yourself with Mr. Someone.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2015   #5
fuzzypete

win 7 pro
 
 

The OEM disk must be from the same manufacterer as the current OS, go to Control Panel/Sytem and check the validatioin of Win 7 and the name of the OEM supplier if they agree you can do a fresh install without worrying about serial numbers etc because it will be on the DVD.During the install you will have the opportunity to format the HDD be careful that you choose the correct HDD partition or you may lose all your data.
After you have done the install you should have a fresh OS fully validated and back to factory settings with all the correct drivers for the system except those for any new pieces hardware you may have installed
Important - If the DVD is not from the same manufacturer as the current OS then do not use it it will not validate because the BIOS contains a SLIC identifier which will only validate your OEM OS if it is from the same manufacturer noted in the SLIC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 OEM Windows 7 Re-installation questions




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