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Windows 7: Reformat without any disc


09 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Reformat without any disc

Hi,

I am using Windows 7 Home and when I bought the computer there was no disc, apparently the Recovery is in Drive D, about 10 gig of data.
If I want to reformat the computer what steps do I take on start up ? (I realize I have to back up everything on the C drive first.)
I am told when I boot the computer I have to hold down a certain button and that takes me to the bios, then I follow the instructions after that.
A simple tutorial would be great, but most of the tutorials I have looked at involve using a disc, which I don't have.

Thanks,

Michael

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

09 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Your computer would have come with a recovery manager software (the name differs from brand to brand). Click on the Start orb, click on All Programs, then try to locate something related to recovery. You need to launch this program, it'll take you through the process of creating recovery disks (usually one double layer dvd or 2 single layered ones will be required). At the end of it you'll have bootable disks which you can just boot from and restore the computer to factory default state. The same result can be achieved by pressing a key combo at boot, the combo varies by brand.

The advantage of making disks is they come in handy if you cant boot from the hard drive or the recovery partition gets corrupted.

If you tell us what brand computer you have, I'll try to link to a tutorial. But I know that dell uses a program called Datasafe, Acer has e-recovery manager, HP has Recovery manager for the recovery process.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Hi Bill2,

Thanks for the reply.
The laptop I am using is a HP Pavilion dv6 Series. Your advice regarding the recovery disc is good, I was under the impression that I could just rely on the recovery which is in my D drive, but if something happened to that I would be in trouble.

Thanks again,

Michael
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Right, so here is a link to using the HP recovery manager.

Recover Windows 7 Operating System Using HP Recovery - HP Customer Care (Vietnam - English)

After creating the disks, tuck them away safely somewhere. Also leave that recovery partition intact.

FYI, recovery disks can also be ordered from HP for a small charge, if required.

Also make sure you note down the key on the hologrammed sticker on your computer. This is the COA key and use you can use this to activate windows if you ever do a clean install from a generic disk. Lots of people come here complaining the key is smudged or the sticker torn.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7
 
 
Recovery disc

Thanks again,

I made a recovery disc and will attempt to reformat my machine as soon as I have the confidence. The instructions in the link you sent me look easy enough.
I appreciate your help,

Michael

Chiang Mai, Thailand
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #6

7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I would have a look in the BIOS menus... as far as I am aware, all OEM systems have a way to access the hidden recovery partition through the BIOS menu and to start the "Factory Restore" process, which is essentially the same thing as a "Clean Install" except for that the system is restored to the state in which you first received it instead of everything (drivers, pre-installed programs etc.) being lost.

Anyway, find what key(s) your system requires for BIOS access (could be F1, F8 or F12 - your system booklet/manual should tell you which) and look for anything dealing with "Recovery" or "Restore". It should be there somewhere, just have to look for it. Enter that screen, then just do what it says.


And um, I personally would steer clear of backup images on DVD-Rs. Did that with this system, had to wipe it out, and... the data evidently decided to delete itself (these were not DVD-RW's). So yeah, this is a fail safe way to ensure you won't ever lose your OS or Drivers unless the HDD itself fails. Disks just can't be trusted... learned that the hard way, and this BIOS shortcut to the hidden partition saved my butt big time.

Just FYI and good luck either way. =)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for the reply,

Looks like it is the f11 key for this machine. Thanks for the advice regarding the backup disk.
Is it possible to create a backup disk and then copy that data to an external hard drive ?
The data should be safe on a hard drive.

Michael
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Reformat without any disc




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