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Windows 7: How to "start over" with PC. XP updated to 7 Pro - Clean Slate?

12 Jan 2012   #1
Dumb

32 bit Windows 7 Pro Upgraded from XP
 
 
How to "start over" with PC. XP updated to 7 Pro - Clean Slate?

Forgive me. New to the forum, read some threads, searched... but I do not feel I understand everything I need to know.

Background:
Old IBM desktop PC was running XP. Over a year ago I updated to Windows 7 Pro when I was in college... there was a promotion for college students I took advantage of. I was able to download something and upgrade (no install disk or retail image). I should note this was a legit download from an officiate with Microsoft... not some torrent thing. I have old emails from it saved, wonder if I could download it again?? Doubtful.

I have a lot of important files on my PC of my child. I want to get an external, move EVERYTHING to it (in the best way possible to me is a copy and paste to it).

Then I would like to completely format my PC and start over with a fresh clean hard drive, no software, nada.....

but, being my PC was XP and I downloaded the 7 pro upgrade I am really at a loss on how to do this.

1 - better method to backup evertything to an external?
2 - how do I completely wipe the pc
3 - how do I book up a fresh install of windows 7?

I am a "dumb" and broke recent college grad girl... this is way out of my element. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

Thank you guys,
C -


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2012   #2
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

You are going to need a win 7 dvd which can be downloaded if you have a valid (legit) key/serial

1-I would do 2 things. First a backup of your data, and second a full backup/image. My personal choice for this is Acronis.

2-Boot from the win 7 dvd and when installing do a custom install (and check format drive)

3- Continue with the win 7 installation

You will have to re-install all your applications so you should have the applications original installers.

let us know if we can help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #3
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2012   #4
Dumb

32 bit Windows 7 Pro Upgraded from XP
 
 

I got the promotion from Digital River something.... it seemed legit/Windows.

How do I download a Windows DVD... I also do not have a dvd burner, just a cd burner.

Can one be made from my current setup, or is there somewhere on windows site for putting in info to verify legit copy, then they allow me to dowload something I can burn?

Sounds like this wont be too bad then if I can figure out how to get the DVD. Thanks for the help hon!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #5
Dumb

32 bit Windows 7 Pro Upgraded from XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post

on my external drive I have a ISO file for windows 7.....may be what I downloaded. Can this reinstall windows?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #6
rchris

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

What you need is your Windows 7 Serial Number/Key, which you can find using a program like Piriform's Speccy or Belarc (both free). Then you could just borrow someone's Windows 7 DVD (same version, e.g., Win7 Pro--whatever you have now), install, and activate with your key.

As mentioned above, you can also make an image (as a safety factor), but that will just get you back to where you are now. And you can make that system image using Windows 7's built-in backup tools.

And, yes, if you have that ISO file, you can burn a DVD with a program like Imgburn (or others), but you'll still need the Serial Number/key to activate your new installation. *EDIT: Oops, just noted that you said you had no DVD burner, so that option is out. Maybe someone else can burn it for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #7
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

You can install with a USB Pen Drive.
USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create

You can download a ISO from here:
Windows 7 Professional SP1 ISO
English x86: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59183.iso
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #8
Dumb

32 bit Windows 7 Pro Upgraded from XP
 
 

I feel confident I have an ISO file.... can this be burned to a blank CD as a data disc and used to wipe / install Windows 7 again?

EDIT

okay, read closer.... I can use the program to find the product key....

I can use a 4GB flash drive with the extracted ISO on it to install....

how do I get my PC to boot from the flash and not like normal??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #9
1Bowtie

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dumb View Post
I feel confident I have an ISO file.... can this be burned to a blank CD as a data disc and used to wipe / install Windows 7 again?
It can but will take multible CD's, if you could find someway to burn to DVD it will only take one. Yes it will wipe the HDD clean and have a fresh install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #10
rchris

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dumb View Post
I can use a 4GB flash drive with the extracted ISO on it to install....

how do I get my PC to boot from the flash and not like normal??
Enter the BIOS prior to Windows starting (usually the DEL or F2 key), and change the boot order so that USB is first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to "start over" with PC. XP updated to 7 Pro - Clean Slate?




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