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Windows 7: Restoring computer HDD to out of box state


11 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Restoring computer HDD to out of box state

Hello, I have a question about restoring my hard drive. Recently, i bought a laptop from the pawn shop. I have been using the laptop for a couple of weeks and have some unimportant programs and files on it. Factory my hard drive is 222.22 Gb, but currently it's space is 179.8 GB. Since, i bought the laptop from the pawn shop, i did not get any windows disc. I'm afraid that if i restore to out-of-box-state that i wont be able to have windows 7 anymore and would be left with a laptop paper weight. i have made a repair disc but i did not make an restore disc. Should, i create this recovery disc before restoring? Also, is there anything else that, i should do before going threw with the Factory Restore?

All help is appreciated, and Thank you


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jul 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Look on the bottom or under battery for a COA sticker with the installed Windows 7 version and a Product Key which you should back up elsewhere. If necessary you can use this information to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

The COA sticker might mean there is still a Recovery Partitionon the HD. If so you might be able to make Recovery disks now if they've not been made yet. If you'd told us the make of the computer we could tell you how this is done. You may also be able to run Recovery from its partition using the Fkey given on first boot screen to Recovery to Factory COndition.

It's also possible the OS is retail full or upgrade version which can have it's key audited off the HD using http://download.cnet.com/Belarc-Advi...-10007277.html to Clean Reinstall.

Either way I would back up a Windows 7 system image externally which can be used to reimage the HD or its replacement in 20 minutes if it ever becomes irreparable: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #3
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

You could post a Disk Management Screenshot of your HDD.
Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums
You can use the free Macrium Reflect to image each partition of your HDD to an external HDD. This way you can put the PC back to the way is was before you do a factory restore.
One thing I would do first though is to download free Malwarebytes and do a full scan of the PC for Malware.
While you are at it run a disk check to check out the health of the HDD.
Disk Check

Also, check for good paid installed software. You may have a nice little cheap gem there - have fun.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Look on the bottom or under battery for a COA sticker with the installed Windows 7 version and a Product Key which you should back up elsewhere. If necessary you can use this information to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

The COA sticker might mean there is still a Recovery Partitionon the HD. If so you might be able to make Recovery disks now if they've not been made yet. If you'd told us the make of the computer we could tell you how this is done. You may also be able to run Recovery from its partition using the Fkey given on first boot screen to Recovery to Factory COndition.

It's also possible the OS is retail full or upgrade version which can have it's key audited off the HD using Belarc Advisor - CNET Download.com to Clean Reinstall.

Either way I would back up a Windows 7 system image externally which can be used to reimage the HD or its replacement in 20 minutes if it ever becomes irreparable: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
Yes i have a COA Sticker on my laptop. Quick question the COA sticker is my proof that my windows is legit; right? Also, the serial number associated with the COA sticker is my Activation key? I will be making a recovery disc and an image disc. If i do mess this sucker up, which i will eventually do, i have both hirens 15.1 and unbuntu boot disk both for my 64 bit windows 7. Hey guys i want to thank you very much.You all have been really helpful. My question was addressed clearly and the help was understandable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Look at the COA sticker closely for the Product Key. Back it up now as it can rub off. That's what you use to Activate the reinstall.

If you follow the steps closely and ask back any questions, you'll get and maintain a perfect reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Restoring computer HDD to out of box state




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