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Windows 7: Reinstalling only OS OEM onto replacement laptop Hard Drive

05 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 
Reinstalling only OS OEM onto replacement laptop Hard Drive

Hello everyone. First time poster, but occaissioal lurker-I have picked up some valuable information around here, and need some advice. If posted in wrong section, sincere apologies.

A few days ago, I had the dreaded S.M.A.R.T message warning me of an iminent drive failure. I have ordered a new internal hard drive already (which is 250gb-my failing one is 320gb but couldn't afford an exact replica drive). The drive has also already been formatted via windows using slowest speed.

However, this is totally new to me (this is still my first laptop and have never had to reinstall an OS before and am very nervous about doing this). And basically need advice for an absolute novice. So I'll break down the following into as short info form as possible.

1) I have downloaded the Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit OEM ISO and created a bootable disc already, using the USB/DVD windows tool

2) I have also backed up files using the Advent Recovery Backup Wizard and burnt them to disc.

Do I need to backup anything else if I only want to reinstall the OS? I have no other programmes of use to backup. I had already uninstalled all my games, and other programmes I won't need to backup as they were used for online gaming and can be easily downloaded again (these being World of Warcraft and Steam games/Steam application). Music and films are also safe aswell.

Also, if I am reinstalling only the Windows OEM onto the replacement drive, will I also need to restore factory settings, or will I just need to reinstall the necessary drivers after installation along with the ISO file? I read somewhere I will need to backup user profiles for hotmail etc-is this also true? If so, how would I do that as I see a lot of different folders in my personal folder and haven't a clue what is what.

I really appreciate any guidance in this matter, as I've been reading so much different advice/tips on the internet about what I should backup, what I shouldn't backup, what I should/should not do I've got my self totally confused.

Thankyou for any help

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 Oct 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

See comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by andyt09 View Post

1) I have downloaded the Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit OEM ISO and created a bootable disc already, using the USB/DVD windows tool

Does that disk in fact boot your PC?


2) I have also backed up files using the Advent Recovery Backup Wizard and burnt them to disc.

I have no idea what "Advent Recovery Backup Wizard" is.

What files do you think you backed up? Did you include email and bookmarks?

I'd prefer to see you back them up in a known certain way without Advent--such as dragging them to another drive of some type.


Do I need to backup anything else if I only want to reinstall the OS? I have no other programmes of use to backup. I had already uninstalled all my games, and other programmes I won't need to backup as they were used for online gaming and can be easily downloaded again (these being World of Warcraft and Steam games/Steam application). Music and films are also safe aswell.

All you have to backup is personal data. It's up to you to determine what that is, where it is, and back it up.

Also, if I am reinstalling only the Windows OEM onto the replacement drive, will I also need to restore factory settings, or will I just need to reinstall the necessary drivers after installation along with the ISO file? I read somewhere I will need to backup user profiles for hotmail etc-is this also true? If so, how would I do that as I see a lot of different folders in my personal folder and haven't a clue what is what.

I know nothing about hotmail.

I'm not sure what you mean by "restore factory settings". Factory settings for what?

The Windows ISO should contain most if not all necessary drivers, but if I were you I would also go to your PC maker's web site and download all drivers for your model just in case they are needed. Get them on a CD or onto a USB drive.

I'd be particularly sure to get the Ethernet/wireless driver so you know you can get an Internet connection going.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
See comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by andyt09 View Post

1) I have downloaded the Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit OEM ISO and created a bootable disc already, using the USB/DVD windows tool

Does that disk in fact boot your PC?


2) I have also backed up files using the Advent Recovery Backup Wizard and burnt them to disc.

I have no idea what "Advent Recovery Backup Wizard" is.

What files do you think you backed up? Did you include email and bookmarks?

I'd prefer to see you back them up in a known certain way without Advent--such as dragging them to another drive of some type.


Do I need to backup anything else if I only want to reinstall the OS? I have no other programmes of use to backup. I had already uninstalled all my games, and other programmes I won't need to backup as they were used for online gaming and can be easily downloaded again (these being World of Warcraft and Steam games/Steam application). Music and films are also safe aswell.

All you have to backup is personal data. It's up to you to determine what that is, where it is, and back it up.

Also, if I am reinstalling only the Windows OEM onto the replacement drive, will I also need to restore factory settings, or will I just need to reinstall the necessary drivers after installation along with the ISO file? I read somewhere I will need to backup user profiles for hotmail etc-is this also true? If so, how would I do that as I see a lot of different folders in my personal folder and haven't a clue what is what.

I know nothing about hotmail.

I'm not sure what you mean by "restore factory settings". Factory settings for what?

The Windows ISO should contain most if not all necessary drivers, but if I were you I would also go to your PC maker's web site and download all drivers for your model just in case they are needed. Get them on a CD or onto a USB drive.

I'd be particularly sure to get the Ethernet/wireless driver so you know you can get an Internet connection going.

Thanks for the quick reply.

The Advent Backup Recovery wizard files include the following folders: Boot, EFI, Sources, Wimfiles, and a BOOTMGR file not in a folder. I tried to create a backup of all other files to a DVD earlier but on the 4th disc I got a "Backup could not be completed successfully" error-it wouldn't even create a "shadow file". Though I wonder if that's because there are many bad sectors on the hard drive? So I wasn't able to create a backup of email and bookmarks

When it comes to the bootable CD I haven't attempted to use it as yet as the drive is still usable (and haven't yet recieved the replacement), but when I put the disc in it does give the option to run the Setup.exe (if that's what you mean? If not I apologise).

When I mentioned factory settings, I was referring to the out of the box condition when I first use it.

If I missed something out sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Oct 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Is your intent to do a clean install from the downloaded ISO?

If yes, the Advent Backup isn't any help. It appears it backs up Windows files which you won't need since you are doing a clean install anyway.

I'm not sure I'd put a lot of faith in the Advent software regardless, but you might need it IF your intent is to restore your existing installation, rather than doing a clean install.

DVDs backups of Windows installations are generally a bad idea and prone to issues, as you found out.

If I were you and wanted my bookmarks, I'd find out where they are on the old hard drive and copy them--assuming it still works. Ditto for email, if the old drive contains any email.

You say the "drive has already been formatted via Windows using slowest speed". I assume you mean the old drive since the new drive has not arrived. Why did you format the old drive? Or do you mean the new drive is being shipped already formatted by whoever you bought it from?

Regarding that bootable DVD you made--you say "when I put the disc in it does give the option to run the Setup.exe". Do you mean it is bootable? Or do you mean you get that option without booting from it? I have no idea what type of disk you made, but an ordinary Windows installation disk is bootable and I don't recall any reference to setup.exe.

I still don't know what you mean by factory settings. Why would you be interested in anything like that if you are doing a clean install? You will get a new registry, new Windows, new settings, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Additionally---I never heard of a Windows 7 OEM ISO.

Windows 7 ISO, yes. OEM ISO, no.

From what site did you download it and what is the file name of that ISO?

Do you have a valid 25 character Product Key in this format?

xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Is your intent to do a clean install from the downloaded ISO?

If yes, the Advent Backup isn't any help. It appears it backs up Windows files which you won't need since you are doing a clean install anyway.

I'm not sure I'd put a lot of faith in the Advent software regardless, but you might need it IF your intent is to restore your existing installation, rather than doing a clean install.

DVDs backups of Windows installations are generally a bad idea and prone to issues, as you found out.

If I were you and wanted my bookmarks, I'd find out where they are on the old hard drive and copy them--assuming it still works. Ditto for email, if the old drive contains any email.

You say the "drive has already been formatted via Windows using slowest speed". I assume you mean the old drive since the new drive has not arrived. Why did you format the old drive? Or do you mean the new drive is being shipped already formatted by whoever you bought it from?

Regarding that bootable DVD you made--you say "when I put the disc in it does give the option to run the Setup.exe". Do you mean it is bootable? Or do you mean you get that option without booting from it? I have no idea what type of disk you made, but an ordinary Windows installation disk is bootable and I don't recall any reference to setup.exe.

I still don't know what you mean by factory settings. Why would you be interested in anything like that if you are doing a clean install? You will get a new registry, new Windows, new settings, etc.
It would be a clean install yes. And you're right about the Advent software as it appears there have been problems for other people using this method.

Regarding the formatting, it is the drive that is being shipped that has been formatted yes. I had this verified from the company I purchased it from.

The bootable disk as far as I'm aware is bootable as it was downloaded from the MyDigitalLife site (with SP1 included). Like mentioned it was burned using the window USB/DVD burner software for the ISO file. (file name is X17-58996.iso from mydigitallife.info). I do also have the necessary key yes from bottom of laptop.

I think I got the factory settings definition confused-I thought it was something different, but I just realised (or I assume) it's the files installed via installation process.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

OK, looks like you got the right ISO.

You say the disk is bootable " as far as I'm aware". I'd find out immediately if that is true. But if you are offered a choice of setup.exe WITHOUT booting from that disc, maybe it doesn't need to be bootable? Or isn't bootable? Or?

I assume you have no interest in recovering your bookmarks?

There was no need to have that new drive formatted by the seller. It will be formatted as needed by the Windows installation process. I never heard of a drive seller formatting disks before shipment, but I'll take your word for it.

Drivers: do you have any on a disc provided by Advent? Or have you downloaded them from Advent web site? I'd at least want to get the Ethernet driver before installing Windows.

Did the original hard drive include any sort of "recovery" partition? If so, you might be able to use it to make a set of DVDs from which you could restore to "factory specification" if needed---as opposed to a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

A bootable install DVD if in the tray and you reboot will start installing Windows 7 with no interaction from you. There be a black screen with a progress bar saying "Windows is Installing files". If not, it's not bootable or you need to go to your BIOS and set the optical drive to boot first.

If you're getting a new HDD, they are usually unformatted, either way a new install will format it for you. Being smaller won't matter.

If you want to back up your data, copy the file named Users from the Computer window to another drive. When done with the new install open the backed up folder, browse for and copy the needed data to the same folder in the new install. Don't simply copy the whole saved Users to the new install, that would make a mess.
(Iganatz beat me to some of this)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
OK, looks like you got the right ISO.

You say the disk is bootable " as far as I'm aware". I'd find out immediately if that is true. But if you are offered a choice of setup.exe WITHOUT booting from that disc, maybe it doesn't need to be bootable? Or isn't bootable? Or?

I assume you have no interest in recovering your bookmarks?

There was no need to have that new drive formatted by the seller. It will be formatted as needed by the Windows installation process. I never heard of a drive seller formatting disks before shipment, but I'll take your word for it.

Drivers: do you have any on a disc provided by Advent? Or have you downloaded them from Advent web site? I'd at least want to get the Ethernet driver before installing Windows.

Did the original hard drive include any sort of "recovery" partition? If so, you might be able to use it to make a set of DVDs from which you could restore to "factory specification" if needed---as opposed to a clean install.
Relived it is the right file-was starting to doubt myself for a second. I myself found it strange it was already formatted myself, as I found that Windows indeed formats it (i asked the shipper for clarification and they confirmed it has been formatted). I can only assume it was pulled from a laptop.

As far as I recall there were no discs with the laptop (I can't honestly remember as it was nearly 3 years ago if I'm not mistaken when I purchased it).

Regarding the disk, I have to amend the BIOS so that the laptop boots from the CD/DVD drive for the disk to autoboot.to ensure it won't attempt a boot from the replaced internal drive.

I have just gone into disk management, and it does show a primary partition. But to be honest I am very wary about using files from there in case I mess everything up (being a total novice at this sort of thing), which is why I preferred to use the downloaded file.

Are the bookmarks important by the way? I'm not entirely sure what function they perform when backed up. If it's just for websites they're not really important as I can very easily have them put back in again no problem as there are only 3 at max.

I forgot to mention that the drivers I obtained I downloaded manually as I had problems obtaining them from the manufacturer website, or I obtained them via Windows updates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Do you show ONLY 1 partition in Disk Management? Or 2: System Reserved and C? Or 3: System Reserved, C, and another. If the latter, the third partition may be a recovery partition from which you could restore to factory specs.

But I assume you have no interest in doing that anyway.

To boot from a DVD, you have to either change the boot order in the BIOS or choose the boot disk from a menu that is likely accessed by an F key during the boot process. If I were you, I'd find out what happens when you boot from that disk you made from the ISO.

If no hard drive is connected, the computer should boot from the DVD automatically.

I'm not sure at all why you are seeing a choice for "setup.exe", apparently without booting from that disc.

Bookmarks aren't important if you don't care about them. I have well over 3000 of them and they are as critical as any other data I have.

You downloaded drivers manually from where?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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