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Windows 7: Reinstalling A Preloaded Windows 7 On Laptop

07 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Reinstalling A Preloaded Windows 7 On Laptop

I currently have Windows 7 that cam with my laptop. A few days ago it seems I contracted a "maybe" virus, that has pop ups that come up when I go to a new site (esp. if site is not in browser history).

I was told this could be spyware and/or malware. One suggestion I was given for getting rid of said issue was reinstalling Windows 7. If so how would I do this and what would I need? I don't have the Windows 7 disc, and Windows 7 is still currently installed on my lap top. So before I do anything and would like to what exactly will happen before I do anything to Windows 7 that I already have?

Thank you. I apologize if this issue has been discussed before.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Hello thalivest and welcome to Seven Forums.

It would help if you listed your system specs. At the top of any Forum page click on "User CP". Then in the left column click on "Edit System Spec". If you need help finding your system info a free tool called Speccy will help.

Speccy - System Information - Free Download

You could check for malware by running a full scan with the free Malwarebytes. A second (or third) scan with ESET Online Scanner and Windows Defender Offline wouldn't hurt since no anti-malware product is 100% effective 100% of the time. (If there was such a thing we'd all be using it.)

Many newer laptops come from the factory with a hidden recovery partition already on the hard drive. It can return your machine to factory specs (just like the day you brought it home.) Each manufacturer has a different way of accessing the recovery partition so that's why your specs are important.

You could also elect to do a clean reinstall of the operating system and eliminate all the factory bloatware. One of the Forum experts prepared this tutorial which explains how to do that along with a way to get a legitimate installation disk for your machine's version of Windows 7.

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

My computer specs....

Acer - Bought August 2010
-came with Win 7 (don't know if it's 32 or 64 bit)
-AMD Processor
-ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Graphics
-Up to 1405MB HyperMemory
-15.6" HD LED LCD
-3 GB DDR3 Memory
-320 GB HDD
-DVD-Super Multi DL drive
-Acer Nplify 802.11b/g/n
-6 cell Li-ion battery


I don't know if my laptop would be considered "newer" but if that hidden partition will restore my laptop to the condition the day I brought it home that's something I would consider. A couple of isssues I would be concerned about are....

-Windows 7, it was already there but not installed, when I first turned my laptop on I had to follow the guidelines it gave to install Win 7. Will I have to do this again (it took about 20-25 min the first time) and more importantly will Win 7 still be there?

-What programs will be erased? The only ones I am concerned about is Microsoft Office/Word/Excel/ Notepad etc. and Adobe Flash Player? Other than that most of the other programs cam with Win 7 or Acer, I haven't added a lot.

-And saving files etc.? I haven't put a whole lot on my laptop so backing them up would not be a major issue, just knowing how and where I can back them up to.

And most importantly will this rectify my issue. If these small pop ups trying to sell me things still persist, the reinstall would be pointless. I was told it is malware/spyware, and my PC is not slowing , but for instance youtube videos take much longer to load, if they load at all. So I would like to solve my issue as efficiently and quickly as possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 Oct 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Everything you need to know is likely in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which Lee linked for you, so read it carefully and then ask back any questions.

There is also this: Acer Support: Recovery media and Restoring a system to factory load

Be sure to make your Recovery Disks first as a backkup to the preferred method of running Recovery from its partition, either from within Windows 7 or from boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Let me try to answer your questions. In the process I might have a couple more questions for you.

-came with Win 7 (don't know if it's 32 or 64 bit): Click Start button, then right-click Computer, click Properties. You'll see a brief description of your computer and under "System" it will tell you if it's 32 or 64 bit.

...if that hidden partition will restore my laptop to the condition the day I brought it home that's something I would consider. The easiest way to find out if you have a hidden recovery partition is to open a built-in utility called Disk Management.

How To Open Disk Management From the Command Prompt

If you have a hidden recovery partition you'll see something similar to this:

Name:  recovpartition.JPG
Views: 27
Size:  59.9 KB

If you're not sure you could include a screenshot of your Disk Management window.

-Windows 7, it was already there but not installed: I believe what you're referring to is the "first-time setup". Windows 7 was actually installed on your computer when you got it. But the first time the computer is turned on, it walks the user through an initial setup. This first-time setup lets the user configure things like the time zone you live in, the currency you use, etc. So if you have that recovery partition, and if you use it, Windows 7 will still be on your machine and YES you'll have to go through that first-time setup again. This YouTube video shows what the first-time setup looks like.

Windows 7: First Boot Setup - Micro Center Shows You How - YouTube

-What programs will be erased?: Anything that you installed after the first-time setup will be erased. Your computer will be exactly like it was the day you brought it home. NOTE: There have been some reports by some computer users that the free Microsoft Office Starter version will NOT be included in the recovery process. So you'll have to verify which version of Office you have (a paid for Office will include at least Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.) Did you at any time pay for a license for Microsoft Office? Or do you know which version is installed? Other free programs like Adobe Flash can be updated and reinstalled if necessary. Things like Notepad, WordPad, Calculator, Snipping Tool, etc are Windows 7 utilities and will be available after a recovery.

-And saving files etc.?: Saving your personal data is a must because a recovery will erase all of it. Depending on how many files, photos, documents, music, etc you want to save (and this will be determined by how many megabytes or gigabytes of data you have), you can save your personal data on a disk, or a USB flash drive, or an external hard drive.

And most importantly will this rectify my issue.: It should. Again, a recovery partition should return your machine to the exact condition it was in when you brought it home from the store. No popups, no malware, faster loading of YouTube videos, etc. Just be aware that when dealing with computers, "stuff" can happen. I cannot give you a 100% guarantee. Best I can do is say that in the vast majority of cases, people who use their recovery partitions wind up getting a brand new computer.

A question for you: Did Acer provide you with an disks at all? An installation disk, recovery disks, etc? Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2012   #6

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Clicked on "Start" then right clicked on properties, but I couldn't find anything under "System". It had 3 headings
-Taskbar, Start Menubars (no "System").
I would guess it's 32 bit as I recall one file saying WinRAR 32. There could have been one saying 64 as well, but I certainly recall WinRAR 32.


With "Disk Management" I was able to locate the screenshot you posted and the first box to the right of "Disc 0 298.09 GB Online" states 14.00 GB Healthy (Recovery Partition)". In the next box to the right it states "SYSTEM 102 MB (Healthy, System, Active etc.) and in the final box "Acer 283.99 GB NTFS". So I'm assuming the firs box I mentioned is recovery partition.


Yes you would be correct I would be talking about first time set up. So I will have to through that again, which may be mute as I haven't been able to locate the "Recovery" partition.


All Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel, OneNote & Powerpoint) were installed by me which I can do again if necessary. The one I own is Microsoft Office 2007, and all the other amenities (OneNotepad, Excel, Word & Powerpoint) came with it. There was also a free 60 day Microsoft Office that came with either the lap top built in or Win 7.


As far as saving files, the cheapes and easiest way would be best. That won't be a problem as I don't have a whole lot to save, some music, Word/Excel Documents, some emulators, and a few games (almost half of which can go as I don't play them and can download again - all older games).


I understand it is not 100% guaranteed, but unless I can find away to remove whatever spyware/malware reinstalling is an option I would definitely consider. Can you define "getting a brand new computer", and dumb down for if you can.


BTW, youtube loaded much quicker than it was when I initially posted this message yesterday. Not at it's to speed I usually get, butmuch quicker than yesterday and much more manageable. But those little pop ups still persist and I would very much like to get rid of them. If that is possible without reinstalling Win 7 then all of this has been pointless (sorry for that), but reinstalling was mentioned to me as an option.


No Acer did provide me any disks, but a booklet, an aspire pamphlet and an Int'l travellers warranty. Were they supposed to? Or can I obtain one from them. I still have the original box it came in and everything they provided. I kept it and put it in a closet in case of something like this. I even have the receipt in the box and can tell you the purchase date was Aug 14, 2010, 4:03:34 PM (down to the second). I just noticed I also paid an extra $2.75 for some guarantee/warranty, which is on the receipt but have no idea what it was for. It's written in acronyms and short form.... but I paid for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Clicked on "Start" then right clicked on properties, but I couldn't find anything under "System". It had 3 headings
-Taskbar, Start Menubars (no "System").
I would guess it's 32 bit as I recall one file saying WinRAR 32. There could have been one saying 64 as well, but I certainly recall WinRAR 32.

You forgot to click on Computer . Sequence is left click Start button > right click Computer > Left click Properties.

With "Disk Management" I was able to locate the screenshot you posted and the first box to the right of "Disc 0 298.09 GB Online" states 14.00 GB Healthy (Recovery Partition)". In the next box to the right it states "SYSTEM 102 MB (Healthy, System, Active etc.) and in the final box "Acer 283.99 GB NTFS". So I'm assuming the firs box I mentioned is recovery partition.

Yes, it sounds like you do have a recovery partition. That's good.

Yes you would be correct I would be talking about first time set up. So I will have to through that again, which may be mute as I haven't been able to locate the "Recovery" partition.

Click Start button > All Programs. Look for something called Acer eRecovery Management. If you don't see Acer eRecovery Management by itself it may be inside a folder called Acer. Here's a tutorial from Acer on how to access and perform a recovery.

Acer Support - Answers, E-Mail, Chat - How do I restore my computer using the eRecovery Management program?

All Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel, OneNote & Powerpoint) were installed by me which I can do again if necessary. The one I own is Microsoft Office 2007, and all the other amenities (OneNotepad, Excel, Word & Powerpoint) came with it. There was also a free 60 day Microsoft Office that came with either the lap top built in or Win 7.

OK, you own Microsoft Office so reinstalling after a recovery won't be a problem.

As far as saving files, the cheapes and easiest way would be best. That won't be a problem as I don't have a whole lot to save, some music, Word/Excel Documents, some emulators, and a few games (almost half of which can go as I don't play them and can download again - all older games).

Just some FWIW info. The cheapest backup solution from a money standpoint is usually disks; either CD or DVD depending on how much data needs to be backed up. Most likely you'd want DVDs. But that's also the most unreliable way to back things up. You'll most likely need multiple disks, the burn process will take a long time, and if just one of those disks doesn't burn correctly the entire backup is lost. The most reliable way is to an external USB hard drive. Yes, initial cost is more expensive. a 1TB drive can be found for under $100 these days. But they are more reliable and once you've restored your machine you can use that same external hard drive to store your system images. A system image is an exact copy of your hard drive at the time the image is made. All personal data, the OS, all programs, everything. If you ever needed to restore your machine again you'd use a system image and be up and running in less than an hour. Everything would be intact.

I understand it is not 100% guaranteed, but unless I can find away to remove whatever spyware/malware reinstalling is an option I would definitely consider. Can you define "getting a brand new computer", and dumb down for if you can.

Since it appears that you have a good recovery partition I'd say your chances of getting rid of those popups, etc are 99.9% probable. And what I meant by "getting a new computer" is once the recovery process i complete, your computer will be exactly like the day you brought it home. No spyware, no popups, etc.

BTW, youtube loaded much quicker than it was when I initially posted this message yesterday. Not at it's to speed I usually get, butmuch quicker than yesterday and much more manageable. But those little pop ups still persist and I would very much like to get rid of them. If that is possible without reinstalling Win 7 then all of this has been pointless (sorry for that), but reinstalling was mentioned to me as an option.

The recovery process will "reinstall" Windows 7 because everything needed to restore your machine to factory specs is in the recovery partition. That's the point of recovery. To make your machine "like new" and eliminate any problems you're not experiencing. The only thing a recovery won't do is fix broken hardware. If your computer's memory was failing (not that it is, just as an example!) only replacing the memory would cure that problem. A recovery would still be dealing with that bad memory.

No Acer did provide me any disks, but a booklet, an aspire pamphlet and an Int'l travellers warranty. Were they supposed to? Or can I obtain one from them. I still have the original box it came in and everything they provided. I kept it and put it in a closet in case of something like this. I even have the receipt in the box and can tell you the purchase date was Aug 14, 2010, 4:03:34 PM (down to the second). I just noticed I also paid an extra $2.75 for some guarantee/warranty, which is on the receipt but have no idea what it was for. It's written in acronyms and short form.... but I paid for it.

I don't think that guarantee/warranty will help. Besides, most warranties are good for only a year after purchase. You should be able to do a recovery - if that's what you want to do - without any problems.

Any other question or concerns, feel free to ask.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

Without reading everything posted, I would say this....

There are only 2 tools you need for viruses and other assorted phantom computer nasties that I have personally never been inflicted with.....seriously.

1) Microsoft Security Essintials
2) Malwarebytes

Scan your downloaded garbage with each b4 you open and you will never, ever, have a pc virus or other such sickness.

100s will back me up.

There it is 1000
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2012   #9

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I sure missed the step of right clicking on computer... anyway I was wrong, I guess I have a 64 bit.

Like I said earlier I was told reinstalling Win 7 could be a last option, and although I don't have a lot of stuff to save (about 50 Word Docs and some Music), everything else can go. A lot of the Word Docs I can just email to myself, and (some I already have), and that would just leave music. I have no pics and games and emulators are all 32 bit and under, and could just probably download again, instead of saving.

AddRAM, I tried Microsoft Security Essentials about 4 months ago, and maybe it was something that I did that caused me more issues than I originally had, where I couldn't connect to the internet, and if I did a screen would come up and I could stay on the page. Had to X it and reopen, but a friend of mine rectified that for me. So if I'm going to use MSE, I would rather put it in the hands of someone who knows waht they're doing. I'm thinking of going to CPU store but I don't know how much that will run me ($$$ & time).

If not, I could just ask someone at a CPU store to restore Win 7, but that would include the cost of a disc (to save files) and how much they're going to charge. I would reinstall Win 7 myself, but I'm definitely the most CPU savvy person, and honestly dont trust myself and don't want to make this minor issue worse. So if I asked a CPU store to run MSE and Malware bytes can anyone give me a ballpark figure on what that will run me in terms of ($$$ & time). If not mught as well reinstall Win 7, and would also like a figure ($$$ & time) if I had someone do it for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Let's see how badly infected you are with the best tool we have.

Download Malwarebytes,

Rightclick the installer .exe to Run as Administrator.

Choose NOT to do the trial (paid) version.

After it installs, let it Update and run a Full Scan.

Let us know what it finds.

You may only have an infestation of Adware or Spyware. So next download and install, run a full scan with SUPERAntiSpyware.com - Downloads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Reinstalling A Preloaded Windows 7 On Laptop





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