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Windows 7: how does reinstalling using recovery discs work?

17 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64), SP1
how does reinstalling using recovery discs work?

I'm about to help my mom reinstall her computer. She has a nasty virus that is preventing her from her job as a reservation agent (she works from home), and I need to make sure I can fully reinstall correctly before diving in.

Whenever I have needed to reinstall my own computer, all I have to do is restore directly from the hard drive. Her computer isn't quite built like this. Initially, she had to create recovery discs to restore from instead, and I have never dealt with recovery discs before. Is it done the same exact way as restoring from the hard drive? Control Panel>System Security>Backup And Restore>etc?

I have found 4 DVDs. She initially created 2 but they failed and apparently she had to start over and create the 4 I found. I'm slightly worried about installing this wrong.. I'm afraid there might be a 5th disc, although she insists there are 4. Are there any precautions I should take before going through with it?

Also, how do I initialize the reinstallation? The only options available to me are to restore from a Windows disc. Apparently her computer didn't come with a disc, thus she had to create 4 recovery discs--but are they the same thing? I've read the manual about the reinstallation, but it mentioned something about hitting F9 after restarting and booting everything from there. I'm just not familiar with any of that.

If someone could help me clear this up, I would appreciate it very much. I've got to get this thing up and running soon. Her computer is an ASUS Notebook K52 Windows 7 64bit.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


HP Pavilion dv7-3188cl

Pressing the f11 key during startup on a computer with an HP factory image will start the system recovery process even if the prompt is not displayed.

How to use HP Recovery:
Performing an HP System Recovery (Windows 7) | HP® Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP


Restore an Asus Netbook to factory settings -
should be similar to this to run Recovery. If not go to the Support page for your model to read how to trigger Recovery, or it may be clearly shown on the first screen which key to press.

Back up your files externally first, if necessary using Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console or Paragon Rescue Kit Free Edition 11.0 Free CD

Take a moment to also look over Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which shows how to get a superior install without the Asus bloatware which corrupts and throttles Win7. Everything needed is in the link, and we will provide support. If you stick with the tools and methods in the tutorial then you'll maintain a perfect install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64), SP1

Just want to follow up on this, just incase anyone else in the near future has this same problem.

All I needed to do was restart the computer with the 1st recovery disc in the drive, and then hit 'Esc' during the reboot. After this I selected the first recovery disc to boot from (I had two rather cryptic options to pick from, the recovery disc was a DVD and so I chose the option that had "DVD" in the name).

Everything else was pretty much straight forward from here, following prompts, etc. This eventually led me to restoring everything to factory condition. There is one thing that sort of stumped me along the way, choosing how to partition my Hard Drive in the ASUS Preload Wizard menu. I wasn't exactly sure which option to pick, so I had to do some quick learning on the subject to make sure I had done this step correctly:

1) Recover Windows to first partition only.
i. This option will delete only the first partition, allowing you to keep other partitions, and create a new system partition as drive “C”.

I avoided this option because I was looking for a fully clean install, and this option seems to leave data from the previous install intact (I'm assuming files that were not backed up?).

2) Recover Windows to entire HD.
i. This option will delete all partitions from your hard disk drive and create a new system partition as drive “C”.

I chose this option because I have only one built-in hard drive (as most people do), and wanted to fully reinstall my new hard drive data into one folder. I'm positive that this is the default choice for most computers, at least those looking for the complete "factory condition" experience.

3) Recover Windows to entire HD with two partitions.
i. This option will delete all partitions from your hard drive and create two new partitions “C” (60%) and “D” (40%).

This option appears to do the same exact thing as option 2, but divides the hard disk into two partitions. There is some purpose for this, but I would imagine this option is for advanced users only.

If anyone would like to addon to my summaries on these partitions, it might help others down the road.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP


Thank you for reporting back.

Just one correction where you refer to running Recovery as a "clean install" which is not the case at all and in fact nearly the opposite of a truly Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 since it preserves the corrupting factory bloatware which throttles Win7 native performance.

Asus compounds the problem by having very poorly written bloatware, ironically detracting from their otherwise good hardware.

After reimposing the mess on Win7, I would at least Clean Up Factory Bloatware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 how does reinstalling using recovery discs work?

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