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Windows 7: Acer laptop Win 7 Ultimate x64 OEM, how to clean install without disk?

29 Nov 2015   #1
silverfx

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Acer laptop Win 7 Ultimate x64 OEM, how to clean install without disk?

Hi folks,

I have an Acer E1-571 with Win 7 Ultimate x64 pre-installed and I would like to make a clean install. I've had some malware infections over the years and registry-damaging cleanups, and for peace of mind, I want to wipe the drive and install fresh.

Relevant or not, I have a couple of concerns regarding the authenticity of the pre-installation, i.e. whether it was done at the store I bought it from rather than at the factory:
  1. I used Magical Jelly Bean to get the OEM product key and cd key: when I googled the keys, they worryingly appear on several web sites offered as keys for anyone to use.
  2. I checked for the hidden partition PQSERVICE, using DISKPART commands as well as in Disk Management. No hidden partition found. It possibly existed at one time and I accidentally deleted it in Disk Managment, seeing no use for a reserved partition and thinking it was part of some virus infection. Yes, I won't be doing that again. Stupid some might say, but then if it is supposed to be hidden to protect it, why not hide it in Disk Management as well as File Explorer, or just label it Recovery Partition Do Not Delete. Anyway, back to topic.
When I explained the situation to Acer, they wanted to charge for a recovery disk. If I was responsible for deleting the reserved partition (and I think I did) then I could just pay them, and the job might be done, but I think the cost of the disk is excessive and I wonder why they couldn't just have it for download for customers to burn themselves and control it by requiring the laptop serial number or MAC address.

Anyway, I thought a completely clean install from a simple iso would also be free of the bloatware compared with an Acer recovery disk.

I downloaded an iso from a user on forums.mydigitallife.info, but I haven't checked the integrity yet.

I have an idea of the correct steps I need to go through for a successful clean install, if anyone can confirm, or advise me otherwise:

  1. Verify the integrity of the iso using MS File Checksum Integrity Verifierand compare it against a checksum on MSDN (if I can find the exact same iso, which I doubt I can)
  2. Burn the iso to disk using imgburn or the MS USB/DVD Download Tool to create a bootable disk.
  3. Install from the disk. Activation will be automatic using the SLP key / slic table on the bios.
  4. Reinstall Acer drivers.

I realise that the drivers might be a pain to reinstall one by one, in the right order, and if anyone believes it is all too much hassle and that I should pay Acer their ransom for a recovery disk, assuming the recovery disk is guaranteed to work, then at least I will have learned a few things on the way.

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
29 Nov 2015   #2
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 
COA

Hi Silver,

You can do it that way BUT

your actions 1/2 are correct
action 3
No it will not auto-activate, you will either get
a 30 day grace period
OR
more likely Invalid key.
when you input the product key, it will have to be the one thats on the sticker on the bottom of your lappy,
which also shows you which OS it was shipped with, i mentioned this because that lappy was shipped with W8 and you stated you also found that product key on-line.

action 4
you will only need to download the Epower driver from Acer, this will check your comp and tell you what you need to update..


You will also recieve 200+ MS updates, prepare for a long haul.

Roy

If you want to pre check the current key please run and post the results of the Mxdiag found here,
Windows Genuine and Activation Issue Posting Instructions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2015   #3
silverfx

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi Roy, thanks, great to know I am right on the first two steps.

Re: step 3, I forgot to mention that I bought the laptop in Asia and it came with Win 7 but no product key sticker on the bottom.

At the time, I thought this odd, but thought 'when in rome', and since then, I understand that some laptops have no sticker because the product key is ROM'd to the bios as an SLP key (system locked preinstallation?) and activated automatically, though I am still a bit vague on this.

I read that in theory, as long as the iso matches the current installation i.e. Win 7 Ultimate x64, then all could be fine (famous last words). As a fall back, I am creating a system image on a flash drive and system repair disk, in case the clean install doesn't work, and just hope I can restore from these.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torchwood View Post
and you stated you also found that product key on-line.


If you want to pre check the current key please run and post the results of the Mxdiag found here,
Windows Genuine and Activation Issue Posting Instructions
Thanks for the MGADiag tip, I will run and post results.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torchwood View Post
action 4
you will only need to download the Epower driver from Acer, this will check your comp and tell you what you need to update..


You will also recieve 200+ MS updates, prepare for a long haul.
Epower driver, great, that sounds easier, I'll download it before hand and have it ready to go. Don't mind the long haul, if it all works!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Nov 2015   #4
cyclops

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

silverfx, being that you bought that in Asia, probably from a reseller/refurb place and it had no COA sticker, You may have a pirated 7 installation to begin with. That means you may be facing the purchase of a new OS retail version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2015   #5
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Just so you know, the factory OEM-SLP that a key finder will show, will not activate online. The original factory Windows 7 OEM-SLP install activates against a SLIC table in the BIOS. That will only work if you install with the matching factory install media. Those OEM_SLP keys are blocked from online activation. If you googled that key and got hits, it will not activate. You need the key on the COA sticker if your using standard install media. Remove the battery and have a look in the battery compartment. They sometimes hid it in there so it doesn't get damaged and unreadable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2015   #6
silverfx

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks cyclops, I was afraid that might be the case. I just posted an MGADiag report here MGADiag Tool report attached - genuine or not? And then what?
And I wait, like an expectant father, to be told whether it's my activation, or somebody else's.

Apart from buying a new retail version, but could I buy a "Windows 7 Home Premium Refurbished DVD - 64bit" as sold on Amazon, even though the current installation is Windows 7 Ultimate x64?
Windows 7 Home Premium Refurbished DVD - 64bit: Amazon.co.uk: Software

Failing that, I have genuine COA sticker keys, for a Toshiba laptop my dad canned last year: could I download a Vista iso and install on my Acer using the Toshiba keys? And then upgrade to Windows 10, which I was really trying to avoid.

If there is a god up there...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2015   #7
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

You can install any version you want if you have a valid legal key for that version. Legally no you can't use the OEM keys off of the Toshiba laptop. I'm not saying they won't work, they will let you install, but anytime I have ever used a key on an OEM COA sticker I had to do a phone activation. As soon as you say Toshiba key on an Acer they will say no sorry. Also Vista does not qualify for the free upgrade to Windows 10. Not trying to rain on your parade just want to possibly save you some time trying something that most likely won't work is all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2015   #8
silverfx

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
Just so you know, the factory OEM-SLP that a key finder will show, will not activate online. The original factory Windows 7 OEM-SLP install activates against a SLIC table in the BIOS. That will only work if you install with the matching factory install media. Those OEM_SLP keys are blocked from online activation. If you googled that key and got hits, it will not activate. You need the key on the COA sticker if your using standard install media. Remove the battery and have a look in the battery compartment. They sometimes hid it in there so it doesn't get damaged and unreadable.

Thanks alpha, for the explanation of factory OEM-SLP installation where, if I understand correctly, the SLP key inside the factory install media is matched against a key in the SLIC table. I posted a MGADiag report here:
MGADiag Tool report attached - genuine or not? And then what?

I'll have a look inside the battery compartment, which I think hides behind a screwed on panel, and pray they hid it there.

After I supplied her with the laptop serial number, the girl I spoke to at Acer Support, for a fee, offered to send me the factory install media supply. If the current installation is not genuine, would the factory install media I can purchase still work?

Thanks for all the info, you guys are the bomb, kudos.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2015   #9
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

There is no key in the SLIC table, there is an OEM identifier. The original factory install media has a certificate file that matches the identifier in the SLIC table. The OEM media also changes the way the PC activates. OEM-SLP installs do not activate online. That's why it's no big deal if you know the key, the key is useless without the custom branded install media. Microsoft knows all the factory OEM keys and has them permanently blocked from online activation. Every Acer with Windows 7 Home Premium installed at the factory has the same factory OEM key. The key on the COA sticker is unique to the PC and there solely for use with stock install media. Even then, as far as I know, you have to activate by phone the first time you use it to get it registered on the activation server. Likely to prevent somebody from reading it and trying to use it on another PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2015   #10
silverfx

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@ torchwood

Roy, I checked the epower utility, and i found this information:

"For Acer system owners. It will enable the user to manage power plans. The profiles you make with
Acer ePower Management will impact the brightness, CPU usage as well as the sleep time for the computer."

Is there a related utility to update drivers, or am I missing something, cheers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Acer laptop Win 7 Ultimate x64 OEM, how to clean install without disk?




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