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Windows 7: Formatting Windows 7

24 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Formatting Windows 7

Hi all,

I am going to buy a copy of Windows 7 64bit and I am wondering can I format my hard drive many times as I like?
Also do I need to activate windows every time I format?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Feb 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

If you save a Windows 7 backup image after first install, you never have to reinstall or reactivate again - just reimage the HD using DVD/Repair CD from the externally stored image and you are up and running in 15-20 minutes.

It isn't necessary to format HD before reimaging, but you can zero it using DBAN or DISKPART to clean it thoroughly - zeroing 3 times is DOD standard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If you save a Windows 7 backup image after first install, you never have to reinstall or reactivate again - just reimage the HD using DVD/Repair CD from the externally stored image and you are up and running in 15-20 minutes.

It isn't necessary to format HD before reimaging, but you can zero it using DBAN or DISKPART to clean it thoroughly - zeroing 3 times is DOD standard.
Are you saying that I can only format my drive 3 times?


Where do I go for this? (Sorry for the dumb question)

just reimage the HD using DVD/Repair CD from the externally stored image and you are up and running in 15-20 minutes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Feb 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

You can format your HD as often as you want. By format, I assume you mean you want to wipe the drive and reinstall Windows 7. With a retail copy, you can reactivate after reinstall as many times as you want, too.

But an easier way is to save a Windows 7 Backup System Image after install, so that you never have to reinstall again. You just wipe the HD and reimage by booting from the Windows 7 DVD or Repair CD and choose "Recover using a System Image" you have stored on an external drive. It will reimage your HD in 15-20 minutes.

This is the modern way to "format" now that Windows 7 includes built-in backup imaging.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Yes it is a geniune copy. So easy, I always did it the hardway

Greatly appreciated thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Can I also put my programs and pictures with the windows 7 files when I'm doing the image?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Yes anything on your Windows 7 drive will be included in the image, and you can select other data drives to include as well.

I suggest you save a baseline image after you have installed and have everything running as you like. Then later just back up your active user files so you have everything current in your backup.

This way if you need to reimage you will have the cleanest possible reimage, before any corruption began creeping in. You can repopulate your data files from the file backups you also do.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2010   #8

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

When I do an image of my C drive and store it on my E drive how do I start it up?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

To reimage using a stored image, boot the Windows 7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD, select Recover Using a System Image, let the imaging application detect the image stored on E drive (named only WindowsImageBackup), tell it to reimage the HD and 15 minutes later it will be done.

Keep your files backed up separately as the image will only include your files up to the time it was created. In some cases, if you are still able to access Windows 7, you can start the reimaging from Backup Center and have it save your files before restarting to reimage the HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Formatting Windows 7




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