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Windows 7: HDD Died: Can can I reinstall OEM Windows 7?

04 Jan 2016   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
HDD Died: Can can I reinstall OEM Windows 7?

Hi folks,

Here's the problem as briefly as I can put it:

-My HP Pavilion DV5-2155DX laptop (Windows 7 Home Premium OA, 64 bit I think) has a dead hdd
-I ran all sorts of diagnostics, including SMART, and they all show it's the hdd
-I can boot into the laptop using Lubuntu on a USB key
-The HP laptop didn't come with a retail version of Windows 7 but an OEM version (so no dvd disc)

What I want to do:

-I want to reinstall Windows 7 and run it off an external hard drive OR just boot Windows 7 from a USB key (I don't want to install a new internal hard drive).
-I went to Microsoft's website and tried to download a Windows 7 ISO file, but couldn't because I have an OEM version

-So is there any way I can download/reinstall an OEM Windows 7 without purchasing a recovery disk from HP? Is it even possible to do that if I have an OEM Windows 7?

NOTE: Right now I'm using a Toshiba laptop to write this, not my HP one, but I can still get into my HP laptop via boot usb.

ANY help would be hugely appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2016   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Yes you can legitimately reinstall that OEM licence if you can find/borrow a Home Premium x64 ISO/disk.

Don't bother installing will run so slow to be unusable. Install to a new HDD or SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2016   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Installing on an external SSD on USB3 will yield good results. I have done that a few times. eSata will also work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Jan 2016   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks for the information; it really helps. But I was wondering: if my original HP laptop had an OEM Windows 7 64bit, can I DOWNGRADE to the 32bit version or do I HAVE to reinstall the 64 bit one?

The reason I want a downgrade is because the 64bit is kind of heavy and sucks up the resources.

Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2016   #5

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
The machine should have a tag that has a SNID on it usually near or on the tag with the oem activation key from H-P could be in the battery compartment

That SNID you can search H-P's website and it will show what was originally installed on the machine

The key would most likely activate either 64 bit or 32 bit you'd have to ask H-P really or simply test it installing 32 bit
Which you can get a iso or torrent download if nobody you know has one
ISO image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2016   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks for your help ThrashZone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2016   #7

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

No problem mate let us know how everything goes if you need further install assistance let us know :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2016   #8

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

64 bit shoudn't be laggy on that setup
Mines alot older got less Ram an older motherboard.
I suspect when you reinstall it'll be much faster, and if you get rid of HP bloatware and swop your AV to MS's own, even better.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2016   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1

If you really want to get this laptop working fast, install an internal SSD & then reinstall Windows x64 & you will be surprised how much faster it will be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2016   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HDD Died: Can can I reinstall OEM Windows 7?

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