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Windows 7: Problem with reinstalling windows 7 starter on a netbook

25 Nov 2010   #1

windows 7 starter for netbook
Problem with reinstalling windows 7 starter on a netbook


I have a Toshiba NB 255 Netbook. I had decided to install another operating system (Linux) and now have come to the conclusion that I no longer want both windows and linux on my system. I want to go back to just using windows 7. Its windows 7 starter edition. I have literally tried other methods to do this for countless and pointless hours coming to the conclusion I would rather format my hard drive and reinstall windows.

Now here is the problem.

I have a netbook which does not come with a cd drive; nor do I have an external.

I have actually figured out how to make a boot module from a usb/flash drive.

The problem is I do not know how to or where to obtain an ISO for windows 7 starter edition.

I do have the serial key for windows 7 starter located on the bottom of my netbook.

Finally which really ticks me off is when I bought my netbook I have now come to realize that it did or DOES NOT HAVE A RECOVERY PARTITION.

Any advice on how I can reinstall windows 7 starter with hard drive formatting?

Thank You

P.S. my product key is OEM

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello pkrplyr, welcome to Seven Forums!

You can use any version of Windows 7 and the info in this tutorial at the link below to create an 'all versions' installer that can be used to install "Windows 7 starter" to the netbook and use your key to activate.

Windows 7 Universal Installation Disc - Create

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create

The first best thing to do would be a wipe (secure erase) of the Hard Disk Drive, after you have made backups of anything you want to save, this will give you the best possible space to install Windows 7 to while removing all the old Linux code.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Hi pk,

If you know anyone with an install dvd - you can use that to do as BFK suggested above.

No recovery is odd - I was under the impression oem's have to provide a means of recovering the o/s as part of their license with MS.

Perhaps that doesn't apply to the tiny things like netbooks.

Anybody else got a netbook with no os recovery method?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Nov 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


Normally if the netbook it too small to comfortably include a Recov partition, the manufacturer will either provide disks with purchase or will ship them free if requested within a prescribed time limit. Otherwise they charge shipping.

Your best choice however is to wipe the HD to go completely clean with a clean install using the methods suggested earlier. This is a much better install as the bloatware and useless factory utilities don't weigh down Win7 so it can be as light as your netbook.

Here are some tips for a perfect install: re-install windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #5

windows 7 starter for netbook
Update on reinstallation windows 7 for netbook

I realized I cant make a usb/flash without the iso. I could not find a windows 7 starter ISO so I read the how to make a universal disk. With my dismay I thought I could skip the editing ISO to make universal. The usb does work i just realized when i entered my product key it wouldnt take because it installed windows 7 premium.

So when I edit the ISO to make it universal will a screen pop up letting me choose which version of windows i want to install?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP


Yes, exactly. Just run this tool on the ISO and it will surgically remove ei.cfg from Sources and unlock all versions: Ei.cfg Removal Utility Lets You Use Any Product Key With Your Windows 7 Disc

Then write it back to flash stick. The method I find which works best to do this is Ultra ISO trial version: Open ISO on File tab, Write Disk Image on Bootable Tab, Format, Write.

Be sure to wipe the HD of all factory code using BFK's tutorial linked earlier.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #7

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Like this

Attached Thumbnails
Problem with reinstalling windows 7 starter on a netbook-all_in_one_win7_dvd.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 10 Education 64 bit

Just so you know, you don't have to edit the ISO file. If you want you can just delete the ei.cfg file in the sources folder on your thumbdrive. Then try your install again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #9

windows 7 starter for netbook

Thank You guys. It took me about 4 hours but everything is working like a charm.

I had some confusion with the ISO extractor but I found that if I just deleted the ei.cfg file from the usb flash drive it worked.

Again Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #10

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Congrats on learning something new & a successful installation
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Problem with reinstalling windows 7 starter on a netbook

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