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Windows 7: Can I use any Win7 disc to reinstall?

13 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Can I use any Win7 disc to reinstall?

I have a Sony VAIO laptop and tried out Linux on it. This gave me the Gub loader, where when I boot up I choose which OS to use. I am done with Linux, and also notice that I have only 250 GB of my 500GB hard drive available to Windows.

I have two questions:
1. How do I uninstall Linux, getting rid of the Grub loader(it's in my MBR, I believe, so it is THERE, not easily gotten rid of).

2. Can I use a friend's Win 7 64bit disc to format and reinstall my OS, using the Activation Code on the bottom of the laptop?- I'm not really stealing this way, am I? Sony did not provide me with a disc when I bought the computer. The Sony method of restoring the OS does not work here- I deleted the Linux partition and did the Restore, but the Grub loader is still there. So I had to reinstall Linux to get things working right.

I'm willing to completely wipe my hard drive and reinstall Windows, even though it won't be the same as I got it from Sony(don't want or need trial offers or the Sony utilities that it came with)

This has become way too complex.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #2

WDS 7 Home Pre.x64

IMO's doable long as both OS is the same ..and the key is still valid ...
Either that ...or you have to cough up $25.00 to order wds install disc from sony ..
Make a back up image and cd recovery this time around ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP


You can try to repair your MBR and remove the Linux install if you want to, however we see many cases where GRUB corrupts Win7 beyond repair. If you'd like to try, post back a screenshot of your full Disk Mgmt drive map using Snipping Tool in Start Menu.

It seems you are ready to go completely clean with Win7 without the factory bloatware and useless utilities which have better versions built into Win7. Here are tips to get a purrfect clean reinstall: re-install windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alphajet View Post
Can I use a friend's Win 7 64bit disc to format and reinstall my OS, using the Activation Code on the bottom of the laptop?
Yes, and in fact I do this with every OEM system my family or friends get. it is the surefire way of cleaning all the crap that comes preinstalled. You'll just need to download the drivers you need from Sony's website.

Keep in mind, your friend's disc will need to be the same version of Windows 7, or else you'll have to edit and reburn a disc (or flash drive) after deleting the ei.cfg file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

How to remove Linux:
There is a simple way to remove linux, GRUB and repair your boot sector. Use logical disk manager to delete the Linux partition and the logical partition that was created when you installed Linux. You can then either expand the system partition or create a new NTFS partition to make all your HDD space available to windows. At this point, you should make a system repair disk, just in case something goes wrong.

To get Windows to boot afterwards:
At this point it is advisable to create a system image backup to an external HDD just in case, but it's not really necessary
Boot from a windows 7 install DVD. As soon as the "install windows now" screen appears, hit shift+F10 and type the following commands, then hit enter after each command

BootRec /FixBoot
BootRec /FixMbr
BootRec /RebuildBcd

I've done the exact same thing more than a few times and have never had a problem getting windows to boot after
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

You guys are great! So quick! I think I will not try to repair the MBR, but will wipe and reinstall using a friend's disc. I wondered whether having a disc of a different build would be a problem, but I understand that if it is still Win7 Home Premium it will be ok, right?

Now that I think of it, I may have made a cd recovery disc when I got the laptop. I assume it will have the bloatware on it, so maybe that's not the way to go (Norton relentlessly intruded until I got their removal tool- I hate those guys).

Thanks for the help. I hope to be of help to someone here some day- I'm not non-techy, just not knowledgeable about the MBR stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

MadHacker- I will try this. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP


You will learn a lot about your computer and Win7 by clean reinstalling.

Just follow the steps I posted and ask back any questions at all.

Is your friend's DVD for Win7 Home Premium 64 bit, too, and is that the bit-rate you want to install? You have your choice of 32- or 64-bit for each license.

As given in the steps I posted, make your Factory Recovery Disks or save externally a Win7 Backup image of all partitions so you have a path back to the original factory install should you need it. After install you'lll want to create a new image of your finished install to use for backup purposes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #9

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

You're welcome... good luck.. and if it doesn't work (I don't see why it wouldn't but anyway) there is a good tutorial on doing a startup repair.. which will do the same thing, but sometimes requires running it 3 separate times.
I agree with Gregrocker on the clean install: It will turn an average machine into a much faster one. I have yet to see a computer that didn't work right after a clean install with no factory bloat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Yes, my friend's disk is Win7 64bit. I have no strong feelings regarding 32 vs 64 bit, but did not know that either can be installed from the same disc - or did I read this wrong? Do you have any recommendations as to which one to install?
I used to wipe and reinstall my XP machine at least twice a year, and felt the same way as I do when I empty out my garage and then put the stuff back in in a more orderly way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can I use any Win7 disc to reinstall?

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