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Windows 7: Help with Downloading Win 7 into what partition...

11 Apr 2011   #1

Help with Downloading Win 7 into what partition...

I was given a computer from a friend. I do not have an OS on this computer so I bought windows 7 32-bit. I am at the point of where to download windows. I have 3 partitions: Partition 1: OEM (Reserved) 94MB, Partition 2: Recovery - Primary 10GB, Partition 3: OS - System 220.3GB and Unallocated space 2.5 GB.

Can I delete any or all of these and have one partition? (I do not have any other os discs so there is no worry about losing any information or anything.) I am pretty good with computers but this partition thing is causing headaches!

And then I've read how you need to format the partition as NTsomething or other or FAT32....I'm lost. Thanks for any info!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


If you think you might ever want to restore the original OS which came with the computer, perhaps to move your Win7 elsewhere (retail copies can migrate for life) then make your Recovery Disks now and/or consider keeping the Recovery Partition which may still run after installing Win7.

Boot the Windows 7 installer: How to Boot your Computer from a Bootable CD or DVD

Choose Custom Install, then Drive Options (Advanced) to Delete all partitions not needed. Create a 100gb Win7 partition and Format before install, following illustrated steps given here: Clean Install Windows 7

The installer is mostly driver-complete, with newer arriving quickly via optional Windows Updates. Just in case, have your Wireless driver on flash stick or CD so you can get online quickly. Then enable hardware driver auto-updating and check for optional Updates several times.

Any drivers still missing in Device Manager can be found on the Support Downloads webpage for your model computer or device. Driver Install - Device Manager

Install updates and then programs slowly over time to gauge performance changes after each. Don't let any programs write themselves into msconfig>Startup as they slow startup, become freeloaders on your RAM/CPU and can spy on you. I only allow AV and gadgets. Startup Programs - Change

Use a lightweight free AV like MS Security Essentials which works perfectly with Windows 7 Firewall.

When it is finished, clean and order the HD perfectly using state-of-the-art free CCleaner Disk and Registry tabs, then Puran boot-time defragger after adding it's Intelligent Optimizer on Additional Operations tab.
CCleaner - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET

Finally save a Windows 7 Backup image externally so you never have to reinstall again, just reimage the HD (or replacement) using DVD/Repair CD with the stored image. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


What OS is on the PC?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Apr 2011   #4


It used to be Windows Vista I believe 32 bit. My friend gave me one restore disc, which I thought was not enough but figured what the hey, I'll try it. So I put the first disc in, does some stuff for about 5 minutes then asks for the 2nd disc. So now my computer won't come up with anything, so I ordered windows 7 home full download so that I could just replace everything and start out clean. I have 2 gigs memory and will have 4 gigs in the next week or so delivered. I heard it was better to put 7 on with only 2 gigs cause more than that people would have trouble with the download.

I can't get anything out of the computer to save anything before doing this download...or at least I don't know how to do that. But I am going to print everything out that was provided above and see what happens.

So when I put this disc in and booted it from the dvd drive, it comes up with where to download windows 7. I was going to delete the OEM for sure and the recovery and clean out the os partition and put it in there.

I don't care to restore the computer since it was given to me I just figured I would start out fresh like I bought the thing at the store. I had no files on it that were important and my friend used a file transfer to get everything off the computer. I was reading above from gregrocker that i need to have my wireless driver saved before putting windows 7 on...but not sure how to do that since I can't get anywhere on my computer.

I've been reading many articles on how to do partitions, (if I can just use one or if I should have more than one) and I notice that a lot of people have music or things like that for partitions. So does that mean if I put a different partition in for say "music" how do you download everything to save into that partition? Is it like saving a file into a folder on the C: drive? Is the C: drive a partition? That is where I get confused.

Thanks for the information above...I wish I could just have you guys do this for me! haha
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP


If you have the Recovery Partition on there, you can try running it first to see if it will restore Vista. Here are the steps: Dell Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings

Then you can make the full Recovery Disk set from Vista so you have it if you ever decide to move your Win7 elsewhere - a retail copy can migrate for life.

I gave you the steps earlier to get a perfect install of Win7. The illustrated tutorial linked shows how to delete the partitions you don't want, then create new ones as desired and format, install Win7.

It's best to keep your Music, Documents, Videos, etc in the User folders under your named User Account. You can link those folders to another partition or Hard Drive if you want to keep the OS/Programs partition leaner for imaging purposes. Then if Win7 ever becomes irreparable, you can reimage it and the User files are safe and intact in their own partition "vault."

Feel free to ask back any questions before making any other possibly bad moves.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #6


f8 does not work. I hit f12 for the boot options and it comes up with: Internal HDD, CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive, Onboard NIC, BIOS Setup, Diagnostics.

I also tried f2 but that just does the Setup Screen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP


Try F8 again tapping it vigorously as soon as you power on.

If it won't boot, then you've lost the ability to run the Recovery Partition and can go ahead and delete all partitions on the HD using the Drive Options from the booted installer's Custom install.

All of the steps needed to get a perfect install are in my first post with illustrated tutorial links. Be sure to ask back if you have any questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #8


I tried the dell restore previously before i used that restore disc and it wouldn't work then either. That is why I used her restore disc that she made for this computer, which she only found the one disc and against my better judgement went ahead and tried it. But it was worth a try. Thanks for your help! I appreciate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #9
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello natjen05, welcome to Seven Forums!

If you already have a Windows 7 installer and you just want to move on, it would be best to do a complete wipe of the entire HDD and start fresh; have a look through this information below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

After you have copied out or made back-ups of the data you need to save to external media, then boot the Windows 7 installation media to use Step One of this tutorial at the first link below to do a wipe (secure erase) to the entire Hard Disk Drive / Solid State Drive.
  • Then if you do not want to create the new Windows 7 "System Reserved" partition use the outline in Step Two #2 to create, format and mark Active a single 100GB partition to do the installation to.
  • If you do want to create the "System Reserved" partition use the outline in Step Two #3 to create, format and mark Active the System Reserved partition and then create and format the 100GB partition to do the installation to.
Either way, running the "clean all" then creating and formatting the partition(s) using diskpart will get you the best possible space to do a clean install of Windows 7 to; you can always extend the Windows partition to include the remaining unallocated space on the HDD / SSD or create additional Primary partitions or an Extended partition after the installation completes if you choose.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

DISKPART : At PC Startup

Do a Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

If you don't want to wipe the entire HDD, you can do a partition-specific wipe of the Windows partition using the Partition Wizard Bootable Disk (PWBD) have a look at Option Three in the tutorial at this link below.

Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #10


What do you mean "Windows 7 "System Reserved" partition"? Should I do this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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