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Windows 7: Install / Reinstall Windows on Laptop - Options?

30 Sep 2011   #1

Win7 Pro 64-bit sp1
Install / Reinstall Windows on Laptop - Options?

Hi guys -

I have a one-year old laptop and the HDD died yesterday (click of death). I shut it down immediately, tried rebooting but no luck. It's in the freezer now but...ya, I don't think so either.

My question is - what are my options to get this laptop running Windows7 again? Originally it had Home Premium 64-bit on it.

I know I need another HDD of course. No problem there. But Windows...that's where I'm confused. Here's what I have:

1) A DVD I made soon after I bought the laptop, following Windows' instructions - I labeled it "Win7 Home Prem Recovery."

2) A retail copy of Win7 Pro I installed on my desktop. (I realize I can't use the same product key)

3) A copy of Win7 sp1, downloaded from this site: **REMOVED**

I hope I don't have to buy another copy of Windows...that doesn't seem fair. Is it as simple as using the Product Key on the bottom of the laptop?

If I *can* use that Product Key on the laptop to activate Windows, which DVD should I use? I don't care about any of the files that were on the laptop originally.

Thank you all so much - I appreciate any thoughts you can share.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

#1 should work
#2 is no good - different product key
#3 might work if that is a clean copy. You will have to apply the product key that you find on the bottom of your laptop

Best is to first create a primary, active Partition on your new HDD into which to install. You can use the bootable CD of Partition Wizard for that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #3

Win7 Pro 64-bit sp1

thank you for moving this thread btw...sorry about that.

Thanks! I don't know whether the Digital River is a "clean copy" because I don't really know what you mean by that, but according to the website it's an "official" copy...whatever that means exactly

One little wrinkle, according to Toshiba "tech support" anyway - supposedly the Recovery Disk I made should actually be 4 or 5 disks.

I think the 2 support people I talked to were confusing Recovery Disk(s) with System Image. I know I ran the Recovery Disk utility, right after I got the laptop and it fit onto 1 DVD.

unless they're right and I *did* goof...but I don't think I did.

[btw - I thought all Win 7 retail disks included all the versions of Win 7 in both 32 and 64-bit versions: Home Premium, Pro and Ultimate - and the product key unlocks the version you actually bought. Isn't that how it works? So I thought I could use the retail Win7 disk but enter the Laptop's Product Key...No good? I guess because the laptop's is an OEM key they won't play nice with each other - the retail disk and the OEM key?] Shoot. I hope Toshiba "tech support" was wrong about needing 4 or 5 recovery disks...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Sep 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

1. By "clean copy" I meant a copy that does not come from some questionable torrent. But Digital River should be OK.

2. I think the Toshiba people are wrong. The recovery disks I burnt fit on 1 DVD.

3. Regarding the retail disk you can try. I am not sure whether that will work. What can you loose.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


How to use Toshiba Recovery.
How to use the Toshiba HDD Recovery Utility

You can order Toshiba Recovery disks from here:

Screenshot from Toshiba support.
Install / Reinstall Windows on Laptop - Options?-start_menu04.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP


You can order Recovery Disks from Toshiba but Factory Recovery is an inferior install to clean reinstalling with a retail DVD anyway.

Use the Digital River download, unlocking all versions if it's not Home Premium before burning to DVD or writing to flash stick using Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool.

Boot and follow the steps given here to get a Perfect Reinstall
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #7

Win 7, 32bit, Premium

@rcanino - Pardon for being off subject, but any idea on why your HDD died so soon (1 year) ?

Although it may not be under warranty, would calling Toshiba for an installation disc be worthwhile ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #8

Win7 Pro 64-bit sp1

Thanks you guys! I appreciate the screen shots and the links, as well as your thoughts.

pretty unusual, a HDD dying in a year + 9 days. But apparently it happens...the dreaded Click of Death - ugh.

So I got my problem "escalated" to a case manager at Toshiba and finally, after 15 minutes he finally agreed to talk to his supervisor about the problem.

Turns out they'll let me ship it to them for a free repair - since it's only 9 days past the 1-year warranty period. Technically of course they didn't have to do anything and I'm glad they are. I always liked Toshiba laptops...

Now I just have to decide whether I really want to ship the thing to them - wherever that will be - and wait the "7 to 10 business days" for them to send it back.

They won't be able to see my personal stuff unless they get the HDD working again - but they won't even try to do that will they? They'll stick in a refurb Hitachi HDD and button it up - I'm guessing anyway.

What would you guys do?

Thanks again for your help Everyone!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP


I would take the offer of the RMA, perhaps after asking them if you can just ship the HD.

This is a generous offer by Toshiba which I haven't heard of anyone else making out of warranty.

If you have anything on the HD you don't want others to see for reasons other than embarassment then I would reconsider.

You should know if the HD is reparable, however, by booting the maker's diagnostics/repair CD extended scan: HD Diagnostic. If not and it's detected by the scan then you can zero the HD to make data unreadable on it, if necessary after copying out the data: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2011   #10

Win7 Pro 64-bit sp1

Thanks for your reply greg.

No there's nothing illegal or dangerous on the HDD, just personal, diary-type writing, some passwords I've used over the years, some financial stuff...etc.

But I can't believe they would even attempt to fix such an inexpensive part. I can replace it from newegg for less than $50; I imagine Toshiba's cost is closer to $10.


So I followed the link to the HD Diagnostics page. It's talking about running the diagnostic tool on the bad HDD, right? Sorry if I misunderstood but I don't see how a HDD tool can help a head that keeps bumping against the stop. I've always understood that particular problem to be inoperable basically. (again my apologies if I misunderstood the directions)

I was pretty impressed by Toshiba's offer too. It took 4 separate phone calls and 5 different people but in the end Toshiba came through. It's the right thing to do. After all the HDD did fail in just over a year; a week's grace doesn't seem like it's asking too much.

It's a nice offer and I hate to refuse it, but I'd also like to be sure no random stranger is accessing my data. If only I could be sure they'd just chuck that HDD into the garbage...

Thanks again for your reply greg.

(I asked them about simply sending me a replacement HDD - they wouldn't go for that. I can understand they want to protect themselves from scam artists who'd make up a story like mine)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Install / Reinstall Windows on Laptop - Options?

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