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Windows 7: Trying to wipe HD in Dell XPS 8500

20 Nov 2014   #1
CearaQC

Win 7 Home Premium 64
 
 
Trying to wipe HD in Dell XPS 8500

I am trying to wipe a HD in a Dell XPS 8500 made in 2012.

My significant other did some foolish stuff and as a result I believe the best thing is to get a fresh install of Win 7. Last time I ever did a HD wipe/reinstall was back in the beginning of XP so I am pretty new to the changes with Win 7. I really do not know what he did because I didn't witness it. By the time I knew what had happened, he had the system at a DOS prompt. There is no ability to access stuff within Windows itself at this point. All I know is what he told me. He said he tried to create a back up of important stuff onto an external HD but said that the Factory Restore Dell program ended up putting that onto the internal HD. From everything that I have tried to do to wipe this system, I do not see any recovery stuff, nor do I see factory reset stuff on the CD that came with the system.

I have been following the recommended fix that has been repeatedly mentioned on this forum, but have been running into difficulty and I do not know why.

The link below I will refer to the steps because it provides handy images.

How To Install Windows 7 With Activation Step By Step. ~ techtips000

Ok, at Step 10, I click on Advanced. There are three partitions. I try to delete the largest and keep the other two. The largest becomes the default Dell unallocated.

Does this step just mark the HD for format to be done during the install process? Or is it supposed to take longer? Just wondering what to expect in order to determine if what is happening on that machine is normal.

I go on with setup and everything seems to be fine, for a while. The machine reboots a few times, until it gets to step 22, where it stops and refuses to go any further.

One of two things happen.

Black/white screen text saying Windows did not properly shut down... do you want to reboot normal, etc etc. I let it go and choose nothing so it boots normal.

A bit after start up, a window comes up

''The computer restarted unexpectedly, or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. To install Windows, click OK to restart the computer and then restart the installation.''

After that the system reboots and goes right back to the error screen. The only way to stop that is to press F12 again and go through the whole thing once more.

So what am I supposed to do next? Should I delete all the partitions?

There was another pop up window at the beginning of running the install setup. It wanted me to choose Win 7 x86 or x64. I have tried this reinstall method after clicking each of those because I wasn't sure which one to pick.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Nov 2014   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I assume your goal is to reinstall Windows.

If that's true, it's not likely that you have to do any formal "wiping" or formatting.

Just delete all partitions at step 10 advanced, rather than just the largest one as you said you did. Deleting all partitions should create one large single bock of unallocated space. You don't have to worry about formatting or partitioning that space.

You should end up with a small System Reserved partition and a large C covering the entire remainder of the drive.

See what happens and report back.

I assume you've given up on trying to recover anything at all from this drive and actually want to do a clean install.

If you've got at least 4 GB of RAM and you probably do, I'd choose 64 bit. A 2012 era Dell XPS is a pretty high end machine, so 64 bit should be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2014   #3
CearaQC

Win 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Alright, I deleted the partitions and tried again.

It gets to ''Starting Services" screen and then ends up to the error pop-up screen mentioned above.

Still the same results thus far.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Nov 2014   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Tell us all about your Win 7 installation disc.

Store bought?

From where?

Bought online?

From where?

Burned? From what? To what? With what?

Maybe not a disc at all?

All possible details.

Are you comfortable using a command prompt?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2014   #5
CearaQC

Win 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

We bought the system from Dell Canada back in the fall of 2012. We have a legit Windows license on it.

The disc came from the neighbor. It's a copy and I do not know any more than that. I figured if we had a legit license, then the install method didn't matter.

Yep I am comfy with command prompts.

Other than that all we have is the Dell CD to reinstall the drivers. I do not see an OS install on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2014   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CearaQC View Post
We bought the system from Dell Canada back in the fall of 2012. We have a legit Windows license on it.

The disc came from the neighbor. It's a copy and I do not know any more than that. I figured if we had a legit license, then the install method didn't matter.

Yep I am comfy with command prompts.

Other than that all we have is the Dell CD to reinstall the drivers. I do not see an OS install on it.
No reason for you to use neighbor's disc.

You can download a legal ISO and burn it to your own disc. To activate, you would need the 25 character Product Key found on a Certificate of Authenticity sticker on the PC.

Downloads are here:

http://www.mydigitallife.info/offici...digital-river/

Do you see the sticker? Can you read the 25 character Product Key?

It's in this format: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.

That key is effectively your license--it's what you paid the money for.

I assume you have a working DVD burner?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2014   #7
CearaQC

Win 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Yes there is a burner on my laptop.

Thanks for the link. I had no idea something like that was available!

I will report the results as soon as it's done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2014   #8
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Be sure to get the exact repeat exact download for which you are licensed---Home Premium or whatever you have.

Home Premium 64 Bit English is 58997.iso, for instance.

Your Product Key is good for either 32 bit or 64 bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #9
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Everything needed is here for a perfect Clean Reinstall Windows 7 including the latest official installer.

If necessary after replacing the installer work through these additional steps to Troubleshoot Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #10
CearaQC

Win 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Well everything went just fine after I got that file online. I got it up and running and handed over the rest of the install stuff to the person who screwed it up. My job is done. LOL Thanks to you all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Trying to wipe HD in Dell XPS 8500




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