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Windows 7: How to wipe an SSD before doing a clean install?

03 Oct 2016   #1
Carson Dyle

Win7 Pro x64 SP1
How to wipe an SSD before doing a clean install?

I have an older netbook that had been running XP Home for years. Last week I installed Windows 10 Pro on it, but it ran terribly slow. Now I'd like to try installing Windows 7 Pro.

When I installed Windows 10 I also replaced the system HDD with an SSD, so it was unformatted when I began. I made a USB flash key for the installation and it booted and installed Windows 10 without any problems.

I created a Windows 7 flash key the same way (using the Win7 DVD/USB tool and a downloaded ISO), but was unable to get the system to boot from the flash key instead of the system disk. No matter what I set in the BIOS, it kept booting into Windows 10 from the SSD. So I ran setup.exe from Within Windows 10 and it installed Windows 7 OK, but I see that there's a windows.old folder and a couple other old folders in the root of C:.

I'd prefer to start over again and wipe the SSD clean before installing Win 7. Maybe the normal setup when booting from the flash key allows you to reformat the drive, but if I can't get the system to boot from the flash key, that's a non-starter.

Is there a simple method that I can use, short of pulling the SSD and reformatting it in another machine?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2016   #2

Windows 10 Pro x64

It must be your iso file or the way you put it on the stick.

Use Rufus to put the iso on the stick.

A Partition Wizard Boot CD is a great tool to setup a drive for the OS. I use it all the time and highly recommend it.

But your installer can do all that for you too. Confirm that your Windows 7 Pro SP1 x64 iso file is 3.09 GB

Simply deleting the entire drive to unallocated space is fine. After that you can create an install partition or just click next.

Installing from a usb stick is a bit different then a DVD, you may have to bring up the boot menu (not the bios) and choose the usb stick, just as you did for W10, with a usb stick you don`t change anything in the bios, just use the boot menu to choose the stick one time, and that`s it.

Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2016   #3

Windows 10 Pro x64

My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Oct 2016   #4

Windows 7 HP 64

As your netbook is old, your bios must be Legacy and you need to install the Win 7 iso on the USB as Legacy - MBR.
As AddRam said, all you need is to boot the Win 7 USB installation disk, choose install - Custom - Advanced - delete all partitions and then install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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