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Use recovery partition to install windows on different hard drive?

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September 17, 2013 1:39:07 PM

Hello! I'm attempting to help a friend restore her computer to it's original factory state. I'd like to replace the original hard drive with a new drive but she has no rescue disks or windows disks ~ only the recovery partition that came with her computer.

I've read various posts on the subject but none seems to solve this issue. Can I somehow use her recovery partition to install a factory-fresh OS? Possibly partition the new drive into 2 partitions, clone her recovery partition then copy that image onto her new drive? I'd do that but I have a feeling that I won't be able to boot to the "new" recovery partition. She currently has a 1 TB hard drive but only uses about 60 GB of it. . .I'd just clone the whole thing and nuke her current OS but I'd like to replace her current 1TB drive with a 500GB drive since it's really just wasted space. Is there a way to clone the entire drive, both partitions, to a new, smaller drive? Thanks in advance for your help!

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a c 324 G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
September 17, 2013 1:45:09 PM

If she is using the same motherboard, then she can download a Windows 7 disk image of the exact same version from HERE, burn to DVD, install to new HDD, activate with the key from the sticker on the machine.
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September 18, 2013 1:49:35 PM

RealBeast said:
If she is using the same motherboard, then she can download a Windows 7 disk image of the exact same version from HERE, burn to DVD, install to new HDD, activate with the key from the sticker on the machine.

THanks RealBeast! That'll work. . .Yep. . she's using the same machine. . .just concerned that their might be some "machine specific" apps on there like for special buttons on the keyboard, etc. that was a factory install that wouldn't be on a standard Win7 disk. . but like I said, if I can't figure out how to use her restore image, then your idea will get her back to a clean install ~ thanks again!
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September 18, 2013 1:52:59 PM

u_gonna_squeal_b4_we_cookya said:
Does the PC work with the original HDD? If so, you can simply create a restore disk. If the PC can boot into Windows and is stable, go to the Control Panel, Backup and Recovery and on the left side click Create a system repair disc. A restore disk brings the OS back to the original state, not to the state when the restore disk was created.

You could also clone the old drive over to the new drive and then use the recovery partition to restore the system. But if the new drive is larger than the old drive, the partition will be as large as the original drive. You would need to extend the partition in disk management to be able to use the full drive.

It would be better to create a restore disk since she will have it in case she needs to do it again in the future. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/create-a-sy...

Thanks You Gonna Squeal! That sounds like a good solution. . .just one question: How does the restore disk get created without incorporating any of the malware/adware/virus garbage that's currently infecting her system? Does it create the restore disk from the restore partition? If so, then this solution is the one I'm looking for ~ a duplicate of the original factory install ~ thanks again!
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a c 906 G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
September 18, 2013 3:08:50 PM

Using Gonna Squeals method you would first need to do the factory restore and then create the windows restore disk.

Alternately once you've done the factory restore you can create the factory recovery disks that you're friend obviously skipped. Then swap in the new HDD and use them to restore the new drive to a factory state. Since you are going to do a factory wipe anyways this is the way I would go as it creates the much needed disks too.
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October 28, 2013 7:14:11 PM

Squeal's solution will do it nicely

I could also suggest to recover from original factory recovery first
Use other backup softwares to create backup image
Then use that image to restore to other PC with different specs

FarStone Total Recovery Pro will fit this job title perfectly ;) 

PS: When you backup from Windows 7 & 8, make sure the system partition is selected as well.
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