Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question
Solved

Return to factory settings / Formatting hard drive

Tags:
  • Windows 7
  • Computers
  • Hard Drives
  • Formatting
  • Factory Restore
Last response: in Windows 7
April 3, 2014 11:16:52 AM

Hi,

I bought a computer from the store about 2 years ago, and by now I have replaced every part of it other than the RAM and HDD. I was wondering if there is a way to format my hard drive without completely losing the Windows 7 that was preloaded onto this hard drive, as I have the key but no disc. What will return to factory settings do since my computer is technically barely close to what it was when I got it? After I replaced the motherboard processor a couple weeks ago, I never completely formatted the drive so I know a lot of my old drivers and such are still on this computer.

Thanks for the help.


If it helps at all, this was originally an HP pavilion PC.

More about : return factory settings formatting hard drive

a b $ Windows 7
April 3, 2014 12:12:10 PM

If you want to use the factory restore partition that is probably on your HDD, it will no doubt get confused when it finds all the changed components you say you have now. If you replaced the MB, it will be a mess. Do you have a Microsoft Product key sticker on your PC? Desktop or notebook?

If you have a product key, you have a legal license and can download an .ISO file and use it to burn a Win(7?) installation disk. Then using it, do a clean install and start over. If you are running Windows 7, you can download the .ISO file for your version here: http://www.mydigitallife.info/official-windows-7-sp1-is...

Optionally, HP should offer copies of the installation disk at reasonable prices.
m
1
l
April 3, 2014 12:27:18 PM

clutchc said:
If you want to use the factory restore partition that is probably on your HDD, it will no doubt get confused when it finds all the changed components you say you have now. If you replaced the MB, it will be a mess. Do you have a Microsoft Product key sticker on your PC? Desktop or notebook?

If you have a product key, you have a legal license and can download an .ISO file and use it to burn a Win(7?) installation disk. Then using it, do a clean install and start over. If you are running Windows 7, you can download the .ISO file for your version here: http://www.mydigitallife.info/official-windows-7-sp1-is...

Optionally, HP should offer copies of the installation disk at reasonable prices.


Yes, I have replaced the motherboard. I figured returning to factory settings would probably confuse it since it's using all different hardware now, but I didn't know if it only had to do with the hard drive or not.

I have the product key that is on the outside of my previous desktop case (the one the computer came with), so would I be able to use this? My only concern is how do I know it will work if I do a clean install? I don't want to do a clean install just to find out that the key won't work for some reason and force me to end up buying another copy of windows.
m
0
l
Related resources
April 3, 2014 12:34:24 PM

clutchc said:
If you want to use the factory restore partition that is probably on your HDD, it will no doubt get confused when it finds all the changed components you say you have now. If you replaced the MB, it will be a mess. Do you have a Microsoft Product key sticker on your PC? Desktop or notebook?

If you have a product key, you have a legal license and can download an .ISO file and use it to burn a Win(7?) installation disk. Then using it, do a clean install and start over. If you are running Windows 7, you can download the .ISO file for your version here: http://www.mydigitallife.info/official-windows-7-sp1-is...

Optionally, HP should offer copies of the installation disk at reasonable prices.


Plus, I do have access to an installation disk if I need it (my friend has one I could borrow). This is how I got windows 7 to run when I replaced my motherboard. I used the key from the side of my original case and it worked fine, however, I just did a reinstall of windows, not a clean install, so none of my previous files were wiped (which is why I'd like to format / clean install).
m
0
l

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
April 3, 2014 2:21:55 PM

Well, if you replaced the motherboard and the copy is an OEM, it will be licensed to the PC it was originally installed on; basically tied to the original MB. Since you replaced the MB, you will have to re-activate the clean install within 30 days or live with reduced features of Win7. Normally what happens is there is about a 50-50 chance that the activation will catch that the board has been replaced and you will have to call an automated hot line to get a new license. At this point it is another 50-50 chance that by answering that you only had this OS installed on one machine that you will be asked to type in some new license numbers and given a new license with no hassle.

If you are one of the unlucky ones, you will be forwarded to a live rep who will ask you why you want to install this OEM license on another MB. Usually when this happens the less honest among us will say something like "my board fried" or "my PSU died and killed the MB". At this point, most callers will be accepted and will be returned to the automated call system to enter some new code numbers and be given the new license and it will be activated complete with the "Genuine Windows" logo.

So, if you feel like going through all that, do the clean install. If not, try your HP restore partition and have it try to restore the system to factory new condition. If it messes up because of the new hardware and you can't boot to Windows, there are other methods to try and work around that too.
Share