Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question
Solved

If I have Windows 7 and want to format my PC, but only have Windows 8.1, can I format it still?

Tags:
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Format
Last response: in Windows 8
June 2, 2014 1:10:35 PM

I don't have the OS disk that came with my PC, and am planning on buying windows 8.1 for my new build. I was also hoping to format my laptop, but was wondering if i could do so with Windows 8.1, or do I need Windows 7 to do it? I've never ever formatted a PC before, so I have no clue how it works.

More about : windows format windows format

a c 283 $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
June 2, 2014 1:16:21 PM

format yes, but are you going to install an os on the laptop?
m
0
l

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
June 2, 2014 1:17:14 PM

With Windows you need to distinguish between the software and the license key. The install disk can install on any compatible system but you need a valid Windows license key to activate each PC; you can't activate multiple PCs with one retail license key.

PCs sold with Windows 7 have a product key sticker on the case (in the case of newer Windows 8.x machines the key isn't visible because it's stored in the BIOS of the PC). You can probably do a factory recovery on the laptop or PC to restore the factory default software (the key to press depends on the make and model)
Share
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
June 2, 2014 1:18:11 PM

You can format and delete your windows7 install with your windows 8 install disk just fine. Vice versa would not work becasue windows 8 uses gpt by default and windows 7 still used mbr. GPT was introduced due to hard drives bigger then 2.0 TB, as well as solving issues with boot mbrs missing or corupt
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
June 2, 2014 1:19:18 PM

boosted1g said:
You can format and delete your windows7 install with your windows 8 install disk just fine. Vice versa would not work becasue windows 8 uses gpt by default and windows 7 still used mbr. GPT was introduced due to hard drives bigger then 2.0 TB, as well as solving issues with boot mbrs missing or corupt


Windows 7 is compatible with GPT also
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 1:19:23 PM

If your laptop came with Win7 installed it probably did not come with disks. You should have the option to create a set of system restore disks from the recovery partition on the hard drive (look on your Start Menu for the software to do that, which varies by brand). Once those disks are in hand, just boot on the Recovery disk and it will give you the option to reformat the drive and do a fresh install.
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 1:19:31 PM

Formatting essentially resets (and unistalls the OS). Always make backups from your important files before formatting. If you format your hard drive after installing W8.1, you will lose that copy of windows. But, windows 8 has a "fresh start" option (don't remeber the exact name), which keeps your windows, but gets rid of all programs and things like that. Always remember to do backups before any of this!
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 1:36:00 PM

rgd1101 said:
format yes, but are you going to install an os on the laptop?


I guess I would install the Win8.1 onto the laptop. I don't think I have anything I need to backup.
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 1:38:06 PM

SchizTech said:
With Windows you need to distinguish between the software and the license key. The install disk can install on any compatible system but you need a valid Windows license key to activate each PC; you can't activate multiple PCs with one retail license key.

PCs sold with Windows 7 have a product key sticker on the case (in the case of newer Windows 8.x machines the key isn't visible because it's stored in the BIOS of the PC). You can probably do a factory recovery on the laptop or PC to restore the factory default software (the key to press depends on the make and model)


Oh... I didn't realize that, I was under the impression that once you purchased it, it could be used again. I guess it makes sense, because people would lend it to friends and family.

So I could do a fresh restore, and delete everything including possible viruses or whatever? Would it work similarly to a reformat, and have the same positive effect?
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 1:39:58 PM

boosted1g said:
You can format and delete your windows7 install with your windows 8 install disk just fine. Vice versa would not work becasue windows 8 uses gpt by default and windows 7 still used mbr. GPT was introduced due to hard drives bigger then 2.0 TB, as well as solving issues with boot mbrs missing or corupt


But to do that, I would have to use the CD key, and then would need to re-purchase the OS for the new desktop I want to build? It's a gaming desktop, so a significant portion of my budget is taken up already... Not sure I want to spend $89.99 on an OS for my 2 year old laptop either haha.
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 1:40:07 PM

itpro said:
If your laptop came with Win7 installed it probably did not come with disks. You should have the option to create a set of system restore disks from the recovery partition on the hard drive (look on your Start Menu for the software to do that, which varies by brand). Once those disks are in hand, just boot on the Recovery disk and it will give you the option to reformat the drive and do a fresh install.


Seriously?! It's that easy? You don't need a physical copy? That's awesome! Thank you.
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 1:42:38 PM

ollpu said:
Formatting essentially resets (and unistalls the OS). Always make backups from your important files before formatting. If you format your hard drive after installing W8.1, you will lose that copy of windows. But, windows 8 has a "fresh start" option (don't remeber the exact name), which keeps your windows, but gets rid of all programs and things like that. Always remember to do backups before any of this!


I can't think of any important files I need to backup, the only "important" things are my assignments for school, which is finished for the summer semester. That being said, Steam and the games I've downloaded are important, would I need to back that up? Or can I simply re-download Steam, and sign into my account and re-download the games I've purchased?
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
June 2, 2014 1:45:13 PM

MrCanEHdian said:
Oh... I didn't realize that, I was under the impression that once you purchased it, it could be used again. I guess it makes sense, because people would lend it to friends and family.

So I could do a fresh restore, and delete everything including possible viruses or whatever? Would it work similarly to a reformat, and have the same positive effect?


Doing a factory reset is exactly like reinstalling, because that's what it does: it's a built-in utility which formats and re-installs the factory default installation for you. When it's done the PC or laptop should run just like the first day you started it (it would be smart to start doing updates to Windows, adobe flash and antivirus after this since the factory software tends to fall out of date over time)
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
June 2, 2014 1:47:02 PM

Yes, you can re-install Steam, log into the account and re-install the games. Your Steam account remembers which games you've already purchased so you can re-install them. As to burning a set of recovery disks, that creates a copy of the built-in restore system. Those disks will do the same thing as the recovery utility (though they also provide insurance in case of a failed hard drive, since when you replace the hard drive the new drive is blank)
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 1:47:02 PM

itpro said:
If your laptop came with Win7 installed it probably did not come with disks. You should have the option to create a set of system restore disks from the recovery partition on the hard drive (look on your Start Menu for the software to do that, which varies by brand). Once those disks are in hand, just boot on the Recovery disk and it will give you the option to reformat the drive and do a fresh install.


Ok, so my computer is a Samsung system, and it has a Samsung Recovery Solution, which states that I can restore the system to a previously saved state, or to a completely new state or whatever. I guess that's basically what you were talking about?
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
June 2, 2014 1:48:59 PM

MrCanEHdian said:
itpro said:
If your laptop came with Win7 installed it probably did not come with disks. You should have the option to create a set of system restore disks from the recovery partition on the hard drive (look on your Start Menu for the software to do that, which varies by brand). Once those disks are in hand, just boot on the Recovery disk and it will give you the option to reformat the drive and do a fresh install.


Ok, so my computer is a Samsung system, and it has a Samsung Recovery Solution, which states that I can restore the system to a previously saved state, or to a completely new state or whatever. I guess that's basically what you were talking about?


That's the factory recovery the other poster and I referenced, yes. On Samsung laptops it can also be invoked by pressing F4 during bootup
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 6:13:03 PM

SchizTech said:
MrCanEHdian said:
itpro said:
If your laptop came with Win7 installed it probably did not come with disks. You should have the option to create a set of system restore disks from the recovery partition on the hard drive (look on your Start Menu for the software to do that, which varies by brand). Once those disks are in hand, just boot on the Recovery disk and it will give you the option to reformat the drive and do a fresh install.


Ok, so my computer is a Samsung system, and it has a Samsung Recovery Solution, which states that I can restore the system to a previously saved state, or to a completely new state or whatever. I guess that's basically what you were talking about?


That's the factory recovery the other poster and I referenced, yes. On Samsung laptops it can also be invoked by pressing F4 during bootup


It seems incredibly easy, basically idiot proof.
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 6:16:10 PM

SchizTech said:
Yes, you can re-install Steam, log into the account and re-install the games. Your Steam account remembers which games you've already purchased so you can re-install them. As to burning a set of recovery disks, that creates a copy of the built-in restore system. Those disks will do the same thing as the recovery utility (though they also provide insurance in case of a failed hard drive, since when you replace the hard drive the new drive is blank)


That's great!! So you can simply log into your account on a new PC, and download/install the games again. That's very good.. It'd be a shame to have to re-purchase them, I was afraid that would be the case.
Ahh I see... So those disks would mean the difference between having to re-purchase the OS if you had to replace the HDD.... Bummer lmao. It might be a good idea to do it then, is it hard or easy?
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
June 2, 2014 6:21:03 PM

Well you'll need a few blank DVDs to start with. Once you find the recovery utility the PC basically does it for you: depending on the PC manufacturer the recovery disk creator might pop up with an offer to burn the disks soon after initial boot-up or may be in the start menu. The process is to find the manufacturer utility then put in blank disks when it asks for them (the full recover utility often takes two or three disks)
m
0
l
June 2, 2014 6:45:22 PM

SchizTech said:
Well you'll need a few blank DVDs to start with. Once you find the recovery utility the PC basically does it for you: depending on the PC manufacturer the recovery disk creator might pop up with an offer to burn the disks soon after initial boot-up or may be in the start menu. The process is to find the manufacturer utility then put in blank disks when it asks for them (the full recover utility often takes two or three disks)


Not bad, blank DVDs are cheap I think. It would be well worth it if I ended up needing a new HDD. Thank you so much for the help, from you and from everyone!
m
0
l