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Using a Windows reinstall disk on a bare internal drive?

Tags:
  • Hard Drives
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Storage
  • Product
Last response: in Storage
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November 10, 2010 8:08:43 PM

First topic here at tomshardware. I've gotten a lot of help from here in the past from the public sections. I really appreciate it. :) 

I'm in a bit of a pickle myself though. I have this hard drive, you see. Bare hard drive. Western Digital 500GB bare hard drive. Just bought the thing. Crazy, ain't it? I'm going to put Windows 7 on in it. I feel confident in my knowledge of computers but I want to be 100% adamant before I go through with this, and some positive feedback on the process I have in mind to do it.

1. Install this. (hard drive)
2. Use my Windows Vista 64 bit SP 1 disk that came with the computer when I bought it from Dell to reinstall Windows Vista (the original hard drive died, which is why I'm putting a new one in)
3. Once I've got a fully working Windows Vista, I plan on just using a Windows 7 upgrade disk instead of the full version to save a bit of cash, and installing Windows 7 that way.


What I'm a bit skeptical about is the use of my reinstall disk that came with the PC to put Vista on it first. Would it work? I don't see a reason why it wouldn't.

More about : windows reinstall disk bare internal drive

a b $ Windows 7
a c 367 G Storage
November 10, 2010 8:27:41 PM

Check with Dell on how / whether this works. Some re-install disks supplied with computers are designed to restore a corrupted OS on a HDD by using a semi-hidden second copy of the original OS on that same HDD. But if your old HDD is gone and you must do a complete "fresh install" on an empty HDD, I'm not sure whether your re-install disk can do that. Dell Tech Support surely can give you the right info.
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November 10, 2010 8:47:40 PM

Ahh, thank you. Too bad my computer is out of warranty, lol.
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November 10, 2010 8:50:25 PM

Douuubblleee post. That being said they probably won't be able to offer me support. :/ 
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November 11, 2010 12:12:33 AM

Paperdoc said:
Check with Dell on how / whether this works. Some re-install disks supplied with computers are designed to restore a corrupted OS on a HDD by using a semi-hidden second copy of the original OS on that same HDD. But if your old HDD is gone and you must do a complete "fresh install" on an empty HDD, I'm not sure whether your re-install disk can do that. Dell Tech Support surely can give you the right info.


Just tried it actually, it's not working. Going to have to spend the extra $100 to get the full version. I put the disk it, BIOS says "Windows is loading the files" down at the bottom on top of a loading bar. It gets full, screen goes black, disk drive stops spinning.
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a b G Storage
November 11, 2010 7:33:36 AM

But you are replacing the hard disk not the whole computer you still can call the dell tech maybe you can purchase the disk for that matter.
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November 11, 2010 4:54:22 PM

Typically, Dell can supply you with an full OEM install image (for a modest fee, of course, but most likely less than $100) provided they still carry the version of the OS your computer came with originally. If not, then do you have a friend who might have a full Windows OEM disk for the version your Dell ran originally? If so, the Windows Registration Number on your sticker should suffice. Once you are able to install, all it requires is for you to activate your version of Windows again. You will probably have to call Microsoft but once you explain that it was due to a hard drive failure, they should give you an activation code.
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November 12, 2010 2:49:21 AM

Got everything working. Thank you all. $400 dollars and about 10 hours of working, I've got it. Thank you for all of your help, people of tomshardware. I will be coming back here if I have any further problems.


Oddly enough, when I was installing Windows 7 on a bare Seagate 1 TB HDD that I purchased, my monitor's webcam that is USB powered was interfering with the installation process. It stalled it and just left it at a black screen, the CD drive wasn't spinning, nothing was happening. I unplugged it. The installation ran fine after that. But of course, oh no, more errors. This time, Windows wasn't able to realize that I really DID have the correct drivers for my CD/DVD drive on my flash drive. It failed to realize that they were they. That being said I went into the BIOS and turned off my RAID configuration, switching it to a native IDE configuration, it then worked. I'm now on a fully working copy of Windows 7. Strange, huh?
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a b G Storage
November 12, 2010 4:53:58 AM

That was good. You should partition that drive for OS and data files or two hard disk for OS and data files, cause if you do encounter problems with your OS in the future you will know were to get your data files.
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