Partition alignment using restore cd

I can't find the answer to this anywhere hoping someone can help. I know when you install win 7 on an ssd it will automatically align the partition for you. My friend just bought an alienware and I am installing a 128gb Samsung 830 drive to be used as the main system drive. My question is will the dell restore cd align the partition properly and recognize the drive as an ssd? Do these restore cd's install windows from scratch and then add the dell stuff or is it just going to clone the system image on there with some set alignment regardless of the type of drive? Thanks in advance!
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More about partition alignment restore
  1. Typically, an OEM restore disk just uses the WinRT boot process to initialize a custom installer that pre-formats the drive to OEM factory partition settings. This is likely to be an issue.
  2. Meaning if the system came with a mechanical drive it is going to align to partition based on that and not detect that it is now dealing with an ssd? The reason why I am curious is i know in the case of Alienware they can be configured with both ssd drives and mechanical hard disks and I assumed they probably would not be making different restore disks for the same model just to align the partition properly, but I could be wrong.
  3. Only 1 way to find out.

    You may need to install with a windows disk, then get in contact with microsoft to change the activation key.

    If it is an issue, a Linux live disk can fix the windows partitioning.
  4. That was my back up plan. However the problem is that this is a friends computer that I am going to be setting up for him and I will have limited time to get everything done, maybe 1-2 hours at most. I want to install windows right in 1 shot if possible and not have to re-partition or re-install with an OEM disk, and then call Microsoft to reactivate.

    The restore disk would be the fastest way to get the os on the drive without having to download drivers and alienware software afterwards. This person is anal about wanting the same cd key and all the alienware stuff on the new drive, otherwise this would be easy. If it were mine I would just do everything from scratch.

    Does anyone with experience using these dell restore disks know for a fact whether or not they will align an ssd properly?
  5. Best answer
    You are not giving yourself enough time to do what needs to be done.

    I would like to say that the restore disk will work as SSD is a common option for alienware PCs but I have had far too many problems with OEM disks. IN XP i would always use a genuine disk then use the XP Key Changer, rather than the OEM.
  6. Best answer selected by adramaleck.
  7. I have almost exclusively used OEM disks when I build or modify a computer and never had much experience with restore disks. If you have had issues with them then it is not worth the time savings as I may have another problem come up. I think I will just install windows from scratch and re-download everything.

    Follow-up question: What is the best way to install a fresh copy of windows and keep the same cd key? I know I could just use a torrent but I want to keep it legal if at all possible. Is there somewhere I can just download windows 7 and input the cd key afterwards, or will I have to call dell or Microsoft? Sorry for the newb questions but I haven't really had to retain a cd key before between hard drives and I want to be prepared before having to do everything so it goes smoothly.
  8. Microsoft used to have a trial copy of Windows 7 available on their website you could use, but with Windows 8 around the corner im not so sure about this. If they dont have it, theres some other site on the web that has the Win7 trial.
    It'll take some research, but this might work;
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