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I think I messed up my new build

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September 1, 2011 4:29:59 PM

I have been having some problems with my first home built computer and I feel I need to reinstall windows and start new.

First off, I didn't know about keeping additional hard drives unconnected when installing windows so my system reserved fell on my storage drive instead of on the main boot drive, which is a 128 GB SSD, and I want to keep the OS and Reserve on the same drive.

Secondly, I was trying to figure out installing drivers and such for the motherboard so I put in the disc that came with the Motherboard, MSI Z68a-GD65, and it installed this BiosRomCheck that keeps giving me a "Drivers Can't Load!" Error when I start up the computer.

I think I am early enough in setting up the software to reinstall Windows 7, but I don't know the steps I would have to do to reinstall everything, such as re-using my copy of windows 7.

I could really use some help.

Thank you.

More about : messed build

September 1, 2011 4:47:54 PM

Reformat the drive. Start by installing Windows. Then install the drivers. You don't have to install the utilities on the disc if you are not going to need them.
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September 1, 2011 5:07:16 PM

How does re-installing windows work since I have used the key code for installation, do I have to deactivate and reactivate the license or key at all?

Also, How do I go about reformatting the SSD drive, does this happen during reinstalling Windows from the CD?

Should I probably make a backup before I start this?

I know I have lots of questions, but am really new to all of this and want to get things set up correctly, and to figure out starting new is really necessary, I do feel it would be the simplest way out. The other worry I have is my Internet Security and how that license would be affected. I have Vipre Antivirus premium unlimited home, PC lifetime license FYI. All the hardware would be exactly the same so I couldn't imagine it would try to take an additional license seat for the fresh install.

Thanks for the help.
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September 1, 2011 6:29:16 PM

Key code should be fine as long as it's on the same machine. You can call MS and they will help if there is an issue with that.

You will have the option to format the drive as part of the install. I think it says advanced or something like that on the screen where you select the drive you want to install to, the option to format is there, but its probably easiest to just delete the partitions and let Windows format on it's own.

I'm not sure what you would be backing up since you just installed the OS. It will erase all files on the drive when you format it or remove the partitions.

No clue on the virus software you described.
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September 1, 2011 6:56:20 PM

Let me try to recite the steps for reinstalling:

1. Disconnect my additional hard drives to make sure nothing is written to them during installation.
2. I will be re-entering the BIOS and selecting the CD/DVD drive as first boot with the SSD as second.
3. As I start installation, I will reformat during the windows installation.
- (Not sure what you mean to delete the partitions and let windows format on its own)
4. Select the re-formatted SSD as drive to install Windows 7
5. Go about installing updates, Drivers (correctly this time), and reinstalling Internet security (I found out it should work correctly).

Does this sound about right? Also, what about the System Restore that is on the other hard drive? What do I do about that? Is there an option to reformat that once I connect it again when windows is running?

Thanks for the help.
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September 1, 2011 7:02:38 PM

All sounds good to me . PS( Not sure what you mean to delete the partitions and let windows format on its own) If you never created any partitions in your 1st install you don't have to worry about this. just do what you have listed above and all should be good.
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September 1, 2011 8:02:04 PM

Win 7 typically cuts out a 100 meg partition at the front of the drive, that's all I was referring to.
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September 1, 2011 8:16:47 PM

The 100 mb partition was installed to a secondary drive which is one of the main reasons for reinstalling windows 7. I read that having the system reserved on the same drive as the boot drive is the better way to go.

I also just read that doing a quick format for an SSD, like during Windows installation, might not be a good thing. Everything is brand new, and I just messed up by having my secondary drives attached when installing windows 7, putting the 100mb partition on the secondary drive.

So now I don't know if there is something else I should do before reinstalling Windows
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September 1, 2011 10:17:18 PM

You can run Windows for about 30 days before you have to activate it. What I normally do is to not activate it right away, I wait until I'm sure everything is working OK and I'm not going to have to replace any hardware or reinstall windows for any other reason.
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September 1, 2011 11:07:17 PM

I had already activated it because I thought everything was fine, until today I came across the 100mb partition that was on my secondary drive instead of my boot drive.

What I want to do is remove the 100mb from my secondary drive, reformat the SSD that has the OS on it, then reinstall windows 7 on the SSD with the secondary drive disconnected to force the 100mb System Reserved onto the SSD instead of the secondary drive.

I am concerned about the reformat of the SSD after reading that this will reduce the efficiency of the SSD, and I do not understand how to remove the existing 100mb partition from the secondary drive.

Thanks for helping out everyone!
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September 1, 2011 11:08:01 PM

you can install Vipre Premium fine with the original key, if you do not have the original key, you can find it in the help>Registration section. If you have any issues the guys at sunbelt have a fine support line.

Edit: Windows 7 will have a screen with all your formatting needs during the reinstall. It's pretty simplistic with easy to understand buttons. What i would do is Delete the system reserved partition on the second drive, then recreate a new one in it's space so the install is forced to use the SSD for it, which you should also delete the partition on. Remember to DELETE not FORMAT, as they are two different things.

Once you get into windows right click on Computer>Manage and go to Disk Management in the left pane. click on your drive from the list on top or bottom and delete the partition you made during the install, from there you should be able to extend the original partition onto the extra space by clicking that partition and choosing extend.

It's a lot to fathom but follow those instructions and you should be fine. Be wary that deleting the wrong partition would result in lost data, or at the very least the need to run data recovery software.
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September 2, 2011 12:06:48 AM

Is it possible to have my secondary hard drives unplugged and when I reinstall windows, then delete everything off of the SSD and let windows install and create the 100mb partition on the drive? Then after windows is up and running, go into the disc management and delete the partition off of the secondary drive that was from the first install of windows?

I think the part I get lost on is where you say delete the partition on the second drive, then recreate a new on in its space...What is creating a new one doing? And since this will be deleted after installing windows, is it possible to bypass that step and just deleting after installing windows like I mentioned above? Then I am not sure what you mean about extending the partition and why I would need to do that, would that be the new one created on the SSD from the fresh install?

Sorry about the trouble, I am just having a bit of a hard time following the steps I need to take and I don't want to mess anything up.

Edit: Just found this thread and it looks like the solution I stated above might work:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/5713-63-windows-sata-...
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September 2, 2011 3:53:26 PM

I suppose you could have the second drive unplugged and then do it in disk management later. By creating the new one during the install if you choose to do it then you're just ensuring that windows doesn't go "OH A PARTITION OF THE PERFECT SIZE, LET ME USE THAT!"

As far as extending the partition on the second drive, I'd suggest doing that just to cover up the space of the old "Unformatted" 100 mb partition after deletion. You won't notice it if you don't extend but just to cover it up and keep it tidy. You can ignore it as well i suppose.

I'd assume if you DID have the second drive plugged in and DID still have the system reserved space, it would just continue to use that as it's reserve space if you didn't clear it off during the install. So i'd reccommend unplugging the drive as you had said or following my instructions above.

Now that I think about it i'm not sure if Disk Management will allow you to delete that partition with the reserve on it, I believe you may have to do it during the install with the disk.
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September 2, 2011 5:49:24 PM

I usually install one hard drive, install Windows, then disconnect the optical drive and install the secondary hard drive. Once the secondary hard drive is installed and configured I reconnect the optical drive. This makes it easier for me to pick the drive letters that I want for the drives.
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September 20, 2011 3:42:06 PM

Best answer selected by oobe_banoobe.
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