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Windows 7 to recover computer

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 29, 2012 3:46:17 PM

I am trying to help my brother inlaw recover his computer. It appears to have a software issue and will not boot or recover. He has lost all his discs. Can anyone tell me if he purchases a copy of Windows 7 is it possible to install the complete version to see if it recovers. It currently has Windows Vista -64 and the software license sticker is on the case. Will an upgrade copy work or would he need a full version?

I do realize more could be wrong, but thought this was a good place to start. If he has a bad hard drive he will need software to recover.

a b $ Windows 7
February 29, 2012 3:55:04 PM

installing a new version of windows will wipe your hard drive, no recovery will be made (data wise)
you need a full version but you could download a windows 7 iso and use the existing serial number
a b $ Windows 7
February 29, 2012 4:00:02 PM

If he has a bad hard drive, he will need to install windows on a separate good drive to recover. It might be a good time to buy a SSD for that purpose anyway.

If the hard drive is good, then a windows 7 upgrade package is perfect. It comes with 32 and 64 bit dvd's and is considered as retail so you get ms support.

Boot from window7 dvd and try an upgrade install first. It will recognize that vista was previously installed and will activate using the windows 7 product key. The old vista key will not be needed. If successful, vista will be found in windows.old which you can delete later.

If you install to a ssd, disconnect the vista drive, and do a clean install but do not activate. You will have a valid copy for 30 days. Next, attach the hard drive and activate using the windows activation key. For best SSD performance, the sata mode in the bios should be set to AHCI.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 29, 2012 4:09:12 PM

To verify HDD, go to Manuf support website and down load a bootable ISO tools disk and then:
1.. create a bootable iso CD
2.. Boot to CD and test HDD.

You can use a Window 7 upgrade Disk. You have a qualifing Previous version. It does NOT have to be on the computer, you just have to "OWN" it.

When the previous version is NOT on the computer and you use a upgrade windows 7 disk YOU must select CUSTOM INSTALL, not upgrade. When you get to the point where it asks for the Windows 7 Key, do NOT enter. Windows 7 will install, then let it do it's updates, then load any and all drivers, then load your software.
Test system for a couple of days. If everything is Hunky dorry, Then:

(1) Perform a registy edit and a rearm cmd from a dos prompt (will post a link later).
(2) Register, at this time enter your UPgrade Key.
(3) Important - Use windows back up to create an image of your "C" drive. Put the image on either a USB backup HDD, or on 3 -> 5 DVDs. Should something happen to the HDD, or your windows installation it can be repaired by simply puting in your windows disk, select repair, repair from image. 15 Minutes later your intire windows installation is done - not re-install, no reinstalling windows update (ones you did just before Image), no reloading drivers and programs, No reactivation (Normally).

ADDED Steps to follow when doing a clean install from Win 7 Upgrade disk.
How To: Use Your Windows 7 Upgrade Disk On a Fresh PC
How To: Use Your Windows 7 Upgrade Disk On a Fresh PC
Posted 10/27/2009 at 7:30am | by Justin Kerr
48CommentsPrint 95 87Share .Installing to a Fresh Drive
Step 1 - Access & Edit the Registry

A true geek has never been intimidated by the registry, but lets face it, it's a mess in there. To access the registry you will first need to open up the start menu and type "regedit" into the search field, followed by enter. To find the proverbial needle in this haystack, you will need to navigate through the tabs listed on the left in the following order:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/ . If you don't like doing it the hard way just click Edit then Find and type MediaBootInstall into the search field, and press enter.
Once found, double click MediaBootInstall and change the "1" to a "0". Once you have finished this, simply click Ok and close out the Registry Editor.

2nd step:
simply open up the start menu and type cmd but instead of just pressing enter, you need to press "Ctrl" + "Shift" + "Enter" to run it as an administrator. You can also accomplish this by clicking the start menu, typing cmd into the search box, then right clicking the command prompt application and selecting Run as administrator.
Once the command prompt appears type slmgr /rearm and press enter. Next simply type Exit and hit enter again, after which it will ask you to restart your machine.

Reference: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_use_your_wi...
March 7, 2012 1:45:24 AM

I was able to install a fresh copy of Vista with an old disc I had and use the code on the side of the computer. It wiped the hard drive but that is ok. Everything but the sound card seems to be working fine. Thanks for everyone's advice.
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