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Reinstalling Windows on my Laptop

Last response: in Windows 7
May 24, 2012 12:32:21 PM

Hi guys,

My laptop is starting to get a bit slow, particularly when booting and loading programs so I'm thinking of replacing the hard drive with a SSD. Specs are as follows:

MSI X-370 13''
4GB DDR3 RAM (Presumably 1066Mhz although maybe 1333Mhz)
500GB Western Digital 7200RPM Hard Drive (Presumably Scorpio Black)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

I have a Samsung 830 Series 128GB which I originally bought for the laptop but I had problems transferring the OS across so I used it in my desktop for a while. I think it would be put to better use in my laptop though. Not only should it speed things up but I think I might get an extra 30 mins or so of battery life as well. It might make it a tad lighter and more shock resistant too.

I originally tried transferring the OS using an external hard drive enclosure and some software called Paragon. Despite following the guide to the letter, all I would get is the BSOD after transferring the OS. Now I noticed today that the Windows 7 product key on my laptop doesn't have OEM in it so does that mean that it's not the OEM version and I should easily be able to just format the drive and do a clean install using the product key on my laptop?

Also if I am able to do this, is there a way for me to create a CD/DVD (or preferably something on USB to avoid having to buy an external optical drive) inside my existing installation to use for reinstalling or would I need to borrow a Windows 7 DVD from a friend? (And use my own legal product key of course.)

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help I might receive! :) 
May 24, 2012 1:00:16 PM

I've just had to replace a hard drive on my niece's netbook. The original drive was dead complete with the rescue partition.

If you have a copy of Windows 7 though it is easy enough to make a bootable USB installer:-

I had to make do with the only Windows 7 disc I had (I think like Vista all versions are on the disc) so just needed to delete the ei.cfg to show the full install options as I needed the cut down basic.

I installed this way and entered the key from the sticker and it validated quite happily and it was a nice clean install too. Can't remember the sticker shouting out HP OEM on this one.

As long as you have a valid licence key for the machine and you are installing the correct version you should hopefully be ok.

May 24, 2012 1:10:30 PM

Just another quick thought if the target machine is working. There is a little program called ABR which I've used on Vista a few times for doing clean installs. Lovely and simple, just searches for and backs up the keys and copies them back after the fresh install. There was a beta that was supposed to be working on Windows 7 (just google around for abr windows)

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May 24, 2012 4:25:13 PM

Hey thanks for the help, I've made a start on this by backing up all my stuff and I've found my Windows 7 CD but it needs to be an ISO for that software to work. I tried converting it to an ISO using imgburn but then when I try to copy it to my flash drive using that software, it says it's not a valid ISO file.

Any ideas?
May 26, 2012 11:20:32 AM

In the end I tried some different software that does it directly from the DVD and that worked fine. I'm in the process of updating Windows now so I'll be sure to let you know if it all works. Thanks for the help.