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Question about uninstalling Win 7 Pro OEM from SSD

Last response: in Windows 7
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June 27, 2012 3:22:15 PM

Please allow me to preface this by thanking anyone who can help me in advance, as i am not 'Bill Gates Jr'. :( 
Here is my situation...
A while back I built my first gaming rig with almost no real tech knowledge aside from youtube videos and a fair number of product reviews I found here at Tom's Hardware, so I've decided to start an account and be a member.
My problem:
I originally bought a...
Asus M4A89TD PRO motherboard,
a OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB SSD,
a Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5 TB HDD,
Windows 7 Professional OEM
and a EVGA GTX 580 3 GB card.
I recently bought a second EVGA GTX 580 3 GB only to discover after the fact that my board does not support SLI, so I bought an Asus Crosshair V Formula motherboard, found out that my OEM Windows version is tied to the original board, bought another copy of Win 7 Pro OEM and am now ready to swap out the boards.
My question:
Step by step, how do completely uninstall the first version of Windows off my SSD, ( i've backed up the pictures and music i want to keep on my external HDD) so that I can swap out the boards and load my new Windows 7 Pro OEM onto the SSD ?
Again, thank's so much for any help you can offer and for all the great info in the past.
Kindest regards,
-Lhotse5

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2012 3:41:48 PM

Probably the best bet is to:
1) goto: http://www.ocztechnology.com/ssd_tools/OCZ_Vertex_4/
2) from the list select your SSD and download the Toolbox (use the Linux ISO version)
3) Boot to the CD and do a secure erease - While doing this can double check that your vertex III has the latest Firmware, or update to latest version.
4) when done, remove all HDDs and install your windows
5) ENJOY system
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a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2012 3:52:29 PM

My plan A would be to replace the motherboard, and try to boot.
It likely will, and you will have only to install the chipset drivers that came with your new motherboard.

You will have an unactivated os for 30 days.

Some people have had success reactivating using the original oem product code. I think it is technically not legal, but MS is primarily interested in avoiding piracy, and will probably grant you a waiver if you convince them that the os is being used on only this pc.

Otherwise, simply reactivate using the activation code from your new os.
Do not break the seal on your new copy, or you can't return it.

Plan B would be to do a clean install. When you do, it will ask if you want to overwrite the old os on the ssd.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2012 3:53:24 PM

all you should need to do is change the windows Product key

however I am not sure if you do this before or after you install the new motherboard since I have not done this.

If you need to do it before, here is how you get there:

start -> Control Panel -> System

in the new window at the button you should see "Change product Key"

enter the product key of the new OEM version but do not activate it now.

change motherboard and then activate windows
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a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2012 4:12:23 PM

^ Since he is changing the MB, His current system will probaly have incorrect drivers, and a "clean" install would probably be the best bet.
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June 27, 2012 5:18:50 PM

RetiredChief said:
Probably the best bet is to:
1) goto: http://www.ocztechnology.com/ssd_tools/OCZ_Vertex_4/
2) from the list select your SSD and download the Toolbox (use the Linux ISO version)
3) Boot to the CD and do a secure erease - While doing this can double check that your vertex III has the latest Firmware, or update to latest version.
4) when done, remove all HDDs and install your windows
5) ENJOY system


"2) from the list select your SSD and download the Toolbox (use the Linux ISO version)"

ISO ? Do I have to get an ISO app and a Linux app and burn a ISO copy disc to do this ? I'm somewhat familiar with ISO but have never actually used it for anything. I'm a gamer. I buy some hard copies of games and most of them from Steam or Origin, so I'm not very knowledgeable about 'downloading,copying & burning' as I don''t have a need for it, although I'm certain my Plextor PX-B940SA is up to the task. ;) 
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June 27, 2012 5:25:44 PM

I just recently did this from an OEM version to a Retail version because of a failed motheboard.

-Start up the system normally
-Insert New OEM Disk
-Hit Install
-Follow Steps for custom install and put all old files into a Windows.Old folder which you can go in and perm delete everything you dont need.

This will remove all old drivers/all programs/ EVERYTHING to a new computer from out of the factory.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2012 6:29:53 PM

Why one would need to "secure erase" a disk if that disk will be reused by the same person? "Quick format" (during installation) is all what is needed.
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June 27, 2012 6:39:18 PM

oh good grief..... um RetiredChief, do I do all that after I swap out the boards ? i have to download, unpack, burn a DVD, sort, etc etc etc ?
I'm almost at the point where spending $106. for another Vertex 3 and just trashing the old one seem's like a sensible thing to do.

Alabalcho, the OEM version is tied to the old board bios. The only way i can use the same Windows copy is with an identical model Asus board.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2012 6:53:23 PM

Really NO wheres near as bad as you think.
It's not a bad Idea to have that disk around anyways.
I have the agility III and have used it a couple of times. Maybe 30 Minutes of time excluding the (Ugh) windows reinstall.
Added: PS You can do this just like a HDD, ie boot to windows and re-install. Just adding the secure erase is the recommneded method.

Also recommend that you use windows 7 backup imaging program to Back up your SSD.
If you ever find a need to do a re-install, you can do a repair, repair from image and have a sysytem back up and runing exactly as it was when the image was made in about 15 Minutes!!
Also do this for my Curcial M4s and Samsung 830. For what it's worth, while I'm not a lover of OCZ there toolbox is straight forward and realtively easy to use.

@ Alabalcho
What you say is great for HDDs. There is a BIG diff in the way files are deleted, or over written between HDDs and SSDs.
But for SSDs it is advised that when you do a "re-install of windows on an SSD you run secure Erase to return the SSD to "like New". Some do this periodically for NO other reason than to return SSD to factory specs. And with windows 7, using an image to restore windows takes a Wapping 15 minutes - NO re-install windows, NO wait for all the windows updates, NO reload all them drivers, NO re-install of Programs (O yea where did I stick that activation codes for the 10 some programs).
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June 27, 2012 7:12:51 PM

so i go to the OCZ site and start this AFTER i swap the boards right ?
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a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2012 7:24:15 PM

You can do the download and secure erase either on old system or New.
If You do it on the Old system. You would do the secure erase. power down, swap MBs and do your windows install. OR swap MBs then do it - Doesn't matter.

Have to run, time to go Home.
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July 7, 2012 2:37:20 PM

Best answer selected by Lhotse5.
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