I'm currently in the process of buying a new laptop and one of the ways that I can save money on it is by getting it without an OS installed onto it.. I'm able to get windows 7 off of MSDN for free because my university has some sort of partnership with them or something, but obviously this is just a download and not a disc.
Therefore I was wondering if it is possible (and how is it possible) to install an OS onto an internal blank HDD without having a disc (i haven't downloaded it yet but i'm guessing you download it as a zip or maybe .iso and they send you a key as this is how it worked for other software I've got off of them)
If the download is an ISO file (that's usually how Windows is distributed online) you have to make a DVD from it on a working computer, using software such as the free IMGBurn from here: http://www.filehippo.com/download_imgburn/
That DVD, when created, is to all intents & purposes just the same as a shop-bought Microsoft Windows 7 DVD, and you can boot your new laptop from it to install Windows 7.