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Reinstalling Windows on Ultrabook w/o Optical Drive

Tags:
  • Laptops
  • Optical Media
  • Ultrabooks
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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April 4, 2012 2:01:56 AM

How would one go about reinstalling Windows on a laptop without an optical drive?

I'm assuming all of these "Ultrabooks" have partitions that you can somehow reinstall Windows from. However, is that really a "total" reformat like you can do when you reinstall from a Windows installation disc?

And with these Ultrabooks, does the BIOS recognize a USB-connected external DVD drive so you can tell the machine to boot from it before the harddrive?

Long story short: I'm trying to determine whether it's a good idea to buy a new laptop that does not contain an optical drive

More about : reinstalling windows ultrabook optical drive

a c 572 D Laptop
April 4, 2012 2:14:33 AM

decrescendo said:
I'm assuming all of these "Ultrabooks" have partitions that you can somehow reinstall Windows from. However, is that really a "total" reformat like you can do when you reinstall from a Windows installation disc?
It will have a factory image for re-installation. You also burn your own Rescue Repair thumb drive. And burn a copy of the factory image to an external backup drive. There are also ways of installing an OS from an external drive or a USB thumb drive.

Also, you could get an external optical drive.
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 4, 2012 2:16:02 AM

If you don't have a day-to-day need for an optical drive - do you want to carry one around just for the odd chance you'll need to burn a CD/DVD?
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April 4, 2012 2:22:36 AM

WR2 said:
If you don't have a day-to-day need for an optical drive - do you want to carry one around just for the odd chance you'll need to burn a CD/DVD?


Not really. This laptop won't leave my apartment TOO often but it would still be nice to not have to lug it around even to the couch.

I rarely use the optical drive on my desktop machine but I was mainly focused on reformatting of Windows. However, it appears there are several ways around a lack of optical drive even when doing that.
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April 6, 2012 7:22:50 AM

use a windows 7 usb dvd tool, it burn w7 iso on a usb driver
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April 6, 2012 7:22:59 AM

use a windows 7 usb dvd tool, it burn w7 iso on a usb driver
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May 22, 2012 3:04:18 PM

decrescendo said:
How would one go about reinstalling Windows on a laptop without an optical drive?

I'm assuming all of these "Ultrabooks" have partitions that you can somehow reinstall Windows from. However, is that really a "total" reformat like you can do when you reinstall from a Windows installation disc?

And with these Ultrabooks, does the BIOS recognize a USB-connected external DVD drive so you can tell the machine to boot from it before the harddrive?

Long story short: I'm trying to determine whether it's a good idea to buy a new laptop that does not contain an optical drive



You are 100% correct in your assumption that the BIOS won't recognize the USB connection! Sure, you can use the factory image, and that will probably have the USB drivers to make it possible. However, a clean install of Win7 won't have the USB drivers, and the system bocks. There is probably a way around this, but I don't have a solution yet. Good luck, let me know if you figure it out.
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May 24, 2012 3:24:46 PM

The factory image should contain all the necessary drivers, and the software that comes with your laptop should allow you to burn a DVD from it.
Even if you do not want to use the factory image for some reason (maybe you want a different version of windows, maybe the disk with the image on it died...) there are ways to create a windows install disk with all the drivers you need.
To create your very own custom version of a windows install disk all you need is the clean install disk and all the drivers you want to install with it. Then you use a program called "RT7lite" to bring it all together. This does not change the type of windows installation (you cannot change your install disk from "Home Edition" to "Ultimate"), and when you reinstall windows with your custom install disk you will still need your genuine product key.
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June 6, 2012 11:50:57 PM

JustAnotherNoob said:
The factory image should contain all the necessary drivers, and the software that comes with your laptop should allow you to burn a DVD from it.
Even if you do not want to use the factory image for some reason (maybe you want a different version of windows, maybe the disk with the image on it died...) there are ways to create a windows install disk with all the drivers you need.
To create your very own custom version of a windows install disk all you need is the clean install disk and all the drivers you want to install with it. Then you use a program called "RT7lite" to bring it all together. This does not change the type of windows installation (you cannot change your install disk from "Home Edition" to "Ultimate"), and when you reinstall windows with your custom install disk you will still need your genuine product key.


So, I'm assuming that no new Ultrabook (or any laptop for that matter) will come with a Windows install disc. And, if it did, I'm assuming that install disc would contain all the typical HP, Dell, etc. bloatware that I would be trying to avoid with a clean re-install.

I've always wondered how one could wipe an Win7 installation and start clean if there was no optical disc but I guess that's a separate question. I've seen laptops with separate partitions that somehow help this but I'm not very familiar yet.

So basically, I have to us Nlite or RT7lite to make my own installation disc that automatically loads the USB, audio, wireless, etc. drivers during the Windows 7 installation period? I cannot recall whether the laptop would recognize any USB device during Windows installation (before driver installation).
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