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How to get Windows 7 off of Laptop Harddrive for Clean Install onto SSD?

Last response: in Windows 7
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March 26, 2013 10:36:00 AM

I'm going to be purchasing a Laptop soon that comes with Windows 7 on it. But I don't want to use the harddrive that comes with the Laptop. I want to install a SSD into the Laptop and do a clean install of Windows 7 onto the SSD. Can anyone let me know exactly how to do that please? How do I get Windows 7 off of the Laptops old harddrive so I can clean install it onto the SSD? Thank you for any help!!
a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2013 8:35:08 PM

I don't know if you can get a copy of Windows 7 off of the laptop's HDD. Usually it is on a recovery partition on the laptop HDD but not something easily, if even, accessible except when doing a factory restore. One option is to create a disk image and copy that to the SSD or to clone the HDD to the SSD. The advantage of this is not having to reinstall all of the motherboard and other drivers needed. If you purchase an SSD kit it will come with data migration or cloning software. I know the Intel and Samsung kits do.
March 27, 2013 11:52:33 AM

Cloning isn't the same as a clean install though and I find that installing everything from scratch including drivers etc is the most stable way to install an operating system. Isn't there a way I can make my own Windows 7 disk by copying Windows 7 off of the Laptops old harddrive onto a DVDR and then installing that onto the SSD?

Please let me know how to do that if it's possible...thank you!
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
March 27, 2013 12:05:11 PM

darkstar2010 said:
Cloning isn't the same as a clean install though and I find that installing everything from scratch including drivers etc is the most stable way to install an operating system. Isn't there a way I can make my own Windows 7 disk by copying Windows 7 off of the Laptops old harddrive onto a DVDR and then installing that onto the SSD?

Please let me know how to do that if it's possible...thank you!

No, you cannot create installation media in that manner.

March 27, 2013 1:05:14 PM

According to this thread here http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/291455-32-clean-insta...

I can download a Windows 7 ISO and use the License from the laptop to install it onto a new SSD.

I'm not entirely clear about what a license is exactly or how to make sure the laptop has it. Can anyone let me know how I make sure the laptop has a license before I buy it? I'm going to buy a second hand laptop from ebay so I want to make sure it has the license before I buy it so I can use the method from that thread to clean install Windows 7 onto an SSD that I purchase separately.

thank you for any help!
a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
March 27, 2013 8:12:46 PM

Usually the license key is located underneath (the bottom) a laptop. You should see a Microsoft sticker with the license key. I would check with the seller to make sure it has the product key associated with the laptop you purchase.
March 28, 2013 12:32:14 PM

Is a license key and a product key 2 different things? Am I supposed to be asking them if the laptop has a product key and a license key?
a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
March 28, 2013 12:46:45 PM

The product key is what you need when you want to activate Windows. You will have to activate online. This is Microsoft's (and many others) way of checking to be sure the key is not in use by someone else. I would ask if the laptop has a product key. The proof of license is the sticker located underneath the laptop and it should have the product key on it.
December 4, 2013 1:44:01 PM

So does the Laptop need to have a License key AND a Product key for me to be able to reinstall Windows?Or just 1 or the other? I'm a little confused about that.

Thank you for any help
a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
December 4, 2013 2:19:03 PM

You need the 25 character license key (which should be on the COA sticker on the bottom of the laptop) to activate Windows.
December 4, 2013 2:25:02 PM

Thank you for letting me know....so what is the product key for then? The other person in this thread said that it's the Product key that I need...So that's confusing me a little.
a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
December 4, 2013 2:47:50 PM

There's the license key, the 25 character string you enter to activate Windows (found on the COA sticker), and the product code (shown on the computer properties screen) which is just that, a product identifier, it's not usable for activation. Some use "product key" in place of the more correct "license key".
December 4, 2013 3:42:54 PM

Thank you for the clarification. I really appreciate you helping me out.
December 4, 2013 6:17:49 PM

If I buy a Laptop with a Windows 7 Home Premium License Key, can I upgrade to Windows 7 Professional somehow through Microsoft for a fee?
a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
December 4, 2013 6:29:25 PM

You can purchase an upgrade in one of at least 3 ways:

1. Purchase a full version of Windows 7 Pro and perform an upgrade install
2. Purchase an upgrade version of Windows 7 Pro (requires a qualifying OS already be installed)
3. Purchase an Anytime upgrade key (Key only. The upgrade downloads over the net. Also requires that a qualifying OS already be installed)
December 4, 2013 6:39:12 PM

How much does upgrade #3 cost?
a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
December 4, 2013 6:50:41 PM

Try Googling it.
!