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Old 06-05-2012, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default Drive Upgrade: Reinstalling Windows 7

Hello

I have a refurbished netbook that I just got, and I have a new ssd I'd like to replace the hdd with. However, the product has no cd drive, and did not come with an installation cd. I know I can make a bootable usb drive, but most instructions online involve copying data from an iso image of a windows installation cd, which is not present. I know my hard drive should have a directory containing all the information Windows 7 needs for a fresh install, but I don't want to copy the wrong files. So the question has 2 parts:

1. Most instructions seem to be this in a nutshell: format usb, copy installation iso image to usb. The command prompt can be used for the format, so am I missing an important step when I see people recommend various third party software for making "bootable usbs" when it seems like a fairly simple operation?

2. Which directory from my C drive do I copy to the formatted usb? The entire "Windows 7" folder, or something else?

Thank you,
Zenith
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Drive Upgrade: Reinstalling Windows 7

you cannot create a bootable usb media or transfer your installation to another hard drive by just copying a folder from an installed windows system .

Seeing as you lack installation media your best bet for swapping out drives will be to image the current installation and then restore that image onto the new drive once you have replaced it .

Additionally the netbook may have come with a utility installed to create a recovery usb stick or disk which would be bootable have a look in the start menu for something like this ?

If your usb drive is big enough and you are simply swapping out drives your best bet would be to create an image of the installation using a piece of software like norton ghost or a freeware alternative (clonezilla)

is there any way you could lend an external usb cd drive from someone ?

if not you will have to follow this procedure
  • partition your usb drve into 2 partitions(assuming it is big enough)
  • make a bootable clonezilla partition
  • create your image of the current installation on another partition
  • physhically swap out the drives
  • format and image the new drive with the image you created earlier
  • enjoy
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Drive Upgrade: Reinstalling Windows 7

Tanks for your reply muz.

I don't have a portable cd drive, and I'm not sure what I'd do with it since I have no installation cd.

I want a fresh install rather than a clone because 1) most sources claim it's better for ssd performance and 2) the refurbished laptop came with a cluttered OS that I don't want to keep using as is.

Isn't there some kind of boot partition on the disk drive? Computers often come without os install disks these days, so I thought there has to be a way to reinstall from the hdd.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Drive Upgrade: Reinstalling Windows 7

i was just thinking perhaps if there was a utility to make a restore cd you could lend a portable cd drive and make one .
if you have no recovery media and no recovery partition making a fresh install is not going to be easy.
However there are a few tips and tricks to removing all the crapware that comes installed when you buy consumer laptops these days . To start with uninstall all the applications you dont want from the add remove programs menu in the control panel .

If there was a bootable recovery partition on the disk drive you could image both these partitions transfer them to the ssd then you could use the recovery partition on the disk drive to recover the installation of windows .I dont like these hard drive recovery partitions though because it seems to me that if the hard drive fails you loose your ability to reinstall windows when you have fixed the problem .

to find out if you have got a recovery partition on the hard drive go to the disk manager -http://www.softwareok.com/?seite=faq-Win-7&faq=15
appologies for the link to instructions but its been a while since ive used windows 7
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Drive Upgrade: Reinstalling Windows 7

Following the instructions in the link, I noted that I have an unnamed recovery partition of 19.47 GB. Besides that, I can only think of the "Windows" folder on the C drive.

I really don't want a clone because I'd like a fresh install: I have no idea what kind of trash might be present here that I just won't catch now, and I do want to get best ssd performance.

Do you think formatting the usb as bootable and copying either the windows partition or the Recovery partition to it would allow me to boot and reinstall the OS completely? If not, I heard that you might be able to download an ISO from microsoft for a new installation, so I could try that. Just have to make sure I get the right key for my copy of windows.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:28 AM   #6
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Default

Your system came with recovery partition that contain OS,you can easily creat backup for the recovery partition,simply type: backup recovery @ the start menu search bar,it'll show you the program you can use to create the recovery on DVD,it may require up to 5 DVD plates,so... Good luck.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Drive Upgrade: Reinstalling Windows 7

Thanks for the help.
Here's what I ended up doing to solve the issue:
Downloaded an ISO of windows 7 64 bit from microsoft, mounted it with clone driver, and formatted a usb as bootable, copied the iso contents into that and booted with my new ssd and the usb plugged in. Installed like a charm, and no need for 5 dvds. Of course, still picking up missing drivers and such... But an overall success.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Drive Upgrade: Reinstalling Windows 7

you could have used this with an external drive enclosure
and cloned your current HDD to your SDD
and in theory it should have worked
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Drive Upgrade: Reinstalling Windows 7

While you are right, that would require me to download extra software, although free, get a hard drive enclosure, and I would only get a clone of the system. As I've been saying all along, I do not want a clone because 1) it's recommended to get a fresh install to max ssd performance 2) I just got this refurbished computer with a very cluttered OS which has no data I need to keep, therefore it makes sense to do a fresh install to maximize performance. The only inconvenience is picking up missing drivers, plugins, etc.
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