Fresh Windows 7 Install

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By Greg Carmack. MS MVP 2010-2016 Expert - Consumer. This is the continuation of my tutorial hosted elsewhere with 1.7 million views on the web. I wish to have it hosted at MS Community now. It will be transferred to a Wiki soon. A clean reinstall is often better than getting a new computer since most PC's come larded with sponsors' bloatware and duplicate utilities that interfere with much better versions built into Windows 7.

Confirm the Partition Deletion

For this reason most tech enthusiasts clean reinstall using the Product Key on the COA sticker affixed to machine.

This guide compiles everything that works best in tens of thousands of installs we've directly helped with here.

Please read over all steps to be sure you understand them before beginning. Ask back any questions in the Comments section below. For example, it is important enough to understand exactly how drivers are handled in the first mostly driver-complete OS that these steps are printed in red.

To save pages of space I provideblue links to illustrated tutorials instead of illustrating them in-line.

  • You can open these in a new tab using your middle mouse button (scroll wheel) or from the right-click context menu.

  • Find the right Windows 7 .iso . Microsoft has taken down the Digital River ISO download servers and are only providing ISO's to retail customers.

  • This leaves those who bought a PC with Win7 at the mercy of OEM Tech Support who except for Dell rarely will provide clean Reinstallation media, to borrow a retail copy, or search for a torrent download which can be risky if not checked for add-ins.

  • If you have a retail copy of Windows 7, then you could try to download an ISO directly from Microsoft at the link below.

  • Backup your user data . If your files are not organized now is the time to sort them into the User folders for your named User account.▶ Windows 7 - How to Drag and Drop to Move a Folder - YouTube.

  • For unbootable Windows copy data to another HD or USB device using the Windows 7 disk toCopy & Paste in Windows Recovery Console, freeParagon rescue disk, ora Linux boot disk.

  • Install the Windows 7 .iso . Recover your user files . Useful tips for Dell re-installation plus access to their forums to resolve questions can be found at Dell Community .

Wait for Windows 7 Setup to Begin

The Dell Reinstallation DVD has only activation and a Dell logo added and can be used as long as it is labeled to include SP1.

Special Note for Sony Vaio Owners:. Software which enables F-key functions and illumination must be reinstalled from the Sony Support Downloads webpage in the order as shown here:Function keys don't work after clean install - Windows 7 Forums .

Special Note for Samsung Owners: . Software which enables F-key functions and illumination may be labeled Easy Display Manager.

Special Note to Acer Owners . There is anOEM Preload folder hidden in the C:/ drive that holds all the pre-loaded software, including the eRecovery software.

Wait for Windows 7 Setup to Begin Again

Special Note for Lenovo Owners. The only OEM software I've found to be valuable is Power Management's features to preserve battery by maintaining a lesser charge when plugged in, and fan reversal to clean out dust.

  • Download from your model's Support Downloads webpage orPower Manager for Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), Vista (32-bit, 64-bit) - Notebook.

  • Chances are you'll need to install Windows 7 from a USB device if you have a tablet, a small laptop, or a netbook device, few of which include optical drives as standard hardware.

  • As of January 2020, Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7.

  • We recommend you upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

  • You must migrate the Windows 7 setup files onto a flash drive (or any USB-based storage) and then boot from that flash drive to get the Windows 7 installation process started. However, simply copying the files from your Windows 7 DVD to a flash drive won't work.

    You have to specially prepare the USB device and then properly copy the Windows 7 install files to it before it'll work as you expect.

  • You're in a similar, but slightly easier to solve, situation if you've purchased a Windows 7 ISO file directly from Microsoft and need that on a flash drive.

  • No matter what situation you're in, just follow the instructions below to install Windows 7 from a USB device.

  • The following tutorial applies equally to whatever edition of Windows 7 you have a disc or ISO image of: Windows 7 Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium, etc.

  • A Windows 7 ISO or DVD. Access to a computer with Windows 7, 8, 10, Vista, or XP installed and working properly, as well as with a DVD drive if you have a Windows 7 DVD.

  • A 4 GB (or larger) flash drive. The 10 Best USB Flash Drives for Easy, Reliable File Transfer. Correctly preparing a USB drive for use as an installation source for Windows 7 will take around 15 to 30 minutes depending on your computer speed and what edition of Windows 7 you have on DVD or in ISO format.

  • Start with Step 1 below if you have a Windows 7 DVD or Step 2 if you have a Windows 7 ISO image. Create an ISO image file from the Windows 7 DVD.

  • If you already know how to create ISO images, fantastic: do it, and then come back here for further instructions on what to do with it.

  • If you've never created an ISO file from a disc before, check out the tutorial linked above. It'll walk you through installing some free software and then show how to use it to make the ISO.

  • An ISO image is a single file that perfectly represents a disc—in this case, your Windows 7 installation DVD.

Next, we're going to work on properly getting that Windows 7 ISO you just created onto the flash drive.

A complete step-by-step on reinstalling Windows 7 from scratch

Download Microsoft's Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. Once downloaded, execute the file and follow the installation wizard.

This free program from Microsoft, which works in Windows 10 through Windows XP, will correctly format the USB drive and then copy the contents of your Windows 7 ISO file to the drive.

Pick the en-US.exe download for the English edition of this tool. Start the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool program, which is probably located in your Start menu or on your Start screen, as well as on your Desktop.