Reinstalling windows 7 on a laptop that came with preinstalled windows

I bought my Dell XPS a couple of years ago, and it came with a preinstalled version of Windows 7 64-bit. I would now like to format and perform a fresh install of the same Windows version.

I already have a Windows 7 64-bit installation disk (tested on an old server machine, and it works), I've written down the Product ID (found in Computer->Properties->Windows activation), which looks like xxxxx-OEM-xxxxxxx-xxxxx, and also, using a few different 3rd party programs Magic Jelly Bean, ProduKey, Belarc), I've found my Product Key, which looks like xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.

Will these two be sufficient to activate my Windows after I format my computer? Do I need to first deactivate it somewhere  before formatting to free up the licence?

 

Question Info


Last updated November 9, 2018 Views 24,637 Applies to:
Answer

Hi,

You should also have a Recovery Partition to reinstall the OS from;

Dell – Press F8 at Boot which will bring up Advanced Boot Options                       http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/19/KCS/KcsArticles/ArticleView?docid=DSN_362066

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If your Operating System came pre-installed on your Laptop Dell, HP, etc), Product Key Finder Programs will not find a useable Product Key that works for reinstallation purposes.

On a machine with a pre-installed Operating System (Dell, HP, etc) they only find the Product Key that was used on multiple machine at the factory during manufacture.

PKF Programs are only useful for reinstallation purposes for Retail or OEM System Builders Product Keys Operating System Licenses and Office, etc

The COA sticker with the correct Product Key to reinstall from an ISO file is either on the underside of the Laptop or in the Battery Compartment.

With a Desktop it is either on the side, rear or top of the Computer Case.

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You don't tell us where you got the DVD from.

This is the normal reinstall methods we use:

How to make your own Recovery Disk/s from the Manufacturer’s Recovery Partition

Dell:

http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/19/kcs/kcsarticles/articleview?docid=266282

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Order Recovery disks;

Dell USA:

https://www.dell.com/support/diagnostics/us/en/19/nondiagnostichome

If in another Country, contact Dell Tech Support in your Country.

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Or download the correct ISO file and make your own disk and use the Product Key that is on the COA Sticker.

http://www.w7forums.com/threads/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-image-downloads.12325/page-2#post-124821

And here are instructions on how to burn ISO images to disk:

http://www.snapfiles.com/get/ISORecorder.html

Then do a clean install:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1649-clean-install-windows-7-a.html

Using the downloaded ISO file Method may require phone Activation.

If it does require phone Activation, do not follow the Auto Prompts, but hold on for a real person to explain to as to what has been done for re-installation purposes

"How to Activate Windows 7 by Phone"

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/18715-activate-windows-7-phone.html

The above method also will require you to go to your Computer Manufacturer's website > Support and Downloads Section > locate your Model Number and Operating System > then download and install the latest Drivers for it.

 

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Using the USB method in conjunction with the above Windows 7 download:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/2432-usb-windows-7-installation-key-drive-create.html

"How to Get and Use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool"

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/31541-windows-7-usb-dvd-download-tool.html

Cheers

p.s. Using the Dell Recovery methods (their Recovery partition, their Recovery disk) does not normally require you to supply a Product Key during the Installation Process as the Recovery Process uses the Factory Installation Product Key to automatically Activate during the reinstallation processsing

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Bill Smithers - Microsoft MVP July 2013 - June 2019

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Answer

I got my DVD from a link provided by a moderator on this forum (it was a msft.digitalrivercontent.net link).

I have already created a full System Backup (using the windows backup and recovery tool) on an external drive in case something goes wrong, and am currently in the process of backing up my personal data as well as all the basic driver.

I have located the COA Sticker on the bottom side of my laptop, so I hopefully now have the proper Product Key.

Thank you for the help!

You are welcome.

As you have the digitalriver ISO download on DVD do it this way:

How to do a clean install; and yes, use the Product Key on the COA Sticker you did find with the Method you chose for reinstall:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1649-clean-install-windows-7-a.html

Using the downloaded ISO file Method may require phone Activation.

If it does require phone Activation, do not follow the Auto Prompts, but hold on for a real person to explain to as to what has been done for re-installation purposes

"How to Activate Windows 7 by Phone"

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/18715-activate-windows-7-phone.html

The above method also will require you to go to your Computer Manufacturer's website > Support and Downloads Section > locate your Model Number and Operating System > then download and install the latest Drivers for it.

Dell:

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/ProductSelector

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You have the right idea as you want an uncluttered install without Dell's extra software.

But some of that software is useful though.

Cheers

___________________________________________________

Bill Smithers - Microsoft MVP July 2013 - June 2019

2 people were helped by this reply

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