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Windows 7 Thread, Format without losing the operating system? in Technical; ...
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    Garacesh's Avatar
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    Format without losing the operating system?

    Okay, so granted this is more personal than educational, but is it possible?

    The Windows I have was installed by my mothers Fiancé (as he runs a computing business. Always good to have connections.) so obviously I don't have easy access to the disk as she lives a ma-hoosive trek away and I don't drive yet xD
    I want to give my system an overhaul, I format on a yearly basis (ish, give or take) usually just to get rid of all the crap I don't need (files I didn't delete, software I didn't uninstall, edited registries for programs that no longer exist..)

    The license key IS valid, though. If a 'return-to-default install' option isn't available, can I write that key down, download an installer onto a memory stick/cd/other media, full format/reinstall and use the same key without Windows being all "LOLNOPE!"?

    Usually I have the disk, but I haven't actually installed Win7 (legitly) yet. And I never bothered with Vista. And I certainly don't want to go back to XP.

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    The key will be on the license sticker. If it's not then i doubt the install is legit.
    If there is a particular problem with the PC i'd try to adress that rather than a format each year out of habbit.

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    Garacesh's Avatar
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    There's no sticker - the entire PC's a custom build. There's no specific problems per-se, it's just for a cleanout really. Get rid of anything I don't need/use, clean up the registry, etc. I'm positive the install's legit, I just don't have the disk.

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    There's no sticker - the entire PC's a custom build. There's no specific problems per-se, it's just for a cleanout really. Get rid of anything I don't need/use, clean up the registry, etc. I'm positive the install's legit, I just don't have the disk.
    Custom build PCs still have the sticker

    Backup and reinstall! Safest way

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    I'm trying to think of a way the PC has a legit key without a sticker. Even a PC using a VLK has to have a Windows sticker of some sort.

    What happens if you reinstall Windows but find it's a dodgy copy ?

    I'd uninstall the stuff you don't use and forget the registry.

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    Garacesh's Avatar
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    Mine doesn't xD Purchased all the pieces individually and assembled it at home. HDD was blank, never actually bought a copy of Windows 7.
    Unless my mothers fiance ought to have given me a sticker? I guess maybe he didn't since I'm not really a 'client'?

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    Lol seriously if it was legit, it would have a sticker. MS do not beat around the bush with their OS and stickers, they love them more than charging for the OS itself...

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    Garacesh's Avatar
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    So he ought to have whapped a sticker on the case when he installed Windows for me?

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    Very strange to buy a copy if he did, but then not stick the sticker on.

    Doesn't matter if you're a client or not, any machine that has Windows installed on it needs a sticker.

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    Valyyn's Avatar
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    I built my machine myself with parts (bought the case etc) and I didn't bother sticking the sticker on my case - my Windows 7 key is in the box it came in with the CD! If I'd stuck it on to the case then it'd be a bit annoying if I ever bought a new case! It could be legit, but the guy, like me, just installed it and left the key in the box.

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    @Valyyn, that's something you've chosen to do, and if MS ever came knocking you could prove you have a key.

    @Garacesh , perhaps a phone call will confirm the legitimacy of your install. Then you can copy the key and reinstall if you require.

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valyyn View Post
    I built my machine myself with parts (bought the case etc) and I didn't bother sticking the sticker on my case - my Windows 7 key is in the box it came in with the CD! If I'd stuck it on to the case then it'd be a bit annoying if I ever bought a new case! It could be legit, but the guy, like me, just installed it and left the key in the box.
    But it still came with a sticker....

    The whole point behind this is, if its a legit copy of Windows, somewhere in the boxes of stuff is a Windows OEM CD with a licence key. Without the licence key there is no way that the copy is legitimate.

    I don't stick mine on either, it makes a mess when you get a new case or change Windows versions but it is still in my box

    I don't like mess.

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    If you're running Win7 there's no need to reinstall every year. It's not win98. Just run CCleaner to clear up the registry and clear temp files and you should be good to go.

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    I wouldn't even clean the registry in Windows 7.

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    If the person installing it initially is IT savvy, can you check if they created a restore point?

    Once my OS is working exactly how I want, and before installing any apps, I would always create the restore point to roll back to



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