Question Creating (and checking) windows install CD

Nov 11, 2018
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Hello folks.
I have a computer running Windows 7. Unfortunately the Windows install CD went missing after I had a gathering at my house.

I would like to know a foolproof way to 1. create a new install CD, 2. to have the accompanying activation code, and 3. to be sure that it works.

One main reason that Google hasn't helped, is that I didn't see mention of the activation code, and also I'm concerned about creating a disc that doesn't work.

I was much more into computers in my youth, and I have memories of faulty boot discs, burnt CDs that didn't work, trying different brands of writeable CD, and all these kind of issues. I wouldn't want to create a disc and format my drive, only for that disc to fail.

So please could someone explain (like I'm an idiot) the best way to create a new install CD, to have the activation code with it, and to be able to know 100% that it works before I do anything drastic like re-format the drive.

Thanks!
 
Nov 11, 2018
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Thanks very much for that great tip, I've managed to get the license key with Belarc.

I thought that license keys are specific/exclusive to each copy of windows, I guess I'm mistaken then? Can anyone use any license key on any copy of Windows?

Also, do you have any advice re. making sure that the ISO (which I would use something like imgburn to burn to CD) actually successfully works as a windows installer, before I format my HD?
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
I thought that license keys are specific/exclusive to each copy of windows
No. A product key is not tied to the specific DVD you purchased. It's only tied to the specific version (Starter, Home, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate) of Windows you purchased.

Also, do you have any advice re. making sure that the ISO (which I would use something like imgburn to burn to CD) actually successfully works as a windows installer, before I format my HD?
If the ISO is coming direct from Microsoft, I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work. Of course, I'd be backing up any important data (personal files, browser favorites, e-mails, etc...) from that hard drive before attempting to install Windows onto it.

-Wolf sends
 
Reactions: chickensoupexpert
Nov 11, 2018
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Thanks Wolf sends, I was thinking more along the lines of, a failure to write properly to the disc, or using a cheap brand of CD, or any other image burning issues that aren't directly related to the ISO itself.

Once it's burnt on to CD, is there any way to know that it has correctly burnt to that CD, so that I'm not taking a risk?

Is USB stick a safer option, and will BIOS give me the option to boot to the USB so that I can install a fresh windows?

Thanks
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
It's been a while since I've done anything like this, but you should be able to use a USB rather than burning the ISO to a DVD (Windows 7 ISO requires the larger space of a DVD vs a CD). It's always possible that an image burn could go wrong. I've had several issues with burning images to CDs/DVDs in the past using Imgburn, but none since I set the write speed down to 1x

If you can access the BIOS, you should be able to find out if you can set the boot priority to USB First.

-Wolf sends
 
Nov 11, 2018
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Thank you, I appreciate your help.

Lastly, and I hate to sound like I'm repeating myself, but once I've burnt an image onto DVD and/or USB stick, is there any way of testing that it is a working ISO before formatting my drive?

Or should I just make a few dvds + USB stick as backup in case one doesn't work, and cross my fingers?
 

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