Factory reset Windows 7 PC without install disc (OEM)

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Jun 18, 2018
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Hi, i recently built a new Pc and I'm looking to sell my old tower. Therefore I need to reset the Pc to factory settings but when I go to "advanced recovery methods" it says: "Reinstall Windows ( requires Windows installation disc)".
I do not have the disc and have no way of getting it from the original retailer.

I have googled it and I found something about booting from a partition with the Windows ISO?


I am not sure what to do, so if i could get some help figuring out what to do that would be nice.

P.S. all the files I need are safe on another drive, so just need to factory reset
 

Eximo

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Right, but you want to keep the OS on it, otherwise it won't be useful. You can use a USB flash drive to install windows. The Windows media creation tool will download the media to your computer, you can then decide to place it on USB or a writable DVD. (You might also be able to run from the drive, been a while since I have attempted that)

To wipe the drive of all your personal files a format is recommended as a minimum, which means you wouldn't be able to keep anything on the drive. Ideally you would use a secure erase method using a third party tool. This writes random information to the drive to scramble any files. Hard drives don't tend to delete things, just forget where they are. Easily recovered with the proper tools.

Reactivation of the OS is the problem, so a license key extractor might be necessary, so you have it written down. Unless you already have it. If it doesn't activate itself, you may need to call Microsoft's activation center, the number is provided when activation attempts fail. Usually if you can convince them you have a legitimate license they might activate it for you (they'll give you a long key to enter) Last time I used the service it was 100% automated, only if activation is denied will it route you to a live person.



 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Is the old tower an OEM machine?

If so you really need the disc it came with to bring it back to factory. Booting from a partition with the Windows ISO assumes that a local copy of the disk is already on the system. Most OEMs have a recovery partition, but not the Windows ISO. They put a backup image of the base system there. You can check the manual for the computer in such a situation.

If this is a home built PC, you can just download Windows 7 and re-install it, you might use a CD key extractor to preserve the license key if it isn't on the chassis somewhere.

Worst case you can use the normal Windows 7 Home/Pro installation disk and then call Microsoft to reactivate if it doesn't. The Windows installation disc does allow for a 'fresh' install that doesn't wipe the hard drive. That would uninstall everything, but not get rid of your personal data at all.

There are tools for actually wiping a drive of all data before selling.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7
 
Jun 18, 2018
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hi as this already was a second hand pc, I do not have a disc of any kind nor do i have a disc drive in the computer.

I am just looking for a way to clean everything of the Pc so I can give it safely to someone else.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Right, but you want to keep the OS on it, otherwise it won't be useful. You can use a USB flash drive to install windows. The Windows media creation tool will download the media to your computer, you can then decide to place it on USB or a writable DVD. (You might also be able to run from the drive, been a while since I have attempted that)

To wipe the drive of all your personal files a format is recommended as a minimum, which means you wouldn't be able to keep anything on the drive. Ideally you would use a secure erase method using a third party tool. This writes random information to the drive to scramble any files. Hard drives don't tend to delete things, just forget where they are. Easily recovered with the proper tools.

Reactivation of the OS is the problem, so a license key extractor might be necessary, so you have it written down. Unless you already have it. If it doesn't activate itself, you may need to call Microsoft's activation center, the number is provided when activation attempts fail. Usually if you can convince them you have a legitimate license they might activate it for you (they'll give you a long key to enter) Last time I used the service it was 100% automated, only if activation is denied will it route you to a live person.



 
Nov 19, 2018
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We usually call Windows boot disk ,the best way to do that is to make a new one, as for the steps of booting the Windows ISO,you can Google it , or click them : https://unetbootin.github.io/
https://www.iseepassword.com/how-to-make-bootable-usb-drive.html
 

USAFRet

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