Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Replace Your Lost Windows 7 DVD

This happens from time to time.  You have a computer with Windows 7 and it got all confused, maybe even you got a virus.  You now need to reload it from scratch.   Going for a hunt through the house, you managed to lose all of your stuff that came from the manufacturer when you bought the machine a year or three ago.

You could be like me, getting a computer either second hand or from an auction and it comes "With No Operating System".

So how do you get the discs legally?

First of all, on your machine somewhere you have a sticker.  It's a little blue sticker with a lot of weird writing on it and generally looks like this picture below:

If you or your 5 year old peeled that sticker off and it is lost, you're done.  Go buy a new copy somewhere.

After all, I *AM* talking about getting the discs legally.

The first line of text on the sticker will tell you what you are entitled to for the computer.  In the case of the sticker above it says "Windows 7 Pro OEM".  That's short for Windows 7 Professional.  My own machine is Windows 7 Home Prem - short for "Premium".

The "Product Key" with the jibberish after are five sets of five characters separated by dashes.   You need that "Number" for your install.

Next, Surf this page.  If the page is gone, you'll have to do a search for it elsewhere, I can't help you past that.   If this page is quite old, you may not be able to find your discs, so if you need them, you want to do this now.

In fact, if you have a Windows 7 computer, go grab the discs you are legally entitled to and download them now.  You may need it years in the future, you may never need it.  Blank DVDs are cheap, Psychiatry is expensive, you choose.

Now determine which version of Windows 7 you need and find the link.   The link is what is called an "ISO" file, and that will be a large image. 

Make sure your computer has at least 4 GB of empty space.  Click Start, My Computer or Computer, then look  for your "C:".   Windows 7 will tell you how much free space you have there.

Download the link that best describes the version of Windows 7 you need.  That was that first line on the sticker.

Wait for the file to download.   Should take a while... Go make some snacks or a mug of coffee, I'll be here when you get back.

There you go.  Now, the file is there.   You'll have a large ISO file that you will need to burn using your favorite CD Burning software.   If you never have done that, I suggest this software called CD Burner XP.   It's free, and works pretty well.

Once you have your disc ready and downloaded and burned... have fun.   Like I said, this is the legal way to do it.  If you're a Pirate, you are looking at the wrong blog.  Sorry there folks...

One suggestion.   Go to the website for your computer.  Find the support and downloads page and download all the drivers you will need for Windows 7.  Place them on their own DVD/CD.  You don't necessarily want to use a Memory Stick since you may not be able to use it on the machine once you installed Windows.   I had that happen before and ended up burning the disc afterwords in frustration.   My own experience is that you need the minimum of the following list just to get you to the point where the computer is able to get to the internet to get the rest:

Wifi or Ethernet Network Drivers
Video Drivers
USB Drivers

You may need others like Sound and other special drivers, but once you can get to the internet you can go back and download those at will.   If you have a genuine Windows 7 computer, you will have no problem since most of the drivers are either included on the DVD or are available from Microsoft or the Manufacturer once you are running.

Good luck!

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