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Formatting Your PC: What To Do Without A Disc?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management, System Tune-Up Help

Bette from TX writes:

Just read your article on formatting your PC. What if you don’t have a Windows disc?

There are a few options if you’ve misplaced or don’t have a Windows installation DVD.

1.) Find someone with a Vista or 7 disc and make a copy of it. Microsoft licenses the installation, not the physical media, so the CD key sticker usually found on bottom or side of your computer gives you the right to install the operating system on the computer. A copy of the installation DVD will do just fine.

2.) Download an ISO file of the operating system. These can be tricky to find, as many contain illegal hacks or modifications, but if you’re able to locate a downloadable ISO file you can use software such as CdBurnerXP or imgburn to burn it onto a blank DVD and create an installation disk.

3.) Download files & use instructions to create a new install disk from Dell. If you’re a Dell owner, they provides a very helpful guide to downloading and creating Windows Vista installation disks.  You can access this guide here.


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4 Responses to “Formatting Your PC: What To Do Without A Disc?”

  1. robertpri says:

    I agree with everything listed, but would recommend option #1. There are many key finders online. Can any of them find one’s license installation key in the Registry, or does it even exist?

  2. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    This tip should be useful to many, considering the huge number of installations among computer users.Will it be useful in pre-installed computers too?

    Thanks Tim!

  3. gene jacobson says:

    Many pc’s come with Win7 pre-installed with a C: and a factory image D: It would be helpful to know how to use that factory image to restore C: to its original state or how to burn a copy of that factory image to a disk which could be used to reinstall win7 to its original state on C: There are never instructions on how to do that with a new pc, which makes the factory image less than useful. I’d like to see a description of how to do this in a future newsletter or explanation of what that D: is for if it can’t be used to return C: to its original state.

  4. J.S. Willson says:

    Would be very helpful if I understood what all the iinitials are. What I need is a glossary. Do you provide one?

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