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Formatting Your PC: What To Do Without A Disc?

Bette from TX writes:

Just read your article on formatting your PC [1]. 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 [2].