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hungerforpizza's avatar

Windows Vista Restore and reuseing a hard drive?

Asked by hungerforpizza (247 points ) August 11th, 2009

I know in vista there is a system restore, but that is not what i want to do. Is there a way to give me a “clean slate” like the computer was out of the box? Also is it possible to reuse the hard drive in this computer in my new computer, and if so how does one go about that? (besides just physically plugging it in)

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20 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

For a clean slate – Delete the partition, establish a new partition in its place, format the new partition (not a quick format)

To use the hard drive: Make sure the master/slave switch is properly set, if your system requires that configuration.

hungerforpizza's avatar

@pdworkin but how do i go about the partitioning?

dpworkin's avatar

The OS has a native application in Administrative Tools… Storage… Disk Management.

hungerforpizza's avatar

It doesn’t let you format C

dpworkin's avatar

Boot a partition manager from your CD ROM drive.

Do you dole out any lurve when people answer your questions?

hungerforpizza's avatar

I don’t even know what lurve is, but you have been very helpful so if it’s a good thing I’d be happy to give some

dpworkin's avatar

I was suggesting that when you like someone’s answer it’s polite to indicate it by clicking on “Great Answer”. However, it’s not necessary unless you really do find the answer interesting or useful.

hungerforpizza's avatar

Oh, that’s neat. I’ll give you one!

dpworkin's avatar

Thanks!

jeffpetersen's avatar

If you boot from the installation (Windows) disc, you can format then reinstall directly. If you plan to install the drive in a new computer, the you can download and burn a bootable disc management program. These are Linux-based “Live CDs”. I’ve used both of these and they work very well:

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/
http://partedmagic.com/

Format the drive, then pop it in the new computer.

hungerforpizza's avatar

@jeffpetersen but if i do that, wouldn’t it remove windows and install Linux? (i have no problem with linux, but i need windows)

dpworkin's avatar

Do you know how to ask the BIOS for a boot menu? If you do, you can boot your Windows installation disk directly, and it will be able to manage the partition and will reinstall a clean version of Windows. Just be sure you let it update so it is fully patched after installation.

jeffpetersen's avatar

@hungerforpizza No, these do not install Linux. Formatting the drive will indeed erase Windows though. The Live CDs only use Linux as an OS while you are booted from the CD, they run from system RAM. Once you shut down (after using it to format and/or partition the drive), and eject the CD, there is nothing left on the computer.

hungerforpizza's avatar

@jeffpetersen Ah, but then i need to purchase a copy of windows. I don’t want to spend 100 dollars!

jeffpetersen's avatar

So you don’t have a Windows install disc, but want to use the drive, with the existing license, in a new computer? Can’t be done. Even if you have a Windows OEM installation disc, this is tied to the old computer and cannot be used on a different system.

hungerforpizza's avatar

@jeffpetersen
But how would it be “tied” to the system? All the data is on the hard drive (not counting BIOS i believe) so what’s tying it to the current setup? If i can “upgrade” the system, like changing video card, upgrading RAM etc. Why couldn’t i use it in a new setup?

jeffpetersen's avatar

If the OS came with the computer at purchase it’s an OEM license. This means you can’t use the OS on any other computer. OEM licenses are very cheap, and very restricted. Once the OS is activated, it is only useable with that particular motherboard. Minor upgrades do not affect the license.

If you purchase a boxed version of Windows, you can use this on any computer, but only one computer at a time.

Here is a good rundown on the restrictions of OEM Windows licensing: http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/01/8730.ars

hungerforpizza's avatar

Oh, so the OS knows which motherboard your using hmmmmm very interesting.

dpworkin's avatar

The OS makes a hash using certain parameters, including the motherboard and if the hash doesn’t match you are SOL.

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