General Question

kyle94481's avatar

How can I cleanly install Windows 7 on a new laptop?

Asked by kyle94481 (214points) July 13th, 2010

I plan on buying this new laptop soon –

From the reviews on how there is tons of bloatware and other preinstalled crap from Acer, I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction to a guide on how to get a clean install of Windows 7 Premium (Or this version’s equivalent). Also, when you purchase the laptop, it comes shipped without any discs from Microsoft. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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12 Answers

BhacSsylan's avatar

According to newegg, you won’t get any Windows 7 CD to use, and you have to pay even to get a recovery disk, which you won’t want, because it will simply reinstall the bloatware. So, you’ll need to get a Windows 7 disk from somewhere. You can torrent it (not a cracked version! Illegal, of course, but also you have no need of it, as you legally own a windows licence with this computer. You should be able to find a whole version), or if you know a friend with the CDs.

From there, reinstall is easy. Insert disk, press ‘del’ or ‘F12’ during startup (if these don’t work watch your screen carefully, it should say during startup), and change the boot order to put the disk first. Reboot, and it should funnel you right into the steps for reinstall.

kyle94481's avatar

So, I should just get a torrented version of Windows 7, burn the iso to a dvd, and then perform an install onto the laptop? This is only legal because I own the disc. It’s the same way with games and other software, am I correct?

wgallios's avatar

@kyle94481 I’m not sure on the legality, but I would presume if you downloaded a torrented copy (that was the same version as the key you have – Example Windows 7 Ultimate OEM) then there shouldn’t be any issues since you do legally own the license. However I could be completely wrong on that as I am not an attorney and have not throughly read the EULA.

The only downside I see to that is is the potential other crap that you could download with the torrented copy (viruses etc).

But do note, if you have an OEM key, which you probably do if it came with the laptop, that key is specific to that hardware (specifically the motherboard) so you might run into trouble attempting to install a non OEM version or other type of OEM version (if it is an OEM SLP key for example). If you have a retail key however you should have a much easier time.

Also, there is always Ubuntu =p

BhacSsylan's avatar

I believe it is legal for the fact that you don’t buy the software, you buy the licence to use it, and so you aren’t doing anything illegal to get the .iso. I’m not sure about other software, because it depends on the license agreement, but it’s probably the same, especially with those with a license key.

However, as @wgallios says, be sure you torrent the correct version or you may be in for a headache.Otherwise, you have the right idea.

jaytkay's avatar

No, no, do not get a torrent of Windows 7.

Even it it’s not virus-infested, it would be unlikely to activate, so Microsoft Update will not work and it will shut down after a few weeks.

Re: Bloatware – You can delete whatever you don’t want via the normal Programs and Features control panel.

Re: Recovery disk – The machine includes Acer eRecovery Management software which will burn the disk for you.

I’m having trouble linking to the PDF but if you Google “Acer eRecovery Management” you can find the eRecovery Management User Guide

BhacSsylan's avatar

a) if you get the proper version that is not cracked you can activate just fine. The problems with windows update would be the result of a cracked version, which would be illegal. there may be a better way to get a windows disk, but I don’t know it.

b) not all bloatware is so easy to get rid of, like browser plugins and the like, and can be a great hassle. Also, many programs, especially those labelled ‘bloatware’ will permanently affect your computer, such as through registry entries which will slow down your computer until you reformat.

c) again, the recovery disk will probably reinstall the bloatware , and so be a waste of time.

jaytkay's avatar


If a person doesn’t know how to remove a browser plug-in, he’s not a good candidate for handling pirated Windows install disks.

The commercial anti-virus programs sometimes need a special removal program, which they provide. And Symantec/McAffee/whatever is the first thing I would remove.

The free anti-virus programs (Micorosft, Avira, AVG) work as well and faster.

If you know any other specific programs which permanently slow down your computer until you reformat, you could mention them here.

c) After customizing, the Acer eRecovery program will create a full backup, minus whatever bloatware you deleted.

As @wgallios pointed out, retail disks don’t usually work with a pre-purchased OEM product keys. Your pirated disk would probably not install anyway.

I understand the desire to do a clean install. I do it all the time with my desktops, which I assembled myself.

But I wouldn’t bother with pre-installed Windows. There really is no advantage and a lot of potential headaches (unless you go ahead and buy a retail disk).

kyle94481's avatar

Well I guess I could just use revo unistaller to get rid of some of the crap. I’ll look into the acer program that comes included that was mentioned earlier.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@jaytkay Well, i suppose that is true as far as the browser plugins, but many programs do leave registry entries after uninstall, and these can cause a slowdown. And of course registry ‘doctors’ are completely useless.

And yes, they do give those removal programs, but they don’t always work. I wrestled with a norton firewall for over a week before finally killing it. A good reason to never pay money for antivirus programs.

And yes, acer recovery will help (as would just the Windows 7 restore disk program, though I admit I haven’t tested it yet), but again you have to get it to that state, which would require quite a few uninstalls as well as just general cleanup, such as removing start menu items which can be left by bad uninstallers and are simply annoying. And again, you’ll be left with extraneous registry entries, which will appear every time you restore to that state. I prefer a clean wipe.

However, I will agree that it simply will not be easy, and I cannot guarantee that the torrented version would work for a variety of reasons, OEM issues and viruses foremost. I don’t mind that sort of headache myself, I legitimately enjoy messing around with my stuff, but I won’t pretend that that’s at all normal. So, if you don’t feel like potentially taking a week to get your computer pristine, @jaytkay probably has the better idea. Sorry to have mislead you.

kyle94481's avatar

@BhacSsylan I too don’t mind getting my hands dirty when messing with computers. It takes the fun out of it when everything is automatic! I’ll do some more research into this, but until then, thanks to everyone who helped.

jaytkay's avatar

If you do go with the fresh install, the factory recovery files are on a separate hidden partition. You might want to leave that intact or make the recovery DVD first.

Then you preserve the option of going back to the factory install.

jerv's avatar

I generally find it FAR easier to just uninstall the bloatware (which is sometimes an adventure in and of itself) and back it up in that state. Of course, buying a full retail copy of Windows is easier, but not nearly as cost-effective.

OEM license keys generally don’t work with non-OEM Windows discs/ISOs, and may run into legal issues. I’d rather deal with hardware or software issues than deal with that crap.

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