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Windows 7 reformat without a cd key

by Sogekihei / August 16, 2010 12:42 PM PDT

So my friend wants to reformat his computer because he is planning to return it to Costco. He has a HP netbook with windows start. I'm guessing that his computer comes with a program that lets him make a windows cd. But if there isn't, does anyone know another way to reformat his computer

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Why not just wipe the drive?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 16, 2010 7:28 PM PDT

No need to get it working as it's a return. Just research DBAN and use this machine to learn about that.

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DBAN message
by NotGeeky / November 18, 2012 8:58 PM PST

I just downloaded DBAN onto a cd and it won't run. It formatted onto the disc but only the instructions run in text.
The program itself will not run. And I'm not the first one I heard this happening to either. Any suggestions.
Oh I ran another program

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by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 18, 2012 9:04 PM PST
In reply to: DBAN message

Not clear what you did, but probably you did it wrong.
Things that aren't clear:
"downloaded onto a CD"
"formatted onto the disc"
"the instructions run in text"
"I ran another program"

Since you ran another program, I suppose you don't need to run DBAN anymore. So your problem is solved?

Just in case it isn't: did you use IMGBURN to burn it to a disk?


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by NotGeeky / November 18, 2012 9:22 PM PST
In reply to: RE: DBAN

I'll try that way next and get back to you, thanks for the reply aand I will keep in touch. Thanks again.

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by NotGeeky / November 18, 2012 9:30 PM PST
In reply to: DBAN message

Ok Kees, do me a favor, walk me through this step by step please, I'm not really into this crap and been playing with it for a couple days now. I downloaded a virus and want to wipe the drive, went on youtube and several people recommended using DBAN, so i followed the instructions and put it onto a DVD-R 4X. the only thing that came up was the written instructions, not the program itself. what I did wrong, I have no idea. Now that other way you said to do it, wasn't the way that came when I downloaded it, but if you could walk me through that, i'll try that way....... Thanks.....

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by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 18, 2012 9:34 PM PST
In reply to: DBAN

Assuming you downloaded a .iso file (I can't check, because you didn't tell what you downloaded), just download and install IMGBURN (free) and burn that file (also called an 'image' to a CD or DVD disk. Then boot from that disk.

But I doubt if it's necessary. With a wiped drive, you can't do anything except reinstalling the OS. But that reinstall will offer you to format the drive, and that's just what you need. No need to wipe it with DBAN.


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This is F**n Nuts.
by NotGeeky / November 18, 2012 10:21 PM PST
In reply to: Re: DBAN

OK all I did was follow the instructions, and thats what I got. Ok you want to burn IMGBURN. Now will that wipe the drive clean, and do I really need the Win 7 OS disc to restart the system when it does cleaning the drive, because I don't have it.

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Can restore to factory using HP's PC Recovery ...
by Edward ODaniel / August 20, 2010 3:34 AM PDT

To determine if the HP Recovery Manager is operational, press the power switch to turn on the computer, and then repeatedly press f11 during the startup. The computer will display a prompt to either recover the operating system or create a set of recovery discs if the Recovery Manager is operational which does not require the purchase of a replacement recovery disc.

Using HP Backup and Recovery Manager (in Vista)

Using the PC Recovery Solution (in XP)

Using HP Recovery Manager in Windows 7

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Wipe & Restore
by NotGeeky / November 18, 2012 9:34 PM PST

But Ed, how do wipe the drive without the disc, Microsoft says you need the the OS Disc before you could wipe the drive, it's a little confusing to me.....

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That's confusing.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 18, 2012 10:06 PM PST
In reply to: Wipe & Restore

Where does Microsoft say that? And if you don't have an OS disk, what would you do with a PC with a wiped disk? A wipe disked doesn't have an OS anymore, so you can do nothing with it any more.


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On Live Chat
by NotGeeky / November 18, 2012 10:27 PM PST
In reply to: That's confusing.

Thats what the girl Tech from Microsoft said on the "Live Chat" Line. OK so I do need the OS Disc. I thought there was a part inside that keeps the OS in there, no matter what you do from the outside. I'm telling you I know nothing about this crap. But now I do. Well Part B to this was I asked her what were to happen if I started the drive back up using a OS XP disc from my desktop, and she said it would tell it's the wrong disc.
So my new question is, if I wipe the drive clean and theres no more of anything left behind, how would the machine no it's the wrong Dsic (XP) ???

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Re: disc
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 19, 2012 2:42 AM PST
In reply to: On Live Chat

After wiping the hard disk you need an OS disk, that's for sure.

But it could very well be (depending on make and model of your PC) that there is something called a 'recovery partition' on the hard disk and a function key to boot from that partituon to make the 'normal partition' (your c:-drive) exactly as it was when this PC was totally new (it's sometimes called a 'restore to factory conditions' or a 'factory restore'). For a Dell, for example, it's usually ctrl-F11 very early during the boot to do that recovery.

And there's the possibility that could (or even still can) that disks yourself. Microsoft doesn't know this, because it isn't standard Windows. It should be in the user manual or the manufacturers customers service can tell you.

But after wiping none of the two work, because the whole disk is wiped, not only your c:-partition. That's why I only advice wiping if it's really, really necessary (and that's only if you want to install XP on a machine that used to be Vista of 7.

But installing XP on a formerly Vista or 7 laptop is a difficult trick. If, for example, you don't have the right (XP) drivers for the wireless there's no wireless connection. And without the right motherboard drivers you risk the USB not working or not being able to hibernate. So before you do that, find all necessary drivers for your laptop for XP and be sure it's supported by the manufacturer.
Another important detail is that an OEM disk for your laptop isn't 'valid' for your laptop, so you must buy a new license. And it's quite well possible that it refuses to be installed, because it recognises it's a different machine.

So your best bet might be to buy the recovery disks if there's no other option.


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by NotGeeky / November 19, 2012 9:25 PM PST
In reply to: Re: disc

Now thats lot more understandable. So basically I need the original Win 7 Disc and the Recovery Discs from HP. Will I need anything else, virus protection, etc...I already have MS Essentials, which i really don't know what the Hell that does if these viruses get through. Or it catches them right after they already get through, and by that time it's a little to late at least in this case.....
I was watching this guy on YouTube, he had Reformatted his "XP". And before and after he ran like three different virus scan products, and what one didn't pick up, the other did. And after all of that, he still wasn't able to get all of them. But the number did go from the thousands to about 2 & 7.
How many dam virus protection systems do you need for these dam things and how do you know which one to get and which is better than the next. Your Brain needs a computer just to remember what the Hell your doing. His video was about, I think 23 min. I was taking notes as I watched him.
But by min 9, my brain was fried again. I just watched the rest of it and saved it to my favorites so I could go back to it. Thats why I said to you, I need someone with patients, to walk me through this crap.
My Comp guy I think is MIA, his phone is either down from the storm, just down, or he's swamped with work. the guy is excellent. I just give him my problem one day, go back the next, pay, which of course I hate, but you know what, sometimes you just have to because as you could see, I've been dealing with this since the 15th, and still no where to being even starting except making constant wrong moves.
Listen, I really appreciate your time dealing with mess with me, and never take it for granted.
Thanks Again Kees and to Ed ODaniel. I always love to learn new things, but this is a little challenging for me. So many things to do, and once, in my case, get started by time you it, the day is shot....

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Small correction.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 20, 2012 3:01 AM PST
In reply to: OK

The HP Recovery discs are comprehensive. It contains Windows also. So there is no need for a separate Windows disc.


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By using the manufacturer's ...
by Edward ODaniel / November 19, 2012 12:48 PM PST
In reply to: Wipe & Restore

recovery partition and program you have no need to "wipe" or "Format" or "partition" or anything else because that is what the image the recovery program does.

The system is restored to factory condition and all personal data files as well as updates and programs installed by the user are eliminated.

Since a hard drive is storage think of it as a dresser drawer. When you got the dresser new it had nothing in the drawer. Over time you added some clothing and removed some clothing (on a hard drive that would equate to adding data files and applications and uninstalling some of them you didn't like).

If the dresser had a manual that told you that to restore the drawer to factory condition you should:
1. remove the drawer from the dresser and while holding the drawer over a trash bin
2. turn the drawer upside down and shake it vigorously (that would be like running the recovery program)
3. then to turn it rightside up and
4. re-insert it in the dresser (that is like rebooting the system after the recovery process)
5. I'll just bet that drawer would be EMPTY again just like when it came from the factory.

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The Dresser & Draws
by NotGeeky / November 19, 2012 9:33 PM PST

Yes Ed, I understand the concept and really appreciate your points and sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Now Dopey me,"Kees" also opened my eyes. My "HP" Notebook did not come with anything, the Original MS or OS Discs, so I'm screwed till I get them. I sat here for hours, burned about seven dvd- discs,
all for not, so far. So it's the holidays, I gave it a shot and now I have to walk away for a "Brain Break."
I know I was told not use this until it's wiped, whatever way that takes. but without the key's to the car, I'm in park and can't start the car, so to speak. So as soon as i make progress I'll let you guys know......
Till then I'll use it for simple things and that'll be it.......Happy Holidays to you and the family and Thank You.

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Did you read ...
by Edward ODaniel / November 20, 2012 2:57 PM PST
In reply to: The Dresser & Draws
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by NotGeeky / November 21, 2012 2:48 AM PST
In reply to: Did you read ...

I'm sorry Ed, I'm still dealing with this nonsense. Now I'm using the desktop "XP" and is slow as Hell. I am going to get back to this mess after the Holiday. Thanks for sticking around. I'm saving all of these replies so I could get back to you guys, God Willing, then. In the meantime, enjoy your Holiday and hope to talk to you guys after that. Take Care......

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