Question

Is this a windows 7 installation?

I'm getting ready to do a clean install. I looked up these instructions:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/installing-reinstalling-windows#1TC=windows-7

And it said to save the installation files to a disc or usb drive.

Well, I just downloaded a 3.1GB file off of softonic that claimed to be Windows 7. After extracting it with 7zip, this is what the folder looks like.

http://s22.postimg.org/d0hfbrz2p/OS_Folder.jpg

Is this what they were talking about? Is this what I'm supposed to save to a USB drive?

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Comments
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Clarification Request
Let's backtrack a bit. Is that Softonic an .ISO file?

Then one does not simply unzip it. One creates a bootable DVD with it just like we do with all Windows ISO files.

If you unzip it, then it's very un-useful.

Also, what is this about the USB stick? That's not supported, not supportable and I fear no one will tell you it will work.

-> Get back to me what this download was.

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Yes, it was an ISO file.

So, do I just burnt he unzipped ISO file to a disk or USB drive?

Also, I read from MICROSOFT THEMSELVES that a thumb drive will work just fine:

windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/installing-reinstalling-windows#1TC=windows-7

" To install Windows 7 using the Custom option and formatting the hard disk

To format your hard disk during Windows 7 installation, you'll need to start, or boot, your computer using the Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive."

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It's very very precise.
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You mention Ninite

Shouldn't I wait until AFTER I've done the clean install before I download that?

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Since you can't install the OS without a good DVD

You've walked straight into the chicken and egg or maybe a Möbius endless loop.

That is, to create the DVD from the ISO I need to use ImgBurn. So how to do that without downloading?

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I've downloaded IMG.

I've got IMG. I plan on using it to burn the ISO to a disc once I finish with my current, upcoming work project.

I have to type a 50+ page MS Word document, and it's due on October 5. I'm already way behind because of all this BS, so I just decided "screw it; I'll finish the project while in safe mode and fix my computer later."

I'll let you guys know when I'm ready to resume repairs.

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Answer
Looks like a bum one.

Why bother with Softonic? http://www.cnet.com/forums/post/33abbc28-bd26-4a51-987d-36cb2a771126/ leads us to the .ISO right from Microsoft along with how to make the DVD.

Saving those files will result in a non-bootable install key. Seems like a wasted effort.

---> Say, I see I gave you this link. Why didn't you follow some advice from members here?

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Re: Looks like a bum one

There are fifty links on that webpage you're giving me!

What? Can't you just ... give me a direct download link?

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I only gave you one link to the CNET forum.
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The link you gave me

I'm looking in the "Windows 7" section. It's inviting me to download Windows 7 using Microsoft Product Recovery. The only problem is ... that service only works for retail versions of windows, and I have a pre-installed OS.

So that doesn't cut the mustard for me. I need a download like - not an article that gives me 20 download links to choose from, but just a direct download link - that gives me a Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit ISO.

Is that so hard?

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Yes, it was an ISO file.

So, do I just burnt he unzipped ISO file to a disk or USB drive?

Also, I read from MICROSOFT THEMSELVES that a thumb drive will work just fine:

windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/installing-reinstalling-windows#1TC=windows-7

"To install Windows 7 using the Custom option and formatting the hard disk

To format your hard disk during Windows 7 installation, you'll need to start, or boot, your computer using the Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive."

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Re: burn

You don't "just" burn the file to a disk or copy it to a USB-stick. It isn't bootable then.
Your burn it "as an image" using your favorite burning program or - if you don't have one - you donwload imgburn from http://www.imgburn.com/.

I can't tell about making a bootable USB yourself.

Kees

CNET Forums