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Re-starting Windows 7 to factory settings


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#1 richierein

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:33 PM

Hi,

Something went wrong when I was removing the Windows 8 Consumer Review partition and I lost my D: partition. I tried to recover it to no avail. My backups mistakenly only contained my C: partition but not the D: partition so I am preparing to reformat my C: drive and re-install Windows 7. My default profile had previously been relocated to an external disk drive (H:) and everything there is intact. Here is my question. When Windows 7 gets re-installed on my C: drive with both the C: and D: partitions, will it be possible to restore my applications from my C: partition backup or will it be necessary to download all of them again? At present the applications are on my C: partition but H:\users\richard\appdata is not.

Richie

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#2 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:56 AM

Actually, I think that you'll have to download and install them again - because you re-install Windows, everything is fresh and anew. The isssue is that many apps when they are installed, store some of settings and some other stuff in the Windows' Registry as keys and values. So when you just transfer the apps from one location to another and try to start them - fact is, most of them won't because they will look in the registry and when they see that there's nothing, they'll just simply refuse to start in one way or another.
However, this won't be the case if the app(s) is portable - which I think is not what you have here, so let's just ignore that.

If you have the setup files for all of them, you can just install them from there or will have to download all of them again.

BTW, next time you install an OS for testing purposes, try a different method, like for Windows 8, you could just make a VHD(Virtual Hard Drive) from Windows 7 and then install it there. The Release Preview for Windows 8 is out so - Seamlessly dual-boot Windows 8 and Windows 7.

Hope that helps. :)
SYSTEM SPECS.
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz | 4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz RAM | 488 GB WD SATA HDD | 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 | No real-time antivirus | MBAM on-demand | Windows 7's Built-in Firewall |

#3 richierein

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:58 AM

Thanks for your reply. I had a feeling that a complete re-installation of the applications would be necessary. This makes my job much larger since I have many applications. Interestingly enough, I have had no problems running the system without the D: partition but a system restore would probably be impossible without loading everything again.

Edited by richierein, 08 June 2012 - 12:59 AM.


#4 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:17 AM

Thanks for your reply. I had a feeling that a complete re-installation of the applications would be necessary. This makes my job much larger since I have many applications. Interestingly enough, I have had no problems running the system without the D: partition but a system restore would probably be impossible without loading everything again.

By a backup, if you meant that you had a complete partition image made by a disk imaging backup software like Acronis, then you can indeed restore all your apps and settings and everything else - but from what I understand, that is not the case.

Not having the D: partition won't matter since your Windows 7 is installed in C:(no?), so your system keeps running. To install all your apps - I think it's better to make it automated by using an app like AllMyApps or Ninite. Both are good, but I like Ninite better - if ninite has all(or most of the apps) that you want, just download and start it up and go have a cup of coffee(or something else, perhaps?). It'll do all the hard work for you.
AllMyApps has a lot more apps so you might want to check that out too.

Hope it helps.

Edited by Alvas Rawuther, 08 June 2012 - 01:17 AM.

SYSTEM SPECS.
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz | 4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz RAM | 488 GB WD SATA HDD | 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 | No real-time antivirus | MBAM on-demand | Windows 7's Built-in Firewall |

#5 richierein

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 08:58 PM

My system in running fine without an operating D: partition. It got clobbered when I tried to delete the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Is the D: partition vital to running Windows 7? What is it for? What does it do? My D: partition is now 58.92gb which is the sum of the previous D: partition and the 50gb Windows 8 partition. The D: partition appears to be empty. Attached are screenshots of both Disk Management and Open Computer. Can I continue to run a successful Windows 7 system without an operating D: partition? What is the downside of not having an operating D: partition? I was preparing to re-initialize to factory settings, installing and downloading all of my applications again. Is it necessary? When I boot the system, it still asks for Windows 7 or Windows 8 even though the Windows 8 boot was removed.

I have the Windows 7 Upgrade DVD I used to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 last year. It was that special upgrade deal for 3 CPUs for $150. If I decide to start the system all over, can I use this DVD to go from Windows 7 to factory settings for a new Windows 7 system?

Richie

Edited by richierein, 09 June 2012 - 09:10 PM.


#6 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:50 AM

From what I can see here, the C: partition is where your OS - that is Windows 7 - is installed. So, whatever you do with D: partition, it won't make a difference in running the OS. Because the OS is installed only and only in C:, D: is not vital to running Windows 7. It's C: that matters, since you know, that's where it's installed. So it is not necessary to re-install your OS, since the C: partition(where Windows 7 is) is intact, unless you screwed it all up.

..without an operating D: partition...

What do you mean by that? Is your partition not working properly? Can't you copy/move/read files on it? In your device manager, it shows healthy, so it most probably is.

I have the Windows 7 Upgrade DVD I used to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 last year. It was that special upgrade deal for 3 CPUs for $150. If I decide to start the system all over, can I use this DVD to go from Windows 7 to factory settings for a new Windows 7 system?

Yes, you can do a clean install of Windows 7 using the upgrade disc. But I've read that there can be problems later on during activation. But there's a workaround. After installation, do this:

Installing to a Fresh Drive
Step 1 - Access & Edit the Registry
Posted Image
A true geek has never been intimidated by the registry, but lets face it, it's a mess in there. To access the registry you will first need to open up the start menu and type "regedit" into the search field, followed by enter. To find the proverbial needle in this haystack, you will need to navigate through the tabs listed on the left in the following order:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/ . If you don't like doing it the hard way just click Edit then Find and type MediaBootInstall into the search field, and press enter.

Once found, double click MediaBootInstall and change the "1" to a "0". Once you have finished this, simply click Ok and close out the Registry Editor.

Step 2 - Re-Arm The Activation

Posted Image
Before we try to activate our copy of Windows, we need to reset or "Re-Arm" the activation sequence. To do this, simply open up the start menu and type cmd but instead of just pressing enter, you need to press "Ctrl" + "Shift" + "Enter" to run it as an administrator. You can also accomplish this by clicking the start menu, typing cmd into the search box, then right clicking the command prompt application and selecting Run as administrator.

Once the command prompt appears type slmgr -rearm and press enter. Next simply type Exit and hit enter again, after which it will ask you to restart your machine.

It’s worth mentioning that this tip will allow you to reset the 30-day activation period for new installs. On Vista it worked 3 times before refusing to add any more time, but the RTM of Windows 7 hasn’t been out long enough for us to re-test the feature. I expect it would be much the same and it allows you to make sure your system is 100% stable before using up an activation.

Step 3 - Activate Windows
Posted Image
The final step is to simply bring up the start menu, type "Activate Windows", then follow the prompts to success. This is a known working solution to perform a fresh install using upgrade media, but let me warn you now, it may eventually get patched out. With this in mind, it’s probably best to make sure activating is the first thing you do before you hit up Windows Update if you're trying this on SP1 or SP2.

Source: Maximum PC


Hope that helps. :)

Edited by Alvas Rawuther, 10 June 2012 - 10:14 AM.

SYSTEM SPECS.
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz | 4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz RAM | 488 GB WD SATA HDD | 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 | No real-time antivirus | MBAM on-demand | Windows 7's Built-in Firewall |




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