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Reformatting


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#1 big_bopper180

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 11:40 AM

I'm going to be selling my current computer to my dad when I get my new one in a couple of weeks. The problem is, he wants me to reformat my computer first. The problem is that I dont recall Dell ever sending me a Window CD despite the fact that he says they always send one. Does anyone know of a way that I can do this, even if it means not having to reinstall windows?

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#2 JU$T1N

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 12:04 PM

I think your best (easiest) bet here would be to just create a boot disk
(Be it a MS-DOS / Microsoft Boot disk)

You could boot from one of these which then you could run a command such as FORMAT c:

Try Microsoft.com and search for "Boot Disk"
JU$T1N~1

#3 Enthusiast

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 12:52 PM

Disregard the post above this unless you have a full installation Windows XP disk. If you do the boot disk and reformat you will not have an operating system left on the computer and no way to restore it since you don't have the Dell Restore Disk either.

Some Dells have a Restore Partition on the hard drive and if they didn't supply a restore or Windows disk, your computer probably has that.

Follow the directions on the link below:

How to do a Dell restore
For Dell computers
Dell PC Restore by Symantec is available on Dimension and Inspiron systems that shipped on or after 7/16/2004 in the Americas and 8/30/2004 in Europe.

http://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...&c=us&cs=&s=gen

Make sure you have your 25 digit Windows key/license number before you do this in case you have to reactivate Windows.

It should be on the computer case, and in the paperwork (COA) that came with the computer but if it isn't, download the program in the following link which will tell you the Key number:

Keyfinder 1.41
http://www.magicaljellybean.com/

#4 big_bopper180

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 01:16 PM

Make sure you have your 25 digit Windows key/license number before you do this in case you have to reactivate Windows.


Why would windows need to be reactivated? Would it be erased? I honestly cant remember if Windows came preinstalled :thumbsup:

Edited by big_bopper180, 29 May 2006 - 01:17 PM.


#5 Elendil

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 01:34 PM

When reformatting, everything is erased completely, so back up your data!!! Also, if you're missing the CDs I'm sure you could contact the company from which you bought your computer and get the license key.
Stanford '14
B.S. Candidate | Computer Science

#6 Guest_Joe C_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 12:38 AM

It's a good idea to have all of your drivers before you format also

#7 Enthusiast

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:10 AM

Why would windows need to be reactivated? Would it be erased? I honestly cant remember if Windows came preinstalled


If it was a new Dell computer, Windows (of some version depending on age of the computer) came installed.

If you fdisk you will completely wipe everything on the hard drive including the operating system and the files stored in it to show it's been validated. It will be an empty disk.

If you have neither the factory restore cd nor the WIndows XP full installation disk you will have no way to reinstall windows, and even if you obtained a new copy of the installation cd your new install would have to be validated again (because the code containing the MS logarythm showing it was validated would no longer be on the hard drive) - you would need the 25 digit key number.

If you have the ability to use the restore partition as I posted about before, it would be the best and least dangerous way to "reset" your computer. In any case, you would still need the 25 digit key.

Any other method (such as borrowing a Windows disk) other than buying a restore disk from the computer manufacturer may result in your inability to activate and may require you to buy a new Windows license at retail if you couldn't convince Microsoft that what you did was legitimate.

Edited by Enthusiast, 30 May 2006 - 08:13 AM.


#8 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:17 AM

It is theoretically possible to reinstall Windows without reactivating it. This might work if it exactly the same hardware, and the exact same version of Windows.

See explanation HERE.

Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not.

I have done this in areas with no internet access and I just didn't feel like talking to someone in India about why I reinstalled Windows.

You should have a sticker on your computer with the 25 digit product key. If you don't you can download Belarc Advisor and find out the key that was used on your computer. But in some cases this key won't work as it is the key on the 'Genuine Windows' sticker that is important and belongs to your computer, and those numbers may or may not be same that Belarc Advisor will report.
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
I'M SO SMART IT'S SCARY!


Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!


#9 Enthusiast

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:21 AM

I already posted the link to Keyfinder for big_bopper180 to use to obtain the license key that is on his computer. He can use Belarc or Everest instead although both are somewhat more difficult to use, but the bottom line is that he will need the key and if he doesn't use the Dell Restore Partition he will have no way to reinstall his operating system.

#10 Guest_Joe C_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:52 AM

ebay has dell XP disks for a decent price
http://computers.search.ebay.com/Dell_Wind...gZ1QQsofocusZbs

#11 Enthusiast

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 10:33 PM

ebay has dell XP disks for a decent price
http://computers.search.ebay.com/Dell_Wind...gZ1QQsofocusZbs


The Dell (or any other computer manufacturers) restore disks are proprietal to the specific computer they are made for and are not interchangeable. Manufacturers such as Dell use an image to install Windows and other software and it is different than an installation using a Microsoft Windows installation disk. When you use the manufacturers restore disk you are restoring an image just as you would be using an ap like Ghost. You can order the restore disks from Dell for your specific computer, but for a charge.

Disks from another Dell will not work. They will not exactly match the hardware configuration as they were made for another computer nor will they have the key number or the specific component MAC numbers that Microsoft uses to let you revalidate Windows.

Edited by Enthusiast, 30 May 2006 - 10:37 PM.


#12 Guest_Joe C_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 10:43 PM

Well I won't argue about that, but I have several Dell XP disks, and I use them on any Dell pc, there's seperate driver disks that Dell uses too, I've never had an issue with keys using one dell XP disk from one to the other, I normally use my Dell XP sp2 disk on the older dell's cuz I don't need to make a slip disk or install sp2 after the windows install. You can even use an regular OEM disk if you know some tricks...problem with that tho, is that Dell won't reconize it as a Dell pc if you go to there web site and have it look for any updates
http://www.thetechguide.com/howto/setuppini.html

Edit: Dell not longer ships disks with their pc's unless you get an upgrade model, but for an extra $10 you can get one, the disks are XP disks and not restore disks like the ones that HP/Compaq used to provide you with.
All I can say is, that I've done it on more than one occasion, and it does work

Edited by Joe C, 30 May 2006 - 10:56 PM.


#13 JU$T1N

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 05:09 PM

A little off topic but just a note on what Joe C said...

I too have obtained a OEM copy of a DELL Windows CD.
Before WGA I could install and activate that puppy on all kinds of computers (Even with WPA in effect)... Dont ask me how I did that cause it was justa temporary thing.

After so many installs though, the product key was used too many times. So, needless to say I now have a pretty looking coaster for my "beverages"

On another note... I wonder if I can call DELL for a CD, considering I just bought an old/new DELL from a friend....
JU$T1N~1

#14 Enthusiast

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 05:43 PM

Microsoft has changed the requirements for validation recently and they are much more adept at discovering installations that are not valid.

The authentication process has changed recently and so has the MS policy of who they will allow to receive critical updates. It used to be that you could receive them if your computer was set for updating automatically even if your op system was pirated - no more.

You can certainly call Dell and get the proper disks (it takes a set) for your computer, but they will charge you for them.

If you have the restore partition on your computer and can get Windows to work, you may even be able to make them yourself (if you have a cd burner), but if the restore partition is on the computer just follow the instructions from Dell I linked in one of my previous posts, and take the option to burn the disks too.

Use the link for Keyfinder I linked also - it will provide the license/key number that Dell issued to your computer which you may need to validate Windows. If you don't need it now, you will in the future, (like if your Hdd, etc. fails) so get it and keep it somewhere you will be able to find it.




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