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Reinstall Windows


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Slim Nelson

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 01:50 AM

Hey guys, just a quick question.

 

I have an older desktop with some malware on it. I want to just reformat and reinstall Windows. I don't have any recovery discs.

 

Although,

1. Couldn't I just Dban the hard drive.

2. Download and burn a Windows Vista Iso.

3. Reinstall using that Installation DVD.

4. Register Windows with the old product key on the case

5. Install updates and throw some antivirus on it then it should be good to go, eh?

 

Seems like the easiest thing to do.


Edited by Slim Nelson, 18 October 2014 - 04:29 AM.

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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 07:53 AM

Dont't use the key on the side of the case. If the computer still boots, use the key found by produkey. That key would have a better chance of being able to install Vista without the need for activation. But, you still may need to call Microsoft to activate. If I remember correctly, you can no longer activate Vista using the COA sticker without calling.

 

The reason I stay to use the one found with Produkey is because that is used with the SLIC BIOS and a SLP string. You will not have the OEM certificate on the Vista download so use this to back it up. I have never done this so I can't say if it will work or not.

 

The product key printed on the Certificate of Authenticity affixed to an OEM assembled is sometimes said to suffice, but this is not necessarily the case. On February 28, 2005,[1] Microsoft attempted to reduce software piracy by invalidating those keys for normal activation, but this does not apply to SLP. If the COA product key is lost, then product key finders, readily available on the Internet, can decrypt the key from a local installation. Keys from either source (see below) will allow the user to avoid activation upon re-installation.

 


Edited by JohnC_21, 18 October 2014 - 08:07 AM.


#3 Slim Nelson

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 01:12 PM

Okay, but as far as my question. Is it fine to reformat an old computer like this?


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#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 01:19 PM

You don't have to dban it if you do not wish to. During the install of Vista, it should allow you do delete any partitions and then let Vista partition and format for you. There is no reason why reformatting the drive would be a problem. You can check the hard drive to determine if it passes diagnostics by using Seatools for Windows first if you can boot to Windows or the bootable version, Seatools for DOS.

#5 Slim Nelson

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 01:38 PM

Okay. Right on, thanks man.

 

Yeah, at this time the computer is not bootable. I think I got the startup repair infinite loop thing going on and it seems easier to just reformat and reinstall windows, don't need anything on the computer anyway.

 

Although, I do have a copy of Windows PE that I have been using to get on it. You advise it'd be a good idea to check the HDD with Seatools first to check if the HDD is actually a problem? Because I could probably do that before the reinstall.

 

Another question just sparked. I've read that Dban is highly more powerful that the built in Microsoft reformatting capability. You still recommend just letting the install disc do the reformatting?


Edited by Slim Nelson, 18 October 2014 - 01:39 PM.

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#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 07:37 PM

Even if the computer is not bootable, there is still a way to get the product key using produkey. You would have to copy the software hive onto a USB key using your window PE disk. Then in produkey you would select that software hive to load. I believe it's under the File option in the menu bar. If the computer does not boot, I don't know of a way to get the OEM certificate though. You would only need Dban if you planned on selling or giving the computer away and wanted all personal info wiped so there would be no way of recovery.

 

Edit: When you install you would do Custom Installation and in the next step select drive options in the lower right windows. You would delete your partitions here.

 

See the steps here. You can click on the images to enlarge them.


Edited by JohnC_21, 18 October 2014 - 07:43 PM.


#7 Slim Nelson

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 03:13 AM

Thank you for all your help John. You've been very generous.


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#8 dc3

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 10:04 AM

Just to add to what JohnC_21 posted.

 

If you use software like Darik's Boot and Nuke it will completely overwrite the entire hdd, with a known good hdd this is a good option.  A full format druing the installation of Windows will effectively remove the contents of the hdd, but it will also check for bad sectors.  With an older hdd this is a good idea, especially if you can't run a chkdsk /r before doing a fresh installation of the operating system.

 

If this is an OEM computer there should be a COA (Certificate Of Authenticity) sticker on it some place on the case.  This should be the correct twenty five alphanumerical product key you will need to reactivate the operating system.  You can Google the make and model of your computer to see where the sticker is located. 


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