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I just purchased a new Sony Vaio laptop (z-series) but being a bit of a power user I really want to get rid of the software which is installed on it.

I can go through the Programs and Features and manually select each item I want to get rid of, but it's a really tedious process. I'd much prefer to have a clean Windows install which I can then tweak from the get go.

But it doesn't appear that I received a Windows 7 install disc (I bought it through a large reseller so it isn't dodgy as far as I know). I do have the Windows 7 licence key on my laptop underside, will this be valid if I use a Windows 7 install disc from work? Or should I have the Windows 7 disk and I need to go back to the reseller?

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Is there really that much random nonsense installed on the machine that its quicker to do a completely new installation versus uninstalling some software and perhaps using AutoRuns to get rid of the other lurkers? 8-) –  Richard Jul 15 '10 at 8:53

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Yes, you can install Windows from a retail DVD and use OEM key on your laptop. The only thing you have to be careful of is the fact, that the DVD has to be of the same language as your OEM license key is.

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will this be valid if I use a Windows 7 install disc from work?

Don't think it will. If you can get hold of an OEM media from the usual sources, then the install+key should work.

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I have tried this with vista and XP on different laptops and it hasn't worked, the keys seem to be tied to the OEM version of windows from the manufacturer.

This doesn't mean it won't work for you, but I would be surprised. You should have an option to make recovery dvd's from your laptop. Do that and then you can at least try without risk.

What I normally do is clean the default install to my liking and then make a disk image, using something like clonezilla. When I want to make a clean install later on I simply restore from that image.

If it really matters, maybe you can get a proper install CD from Sony if you call their support line.

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