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I need to reinstall Win 7 Starter on my Acer netbook. I prepared a USB stick with the installation, and I want to wipe out all the junk on the hard drive and start from scratch. I definitely want to get rid of McAfee.

Can I wipe out everything, including OEM partition and SYSTEM RESERVED partition? What do I need to do to accomplish that?

I am assuming I have to install in safe mode, correct?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

To delete OEM partions

1) hit the start and R buttons at the same time and you will get the run window

2) type diskpart and press enter

3) type list disk and press enter

4) select the main disk(usually the largest one) if your main disk is disk 0, type "select disk 0"

5) Once the disk is selected, type "list partition" and hit enter

6) Your "hidden" paritition will be around 4400MB to about 5000MB. In my case it was partition 1.

7) type "select partition 1" and hit enter

8) type "delete partition 1 override" and hit enter

You can then do whatever you want with this space, you can turn it into another primary parition, you can use acronis and merge partitions, etc

The disk and partition numbers I used were for my system, please be careful as the info on your system could differ.

Resource from here

If you just want to uninstall pre-installed softwares then use Revo Uninstaller or this Total Uninstaller

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What I actually want is to completely wipe out everything that was preinstalled on my Acer netbook, especially McAfee. Is it really necessary to get rid of OEM for that purpose? – A-K Sep 9 '10 at 21:46
Well to remove McCafee and other programs you don't need to delete partition . I was just answering the question in your title bar – subanki Sep 9 '10 at 22:02
I have updated my answer with links 2 softwares which can help you uninstall all programs including pre-installed softwares (also McAffe) – subanki Sep 9 '10 at 22:42
this did it, thanks! – A-K Sep 12 '10 at 11:53
I am glad it helped – subanki Sep 12 '10 at 11:57

The OEM partition will most likely contain system recovery/factory restore data. Assuming you don't want to restore the device back to factory settings at any time it's fine to wipe the OEM partition though normally not something I'd recommend as you never know when you might want to restore to factory setup.

the System reserved partition is a small partition required by Windows 7 to boot but it will recreate that partition when reinstalling.

Just boot from the USB stick and reinstall from that unless you want to go through the upgrade process in which case launch the installer from within Windows. It does NOT need to be in Safe mode to do this as far as I know.

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Barring phone calls about how you "voided" the warranty by reinstalling Windows (as if) and other such loss of niceties, you just install over the old partition. You're not giving the hard drive away, so you have no need to do a real wipe. Just format the partition.

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