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Possible Duplicates:
How can I reinstall Windows without a CD/DVD?
Installing Windows Vista without system restore CD with OEM key (ie: from underside of my laptop)

I am trying to do a clean reinstall of Windows 7 professional edition, but I can't find the original disk or the recovery disk. However I do have the CD key. Is there a way I can get Microsoft to send me a CD/download an image of Windows 7 to reinstall from, or is there an image of the OS already saved on the system (I have a lenovo thinkpad w500 that came with Windows 7 professional edition).

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, random Aug 14 '11 at 8:19

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

You’ll likely have to ask Lenovo rather than Microsoft. And it’s probably a DVD, not a CD. As for an image on the system, sometimes mfgs include a recovery partition, sometimes they include a recovery disc, sometimes both. I would think that it would be listed in the manual. – Synetech Aug 14 '11 at 0:15
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are .iso images of the DVD for the various version of Windows7 that can be downloaded from the web. But first you should check if there is still the recovery partition on the hard drive from which a restore to factory configuration could be performed. Performing such a restore will put the hard disk contents in the same condition as when you unpacked it. Your Thinkpad most likely did not come with any disk. There is a utility to burn the recovery disk(s) yourself. The last time I checked, Lenovo sold the recovery DVD for Win7 for about US$40.

If you do install from a standard Windows 7 DVD, then you will have to go to the Lenovo site to download and install all of the necessary drivers and apps that originally came with the Thinkpad.

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Thanks for the reply. Do you know how one would go about accessing this recovery partition? That one of the things I was looking for/at – alex28 Aug 14 '11 at 0:27
The factory recovery partition, if it exists, should be visible when you look at Control Panel / Computer Management / Storage / Disk Management. It's about 5-10 gigabytes in size. Pressing the blue ThinkVantage button during boot should cause the laptop to boot from the recovery partition. – sawdust Aug 14 '11 at 0:41

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