Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I bought an HP laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium preinstalled. It has a label with Windows serial number. However a Windows Installation DVD was not provided. I want to repartition the HDD to install Ubuntu and create a data partition. But I want to be sure that I will be able to restore Windows even if I reformat hdd or replace it by another one.

Is it enough to burn the system image on a bunch of DVD+Rdl and System repair disc using Windows 7 standard tools and save them in a safe place?

By standard tools I mean:

  • "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Backup and Restore -> Create a system image" and
  • "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Backup and Restore -> Create a system repair disc"

Is there any other way to achieve this?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

HP has a utility to make HP Recovery Media

I suggest you make this media before making any partition changes. Use good quality DVD+R media. These discs will allow you to return the system to "as shipped" condition.

Also make the "System Repair Disc" you mentioned, I doubt you will ever need it but if you do there is no substitute.

If you want to capture a hard drive snapshot of how it is currently, I suggest Easeus Todo backup Free, use this to make a full disk image of the hard drive. This software is much more flexible than the Windows disk image software.

It is also recommended to read this tutorial on how to create a 5th partition without damaging the Windows installation on a HP notebook.

share|improve this answer

I suggest to make the HP Recovery Media like described bye Moab. Additional create a backup of your data.

That said it is not needed to reinstall Windows after installing Linux. Most Linux distributions are able to shrink your windows partition without data loss.

share|improve this answer

Windows system repair disc cannot re-install your Windows after formatting your hard drives, the best solution I can see here is backup your data, as you told you are having a serial key so you can download an original copy from Microsoft website, burn it on a DVD, re-partition you hard disk, now you install Ubuntu and Windows. Now restore your backup data from your backup file.

share|improve this answer
He can't install Windows. He didn't get a Windows disc with his PC, as he explained. If he wanted to buy a second Windows license he wouldn't have bothered posting this question. – CarlF Oct 4 '11 at 16:40
@_CarlF That's why I told him to download an .iso image on wWondows 7 OS and burn it on a disc, no need to buy another license for that :) – Random Guy Oct 5 '11 at 6:27
No, but I believe it's illegal, and if he has an OEM license I'm pretty sure it won't activate generic Windows (although I could be wrong). – CarlF Oct 5 '11 at 12:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.