I just bought a new laptop with Windows 7 pre-intsalled.
It has a 500GB hard drive. I would like to remove this hard drive and then re-install Windows 7 to smaller 256GB SSD that I have.
My issue is that I'm not sure how this should be done. I see some options to create backup disks in Windows 7, however they seem to want to create disk images as opposed to something that I can use to re-install the OS on different hardware.
I do not have any files that I need to back-up, I only need a way to re-install the OS.
What is a good way to go about doing this?
What I ended up doing:
- Cloned the SSD from the old laptop to a "normal", but larger, 500gb hard drive so that I would be able to access my old computer just the way it was in case anything went wrong. I used "Drive XML". This is the only thing I could get to work with Windows Vista (the operating system on my oled computer). And it only worked when I used their special option to repair a Vista Disk Clone.
- Created a windows "system repair disk" for the new laptop by going to: "Control Panel\System and Security\Backup and Restore". I did not use this disk, but probably would have had I not already had an OEM System Builder's disk lying around. Note that I did not do the "system image" option.
- Installed the SSD in the new laptop.
- Used an OEM system builder's Windows DVD that I had lying around to install a clean Windows 7 installation on the laptop (this could probably just as well have been a retail disk). I did this because I was hoping to avoid the bloatware that comes with a new computer. I used the product key on the laptop to register the windows installation, NOT the product key that came with the OEM System Builder's disk. Note that when I called Microsoft to ask if I was allowed to do this, they said "No, that is not allowed." On a hunch I did it anyway figuring I could fall back on the recovery disk if they rejected the activation. In the end the activation failed online and directed me to activate over the phone. When I called to activate it, I was able to activate it with no problems.
- Used the driver's DVD that came with the laptop to install all the drivers.