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I'm attempting to fix a friend's computer. It will not boot to anything Windows-related (see my earlier question for more information). I was able to boot into Peppermint OS to back up her files and grab the HP OEM image (.wim) so that I can restore from it (OEM W7 key, so I can't just do a W7 reinstall). However, I cannot figure out what the heck I need to do to be able to actually restore her computer to that image. I tried using these instructions on TechNet to create a WinPE flash drive, but those instructions don't actually make the flash drive bootable, so that option didn't work (the partition is labeled as active, but when trying to boot from it I get the message "Remove disks or other media. Press any key to restart."). All of the other instructions that I found require that I get into WinRE or boot from an install disk, which I cannot do.

Any suggestions as to how I can apply this .wim boot image?

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Oh, really? I tried going to stock on a different HP laptop, but I got an error that the key could not validate. I didn't ever remove the ei.cfg file though. I'll try that and let you know! – Vaindil Nov 12 '12 at 23:41
That did it! Thanks a ton!!! – Vaindil Nov 13 '12 at 5:40
Since it helped solve the underlying problem, I added it as an answer instead. – Karan Nov 14 '12 at 0:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Actually, if you have the key from the COA sticker on the laptop you can transfer Windows 7 Retail Setup to a USB stick using WinToFlash or the official Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool, delete the ei.cfg file, boot from the stick, install the same version as was present earlier and use the key to activate.

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