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I just replaced a "broken" hard drive in a Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop and it looks like Windows 7 is gone. Is the operating system saved/stored on the hard drive? If so, does that mean I need to buy a new OS or is there another way? I have a warranty on this computer: could a failed HD be covered?

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Hmmmm, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing How did you 'replace' the hard drive? I don't know if your warranty will survive you opening up the box, and if you've had it done professionally they should have told you about OS replacement issues. – mcalex Jan 12 '13 at 3:11

Yes, it is stored on the harddrive.

You will need to:

  • Reinstall windows from the DVD you got from Dell (if you ticked that EUR 5 option)
  • Or find someone with the same windows version DVD and borrow that. (that means the Dell OEM version of it, not a non-OEM version)
  • Or download a legal copy of the DVD and use the CoA on your laptop. (That is the sticker with the five sets of numbers and letter).
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Thank you very much, Hennes. – user187373 Jan 12 '13 at 3:18

Yes, everything that your computer needs to run is inside the hard drive (aside from the BIOS). Yes, you would have to buy a new OS, or if the old drive is not completely dead, you could try to transfer the data too the new hard drive. Try http://clonezilla.org/ if you need to transfer. The warranty may cover it, but it varies from company to company. Try calling their customer service.

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Thank you 1950278. I'll look into clonezilla and also make that call. – user187373 Jan 12 '13 at 3:19

Is the operating system saved/stored on the hard drive? In your case - YES
If so, does that mean I need to buy a new OS or is there another way? That depends of type of license (u also may install some linux distro - for free)
I have a warranty on this computer: could a failed HD be covered? replaced - YES

PS: drive replacement should produce seller, otherwise the warranty may be lost

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Thank you very much, Sloan. I'll check with the warranty. – user187373 Jan 12 '13 at 3:18

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