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A while back, I decided to put Windows 8 developer preview on my Samsung NC110-A09AU, a trusty little netbook I use a ton. It doesn't have a DVD drive, and I foolishly allowed Windows 8 to install ontop of Windows 7 Starter.

I don't want Windows 8 anymore, and would rather revert it back to Win7, as it's hopelessly slow. I have a System Recovery DVD from Samsung that shipped with the netbook....but I can't use it...because I have no DVD drive.

So, here's my question - can I use that DVD to create a bootable USB drive, so that I can then re-install Windows 7. Will that even work? Will I be able to install over the top of Windows 8 (or replace Windows 8)?

I've read other things on the net, regarding Windows.old and such, and was hoping for an easier route. I don't want to download any torrented or dodgy recovery discs online, because I have my own legitimate version!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Edit: If possible, can I avoid using an external DVD drive?

The structure of the DVD is: Directories are /BOOT, /EFI, /SOURCES, /SUPPORT, /UPGRADE and has AUTORUN.inf, BOOTMGR and SETUP.EXE in the root.

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4 Answers

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You can make an ISO of the disc using a tool such as ImgBurn http://www.imgburn.com/ and, if you have a large enough USB drive, copy it to the USB disk using a tool like ISO to USB: http://www.isotousb.com/ and then use that to boot from.

The recovery disk will almost certainly do an install by completely wiping out the contents of the drive and installing a "factory state" copy of Windows. Back up absolutely everything you want off the Windows 8 installation before letting Windows Setup loose.

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Is there a good program for DVD-to-ISO? I already have iso-to-usb, actually (just found it laying around on my PC then). And the DVD itself is 2.9 Gig, my largest flash drive is 4gig, so hopefully that would work. –  Singular1ty Jan 14 '13 at 5:51
    
Thanks for the program link. –  Singular1ty Jan 14 '13 at 5:56
    
You can use NERO, to make ISO image of the DVD. –  avirk Jan 14 '13 at 5:59
    
@avirk: Ugh, Nero is probably one of the most bloated programs out there. I believe the Express/Lite editions have been discontinued, but ImgBurn was still a fraction of their size (leave alone the full version), and yet far more functional. –  Karan Jan 14 '13 at 6:53
    
@Karan I agree and I completely forget about Imgburn which is very powerful. :) –  avirk Jan 14 '13 at 7:28
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You can use external USB DVD drive to install from recovery disk. This by far the safest method to reinstall windows 7 in your situation.

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Hm, I'd been hoping to avoid having to use one of those (I don't have one at home anyway.) –  Singular1ty Jan 14 '13 at 4:42
    
@user-Unknown It is good idea to keep one handy for DIY; otherwise use geek squad. –  Chetan Bhargava Jan 14 '13 at 5:27
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What's on the recovery DVD? You could try creating an ISO of the disk - then using something like YUMI (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/) to create a bootable usb, which will copy ISO contents onto the thumbstick.

If you give it a go, you'd use the unlisted ISO option in YUMI.

But this is very dependent on the actual structure of the recovery DVD. Could you list the directories on it?

edit: (If you don't want to use the Disc, can you download the recovery image from the Samsung Website?)

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Directories are /BOOT, /EFI, /SOURCES, /SUPPORT, /UPGRADE and has AUTORUN.inf, BOOTMGR and SETUP.EXE in the root. Tried Samsung website, doesn't look like I can download it. They went to a lot of hassle of making my Recovery disk all shiny and holographic, so I'm guessing they don't want people randomly downloading Windows 7 copies. –  Singular1ty Jan 14 '13 at 5:35
    
Ok, so this looks just like a normal windows install/setup DVD. So you need to copy those files onto a USB stick after following the instructions Oliver Caldwell mentioned above. Or use something like wintobootic.com If you can't access the DVD, then you can't access those files. –  Andrew Jan 15 '13 at 1:07
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Very Simple...

Create a bootable USB Stick: Find and right-click the Windows Command Prompt in your Start Menu and choose to run it as an Administrator.

  1. At the prompt, enter diskpart to launch Microsoft’s disk management utility. The command line should now read “DISKPART>”.

  2. Type list disk to show a list of all disk drives. If your USB key is plugged into your PC, it should be listed here, along with other physical drives. Note the USB key’s disk number – you can pick it out by looking at the disk capacity.

  3. Type select disk #, with the USB key’s disk number in place of #.

  4. Type clean for the utility to clean the disk, which DiskPart will confirm.

  5. Create a new bootable partition by entering create partition primary.

  6. Choose this partition with select partition 1, and then mark it as active by typing active.

  7. Format the key by inputting format fs=fat32. This should take a few minutes, and DiskPart will display a progress percentage.

  8. Lastly, type assign to give this USB key a drive letter. Close the DiskPart program using exit.

You can now copy your OS’s installation files from the original DVD onto the key. We also recommend copying your hardware drivers onto the same key so the OS installation wizard can find them.

Install away...

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>Very Simple... >Create a bootable USB Stick. HOW? –  Chetan Bhargava Jan 14 '13 at 7:42
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