I installed another OS on my netbook and decided I want to revert back to Windows 7 Starter. I was careful to keep the recovery partition, but even when I manage to boot to it, the system just restarts a few seconds after selecting "restore." I grabbed all the files from the recovery partition onto a flash drive. I also have been able to use this drive to boot a Windows 7 install, but it was unable to find the recovery partition.

These WIM files seem to be the key to installing Windows again. How can I use them?


You need to obtain a copy of the Windows 7 PETools or the WAIK, Windows Automated Installation Kit. This enables you to create and boot off of a Preinstallation Environment disc and you apply that WIM file(s) to your harddrive, then on the next system boot you now have Windows installed.

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  • So PETools and WAIK will have the same effect here? Will these just boot to a nice, pretty GUI that I can use to select the WIM files to apply?. – Brian Henk Dec 23 '10 at 2:42
  • Unfortunately, no. You boot to a command prompt when booting off the disc and have to partition and format the disk accordingly, then run a string of commands to apply the WIM file from your flashdrive – brandon927 Dec 23 '10 at 2:51

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