I have my manufacturer's Windows 7 Recovery Disk and I would like to reinstall the OS from that. The only problem is it wants to reformat the entire disk.

Is there a way I can trick it into thinking the "entire disk" is just my Windows partition?

migrated from askubuntu.com Jul 10 '13 at 11:01

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  • Why do you not want to reformat the system disk exactly? If you just want to reinstall Windows 7, download an .iso version of your Windows 7, then install use a normal media instead of using the factory recovery image. – Ramhound Jul 10 '13 at 11:48
  • @Ramhound How would I then authenticate Windows? I don't have a product key, the recovery disk automatically authenticates it. – Lerp Jul 10 '13 at 12:16
  • Most systems that shipped with Windows 7 included stickers on their cases with Windows serial numbers. These can be used with retail Windows 7 discs. If your system currently boots Windows (even if it has problems that are provoking a re-installation), you should also be able to recover the serial number from the Windows information screen, although I don't recall exactly where. (I'm currently using Linux and so can't check.) – Rod Smith Jul 10 '13 at 13:56


That is exemplary embodiments:

Way 1: Use WAIK to change the automatic setting (in terms of partitioning).

Way 2: Finding and installing drivers. Installation system. Transferring activation and serial number.


On Error Resume Next

Const HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = &H80000002
strComputer = "."

Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_OperatingSystem",,48)
For Each objItem in colItems
Wscript.Echo "OS            : " & objItem.Caption
Wscript.Echo "Serial Number : " & GetKey("HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId")
Wscript.Echo "Service Pack  : " & objItem.CSDVersion
Wscript.Echo "Version       : " & objItem.Version
Wscript.Echo "windir        : " & objItem.WindowsDirectory

Function GetKey(sReg)
    Set wshshell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    GetKey = ConvertToKey(wshshell.RegRead(sReg))
    Set wshshell = Nothing
End Function

Function ConvertToKey(key)
    Const KeyOffset = 52
    i = 28
    Chars = "BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789"
        Cur = 0
        x = 14
            Cur = Cur * 256
            Cur = key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
            key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
            Cur = Cur Mod 24
            x = x - 1
        Loop While x >= 0
        i = i - 1
        KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
        If (((29 - i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
            i = i - 1
            KeyOutput = "-" & KeyOutput
        End If
    Loop While i >= 0
    ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function

command line:

cscript //nologo GetProductKey.vbs

Save serial number!

Save Activation info files:


Install Windows 7 without key.

After install:

Stop software protect service:

net stop sppsvc

Restore Activation info files.

Restore serial numver:

slmgr.vbs -ipk {save serial number}

Start software protect service:

net start sppsvc

Check activation status, commands:

slmgr.vbs -dlv
slmgr.vbs -dli
slmgr.vbs -ato
  • 1
    Product key retrieval is a minor issue and there are lots of programs for it. "Use WAIK to change the automatic setting (in terms of partitioning)." - This is the important part, so could you expand it to more than a single sentence so we know how it can be done? – Karan Jul 10 '13 at 18:34
  • Also what do you mean by "exemplary embodiments"? Sorry if that's a silly question just those words are confusing enough without being in the same sentence. – Lerp Jul 10 '13 at 18:48

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