I just bought Windows 7 and want a totally clean installation on my computer now, however I misplaced my Vista OEM recovery disc, so I cannot format and reinstall Vista before upgrading to 7.

  • To follow up with this question: it turns out the Windows 7 installation is way easier than I ever imagined (I guess I didn't expect much out of Microsoft to be honest). Installation asks if you want to upgrade or create a custom installation. Custom installation means effectively a format + clean install, but it doesn't exactly format. It just takes all of those old files and programs, wraps them up in one directory, and calls it Windows.old. So besides backing up important files, you really don't need to prep your system before installation. I'm impressed, Microsoft. – NoCatharsis Nov 24 '09 at 13:52

Check out this information:


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  • Awesome, I knew I wasn't the first to have this same need. I guess I'll be back if these methods don't work. Wish me luck. – NoCatharsis Nov 14 '09 at 21:14

Read this Vista article for more details (probably it's the same for Win7):

How to Clean Install Windows Vista with Upgrade Media

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