I have bought a used laptop computer, HP Pavilion DV7-4120EM . It came with preinstalled Windows 7 Ultimate. But the hard drive is not original one, so it does not have the recovery partition that allows you to reinstall Windows OS and restore factory settings.

My question is: Given my situation, what can I do to install a clean Windows OS (genuine version) and restore factory settings?

  • 1
    Have you tried contacting HP to find out what your options are? – Mxx Mar 5 '14 at 1:18
  • @Mxx - I have not. There are a few funny reasons for that. I am in the middle of work on a project now, and HP office working hours are long over in my place. I assume their solution may come at a cost ( ordering recovery media from over the Atlantic ). I would like to figure out if and how this can be solved on my own, and to know it for future reference. – James C Mar 5 '14 at 1:27

I'm guessing if you read the underside of your laptop you should find a Windows 7 OEM key. This will work with a Windows 7 OEM disk that matches the version, perhaps you know someone that has a Windows 7 OEM disk that matches the version of windows listed on the sticker?

As for default manufacture settings, they will be stored in the partition, you can't get that back. What you can do is go to the HP website for your laptop and download all the utilities and drivers that you want. This will get it pretty close to the manufacturers default but probably minus a couple of bloated applications you don't need.

If you can't find anyone that has a disk matching your sticker you could go to this address and order a replacement.

Good luck.


I have always had great success torrenting the media and then reinstalling with the product key stuck to the bottom of the laptop.

Alternatively, clean copies of Windows can be found here:

How can I reinstall Windows 7 if I lost my installation DVD?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.