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So I want to format my hard disk and then reinstall Windows 7. I'm using a Lenovo Z360 Laptop with Windows 7 SP1 installed on it.

I know that there's a small protected partition that holds Windows 7 installation files. My question is, how do I correctly format my drive, and after doing so, how do I access my partition with the installation files to start the re-installation process?

I have my legit key in the back of my laptop as I purchased my computer along with a legit copy of Windows 7.

  • Do you really need to re-install? Recovery, as suggested by @trenten below, will restore the laptop to its delivered state, with all the drivers correctly installed. Isn't this preferable to re-installing from scratch? – AFH Oct 23 '14 at 21:20
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If you have a Recovery Partition there should be some option under the start menu to open the recovery console for your model.

Before you do anything you should also create backup disk from that recovery partition. Try start menu, All programs, and Maintenance folder. Select the create a system Repair disk. That should backup your Recovery to disk so that you can format without loosing the operating system restore files.

The Recovery partition that is currently there is to support the System backup disk method I just stated above. When you perform that backup the system restore partition image will be burnt onto those discs and those discs are what will contain that system image. Which will allow you to boot to the disc and format and restore your system to factory condition. Also please note that it will restore to the original brand new condition. You will loose all your personal files unless they are separately backed up.

  • +1million if I could! Making that all important backup disk (DVD or USB - and then duplicate those disks AGAIN!) Is crucial just in case you accidentally delete the recovery partition or your hard disk fails. – Kinnectus Oct 23 '14 at 21:25
  • Thanks!. I would rather see this question and make sure they get a backup before even touching the partitions. Rather than asking,"Help I corrupted my drive partitions and I don't have a system Backup disk!". – trenten Oct 23 '14 at 21:42

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