Reinstalling W7 on my son's PC

  Ian in Northampton 18:41 15 Mar 2015

My son has ‘bequeathed’ me his old gaming PC. I’m not surprised – it runs like a three-legged dog on tranquilisers. Goodness what he’s done to it, apart from install every game known to man. Anyway…

Spec is AMD 3-core Phenom processor, 6GB memory, GT250, 60GB SSD (I think) and 250GB hard drive. Motherboard is Asus M3A78-EM. OS is W7 Ultimate. In theory, it should be quite quick.

No, I didn’t leave out the optical drive: it doesn’t have one (although my son seems to have mounted a ‘virtual’ DVD drive). I’ve uninstalled what I can, run CCleaner on it – but it runs no better. Time for a more serious solution. So J have a copy of Windows 7 I could donate to it, but – how to install it without an internal CD/DVD drive?

One option is that I have an external USB DVD drive. Another is: could I take my bootable W7 disk and transfer it to a USB pen drive, and boot from that?

I’ve gone into the BIOS. Strangely, the guy who built it for him had an ATAPI DVD drive listed as the first boot device. Perhaps he attached one for the install, then removed it (it would certainly have spoilt the lines of a very pretty Fractal case which, in fact, doesn’t seem to make provision for access to a CD/DVD drive). Anyway, I’ve now reordered it to boot from an external device first.

There is another potential issue. The two drives are configured as RAID drives. That’s no use to me. I would want them configured as simple operating system/program drive and data drive.

So: what are my questions?

  1. When it lists ‘boot from external device’ – will it really? There seem to be plenty of stories on the web of a BIOS claiming to support this – but the motherboard doesn’t. Or something.

  2. What’s my best option? The external DVD drive – or copying W7 ISO to a USB stick? Or something different?

  3. The RAID thing bothers me. How do I ‘undo’ RAID? I’m guessing it’s something that’s set in the BIOS, which worries me. At what point should I try to restore the disk configuration to a ‘normal’ one – and how would I go about it?

Thanks, as always.

  Belatucadrus 15:47 16 Mar 2015

Article on creating bootable Windows USBs using a utility named Rufus, may be worth a look

Click Here

  Ian in Northampton 17:39 16 Mar 2015

Thanks again guys. Well, it wouldn't boot from an external DVD drive either - but it would boot into the existing installation. Remarkably - I'm not sure what I've done, except a) freeing up a fair bit of space on the SSD and b) threatening it with a reinstall - it is now running much more like I would expect it to. As such, I'm going to leave well alone. Thanks to all who offered advice.

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