Issue 230 - page 119 - How to re-install windows 7 without a disc

  stileguru 20:23 30 Jul 2014

I have a Dell OEM Windows 7 installation with no disc supplied. Followed your advice, first downloaded the Magic Jellybean Keyfinder. Installing it left me with the MySearch rogue toolbar and various other nasties which tried to install before Norton Internet Security stopped them. Uninstalled MySearch toolbar OK and cleared a few other things. Were the tinyurl links tested before you suggested them?

  mole1944 05:48 31 Jul 2014

You say you got no disc with your machine this now is normal,on first switch on you would be asked to make a backup to either cd or memory drive one assumes perhaps you didn't do it.

  alanrwood 10:46 31 Jul 2014

You should also be able to restore the computer to factory spec by tapping a specific Function key as soon as the boot starts. Which key depends on the model of computer which you don't state. Look it up in the instruction book or try downloading it from the web via Google.

  lotvic 11:10 31 Jul 2014

I haven't read the article you refer to, but think that it will be for a retail W7 install and not a Dell OEM as: even if you make a note of the product key used for the factory pre-activated install it will be of no use to you for a clean install from a DVD.

There should be a sticker on the computer case with a product key that you use for a clean install.

However, (as mole1944 has said) you should have burnt your own Dell recovery DVD using the facility program provided to do this. Then using that DVD you will not need to enter a product key during install or activate.

Could you tell us please what it is that you are trying to do at the moment?

I have looked at your profile but am unable to work out what you are now hoping to achieve with this pc.

  Jim Martin 11:31 31 Jul 2014


We do check the tinyurls in the mag, and this is the correct URL for Magical Jellybean. The problem, which is becoming more of an issue, is that legit free software is increasingly being bundled with unwanted things such as search bars.

We'll add a reminder whenever we recommend free software to ensure you carefully read what you're agreeing to when you install it. It's easy to click through without reading, but these days you often need to do a custom install and untick extra software, or click the 'Decline' button when offered it. It's always possible to avoid this stuff - with legit software - but it requires some extra effort.

  stileguru 14:09 31 Jul 2014

I didn't actually mention it, but I have created Dell recovery DVD. This was done when I first bought the machine. The idea of having a full Windows version was an after-thought - "belt & braces" really. I do have the product ID and matching disk ID. Whether they actually work together is another matter. I may never need it hopefully.

The agreement to take the extra unwanted toolbars and nasties were probably contained in the T & C's somewhere, but I didn't see any tick boxes there.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:14 31 Jul 2014

Yes they are getting craftier packaging the crapware.

Ninite site is suppose to guarantee no crapware but when downloading Burnimage from there yesterday it came packed with Open Candy with noway of delining.

  lotvic 18:09 31 Jul 2014

I think you will find it useful to watch the TechSupportDell videos on YouTube How to Make Dell Windows 7 System Recovery Media ClickHere and My Dell in 99 seconds: Reinstall Windows 7 ClickHere or if you would like to burn a copy of W7 install DVD from Microsoft official download link (to use with the product key on pc's case sticker) ClickHere ( page of links for .iso's download)

  alanrwood 18:38 31 Jul 2014

It is not a case of belt and braces. The Dell recovery disks will contain drivers etc which are specific to your machine and which might not be included in a Windows install disk.

  lotvic 19:58 31 Jul 2014

I agree completely with alanrwood.

  stileguru 21:36 31 Jul 2014

My primary concern was the fact that a suggested site was infected, which annoyed me more, notwithstanding that I could have checked more thoroughly. Whether the 'nasties'(Trojan.Semnager according to Norton) I referred to were part of the downloaded software was difficult to establish. I had no way of telling.

System recovery was a secondary issue really. In fact I don't relish having to restore to factory setup, which is the reason I use Paragon Backup & Restore to create a bootable recovery disk and make regular hard disk images on an external USB drive.

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