Windows 7 clean install nightmare

  wams 12:06 04 Dec 2012

Hello everyone, sorry i have not been on for a long time, but ive gone and done something rather foolish, as the saying goes "dont try and fix anything that isnt broken.

Ive have a Compaq Presario CQ60 with Windows Vista for just under 4 years, so I decided to opt for the upgrade to Winsows 7. During that time after reading many posts advising to do a clean install I opted for the upgrade, ever since it ran extremely smoothly no problems at all.

During that time I have maxed out my external drive and drive C. Yesterday I decided to clean out both drives and transfer all personal data and programs to external. For some foolish reason I decided to do a clean install on laptop.

I have 2 drives drive C and drive D the installation asked to to choose a drive to fully install W7, I chose drive C. I have never ever touched drive D as it says recovery drive and I presume it will still hold vital vista restoration components, drive D shows 1.40 Gb out of 10.6 GB, but when I click on the drive and click recovery folder it has nothing in the file, so im wondering how its taken up up so much drive space, slightly puzzled.

When the clean install finshed I noticed that the clean install has taken up more drive C disk space more than when I upgraded 3 years ago, now im gutted as ive got less disk sapce and no activation key. Is there anyway I can reinstall Vista? using the untouched drive D and upgrade Vista again to W7 to regain more space on drive C. I do have Vista recovery disks that I created on day of purchase or is my only option to purchase a W7 activation key? and if thats the case if I buy a new key how can I recover disk space using disk mangement?

Now W7 is installed its running slower than when I installed the upgrade? I will very much appreciate your advice and guidance

Thanks in advance Wams

  wams 16:44 04 Dec 2012

I have checked c drive and there is a folder called windows old, so yes I have not done clean install. How would I go about formatting the C drive without causing problems.

If I decide to do a proper clean install using windows 7 upgrade disks how do I go about getting an activation key and do you have any idea on the cost

Thanks Wams

  lotvic 01:06 05 Dec 2012

If you are thinking of doing a clean install of W7 with the upgrade product key, then yes I think you can but you have to first install W7 without entering the key and then install it again over the top this time entering the key. (google for it)

However as it is a laptop you may be better restoring to factory fresh Vista (as it will have all the laptop drivers) and then doing the W7 upgrade install

If you want to format C drive you could do it as part of the install where it asks you where to install or if you have the spare cables in a tower pc take out the laptops harddrive and connect it as an extra drive in the tower and format the old C (it will have a different letter - maybe H or J or other depending on what you already have connected)

  xania 10:57 05 Dec 2012

Unless I've missed something, when you install Windows 7, this will come with a product key and all you need to do is enter this then activate at the approrpiate time. You need more space for Windows 7 than for Vista, and you will need to download Windows 7 drivers from Compaq, but, once Windws 7 is up and running,your D: drive will become superfluous and you can safely delete it and give the space back to your C: drive.

  lotvic 15:26 05 Dec 2012

drive D is not showing the files as it is probably a Hidden File. You will have to go into Folder Options and select to 'Show hidden files and folders' and 'show system folders' etc. before you will see contents of D drive.

  lotvic 15:31 05 Dec 2012

ps: don't delete D unless you are very sure you want rid of the Factory Fresh Vista install. If you ever need to restore from D and can't start the restore normally then go into Computer | Manage and Disk Management and mark D as 'Active' then when you reboot computer it will boot into the Recovery Menu. (at least this is what happens when I do it)

  wams 16:49 05 Dec 2012


I have completed a factory fresh install of Vista, without having to enter the activation key which is almost unreadable on bottom of laptop. I dont have any spare hard drives to connect, only an external drive which is almost maxed out.

I am thinking of purchasing a new 350GB 2.5" HDD for the Presario CQ60-320SA to replace the current 250GB 2.5" HDD that currently holds the Vista OS and fully install Windows 7 on a new HDD, thats if it can be done, if so what new HDD will be compatible with the Presario.


I have with my W7 upgrade i have 2 disks, 1st disk (HP upgrade manager, insert this disk first) and 2nd disk (W7 home premium upgrade media) and today i foolishly noticed the product key on back of disk sleeve titled "Win Vista HmPrm - Win 7 HmPrm UPG Fulfill HP" I presume if I do carry out a fully clean install of W7 I can use the "Win Vista HmPrm - Win 7 HmPrm UPG Fulfill HP" key



  lotvic 19:34 05 Dec 2012

'I have completed a factory fresh install of Vista, without having to enter the activation key which is almost unreadable on bottom of laptop'

Factory fresh install uses the inbuilt pre-activated OEM SLP key. This key cannot be used manually (typed in) for a fresh install from an ordinary Vista DVD. It is factory pre-configured to check with the Manufacturers Bios files (SLP)

The product key on the sticker on base of laptop is a different OEM key and that can be typed in and used with an ordinary Vista install DVD. It will require Activation in the normal way.

Any new 2.5 harddrive with the same connections will fit your laptop, it is probably a SATA connection (not an old fashioned IDE) you can soon check by taking it out and looking at the drive connections.

To learn more about what is doable with your upgrade w7 do a google for "Win Vista HmPrm - Win 7 HmPrm UPG Fulfill HP" I think you will be surprised...

Also if you ever need a W7 .iso file to burn your own DVD get it from the official microsoft download Digital River Links there is also a page of links for Vista (if Digital River haven't removed them yet) and other programs, just click on 'Microsoft' on the menu on the left.

  wams 23:08 05 Dec 2012


Digital River Links very interesting and informative, thanks for the additional info.

I'm going to go ahead and buy a new 2.5 Sata 2 hard drive.

I presume it's a simple HDD swap obviously with laptop turned off and battery removed, insert Win 7 disk, replace battery and turn on.

Just out of curiosity can the processor be replaced?

  lotvic 01:32 06 Dec 2012

'can the processor be replaced?' Sorry, I've no idea about that.

  wams 16:59 06 Dec 2012

Im struggling to find a new sata hdd, and i dont trust buying products on the web.

i read that sata 2 is backward compatible, is that true? and can i use sata 2

I cant find any motherboard information?

Processor: AMD Turion dual-core RM-72 2100 Mhz, 2 core(s), 2 logistical processor(s)

Bios version update: 18/08/09

SMBios version 2.4

I have no idea if the above info helps.

If anyone knows of any reputable online sellers or wholesalers, that would be great.

I know im going through all this trouble getting a newer HDD, would i be better of using my current HDD due to age of laptop?



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