Reinstalling Windows 7 every 6 to 12 months can only make your computer run smoothly. For those who aren't very computer savvy or new tech savvy, reinstalling an operating system like Windows 7 can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, the process has been simplified compared to older versions of Windows, with very little chance of going wrong.
Method 1 of 4: Perform a startup repair
Step 1. Determine what the problem is
Before doing a full reinstallation, determine if your problem can be resolved by performing a startup repair. This will replace files on your operating system that may have been corrupted. The most common use for a startup repair is fixing the Windows loading sequence.
If your Windows won't load, then a startup repair can fix your initialization process and allow Windows to load again
Step 2. Insert the Windows 7 CD
Make sure your computer is configured to boot from CD. To do this, enter the BIOS, immediately after that your computer will restart. You will see the key to press under the manufacturer's logo. The most common keys are F2, F10, F12 and Del.
- In the BIOS menu, go to the boot submenu. Select CD / DVD or optical drive as the primary boot device.
- Save your changes and exit the menu. Your computer will restart automatically.
Step 3. Enter the Windows installation menu
Press any key when the message "press any key to boot from CD or DVD …" appears on the display. This will take you to Windows Setup. The files will load for a few moments, then you will be presented with a screen asking for various preferences: time, language, etc. These should already be defined correctly. Select following to continue.
Step 4. Click Repair your computer
This option will be at the bottom left of the screen under the install now button. Click on repair your computer and you will be sent to the system recovery options.
- The program will take a moment to find your Windows installation. Select your installation from the list and click on following. For most users, there will only be one installation listed.
Step 5. Select startup repair
The restart tool will begin to search through your Windows files, looking for errors. Depending on the errors it finds, it will offer solutions or repair them automatically.
- Remove flash drives or external hard drives or startup repair might not work properly.
- Your computer may restart multiple times. Do not boot it from the CD during this process or you will have to start from scratch.
Step 6. Click the Finish button when the repairs are complete
Click on the button To end to start Windows normally. If startup repair did not detect any errors, you will not see this screen.
Method 2 of 4: restore the system
Step 1. Launch the System Restore Tool
Depending on whether Windows starts or not, you will have two ways to get the System Restore tool.
- If Windows does not load, follow step 2 to 4 in the previous section to access system recovery options. Then select System Restauration.
- If you can log into Windows, click the button To start up. Select All programs - Accessories - System tools then click on the system restore icon.
Step 2. Select your restore point
You can choose from restore points that you created, automatically scheduled, and restore points that were made during the installation of certain Windows programs and updates. You cannot restore your computer to dates that are not listed here.
Step 3. Click Next and then Finish
Click on Yes for final confirmation. Your system will begin the restore process. Your computer will restart automatically during this process. Restoration may take several minutes. When you log into Windows after completing the restore, you will see a message telling you that the process was completed successfully.
- System Restore will not be able to recover deleted files.
Method 3 of 4: Perform a full reinstallation
Step 1. Back up all important data and files
While the process ensures that there is little chance of having a critical error, it is always a good idea to back up important data before making any big changes to your system, including reinstallation. Copy important data to an external hard drive, flash drive, or DVD.
Step 2. Gather what you will need for the installation
Your Windows 7 product key is especially important. It is located on the installation CD sleeve or on the bottom of the computer. Make a list of all the programs present on your computer that you want to keep so that you will be able to reinstall them after the Windows 7 installation process!
Step 3. Start the installation of Windows 7
Insert the disc into the drive and restart your computer. Make sure your computer is configured to boot from CD / DVD. You can do this by following step 2 in part one of this guide.
Step 4. Start the installation
You will be prompted for some preferences, such as language options, and you will be prompted to accept the Windows 7 license terms. You cannot install Windows 7 if you do not agree to the license agreement.
Step 5. Select the type of installation
After the boot process, you will be presented with several choices: an update or a custom install. Select option Personalized, because this is what you should use to clean your hard drive during a reinstallation.
Step 6. Format the destination drive and use this drive for the new installation files
Formatting a drive will erase all data to make it suitable for reinstallation. Although formatting is not necessary, it is recommended when reinstalling to avoid possible problems with the system. Typically, Windows 7 will be installed for drive C. The installation of Windows 7 may take 30 to 120 minutes depending on your system.
Step 7. Complete the installation by filling in the final details
Once the installation is complete, you will be prompted to name your computer and create a user account. For most users, the default name will suffice. After creating your user account, you can use it to log into your freshly reinstalled Windows 7 operating system.
Step 8. Restore your backed up data and programs
If you had something to back up, now would be a good time to transfer the files back to your computer. If you make a list of the programs that you want to keep, this would also be the time to download and install them.
Method 4 of 4: Use the Recovery Console
Step 1. Use the system tools
If you don't want to do a complete clean install of Windows, use the Recovery Console! You just need to repeatedly press the F8 key while your computer is restarting to access it.
- Not all versions of Windows 7 have this feature, give it a try and you will know if yours does.
- By accessing the command prompt from the Recovery Console, you have the ability to repair some errors that cannot be fixed on a routine basis. In this case, you will make changes to the MBR (Master boot record or "boot sector").
Step 2. Press F8
Restart your machine and while booting (not when it turns off), repeatedly press the F8 key.
Step 3. Click Enter
In Repair your computer, Press on Entrance.
Step 4. Choose the Recovery Console option
Step 5. Write the following
- bootrec / rebuildbcd.
- Press again Entrance.
Step 6. Write the following
- bootrec / fixmbr.
- Press the key Entrance.
Step 7. Write the following
- bootrec / fixboot.
- Press the key Entrance.
- This should fix the problem, but remember that this feature is not available on all versions of Windows 7.