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Old 25 Apr 2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default Wipe laptop to 'as new' condition

I have an Advent 7203 laptop about 4 years old that i want to give my son but i need to wipe it first. It has windows vista and i don't have any restore discs so how do i wipe it of all my junk and programs that i have downloaded since i bought it? Appreciate any help given.
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Old 26 Apr 2011, 08:20 AM   #2
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I would check the manufacturer's web site. Sometimes you can buy a replacement restore CD for a nominal amount.

Another approach, if you have broadband, download the Windows 7 install DVD. When installing, leave the product code blank. It's perfectly legal for you to try Windows 7 this way. I think it works for 90 days before it bugs you to activate it. That way you can find out if it works on the laptop before buying the OS.
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Old 26 Apr 2011, 11:56 AM   #3
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Your machine is suppose to have a hidden Windows recovery partition. Follow the below instructions to access it.
Good Luck
Hard Drive Recovery

Should your Windows develop serious errors or fail to start, you can restore your computer back to factory settings by using the hard drive recovery located on a hidden partition on the hard drive.
To restore your computer back to factory settings, follow the steps below:
  1. Turn on the computer and keep tapping F8 until the advanced options menu is displayed
  2. Use the up/down arrow keys on the keyboard to highlight Repair Your Computer and press enter to select it
  3. Select the language you wish to install (normally English is the only option)
  4. Once you have chosen your language you will be presented with the available recovery options
    • Microsoft Repair Environment - after choosing the UK keyboard layout you will be asked to choose the Operating System you wish to repair. If Windows Vista is not listed then you cannot repair the OS without doing the full recovery. After choosing Vista the Microsoft Vista startup repair tool will run and attempt to repair any startup problems you are experiencing
    • Reinstall Windows - gives you the options available to reinstall Vista
    • Advanced Options - this launches the diagnostic centre allowing you to run chkdsk, launch notepad or bring up a command prompt
    • Exit & restart computer - Exits withut running the recovery process
  5. To continue with the recovery program you need to choose Reinstall Windows
  6. On the next screen you have the ability to launch Vista System Restore and roll back to a date when Vista was last working ok or to run the Full Destructive Recovery. To continue with the recovery program you need to choose Start Full Destructive Recovery
  7. After choosing the Full Destructive Recovery option you are presented with the warning screen that all data will be lost. It is important to make sure all data has been backed up to disk if possible and to realise this process deletes all data and reverts the machine back to it's default state. To continue with the recovery program you need to tick the box indicating you are aware of data loss
  8. The recovery process will then run through, the computer will restart a couple of times during this. You will also need to go through the Vista "Out of Box Experience", to configure Vista. This is fairly straightforward so just follow the onscreen instructions
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Old 26 Apr 2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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Another thing you can do if the Recovery Partition is not intact is use nLite to make an XP install CD. You can even set it so that it fills in your product key when you install. No need to type in all that jazz.

Easiest way is just don't remove anything from the install. Just accept the defaults except for checking to fill in the product key. Burn the bootable CD. You may want to back up your system to a USB drive using a free image backup program. I use Macrium Reflect but you can find other free ones here:

Just in case the install doesn't work. Usually with nLite if the install CD doesn't work it's because you tried to trim too much stuff off. As example, it doesn't like it if you tell it not to install Internet Explorer.
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