DrDoom77
1 Nickel

Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

I have a Studio XPS 8100 that is having possible hard drive issues.  It brings up the Windows logo, but gets stuck on the blue recovery startup screen after that with a mouse cursor.  This happens regardless of whether I boot in safe mode, last known good config, or startup repair.

I wanted to run the Windows startup repair tool to see if it could help, so I tried booting from the Windows 7 install DVD that came with this desktop.  However, that's not working - after an hour of the Windows logo, it goes to a black screen with a mouse arrow.  I did set the DVD drive to be booted ahead of the hard drive in the BIOS, so I thought that should have worked.

So, since I'm not sure if the DVD is still good, I read that Microsoft allows downloads of Windows ISOs to a flash drive to authentic users, so they can install or boot from that.  I tried that today, but Microsoft won't take my product key since it's from Dell, and said I need to get it from Dell.

So, my question now is, how can I get a Windows 7 ISO from Dell, that I can put on a USB drive? I saw one link for that, but when I entered my service tag it said no image was available.

I did see some instructions elsewhere on how to create a bootable USB drive with Microsoft recovery tools, so I'll try that tonight...maybe that will be sufficient, but a bootable drive with Windows seems like it'd be better.

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13 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

Images are available for Windows 10 -- and some for Windows 8.  For Windows 7, you'll need to call Dell to see if they'll sell you a set of recovery media - there is no official channel for obtaining an ISO of Windows 7.

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DrDoom77
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RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

So, if I don't buy a PC from Dell, I can get a Windows ISO from Microsoft anytime I want.  If I buy a PC from Dell, there's a limited time window in which I can do that (or at least, there was for Win 7...TBD for later version, I suppose).  Hmm...that's good to know.  Thanks for the info.

Edit - I did see another relevant post just after I wrote this reply.  Apparently you can download the original Windows ISO (website link was given elsewhere in this forum) and then call Microsoft with your CA number, and they will let you activate that...so, I might give that a shot later.  

RoHe
6 Indium

RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

Have you tried resetting BIOS to the factory defaults before trying to install Win 7 from the Dell disk?

You should have a sticker somewhere on the PC with your unique product key for Win 7, but if you use a Dell OEM disk with the exact same version of Win 7 (Home or Pro) to install Windows on the new HDD, it shouldn't even ask for the key.

You can always look on eBay etc. You only need to get a DVD that has the same version of Windows. Make sure to get one with Win 7+SP1, but you don't have to  buy one with an activation key, assuming you buy a Dell OEM disk and/or have the sticker with your product key.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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DrDoom77
1 Nickel

RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

I haven't reset the BIOS, no.  I thought about it, but decided I wanted to avoid any potentially unnecessary changes until after I tried running the Windows repair tool first, if I could.

And I wasn't going to install Windows - I just wanted to boot from the DVD so that I could launch the repair tools that way, since I couldn't get them to launch from my PC.  Can you only install from the Dell OEM disks and not boot from them? It showed the Windows logo for an hour before going to a black screen, so I assumed the disk might be bad, but if it's not bootable that might explain it.  

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RoHe
6 Indium

RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

The Dell OEM Windows Reinstallation disk should be bootable.

But if there's a problem with BIOS setup (eg, a corrupt or incorrect setting) you may not be able to boot from it, or maybe Windows setup is having trouble recognizing the hardware because there's a problem in BIOS, which is why I suggested you reset it to the defaults... You can copy down all the current settings first, just to be safe...

If you put the Windows DVD in the drive, reboot and immediately press F12, you should see a menu that allows you to boot from the DVD without changing the boot sequence in BIOS.

EDITED

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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rdunnill
5 Rhenium

RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

So, my question now is, how can I get a Windows 7 ISO from Dell, that I can put on a USB drive?

Any Windows 7 ISO should do. You don't need one from Dell, but you can a get Dell-specific one on eBay for a nominal sum. 

DrDoom77
1 Nickel

RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

Yeah, the F12 method is what I was using to try booting from the DVD.  I'll go ahead and try resetting the BIOS to default, though...fingers crossed.

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DrDoom77
1 Nickel

RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

Ok, so resetting the BIOS to default had no impact.  Next, I had the idea of making an ISO off the Dell install disk I had, and then using Rufus to load that ISO onto a USB drive to make it bootable.  Did that, started up the PC with the USB configured as the boot drive this morning.  It loaded files, showed the Windows logo, then went to a black screen (no mouse cursor)...and was there for a half hour before I needed to leave for work.  Hoping it's going to eventually load something...will see when I get home tonight.

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RoHe
6 Indium

RE: Creating Windows 7 bootable USB drive

You may be back to a failed hard drive. So unless you install a new one, you may be stuck...

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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