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Last reply by 07-19-2015 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Reinstalling Windows troubles

I have an SSD on the way and I want a fresh install of Windows 7 (upgrading to 10 soon) for it.  At first I thought I'd just download an ISO to a flash drive, install it, use my product key and be all set.  Apparently I can't do that since I bought my computer from Dell. 

Now I'm trying to find out how to do this through Dell and it seems like I'm supposed to have Dell Data Safe to use with my recovery partition on my XPS 8300, but I can't find it installed.  After much searching, it seems I can't even get it downloaded and reinstalled. 

Now for the life of me, not only can I not find a way to install it on a new drive, I can't even find a way to reinstall it on the existing drive even if I wanted to.  The only possible solutions I've seen involve copying all the data from the C drive to a backup, but it's 277 GB.  Plus, I'm then still stuck with having the same load of junk installed that I no longer want.  I just want a fresh install of Windows and I'm out of ideas.

Replies (2)
10 Diamond

Didn't you get a Dell Win 7 Reinstallation DVD with the PC when you purchased it?

You can buy a Win 7 disk without a Product Key fairly cheaply these days. Or you can borrow one from somebody. As long as you use a disk with exactly the same version of Windows 7 that Dell installed (eg Home Premium or Pro), it's perfectly legal and your Product Key from the sticker will activate the installation. If you use a different version, your Product Key won't work.

And if you use a Dell OEM Win 7 disk that's exactly the same version, it may not even ask for the Product Key.

Either way be sure to get one that already includes SP1, but you'll still have over 100 updates and hotfixes to download and install.

I believe Dell replaced Data Safe with Dell Backup and Recovery. So go here and see if you can download it.

Would it be worth upgrading to Win 10 on the existing HDD, and then migrating it to the SSD afterwards, when an iso will probably be available...?


  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

7 Plutonium

Microsoft have removed all the Digital River .isos for Windows 7 and replaced them with a non-functional tool which blocks Dell OEM licenses.

If your Windows install on your hard drive is still working then wait until the 29th of July 2015 and use Windows Update to upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 Insiders got the update on the 16th of July 2015 but entry to the Windows Insider program is closed just now. I demonstrate the upgrade here:

After the initial upgrade via Windows Update you can create a Recovery Drive using inbuilt Windows 10 features and a USB Flash Drive:

You will be able to insert your SSD and use this Recovery Drive to Clean Reinstall Windows 10 on your system. Note I haven't tested the Recovery Drive on a system with multiple drives so just have the SSD installed when using the Recovery Drive.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads

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