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Carter Hayes
1 Copper

Windows 7 Re-Installation Using VMware Image

Hello All -

I want to re-install Windows 7 Ultimate on my Precision M4500 laptop. However, I want to minimize downtime in getting back up and running. I decided the best course of action may be to create a VMware virtual machine to keep it as quick as possible. I would do the following:

  1. Create a VM in WMware player.
  2. Use recovery media provided by Dell to install Windows 7 to the VM. 
  3. Install my (many) applications on the VM.
  4. Use Windows's sysprep to generalize and shutdown the VM.
  5. Boot the VM into WinPE.
  6. Use imagex to capture an image of the VM's generalized Windows partition. 
  7. Boot the Precision M4500 into WinPE. 
  8. Use imagex to apply the previously captured imaged (step 6) to the M4500's HD.
  9. Bring the M4500 online and make sure the product key matches that of the Windows license sticker on the laptop chassis.
  10. Install M4500 drivers and configure software installations.

Will I run into any issues if I follow this process? After all is complete, the Windows product key in use on the M4500 will be the same OEM key provided by Dell with the machine when it was factory shipped. I am under the impression that there will be no licensing issues since the OEM key, which is tied to the M4500's motherboard, will be used on the exact same hardware configuration.

I hope someone out there can answer this! I have had a very hard time figuring out if this is possible searching around forums and the like.

Thanks very much to all that assist!

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4 Replies
Carter Hayes
1 Copper

Re: Windows 7 Re-Installation Using VMware Image

Anyone have any experience?

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Mary G
6 Indium

Re: Windows 7 Re-Installation Using VMware Image

That is unnecessarily complicated and won't work.  All you have to do it restore to factory settings. Follow the directions HERE.

Windows 7 already has the tools to make a copy of the factory restore partition. Make sure you have made a system repair disk to use as a boot disk, backups of your personal files and a system image stored on an external drive. Open Win 7's Backup and Restore to do it all. That is insurance in addition to Dell's Recovery disks and work better.

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Carter Hayes
1 Copper

Re: Windows 7 Re-Installation Using VMware Image

Thank you for the response. I realize that it is complicated, but can you tell me why it won't work?

As per your suggestion, I will definitely do a backup using Windows 7's Backup and Restore beforehand regardless of how I proceed.

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spalermo41
1 Copper

Re: Windows 7 Re-Installation Using VMware Image

I just attempted installing VMware Player on my dell inspiron1525, which I upgraded to W7 Pro 2 years ago.  After installing VMWare , I attempted to create a VM for XP Pro using the OEM supplied OS.  Problem I encountered is Invalid Product Key when attempting to register XP.  It seems that you cannot use OEM CA and need to purchase full user lic os.

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