The DVD I purchased for this task cost USD $6.99. I have used it to reinstall Windows 7 Professional on 2 laptops and Windows 7 Home Premium on 1 laptop. The Windows 7 Reinstall DVD I purchased in September, on eBay, was purchased from leo81056. On the flap of the sleeve it came in, it shows “Windows 7 32 & 64 bit All versions Install/Reinstall DVD”
This is the URL for that DVD on eBay, on 12 December 2015.. He sent it via First Class Mail, with USPS Tracking.
Last week, I won another used Dell Latitude E6410 laptop, in an eBay auction and that eBay Seller wipes the hard drives of the computers they sell. Like the first laptop I won in one of their eBay auctions, it does not have a Restore partition on the hard disk drive. After it is delivered to our house, I plan to use this DVD to Reinstall Windows 7 Professional on it. The laptop has a Microsoft COA (Certificate of Authenticiy) with the 25 digit Product Key necessary to activate Windows with Microsoft, so one can obtain the Windows Updates.
Microsoft no longer permits people to Download the files needed to reinstall Windows 7. DO NOT DOWNLOAD Windows 7 files from any other source. There is too much of a chance the file you Download would be corrupted, infected, contain a virus or Trojan, etc. You CANNOT LEGALLY Download those files. That was apparently possible, in the past, but it is not possible now, unless you purchase Windows 7 from Microsoft again. If you have a Desktop/Tower/Laptop with a Microsoft COA (Certificate of Authenticiy) with the 25 digit Product Key, there is no reason for you to purchase Windows 7 again. All you need is a Reinstall DVD like this, which is very inexpensive.
(1) The DVD I received in September was not labeled. If the one you receive is not labeled, immediately, with a Marking Pen, write on the DVD what it is.
(2) Backup your Data files (photos, school work, etc.) BEFORE you reinstall Windows 7.
(3) Shutdown the Laptop and Remove the battery. Carefully write down what the 25 character Product Key is, so you can Activate Windows 7 again, after the reinstall and get the Windows Updates.
(4) in the BIOS, you need to have the Boot Sequence set so that the first option is for the Laptop to boot from is the DVD drive. If it is not set that way, change it, before you try to boot from the DVD.
(5) During the Windows 7 installation sequence, when you come to Partitions and Formatting, you will probably have at least 2 Partitions. Probably, if you are running on the original OEM installation from the factory, there will be 3 or more Partitions. (a Restore partition, etc.). DELETE ALL of those partitions before proceeding. You will receive warnings, that you may be deleting Data, Windows files, the Restore partition, etc. Ignore those warnings and DELETE ALL Partitions you see, so that you can use the entire space on the hard disk drive, which is shown as “Unallocated”, after you DELETE the Partitions.
(6) After the reinstallation of Windows 7, not all of the Hardware may be working. When I installed Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, on the Dell Latitude E6410 we received in September, Windows 7 didn’t find the Driver(s) for the Ethernet chip. So, connected by cable to our Ethernet Switch, the laptop was not on the Internet. I downloaded the correct Driver(s) from support.dell.com on another machine, copied that file to a USB Memory, and then put that USB Memory into the machine that couldn’t access Ethernet and installed the Ethernet Drivers. Then, it was online via Ethernet.
(7) Once the laptop is online via Ethernet, then do “Windows Updates”, several times, until you have all of them. The DVD (and others I looked at) has SP1, which is five years old, so there are approximately 700 MB of Important Updates (for Security and Stability), available from Windows Update for Windows 7 SP1
The three (3) laptops I have reinstalled Windows 7 on, with this DVD, so far, were activated with Microsoft, without any issues and they are working properly.
This is not Rocket Science, but if it should go awry the first time, start over and try again.