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Fresh install of Vista from someone elses DVD

Posted on 2011-03-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Hi experts,

Basic Info:
I have Windows Vista Business preinstalled on a Sony Vaio laptop I bought 2 years ago. I never made the backup/reinstall DVDs because I am a lazy wotsit. I have the product key on the Microsoft certificate on the underside of the laptop. The computer is 2ghz centrino duo with 2gb ram but runs v.slowly these days.

Question:
1.1. Can I install from a friends DVD of Vista Business SP2 and just put in my product key?
1.2. Is a fresh install likely to speed up my machine?
1.3. After backing up my files, should I format the hard drive or just do fresh install without or what option should I follow?

Many thanks

/ Tobzzz
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Question by:tobzzz
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10 Comments
 
LVL 52

Accepted Solution

by:
Carl Tawn earned 1000 total points
ID: 35093401
1.1 - Yes. As long as you have a valid licence you are ok to install from a different DVD.
1.2 - Possibly. A fresh install will clear out any junk you may have had.
1.3 - I usually wipe the drive first, but the install should format the disk anyway.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35093545
Unless your friend's vista setup DVD is an OEM version, you will have a problem of activation. The official answer is to order recovery DVD from  SONY at a nominal fee.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:bitla
ID: 35093561
If you like to wipe out entire Hard drive then take a backup of your file on another hard drive. But i go by backing up the files on C: drive only and that too particularly the USER folder and the insert the New DVD SP2 in the DVD drive and restart the PC and perform a full format of C drive only and install the OS.

and about the Yes you can use it.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:bitla
ID: 35093565
and about the licence key Yes you can use it on fresh installation of same version of OS.
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:edbedb
edbedb earned 1000 total points
ID: 35093626
There are probably programs running that you don't even want. I would use Soluto to see what software is loading to decide which ones I can do without. http://www.soluto.com/
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35093668
Please state your model of Sony notebook, for some models, there is a recovery partition for factory recovery without the vista setup DVD.
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:tobzzz
ID: 35093754
Its a Sony Vaio sz61mn/b but there's no partition on the drive. I'll take a look at Soluto before doing any installs. The version my friend has, has a key included but of course, I want to use my own legitimate key and I certainly don't want to buy recovery discs for a product I've already paid for and have, if you see what I mean. I just want to speed up my machine really, I can't add more RAM, it's 2gb max. Thanks!
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:bitla
ID: 35096541
You can still create partition without loosing data.
Open Diskmanagement
click storage
Right-click on any part of your hard drive that is labeled as "Unallocated" and then select "New Simple Volume."
Click "Next" when the New Simple Volume Wizard launches.

Enter the size of the partition. Enter this in megabytes and click "Next."

Choose a letter to assign to the partition and click "Next."

Format the partition if you want. To format the partition, click "Next." If you don't want to format the partition, click "Do not format this volume" and then click "Next."

Click "Finish" and the partition is created on your computer. All data on your hard drive is safe and remains on your drive.

To keep the existing OS without formatting, i suggest you to go for system restore to a state/date it was brand new. Select the oldest date.

This will also improve performance of your laptop



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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:marsilies
ID: 35105940
A few notes,

First, your laptop does have a recovery partition, at least according to Sony. You won't see it in Explorer because it's hidden, but it's there (unless you deliberately removed it).

You can download and read the Recovery Guide from Sony's support site in order to learn how to create recovery discs, and how to "recover" your computer back to its factory-shipped state. Be sure to read and follow all steps and warnings, specifically about backing up data first:
http://support.vaio.sony.eu/computing/vaio/documentation/manuals/index.aspx?l=en_GB&m=VGN-SZ61MN_B


Secondly, While Windows XP and 7 require using the correct disc that matches the license/key you have, Vista install discs all have identical contents (excepting custom OEM ones made by large manufacturers like Dell). The point being that if you can borrow a Retail Vista install disc, of any edition, you can install it on your laptop using the key on the side of the laptop. However, that key on the side won't successfully pass online activation, and you'll have to call MS for activation over the phone.


Finally, instead of calling MS and re-activating your Windows after the re-install, if you plan ahead you can backup your Sony's OEM pre-activation and then restore if after the re-install. To find out how to do so, follow the guide in the link:
http://directedge.us/node/24
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:crash2000
ID: 35107383
I think pressing Ctrl and F11 on the first splash screen will start the recovery.

Mark
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