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Clean Install of Windows 8 without install disc?


maiki

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#1
I just got a new laptop, a Lenovo X230, for which I paid extra to have the OS on it as Windows 8 Pro.

So--now I have it, and Win 8 Pro 64 is installed and activated on it. I am a legal owner of Win 8 Pro.

However, I would like to do a clean install of Win 8 on the computer, to have it free of bloatware, etc. (In fact, I would like to set up a multi-boot with Win 7, and perhaps even triple boot with Xp as well. (I have installation media and my product keys for XP and 7 though, so those are not really a problem.)

The computer came with no discs at all. There is a procedure to make recovery disks. I may do that, but I think those will be to restore the computer to how it came from the factory, and therefore not usable for a clean install.

I don't see my product key for Win 8 anywhere. Not on the computer, not on any kind of card that came with it, etc.

I looked at the tutorial here for clean install of Windows 8, but it requires an install disc and product key. I have neither, although I am a legal owner of Windows 8.

Is there a way I can create (from my installed Windows 8) a win 8 install disk, that can be used for a clean install? Or a link to download one? Is there a way I can get my product key?

Thank you in advance.
 

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SIW2

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#2
You shouldn't need to enter a product key with an oem machine.

The recovery partition and discs will likely reinstall with all the crapware.

Hard to tell without looking at it. Dell recovery program used to offer an option to reinstall without crapware. Perhaps your oem does also.

Many would like to do a clean install as you describe. Not so easy with win8 oem pre install .
 

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maiki

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#3
Yes, the manufacturer's recovery discs and partitiions are always to put the machine back how it came from the factory, including the bloatware. I may create those discs, in case I ever need to do that, but those cannot be used for a clean install.

Therefore, how do I create or download a disc that can be used for a clean install? (I recall with Win 7, it was possible to download that, at no cost. (Of course one had to have one's license key, in order to activate it.)

You shouldn't need to enter a product key with an oem machine.

The recovery partition and discs will likely reinstall with all the crapware.

Hard to tell without looking at it. Dell recovery program used to offer an option to reinstall without crapware. Perhaps your oem does also.

Many would like to do a clean install as you describe. Not so easy with win8 oem pre install .
 

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SIW2

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#4
There are some floating around, no official d/l links as far as I can tell.

Perhaps MS expect you to go to the oem. But they will probably just send you the same bloat ridden install media you already have on recovery partition.

Probably folk will resort to getting them from torrents .

A number of things are less easy with winds 8
 

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Nuccii

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#5
Download and run Belarc Advisor, this program is free and will show you a lot of information including the keys.
 

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znod

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#6
I looked at the tutorial here for clean install of Windows 8, but it requires an install disc and product key. I have neither, although I am a legal owner of Windows 8.

Is there a way I can create (from my installed Windows 8) a win 8 install disk, that can be used for a clean install? Or a link to download one? Is there a way I can get my product key?

Thank you in advance.
You might cut to the chase and install Win7. Then, to upgrade to Win8, you could go here to get the ISO--which would lead to the creation of a clean install DVD or flash drive. See this tutorial; it instructs on how to get the ISO. You also would get a product key. Note that you would forfeit your Win7 license in the process. Perhaps you have two Win7 full install licenses. The upgrade is $39.99 U.S. until the end of the year. $199 thereafter.
 
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znod

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#7

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theog

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#8
information   Information

We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
& made the Startup Repair CD.
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/5132-recovery-drive-create-usb-flash-drive-windows-8-a.html
http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2855-system-repair-disc-create-windows-8-a.html



Did you make the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?


Methodology to create Recovery Media and reload a Lenovo system with Microsoft Windows 8 preload


Lenovo said:
NOTE: From this point forward in the recovery process, the choices for actual operating system recovery depend on the existing state of the computer hard drive.

Below are the instructions if there is an existing Microsoft Windows 8 install on the hard drive.
1.Select the target operating system of Microsoft Windows 8 to reload over existing Lenovo preload.
2.Select "Yes" to repartition the drives or "No" to keep existing partitions. For a clean install, the drives should be repartitioned.
3.Select "Fully Clean the drive".
4.Click Reset to begin the process.
5.The reset/recovery process takes approximately 90 minutes.
6.Once the reset/recovery is complete, the system will reboot into Microsoft Windows 8.

Below are the instructions if the hard drive is blank.
1.Select "Yes" to repartition the HDD or "No" to keep the existing partitions.
2.Click either choice, but these instructions follow the repartition scenario.
3.Select "Fully Clean the drive" as this will take several minutes to complete.
4.Click Reset to begin the process.
5.The reset/recovery process takes approximately 90 minutes.
6.Once the reset/recovery is complete, the system will reboot into Microsoft Windows 8.
Lenovo said:
When the hard disk drive or solid state drive is replaced because of a failure, no
product recovery program is on the new drive. In this case, you must use the
Recovery Disc Set for the computer. Order the Recovery Disc Set and the drive at
the same time so that you can recover the new drive with the pre-installed
software when they arrive.
From the manual for Lenovo G480.
 

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SIW2

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#9
He doesn't want the oem restore discs.

He wants a clean install - no crapware.

There is the MS crapware to contend with as well. It is possible to remove the crapps. from the installation media - provided you have an install.wim.

The other crapware - Metro - is harder to remove.
 

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fafhrd

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#11
Let's discover if you have a recovery partition that contains a copy of your install wim - although it may not have usable files there. First download 7-zip 9.30 alpha from http://dl.7-zip.org/7z930-x64.msi (although this is alpha software , it seems stable enough to use for this - you may find differently - if that is the case try http://dl.7-zip.org/7z925-x64.msi)

Install 7-zip. 7-zip file manager is the easiest way to view and extract files from WIM image files, without mounting the image - it also works with ISO and other archives and images.

Open Disk Management (type :winkey:+x then k) then take a screenshot (type :winkey:+prt sc).

If you can see a drive called Recovery, it is probably invisible to Windows Explorer, because it has no drive letter - Right click the drive and see if you can Change Drive Letter and Paths... - if you can give it the drive letter B, because you will not have a drive with that letter already.

If you cannot Change the drive letter, then repost the screenshot image here, using the insert image button in the toolbar for the Eightforums Quick Reply edit window.

If you do have a B: drive, you can then explore the drive. Right click the drive and select Explore. If there is a folder called Sources, look inside for a file called install.wim of about 3GB in size.

If no Sources folder is there, search B: for *.wim in the search bar at the top right of the Explorer window. Take a screenshot as before and post here with both screenshots.

If you have an install.wim, you can probably reinstall cleanly, so copy the file to your Downloads folder, it will take a while, but you may need your recovery folder safely hidden away again afterwards. Select your B drive then Change drive Letters and Paths... again and select Remove - the warning tells you what you already have found out - so select Yes, and the drive becomes hidden again.

Look forward to your news.
 
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maiki

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#12
Thanks, fafhrd, I will try that.

For those suggesting that I buy a Windows 8 upgrade disc--yes the price is pretty good right now, so I may try that. However, I have already paid for a windows 8 license as part of buying the laptop. In fact, I paid $50 extra in configuring the laptop to get the pro version of win 8. (I now see that as a mistake, since one can now buy the Win 8 pro upgrade for $40.) So I really don't think I should have to buy it twice, and would prefer not to if possible. I don't even know if I will like Win 8 (this laptop is not a tablet, no touch screen, etc.), and therefore want to set it up dual-boot with win7, or perhaps even triple boot with xp and 7. So I don't really like the idea of having to buy Win8 again. Yet, to get the best trial of Win8, I think a clean install would be best, without all the Lenovo and Norton and other crapware, etc.

Back to your suggestion, fafhrd. I am not at that computer right now. IT does have three recovery partitions. I think the largest (about 9-10GB) is the Lenovo recovery partition. The smallest is I think the System Reserved partition for the recovery features built into Windows, and I am not sure what the third one is (anyone know?) I doubt that in disk management that one can assign a drive letter to a recovery partition. However, I have backed up all the partitions with Acronis, so may try try to retrieve those files from the backup. I also may do the procedure to create the Lenovo recovery on a thumb drive. Of course that could not be used for a clean installs, but I could likely retrieve the install.wim file from it.

Are you saying that with that install.wim file by itself, separated from other Lenovo recovery files, that one could do a clean install of Win8 from that?
 

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znod

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#13
Thank you in advance.
In brief, have you identified a direction you want to go if it involves spending some money?
 

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maiki

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#14
FAFHRD-I tried in Disk Management. Although I could see the recovery partitions there, I did not see any way to access data in them, no way to assign a drive letter, etc.I'll try to access via Acronis later.However, can you tell me--if I am able to copy the install.wim file to my hard drive from the recovery partition, and if I can open the install.win file with 7-Zip---what files do I look to extract from the install.wim file?Then, what do I do with them?Thank you.Znod, I don't understand your question?
 

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topgundcp

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#15
I tried in Disk Management. Although I could see the recovery partitions there, I did not see any way to access data in them, no way to assign a drive letter, etc.
The recovery partition is a special EISA (Extended Industry Standard Architecture) partition. You cannot use Disk Management Tool to alter the Partition. You have to open the elevated command prompt and run diskpart, once in diskpart, type: help and it will list all the options for you to work with EISA partition.

Hope this helps
 

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maiki

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#16
topgundcp-- I was replying to a post from fafhrd. If you didn't read that one, you might want to see what he was suggesting re the recovery partition. It didn't have to do with altering it, but with extracting a file from it. Would diskpart do that? You are right though, that one cannot make it visible with Disk Management. (It appears there, but one cannot mount it as a drive or something. I would still like to find out what he was suggesting I do if I am able to extract that file from it (install.wim) in some way.
I tried in Disk Management. Although I could see the recovery partitions there, I did not see any way to access data in them, no way to assign a drive letter, etc.
The recovery partition is a special EISA (Extended Industry Standard Architecture) partition. You cannot use Disk Management Tool to alter the Partition. You have to open the elevated command prompt and run diskpart, once in diskpart, type: help and it will list all the options for you to work with EISA partition.Hope this helps
 

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fafhrd

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#17
Hi Maiki, OK, you cannot get any further with the Windows disk manager, but you do see the 9-10 GB recovery partition. A screenshot would be informative, and so would the output from Diskpart.

Open an elevated command prompt :)winkey:+x then a) and type diskpart. After the DISKPART prompt appears type

list disk

I guess your main disk is going to be disk 0 (check on Disk Management console), so select it

sel disk 0

now list the partitions on the selected disk

list part

Check the size of your recovery volume and select the corresponding partition (in my case partition 3)

sel part 3

and reveal the details of the partition

detail part

If you could make a screenshot and post it as I have, it would be interesting, and we can proceed

Screenshot (37).png



If the partition type is 27

set id=07 override

this removes the basic "hidden-ness"

(If the type is something else, note it down, let us know what it is, but do not change it.)

The simplest thing to try at this point is to assign a drive letter, say b, since you probably do not have a second floppy drive!

assign letter=b

Partition types: List of partition identifiers for PCs is a useful partition type resource.

you can remove the drive letter with

remove letter=b

and the type change with

set id=27 override

Exit exits diskpart and returns you to the command prompt.

Wim tomorrow!
 
Last edited:

My Computer

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    inbuilt
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znod

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#18
Thank you.Znod, I don't understand your question?
You are very welcome. I am just intimating that you are spending a fair amount of time trying to not spend a few $. You could get down to business by spending a few $ before the $39.99 option goes away. And, for an extra $14.99, you can order, during the upgrade process, a two disc set that is equivalent to the retail pro upgrade set--one 32-bit DVD and one 64-bit DVD. Time is almost up. I think it is not functional to stand on the principle that you shouldn't have to pay for Pro twice under the circumstances. Who do you hurt standing on that principle? Mostly you.
 

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maiki

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#19
Thanks for the info, fafhrd. I am still not clear, however, if I find the install.wim file (on the recovery partition), and open it with 7-zip, what am I supposed to look for in it, and what do I do with what is found?Also, I did the recoverydrive thing to create a recovery USB flash drive. When asked if I wanted to include the manufacturer recovery partition, I chose yes. Therefore, shouldn't the whole recovery partition be on my USB flash drive, which is readable. I did look for install.wim on it, no such file.
 

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maiki

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#20
Also, I have another idea how perhaps one could do a clean install without an install disc, although I don't know if it would work, and wonder if anyone has tried this. In the pre-boot recovery options of Win 8 (booting into the System Reserved partition), there is an option called Reset Windows. In another forum someone speculated whether that might do a clean install. Then they tried it, said it did not, it did the same thing as the manufacturer recovery media, brought the computer back to the state it came from the factory, bloatware and all. It occurs to me though--what if one deleted the manufacturer recovery partition, and then did this Reset Windows thing. The system would not have the manufacturer recovery, so could not set it back to factory. Might it then do a clean install? Anyone tried that?
 

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