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Reformatting Laptop: Other Options

edited October 2010 in Technology
So it's about time to give my laptop a new start on life and reformat it.

I'm going to be going home Monday night and searching for my original Windows Vista start-up discs.
What are my options if I cannot find those discs?
Options that preferably do NOT involve buying a new laptop/MS start-up disc.
I've got everything backed up on my Extnl HD, so at least nothing will be lost.


  • Pirate Windows, buy Windows, go Linux.
  • Do you have the sticker on the bottom of your laptop that has the code on it? If you do you can just download the disc and install it from the pirated discs and it will work just fine. That's what I did for my desktop.
  • I recently had to do this to my brother's laptop. He managed to get a virus in his system files, music, and document. It was so rooted in that I had no option other than to reinstall Windows 7. That's where the fun begins. First, the laptop didn't come with recovery discs, and I had to send in for some spares. Second, the recovery disc didn't include drivers for the system so I had to reinstall them manually. Third, half of them wouldn't work and I had to go look for them through my brother's paperwork (scattered randomly in messy piles around his junkyard of a room). Fourth, he didn't have the model number of his video card and I had to root around at Dell's website for it (which took me forever to find). After about SIX HOURS, I managed to fully install and update Windows. I made sure he had his anti-virus up-to-date, and made sure he couldn't easily access IE or use Limewire (which is probably how he got it.) I must point out that now I'm behind on my thesis work because of this.

    As for your problem, I would suggest looking into Xubuntu. It's designed to be more efficient (mainly because it's meant for systems with very low performance specs), and is (obviously) just Ubuntu with XFCE instead of Gecko.
  • XFCE instead of Gecko.
    You mean Xfce instead of Gnome.

    Also, something else that may help you. My laptop does not have an optical drive. It has a separate partition on the hard drive that is the recovery partition. It's a partition you never use, except when you want to recover. Basically when I boot I can push a certain key (it says what key on the screen) to use the recovery partition and restore the factory defaults, no disc necessary. I could remove the partition, but I haven't.
  • You mean Xfce instead of Gnome.
    AARRGH! How did I mix those up? Must be groggy.
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