How to reinstall Windows on your laptop when you have no installation disks

Many laptops now come with no Windows installation disk and if they do, it’s not uncommon for people to lose or damage them. This isn’t noticed until something in Windows gets corrupted or the disk gets damaged and a complete OS reinstall is required. With no Windows disk what can you do?

Before you even get to this stage it is recommended that you check your laptop to see if it has a Recovery Disk creation wizard. This will allow you to use normal recordable DVDs or CDs to create your own Recovery Disks which you can then use to restore your installation. This is something most people forget to do despite reminders that you get from the system. Assuming you have no disks you still have a few options.

Use the Recovery option

Most of the time even laptops supplied with recover disks still have a recover partition hidden on the harddrive. Pressing F10 or whatever other key the manufacturer decided to use during the boot process will bring up the option to restore the OS. However much of the time this will delete your data files and any programs you’ve installed since too. Even if the restore application tells you it can avoid deleting your data, you should definitely back up your data anyway rather than trust that everything will work because if it doesn’t you may well have lost your data for good. Family photos etc are irreplaceable. Losing programs for which you have lost their licence keys or disks can get expensive. If you are not 100% sure what you are doing then call a professional.

Find and use the the recovery partition

If your laptop is in a state where the disk is corrupted then it’s quite possible that this partition won’t work either because it is corrupted itself, or because the Master Boot Record is damaged, or for some other reason. It often still possible to use a “lost” recovery partition as long as it’s not corrupted. All you need to is to set that partition as the active partition and reboot and you will boot into it and find it works just fine.
What if there are no recovery options or partitions?

If you have not recovery options left then you will have to resinstall from an external source. You can contact the manufacturer and ask them to supply you with recovery media. They usually charge for this. Otherwise you may need to reinstall Windows. You will need the right disk and licence key to do this.

If you’re not entirely confident with doing this and don’t want to risk data loss, loss of programs or other problems with your laptop then call your local professional. MobileTechie offers computer repair and support to the Berkshire, Surrey and Bucks area.

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