Silly question... perhaps?

It’s been decades since I last farted around with PC’s but as I’m laid up and bored out of my skull I decided to upgrade two laptops. Nothing too strenuous, upgrade memory, HD’s and install a new OS. Having just put W7 pro 64bit onto one rig, I now find that Ding Dong Dell haven’t updated the drivers database… which is the underlying problem.

Question I’m looking to get answered is: Can you remove, reformat the HD, then re-install from the DVD/CD without the palaver of a new W7 COA onto the same unit/motherboard?

Thanks in advance.

Normally with a Dell you have to to do a factory reset which you run from the start up menu and reinstall Windows from the backup partition on the hard drive. It’s useful if you want to sell the lappy in that you basically use the factory reset to install windows and the relevant drivers and wipe out any personal info you might have accumulated. It gives you a clean copy of the OS. If you have already wiped the hard drive including the rescue partition then you need to acquire a new OS disc and install it and then get the relevant drivers from the Dell website.

The original Vista software is gone along with the drive. Fitted a new HD and installed W7. Wondering if I remove W7 with a format, can I re-install without the hassle to get a new COA? If MS lock it to the MB then it ought not to be a problem. In the interim 15 -20 years things just might have changed? Biggest problem is getting drivers as Dellboy doesn’t appear to be updating the S/W for the model in question - XPS M1730 laptop.

I do have all of the Vista CD/DVD originals but would like to keep the upgraded W7 as, without a doubt, Vista will fall off the edge of the world sooner or later, just like XP.

It shouldn’t need a new one if nothing has changed in the hardware as far as I’m aware. I’ve replaced Dell mobos in the past and I’ve never been asked for one or to even reactivate it, but these have all been a genune Dell original factory install or an install from a Dell supplied disk. Not too sure about any other OS disk.

Rather than fuss about reinstalling Vista (COA on laptop will work fine for that as long as you use correct version), W7 x64 uses same drivers as Vista x64 so you can just download the Vista drivers from Dell. I would suggest you go direct to nVidia for the graphics drivers though.

Did the same thing with my Latitude D830.

Thanks for the replies… now have things working again.
New W7 OS onto a new drive which proved problematic… drivers missing. Eventually discovered that certain ‘missing drivers’ had to be initially input from the original CD? nVidia driver updates, although installing missed out the PhysX card which wasn’t being recognised?

Once this was discovered I decided to redo the whole instal process as other drivers were also needed which I found could be got from the original driver CD by using V64bit… felt a bit of a prat but seemingly V64 have been missed out by others paddling up the same creek. Dellboy’s advice is to stay with V. Suffice to say other punters have been giving it a big V for the lack of support info.

Non-Dell W 7 COA code was used second time around on new HD + memory upgrade without problems other than re-doing the authentication process.

You’ll find most laptop manufacturers (and printer manufacturers) will not update drivers past the OS’s that were available when the laptops were in production. I’ve had people wanting to upgrade WinXP laptops to Win7, then run into issues with there being no Win7 OR WinVista drivers written for that model’s chipsets. They’d rather you upgraded the hardware rather than just the software.

Great avatar Lonely lol - might have to pinch it off you :slight_smile:

Easy go to CHIPSET developer sites. The drivers coming from them 99% of time handle everything that the DELLS of the world do. The DELLS, HP all use them anyway but re-brand them and yes do some testing but they typically don’t tweak them that often.

:trophy: Thanks Step2000… Once I got so far into the drivers update I went down that route and everything as you said just fell into place and worked. Live and learn. Found also that Vista 64bit drivers also helped solve the problems. Now have all the required drivers safely saved if ever it comes to round two.