• Restoring Win7 to Surplus Laptop

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    I purchased two Dell E5500 laptops from a surplus government auction. Both have the Win7 license tag pasted within the battery compartment for reference, but I am not sure if either computer has a copy of Win7 on it. I want to build a Win7 ISO USB stick, boot from the stick, and use the correct license number from that computer to restore a legal copy of Win7 on the computer (if it is not already there). However, none of my attempts to build a Recovery USB for Win7 on my Desktop system (under Win10 Home) has been successful. One big problem is trying to find a pristine copy of an updated Win7 to use. How should I proceed?

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    • #2499759

      Heidoc has Windows ISOs. You need to be sure to get the same version and bittage as the one on your license tag. Their ISOs are legit and from Microsoft.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2533169

      Get the ISO for Win7 as suggested and use it to burn a DVD-RW (you’ll need a DVD, not a CD) and use a USB connected external optical drive to boot from, if the laptop doesn’t have one built in. The laptop should have a key permitting you to choose where to boot from and you can select the optical drive with the Win disc in it and that will boot it up correctly. That’s easier than building a bootable USB thumb drive, especially if you’re not certain the laptop has a working Windows on it.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2533217

      Building a bootable USB stick is simple.

      1. Download and run Rufus.
      2. Plug in a USB stick with enough capacity.
      3. Select the ISO and the USB in Rufus.
      4. Hit the go button.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2533960

        Will try Rufus as soon as I find a good copy to download.

        • #2533963

          Rufus information:

          On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
          offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
          offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
          online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2540450

            I am exploring Rufus now. I have a confusing assembly of ISOs, sticks, utilities, unbootable portables, etc. that I have to sort through before I can actually build a recovery drive. Also, this is the first time I have <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>really</span> used the forum, so I am unfamiliar of the politeness protocols, i.e using the “thanks” button. So bear with my delays.

            • #2540475

              Also, this is the first time I have really used the forum,

              If you paste into the Visual tab here you’ll often get unrecognized HTML code like that, but if you paste plain text (e.g. Ctrl+SHIFT+V) that won’t happen (or into the Text tab so that you can see any codes).

              Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

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