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Old 07-11-2018, 12:55 AM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
From the link you mentioned:
"To get started, you will first need to have a license to install Windows 10."

I do not have a license for Windows 10.
Or better said, I do not know what the license info is ...

I do have all the registration data for Win 7, the OS that came with the unit when first bought.
Hence my plan to load Win7 first and then upgrade to Win 10.
If you had upgraded your Windows 7 to 10 for free when MS was offering, then you are good to go.
When you upgraded, it should have reserved a corresponding key with Microsoft.
Whether you install just 7 or, (upgrade to) 10 afterwards, the same key should activate just fine.
So, I believe the correct process is, install the original Windows, then activate it, then upgrade to Windows 10.

It might work if you do all the installations and upgrades, and then activate it.

When I read the files on the hard drive (after taking ownership), I did not see an additional partition?[/quote]

OEM system recovery partition is (typically) marked as drive X. Sometimes hidden. If all you see is a C partition on the hard drive, then chances are there was no restore partition or it was re-formatted previously and wiped out by someone. OEM restore/recovery software just reformats and re-installs the OS and original apps on the C drive so the partition where the recovery software is located (assume X partition) would be untouched. Formatting can only be done on a partition. You cannot do a high-level (conventional) formatting on an unpartitioned disk. First you create partition(s), then you format each partition. Partitioning is also when you select sector size and filesystem (FAT32, NTFS, etc.).

Partitioning is dividing the actual physical hard drive (regardless of type, ie SATA, SSD, IDE) into virtual sections. If you see only one partition aka volume on a physical disk, it means the entire disk space was used to create just one partition.
OEM Imaging tools are typically automated and do not offer any customization when you are running recovery/restore process.

Check to see if this OS Recovery Tool offered by Dell helped:
https://www.dell.com/support/home/us...verytool/WT64A
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:25 AM
 
40,296 posts, read 41,850,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
From the link you mentioned:
"To get started, you will first need to have a license to install Windows 10."

I do not have a license for Windows 10.

If you have installed and activated Windows on the computer when they were giving it away for free the win7 license is your Win10 license. Since it'a already been activated on your computer it should just activate on it's own after installation.



Quote:
I did not see an additional partition?

Then it might of been deleted or didn't come with one.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:40 AM
 
40,296 posts, read 41,850,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurcoLoco View Post
So, I believe the correct process is, install the original Windows, then activate it, then upgrade to Windows 10.

If you have already upgraded to Win10 you should not need to do that, you can go right to Win10. When they were offering the free upgrade you only needed to let the upgrade go through so Win10 was activated on the computer, then you could format the drive and install fresh copy of Win10. I've did this with three machines without any issues, 2 of them were Win7 and the other Win8. I've recently reinstalled it on one of them because the hard drive died.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:40 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,374 posts, read 11,287,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurcoLoco View Post
If you had upgraded your Windows 7 to 10 for free when MS was offering, then you are good to go.
When you upgraded, it should have reserved a corresponding key with Microsoft.
Whether you install just 7 or, (upgrade to) 10 afterwards, the same key should activate just fine.
So, I believe the correct process is, install the original Windows, then activate it, then upgrade to Windows 10.

It might work if you do all the installations and upgrades, and then activate it.
I remembered that I tried to do that, using the win 7 keys/serials listed on the sticker) and got the message that it was not a true Microsoft key, but a specific Manufacturers (in this case Dell) key, and was notified to contact the manufacturer.

I did that and got the USB stick (Recovery/Restore) directly from Dell after they verified the Service Tag.

Using that USB stick as the first boot order, the result was that it always ended up with the message that the boot manager was missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurcoLoco View Post
Check to see if this OS Recovery Tool offered by Dell helped:
https://www.dell.com/support/home/us...verytool/WT64A
This would not have worked if the computer would not boot up at all in the first place.

Downloading their tool as mentioned in the link, needs a working computer. Not one that does not boot up.

I finally got the Dell provided Recovery/Restore USB stick, that (after all the things it did during the bootup cycle) ended up over and over again with the message the Boot Manager was missing!

The Dell provided USB stick does claim, that it would restore a copy of 'Win7 whatever' on a new disk.
Quote from the service tech, I talked to on the phone when I ordered the USB stick (cost was 20 dollars).

So ..., yesterday I reformatted the hard drive. It took almost all day (it is a one-something Tb drive).
After it was finally finished, I checked it by trying to read what was 'on it' and it showed that the drive was 'there', but nothing on it.

Today, I will try to load again by using the Dell provided USB stick Recovery/Restore media, and will let you know what happened.
If it works, then the result should be a computer with Win 7 Premium on it, which I can then 'upgrade' to Win 10 ...

Thanks for sticking with me on this problem. I appreciate the help and suggestions.

Since I think, this desktop has good hardware (my son used it as a game computer), I am trying to make it work again. If it works, installing Win 7 and then upgrading (on a reformated drive), I may even think about changing the drive to a 128 Gb SSD drive ...
It was a 'free' hand-me-down system, so adding an SSD drive would still be a cheap fast system, no?

My working laptop (the one I am working from now) does have a 128 Gb SSD drive, and it is a 'zipper'!
Boot up in less than 15 seconds and fast programme loading!
With all the programmes I work with, there is still about 81 Gb free.
I have a 1Tb external drive used for recovery and back ups.

Last edited by irman; 07-11-2018 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:48 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
6,385 posts, read 10,849,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
If you have already upgraded to Win10 you should not need to do that, you can go right to Win10. When they were offering the free upgrade you only needed to let the upgrade go through so Win10 was activated on the computer, then you could format the drive and install fresh copy of Win10. I've did this with three machines without any issues, 2 of them were Win7 and the other Win8. I've recently reinstalled it on one of them because the hard drive died.
That makes sense. I will take your word for it as I have never done that for a system that was upgraded to 10 during that period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
I remembered that I tried to do that, using the win 7 keys/serials listed on the sticker) and got the message that it was not a true Microsoft key, but a specific Manufacturers (in this case Dell) key, and was notified to contact the manufacturer.
There is a possibility that your son or someone else installed another version of Windows 7 or at least used a different key than what came from the OEM. Have you checked with your son about this to clarify/confirm? Otherwise, it is odd and a bit confusing.

Also, based on Coalman's input, you should create a Windows 10 bootable flash drive and install Windows 10 directly using the serial key that was used to activate the former working installation.

I am assuming you may have to use a generic Windows 10 boot flash drive that you can create on any healthy Windows 10 system. Then use the Windows 10 image (on another USB if needed) to install the actual operating system.

What Dell sent you should definitely work for the version of Windows that came originally but you also have to use the matching serial for it. If there is a mismatch then I think there were multiple installations occurred on this computer which would explain the situation.

Quote:
I did that and got the USB stick (Recovery/Restore) directly from Dell after they verified the Service Tag.
Using that USB stick as the first boot order, the result was that it always ended up with the message that the boot manager was missing.
If the PC is indeed configured to boot the USB flash drive and it is booting to it, then the drive doesn't sound bootable or the USB port is not working properly. I would try another USB port. Also, if the PC has front and back ports, try different ones. If it has USB3 and USB2 ports, I tend to prefer using USB2 ports for better compatibility but try them all.

Also, for troubleshooting purpose, create another bootable USB flash drive, even a Linux based one you can create for free, just to make sure the system can actually boot to USB. If that worked, then you know the ports are good and the boot sequence is configured correctly. At that point, it goes back to an issue with the stick Dell sent you being bad or boot image being corrupt.

Quote:
Downloading their tool as mentioned in the link, needs a working computer. Not one that does not boot up.
The people helping here always assume, logically so, the people asking for help with such issues have another computer they can use (to access this site, to download files and apps needed, etc.).

Did you mean the actual system the image will be installed on, needed to be in running condition? If yes, that makes no sense and provides no real solution!


Quote:
So ..., yesterday I reformatted the hard drive. It took almost all day (it is a one-something Tb drive).
After it was finally finished, I checked it by trying to read what was 'on it' and it showed that the drive was 'there', but nothing on it.
When you formatted the hard drive, you did erase the file "allocation table". So, the data is still there but the file/folder layout chart/pointers are gone, so it is in a way looks "empty".
If it is the same recovery/restore boot drive I used a while back, you should NOT have to do any formatting or partitioning on the original drive, after booting to the OEM flash drive, the entire process of partitioning, formatting and OS installation should be automated, all the way to the screen that you saw first time the machine was turned on by the original buyer.

Quote:
Today, I will try to load again by using the Dell provided USB stick Recovery/Restore media, and will let you know what happened.
If it works, then the result should be a computer with Win 7 Premium on it, which I can then 'upgrade' to Win 10 ...

Thanks for sticking with me on this problem. I appreciate the help and suggestions.
No worries. I haven't been active in a long while and far from an expert on this subject but as I mentioned earlier. Another method you can try if all else failed, would be to create a generic Windows 10 boot flash drive and install Windows 10 from the link Coalman provided. That might even be a more practical approach.

Quote:
Since I think, this desktop has good hardware (my son used it as a game computer), I am trying to make it work again. If it works, installing Win 7 and then upgrading (on a reformated drive), I may even think about changing the drive to a 128 Gb SSD drive ...
It was a 'free' hand-me-down system, so adding an SSD drive would still be a cheap fast system, no?

My working laptop (the one I am working from now) does have a 128 Gb SSD drive, and it is a 'zipper'!
Boot up in less than 15 seconds and fast programme loading!
With all the programmes I work with, there is still about 81 Gb free.
I have a 1Tb external drive used for recovery and back ups.
No matter how good a hardware component might have been, it does have a shelf life, period.
Even the non-moving components like RAM or CPU will eventually fail due to the currency that goes thru them and the heating-cooling cycle they are exposed to. Magnetic (spinning)Hard Drives are typically 5 years, give or take a couple. Newer, better quality ones can go a bit longer but they will also eventually crap out. Some completely die, some start forming bad sectors (out of the blue OS and/or application errors, data corruptions, etc. You reformat and re-install the OS and during the process, operating system can typically detect the bad sectors and mark/hide them so they are no longer used but if these sectors are popping up more and more frequently like dead pixels on a LCD screen, you should replace it ASAP.

That 128GB SSD you have is probably actually 150 GB or 160 GB. The extra space is invisible to you and to OS, or even the BIOS. It is used as a safety net. SSD's version of bad sector is a bad tiny portion of the chip dying. When that happens, SSD's own controller, marks that bad area off and activates equal amount of space from the reserve.

Since they are chips, nothing is spinning so they don't produce hardly any heat and virtually immune to shocks unlike magnetic disks but the data retention of SSDs were a bit questionable in their early years.
They are much more reliable nowadays though.

SSD is definitely the wiser choice and they are so affordable these days so get the size you know you will not grow out of for at least a few years.

Good luck.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:18 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,374 posts, read 11,287,958 times
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No success!

To recap, I reformatted the drive and checked it. Seemed to be OK.

Ran the Dell supplied Recovery/Restore USB programme.
The result, same as before. The end result is again the now well known "Boot Manager missing" notice.

When I read the disk (using my laptop) I can see a whole bunch of data on it which looks like there is an Operating System on it.

Next, try installing from a Legitimate Win 7 CD disk.

(to be continued ...)
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:30 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
6,385 posts, read 10,849,507 times
Reputation: 5589
Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
No success!

To recap, I reformatted the drive and checked it. Seemed to be OK.

Ran the Dell supplied Recovery/Restore USB programme.
The result, same as before. The end result is again the now well known "Boot Manager missing" notice.

When I read the disk (using my laptop) I can see a whole bunch of data on it which looks like there is an Operating System on it.

Next, try installing from a Legitimate Win 7 CD disk.

(to be continued ...)
These two seemed conflicted. It makes no sense for a reformatted drive to have data on it.
Either some piece of information is missing or there is something I am not aware of.
Hopefully, someone else will be able to understand and offer guidance.

Have you tried booting to another type of bootable USB drive? Many things have been suggested and your response is "No success!" didn't really provide much details on which ones you tried and what the outcome was for each.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:39 PM
 
40,296 posts, read 41,850,213 times
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Try deleting the partition before reformatting.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Jakarta
68 posts, read 24,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
When I read the disk (using my laptop) I can see a whole bunch of data on it which looks like there is an Operating System on it.
Maybe you did a quick format.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:23 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,374 posts, read 11,287,958 times
Reputation: 4210
To all who helped in one way or another, thanks so much.

I will let this go for a while since I do have my laptop which I can use to get things done.

When my funds are sufficient, I may buy another fresh new hard drive (a regular disk type or an SSD type), I will try again.
(The cost of a new Drive may not be much for some people, but in my case, it is quite an expense)
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