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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All
I basically lost my 500gb hardrive on my Dell laptop .I have bought another H/D and even though I have the product code showing that I own a a unique copy of Windows I cant install it back.
I refuse to pay again for a fresh install and I wonder if Linux would do the job I would welcome and advice

thanks
 

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I f you're comfortable with some version of Linux, that would be fine. You can go the ISO route by doing here Download Windows 10 Disc Image (ISO File) for Windows 10 (free) and scroll to
Create Windows 10 installation media
The reason you can't do what you were trying is the partition with the OS was on the old disc.
 

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even though I have the product code showing that I own a a unique copy of Windows I cant install it back.
Can you explain this a little more? Where is the Product key Showing? If you are trying to type in he product key for an Dell Laptop, the product key is for an OEM version of Windows. If you are trying to install a Retail version it will not accept your OEM Product key.
Follow the instructions in the link in Post #2. Download the ISO image for Windows 10 and burn the image to a USB Flash Drive using the Media Creation Tool on the same site.
Put the freshly burned Flash drive into the Dell Laptop and Start the computer pressing the F12 key continuously. You should be presented with the One Time Boot Menu, where you would select your Flash drive to boot. You now should be booting from the Flash drive. In the Windows Installer, choose your Language. Then choose Custom Install. In Where to Install Windows. Delete All Partitions on the New HDD, if any, until the disk is all Unallocated Space. The press Next. Windows will create partitions and Format them during the install. It shouldn't ask for a product key, but if it does just click I do not have a product key at this time. At the End of the install it shouldn't need it but if it asks for a product key to activate. type in the OEM product key that is on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop.
 

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You should be able to download ISO from dell specific to your model. Either a system restore ISO or a Dell Windows ISO.

Put it on a USB drive and install it.

Since all OEMs have the key in bios you just skip entering the key when asked and continue setting up Windows. It should automatically be activated when it starts for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi and thanks for your help
SF asked for more info and Corday mentioned a partition
I managed to ruin Windows on my laptop in hindsight perhaps you guys could have saved it . I took the H/D out thinking alls not lost I can wipe it and use as an exterior back up H/D I selected all and deleted
I still have it and noticed that there was a partition left .
Could I have helped myself by keeping the original partition
Thanks John
 

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Who knows if that would have change the outcome. No looking back now, just move forward. With the drive attached, press the Windows key+X and choose Disk Management. In the lower pane, Delete all partitions till it is all Unallocated Space. Then right click that and choose to make a new Simple Volume (partition) Format it, and give it a drive letter. Use it for storage.
 
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