Where do you get a "System Image" if you formatted disk?

Feb 18, 2014
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The school of hard knocks is where I'm learning:
I recently re-installed W-7 Pro successfully but in downloading a driver update program, I believe an unscrupulous group in helping me download, might have infected my machine with something in order to sell a tune-up service. I decided I needed to re-re-install the O/S, only this time re-format the disks to get rid of whatever was slowing down the machine. I did too good a job reformatting, all disks were reformatted in the early stages of re-installing the O/S. As a result, the installation program couldn't "Expand Window Files". I am being asked for a "System Image", and I don't have one. My question: Where do I now get a "System Image"?

I want to avoid a repair shop because of limited finances. Can I buy a "System Image" disk on eBay? My machine is a Lenovo M-90, I had Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601.
Thank you


^ The World's First ^
May 10, 2010
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OFF-TOPIC: I don't know where you got your previous advice but it is quite possible the site they sent you to to run some tool included links to the tune-up service. It is very common for free tools to also advertise paid tools including those dreaded tune-up tools. Even our freeware DB on this site comes with a warning to be very careful of other products listed on the same page as the product we recommend. In fact it is so common that you will see my warning in my signature at the bottom of everything I post.

Back on topic: A "system image" is basically a backup and is something you can create with Windows Backup or tools like Acronis but you would have had to create them when the system was working properly. Some machines ship with a "restore partition" or "system restore" disks and others instruct you to create "restore disks" the very first time the new computer is booted. System images, Restore Partitions or Restore Disks can be used to completely restore the system to factory settings (or if self created then back to that point in time). For certain brands, such as Dell, you can buy the Restore disks from the manufacturer but they are somewhat expensive, like $89 but they have the advantage of including the drivers specific for your Make/model of computer.

However, if you know the Windows 7 Product Activation Key (sometimes on a sticker on your computer) then you can download the official W7 Installation Disk (in ISO form which you can burn to DVD) which is what HeavenSoul linked. That is not a "system image" and is not specific to your computer so it may not have all the drivers you need. For older machines there are usually enough default drivers built in to the W7 Install to get you up and running but if you use RAID, have an SSD, or possibly USB3 then you may need to provide drivers for the install to even progress. The drivers can normally be found on the computer manufacturers website (or motherboard manufacturer if it is a custom build) but figuring out which drivers and expanding and extracting the piece the Installation wants can be a bit tricky, as HeavenSoul is finding out himself. Still if you have the product key and want to reinstall it is probably the most cost effective method.

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