"Factory Reset" of Vista free upgrade to Win7

Over the years, I have gained the desire to revert my computer to factory settings, or rather to the state of a brand new computer with a freshly installed OS. The only problem is that my computer doesn't have any of the convenient services that allow a factory reset to happen internally and requires the disk. The other only problem is that when I bought my computer it was booted with Vista and had a sticker on it that said I could download Win7 for free since it was coming out in a few months, so I have no disk. I have a product code (on the bottom of my laptop on a sticker) but I believe that is just for Vista. How can I revert my computer to "factory" Win7 settings without buying the installation disk?

Can you post an image of this sticker without showing the product code?

It would be easier if we could see the sticker for ourselves.

Hello PapaSmurf,
to Windows 7 Forums,

How can I revert my computer to "factory" Win7 settings without buying the installation disk?
You wouldn't be able to "revert" to an OS that was never installed in the first place.

Since you are offered the upgrade to Windows 7 via the in-place sticker, I would suggest using the Windows Upgrade Anytime link in "Start, All Programs, Windows Upgrade Anytime" or download the Windows 7 ISO from Microsoft, burn it to a DVD and install from that using the upgrade option and using the product key provided on the laptop sticker.

Please disregard the previous post advising to post a copy of said sticker, it is not necessary.

Hope this helps

Please disregard the previous post advising to post a copy of said sticker, it is not necessary.
Please disregard the quoted statement and let me see for myself what the sticker is relevant to. I'm not going to advise on a sticker unless I know what the sticker is for. The relevancy of the sticker is the question here is it not.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
I like to have the physical discs, gives a kind of certainty. Windows Upgrade Anytime is quite tempting, but I would go for downloading the .iso image. You'll probably get it with a reasonable price?

Anyways, cheerio.


This is the most relevant-looking sticker I could find. I don't want to update or upgrade, I just want a clean, "new" OS/Computer/Harddrive as if I had just purchased the computer. It was originally Vista and I downloaded Win7 via a free upgrade that came with my computer when I purchased it. (Win7 hadn't been released when I bought my computer, but it was on its way.) I don't have any installation disk, even for Vista, so how would I go about doing this (without spending any money?)


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
I would be the lazy one, and give Microsoft a call. Licenses may be a bit of a pain sometimes, but usually the right to download entitles to download more than once - not absolutely sure about this. But, buying Windows 7 Professional, I got the right to download it 20 times.

You never know, unless you ask, and Microsoft is the place to ask. Just be sure to have all possible information available when / if you call them. Otherwise, installation without a disk may prove difficult? Of course, you may also check with your retailer.


Essential Member
You can run any number of product key finder apps that will find the product key codes of software installed on a PC. I prefer Belarc Advisor, not only will it tell you the product key codes it will also show your complete system software and hardware specs and in detail.

Then download the windows 7 sp1 ISO from here (bit specific 32 or 64) and then do a clean install.

Official Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Digital River « My Digital Life

After spending an hour talking to various people at Windows Customer Support, it appears as though my options are to buy Windows 7 again, pirate it, or buy a Mac.

Running belarc to see if it can get me out of this jam.

Update: Belarc gave me a product key that has cleared with Microsoft Customer Support. Is there a difference between the ISO for a version of Win7 that was original to the computer and one that was used as an upgrade from Vista? And if so, would I have to download the Vista ISO and then upgrade to 7 again?

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Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
Well that's a question. With my common sense mind, I'd say the ISO for Win 7 should be probably a full version. In that case you'd have what I have: a full version of Windows 7... but you need to check it with the seller. The jungle in copyrights is rather dense. That's why we have lawyers occupied there, and common people astonished. ... and everyone going beep...


New Member
The WIndows 7 'free Upgrade' is a standard OEM System Builder Key - and as such it will work fine with either OEM System Builder disks, Retail Disks, or the downloads from Digital River.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
Well, to get a clean install, get a clean install. It goes for Windows as well as for a Ford or Mercedes engine. The only way to get pure is to use soap = start from nill, period. Upgrading Windows has always been a risky procedure, starting from zero is far better. Get the disks, install from them, that way you have it all PLUS you have full support from Microsoft. And guess what - you may breathe freely!

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