Reinstalling your Novatech Windows Vista or Windows 7 pre-installed system

A NOTE ABOUT LEGACY PRODUCTS
This document refers to products which are now End of Life and no longer available to purchase new from Novatech. This is provided for refererence only and is not relevant to current systems.

Need help with this? We’ll be happy to guide you through.

Call us on 02392 322 500, and choose the option for Tech Support. Alternatively, you can use Live Chat.

It is a good idea to read through the entire guide before starting the process.

There are many reasons why you may be reinstalling your Novatech system today. From corruption, errors and slowness; to simply wanting a fresh start. You cannot do any damage to your system when following these instructions. Now is the time that all of your hard work backing up your files every week will be worth it! If you have any problems or queries, please see the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom. Also, we are here to help every step of the way on the phone and on livechat. That said, however, the process is simple and requires only a few steps from yourself, but there is some background information that you need to be aware of first – please read on…

YOU MUST READ AND ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING BEFORE REINSTALLING WINDOWS

You must confirm that your product key is still fully readable before continuing. Windows will ask for the product key when it first boots after the re-installation. You must enter this within 28 days or your copy of Windows will stop working. The product key is located on a label on the side or the underneath of the machine. This product key is the unique identifier for your copy of Windows and should never be shared with others. Novatech do not, for legal reasons, keep a copy of your product key. It is your responsibility to look after this key - if it is unreadable or installed on another machine your system will not activate, and you will have to purchase another copy of Windows. If you have any futher questions regarding your product key, please contact us at Tech Support before progressing with the installation. We’ll be more than happy to assist you. The telephone number for Tech Support is found at the top of this document.

Recovering your machine with these instructions will delete all data from your primary hard disk (C:). This means Documents, Pictures, Music, Programs, Emails, Videos, Downloads, Settings & Drivers - everything stored on C:! Please back up any data you may wish to keep to external media, and make sure you have the discs for any programs or hardware that you wish to reinstall. Please be advised that Novatech are not responsible for your data; and we will not be held liable for any data lost as part of this process. If you have any futher questions regarding backing up your data, please contact us at Tech Support before progressing with the installation. We’ll be more than happy to assist you. The telephone number for Tech Support is found at the top of this document.

You may need to reinstall your drivers for the unit once you have booted to Windows. Your machine would be provided with a drivers disc in the original packaging. You should run this once the re-installation is complete to ensure that all parts of your system function correctly, for example sound, graphics and internet connectivity (WiFi or Ethernet). If you have lost your drivers disc please do not hesitate to contact us at Tech Support using the details above and we will be able to provide a driver download link and/or replacement drivers disc for your unit.

Ok, so you accept everything in the box above. Now read this next paragraph:

You may or may not have noticed that your pre-installed machine didn’t come with a Windows disc. This is because Microsoft’s license restrictions do not allow us to provide Windows discs or recovery media with pre-installed machines. However, when you first turned on your computer, there would have been an icon on your desktop that was named “Create your recovery media”. Recovery media is a backup of your Windows installation, and pre-installed programs and drivers. You can use this to recover your system in the event of a virus infection, software crash or hard drive fault. This icon appears only until the program is run; and it can only be run once. You will need to use a specific type of blank disc for the recovery media creation – a blank DVD+R DUAL LAYER 8.5GB disc. You should create this recovery disc, and keep it in a safe place. The recovery disc contains the correct version of Windows for your system, all appropriate drivers, and any other pre-installed software. If you reinstall using the without disc process, you will be presented with another opportunity to create this disc.

Now choose the recovery method which you prefer below. There are two methods, Method A, which uses the recovery disc - and Method B, which doesn’t use a recovery disc. Method B cannot be used if you have a faulty hard disk drive in the machine. See the FAQ at the bottom for more information.

If you have successfully created the recovery disc; follow the instructions from here for RECOVERY METHOD A (Disc based), to recover your system using the recovery media.

  1. Place your recovery media disc into your optical disc drive
  2. Restart your computer
  3. When the message “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD…” appears, press any key.
  4. Wait for the progress bars, then, when prompted, select “United Kingdom Extended” as keyboard layout, press OK.
  5. When prompted, enter your Windows user name and password for the Administrator account (the main account on your system, probably yours). Press ok.
  6. From the list that appears, select “Reinstall Windows”. This process will wipe your hard drive, removing ALL data, and put your machine back to factory defaults.
  7. This is the waiting stage; this may take up to 40 minutes to reinstall the Windows components. Now is the perfect time to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Please be careful with your hot drink
  8. Follow the very simple steps to enter date, time, location and users for your Windows 7 system. Please make sure all the information is correct as some of it cannot be easily changed later.
  9. Please now run the drivers disc that was provided with your PC to ensure your drivers are installed correctly. You could also manually check this by going to Device Manager and seeing if any devices are listed with yellow question marks or warning/exclamation triangles, if they are, those drivers need to be reinstalled. NB: You can get to Device Manager quickly by pressing the Windows flag key + R together and then typing “devmgmt.msc” without quotes and press OK.
  10. Completed re-installation of Windows. Your system has now been recovered.

However if you don’t have the disc, or didn’t create it; instead follow the instructions from here for RECOVERY METHOD B (Non-disc based) to recover from the built-in partition.

NB: You cannot use the “without disc” process to install to a new hard drive, or if your hard drive has a suspected fault. Please see the FAQ below for further information.

  1. Turn on your machine
  2. As soon as the fans spin up and the LED comes on, repeatedly tap the F8 key. This will bring up “Advanced boot options”. If this doesn’t appear, turn off the machine, go back to step one, and try again.
  3. Using the arrow keys and the return button, select the top option, “Repair your computer”.
  4. Wait for the progress bars, then, when prompted, select “United Kingdom Extended” as keyboard layout, press OK.
  5. When prompted, enter your Windows user name and password for the Administrator account (the main account on your system, probably yours). Press ok.
  6. From the list that appears, select “Reinstall Windows” or “Novatech Factory Reset”. This process will wipe your hard drive, removing ALL data, and put your machine back to factory defaults.
  7. This is the waiting stage; this may take up to 40 minutes to reinstall the Windows components. Now is the perfect time to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Please be careful with your hot drink!
  8. Follow the very simple steps to enter date, time, location and users for your Windows 7 system. Please make sure all the information is correct as some of it cannot be easily changed later.
  9. Please now run the drivers disc that was provided with your PC to ensure your drivers are installed correctly. You could also manually check this by going to Device Manager and seeing if any devices are listed with yellow question marks or warning/exclamation triangles, if they are, those drivers need to be reinstalled. NB: You can get to Device Manager quickly by pressing the Windows flag key + R together and then typing “devmgmt.msc” without quotes and press OK.
  10. Completed re-installation of Windows. Your system has now been recovered.

Congratulations, you’ve completed the Windows reinstallation.

If you have encountered any problems, please see below.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WINDOWS RE-INSTALLATIONS

  1. When attempting Method A, Boot from CD/DVD doesn’t appear when I try to recover from Recovery Media, what am I doing wrong?
    a. You need to ensure that your system can boot from CD/DVD, and that you have the disc in the drive. Enter the BIOS and change the Boot Priority so that the CD/DVD drive is first, and Hard Drive is second. If you have no idea what this means, or you get stuck, please contact Technical Support.
  1. What is the administrator account and what is the password for it?
    a. The administrator account is the main user on the PC. This is not the account called Administrator, this is an entirely different credential altogether. This account is the name that you click on to log in to your computer, and the password that you use here. If you do not use a password to login, then the password field should be left blank. If you have set up multiple accounts, it will be the main account, as ‘Limited Accounts’ cannot provide the required authentication to access the recovery process. If you need more help, contact Technical Support.
  1. When I press F8, to bring up on-board recovery, it just starts up as usual! What am I doing wrong?
    a. You must ensure that you are pressing F8 repeatedly (once or twice per second) from the moment that you push the power button to turn on your PC. Windows checks for this key press for a very short period of time, and you may miss the point when it checks for it. Turn off the system, and go back to step one. Please be advised that some PCs require a PS/2-type keyboard during boot, as there are no USB keyboard drivers. Please contact Technical Support for further help.
  1. I have/suspect a hard disk fault; can I recover from on-board partition?
    a. No, you must use your recovery media disc to restore your system if the hard disk is faulty. This is due to the fact that the on-board partition is stored on the Hard Disk. If you follow the on-board partition instructions, but the hard disk has failed, the recovery process will fail and will render your system unusable. Please be advised that a failing hard disk drive will require replacement eventually, and will lose data - please be advised that this is an appropriate time to replace the hard drive drive to prevent data loss.
  1. Windows is asking for my Keyboard Layout when I reinstall – what is this?
    a. Different countries use different keyboards. The keyboards that we ship with our systems are of the ‘United Kingdom Extended’ layout. Choose this option from the list if you are using the standard Novatech keyboard. If not, refer to your keyboard manufacturer for the layout of your keyboard.
  1. I am using Windows XP or earlier, do I follow these instructions?
    a. No, Windows XP and earlier use completely different recovery tools. Please contact technical support for the correct instructions for Windows XP.
  1. All of this seems far too complicated! Can you do this for me?
    a. Yes, we can do, however we do charge for this service. Please contact our sales team on 02392 322 500 option one and ask about a Windows Re-installation on a Novatech Computer. We can of course guide you through on the telephone, if you would prefer.
  1. I appear to have lost the icon for recovery media creation, can I get this back?
    a. Yes, in most cases. Please contact our Technical Support team who can advise upon recovering this icon. If this icon cannot be recovered, we can get the system back in for “re-imaging” which would reinstall Windows onto the machine - please be advised there may be a charge associated with this.
  1. I installed Windows myself on this PC, do I follow this process?
    a. No, insert your Windows disc instead of a recovery disc. This process is not relevant for you; as there isn’t a recovery partition or recovery media for self installed systems. If you need further assistance, please contact technical support.
  1. I have a Foxconn/ASUS/Gigabyte/Notebook drivers CD; is this my Windows disc or Recovery Media?
    a. No it is not. This is a CD containing all of the drivers for the motherboard inside your machine. You would only need this if your drivers need to be reinstalled, for example: if your sound suddenly stopped working, or your machine doesn’t recognise any network adapters.
  1. I am looking to use a new primary hard disk or solid state disk in my machine. How do I reinstall Windows to this new drive?
    a. You need to use your recovery media disc to do this. Follow the instructions above on creating this disc and ensure that you are following the recovery media install instructions. The recovery partition will not allow you to install Windows to another disk drive. You will need to ensure that you have created the recovery disc prior to physically installing the new drive into the system. The recovery disc will create both the Windows and recovery partitions on the new drive.
  1. I have Microsoft Office preinstalled. What happens to Office?
    a. Your recovery media and recovery partition both contain a copy of your Microsoft Office installation files, if this was preinstalled on your system. Again, as with Windows, you will REQUIRE your Microsoft Office product key to re-activate your copy once the reinstall is completed. If you have any further queries regarding Microsoft Office, please contact Technical Support.
  1. I wish to install this preinstalled version of Microsoft Windows /
    Microsoft Office on my new machine, can I do this using my recovery CD?
    a. No. The copy of Windows and Office are licensed for use on this machine only. You would need to purchase new copies of Windows or Office to use them on a different machine. This is the case even if this machine is no longer working or in use. The recovery disc would not work on a different model of PC, as it is configured to work with your specific hardware, and is restricted to your hardware unique identifier. This is the case due to Microsoft Licensing restrictions.
  1. I wish to delete my recovery partition to free up space…?
    a. Novatech strongly discourages this, as you will lose the hard drive based recovery option, and will have no opportunity to make your recovery disc again should you break/lose it. If that happens, and you have deleted the partition, you would need to purchase a new copy of Windows. If you are not sure how to delete the partition, it is probably best to leave this partition alone.

My question isn’t listed, what do I do?
a. Contact Novatech Technical Support on 02392 322 500 option four, or through livechat on the Novatech website. Alternatively you can reply to this thread and we’ll see how we can help!