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How can I make a clean install of Windows 8 without bloatware and hidden partitions?

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by white-k, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. white-k

    white-k Notebook Enthusiast

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    recently bought a new Lenovo W530 Laptop from USA.

    It comes with a Windows 8 Pro x64, license but it was downgraded to Windows 7 when I received it.
    It comes with Windows 8 Recovery-discs which I have used to get it back to Windows 8.

    However, when using the recovery-discs I get a lot of bloat-ware installed and I'm guessing some hidden partitions as well (It all takes 50GB on my harddrive).

    What I want is to make a perfectly clean install of only Windows 8 without the bloat-stuff.

    As far as I've read the product-key is already "installed" in the Bios on machines with Win8 pre-installed?
    And I read somewhere I need an ISO-file with a clean Windows 8 Pro x64, but where can I find this?

    I'm really eager to use my new computer but it is no fun until I've made a clean install. :(

    Can you guys guide me through how to do that?
     
  2. JOSEA

    JOSEA NONE

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  3. Prostar Computer

    Prostar Computer Company Representative

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    You'll either need to purchase a copy of Windows 8 installation media, purchase an upgrade to 8 Pro and opt out of preserving data during the upgrade, or use JOSEA's advice in obtaining it to do a full install.

    I can't recall whether the Refresh option does away with the bloatware or not.
     
  4. white-k

    white-k Notebook Enthusiast

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    I don't know any MSDN subscriber unfortunately.

    I spoke with Microsoft support and they never mentioned the option to buy only installation media, but rather claimed I had to buy a brand new copy of the operative-system, which seems ridiculous considering I already payed for the OS once when I bought the computer.

    How about torrents?
    My product-key should be in my bios, but can I use a torrent-copy of Windows to help me get a genuine clean Windows 8 installation?
     
  5. S.SubZero

    S.SubZero Notebook Deity

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    Asking about "torrented" commercial operating systems is not really the thing to do here.
     
  6. HLdan

    HLdan Notebook Virtuoso

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    You can't talk about torrents here but I will say this, part of buying a PC is the cheap price and the reason the price is cheap is because it's subsidized by bloat software that you cannot get rid of. They're not going to give you the option to get rid of the bloat software that subsidizes the system and still charge you a cheap price for the computer. You didn't really "pay" per say for Windows, it's basically free which is why PC's are cheap because Windows is subsidized by the bloat. You'll have to buy a separate copy of Windows 8 in order to fully erase the hard disk and do a complete clean installation.
     
  7. Rodster

    Rodster Merica

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  8. white-k

    white-k Notebook Enthusiast

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    Actually I already tried the W8 Upgrade assistant, and one of the first things it does is to ask for a product-key. I guess the reason for that is that the upgrade is only supposed to be used on older OS where the product-key is not embedded like it is in machines pre-installed with Windows 8. So unfortunately that does not work. :-(
     
  9. Bomber-Stud

    Bomber-Stud Notebook Consultant

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    I'm guessing because you had Lenovo ship with Windows 7 installed, that there is no Windows 8 product key sticker under the laptop? Rather it is Windows 7?
    I can't seem to find it right now, but there was a utility out there, originally made for Vista I believe, but it also worked for W7, that would extract the product key for an installed OS... called "ABS".... or something? I remember a link posted in an old Lenovo Windows clean install thread. Anyway, is there such a thing for W8 yet? ...then the W8 Upgrade Assistant workaround may work.
     
  10. XanderD

    XanderD Notebook Geek

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    I'm not at my computer now but I believe its called ABR. I've used it to backup OEM keys in order to do clean installs for both Vista and 7. It extracts the key from an original copy and restores and activates windows when you do a clean installation.

    Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk 2
     
  11. Bomber-Stud

    Bomber-Stud Notebook Consultant

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    Yup, you're right: ABR (Activation Backup and Restore) | directedge.us

    Edit: anyone tried this with W8?
     
  12. Prostar Computer

    Prostar Computer Company Representative

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    Those key finders/extraction software do not work with Windows 8 to my knowledge, because it is not stored in the registry the way keys were in previous Windows. OEMs hard code the key in the firmware. These programs don't scan at a sub-OS level.
     
  13. javi_06

    javi_06 Newbie

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    Would using a friends oem disc work? I just purchased an Asus N56vj and wanting to do a clean install just like the OP.
     
  14. white-k

    white-k Notebook Enthusiast

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    I tried a few of these and indeed the ones I tried (don't rememeber it I tried ABR though) didn't work well with the 'Windows 8 upgrade', at least.
     
  15. Lnd27

    Lnd27 Notebook Consultant

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  16. white-k

    white-k Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ok, so I finally decided to download an ISO from the web and checked the hash and it was correct.
    I did a test-install and guess what, it seems to work fine! Yaaay!!! :-D
    Seems like the embedded product-key (in my laptop) worked fine and it says my windows is activated.

    So now I am about to do a proper clean re-install.
    I generally prefer to have my computer as "clean" as possible without extra stuff.
    But with that being said, is there some of the following partitions that it is vital that I keep?:

    Name: Total size: Free space: Type:
    Drive 0 Partition 1: WINRE_DRV 1000.0 MB 334.0 MB Recovery
    Drive 0 Partition 2: SYSTEM_DRV 260.0MB 204.0 MB System
    Drive 0 Partition 3: 128.0MB 128.0 MB MSR (Reserved)
    Drive 0 Partition 4: Windows8_OS 449.9 GB 382.1 GB Primary
    Drive 0 Partition 5: Lenovo_Recovery 19.5 GB 11.7 GB Recovery

    ...or can I just delete/format them all?
     
  17. DDDenniZZZ

    DDDenniZZZ Notebook Deity

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    Does your laptop have a UEFI Bios?

    Might be worth exploring that route if tou want to reduce boot up times. And did you make a copy of the restore dvds your computer comes with? Just make sure you have a copy of the original fresh out of box software.

    When you do the install again (make your computer UEFI compliant if you want) and then format the whole hard drive windows 8 will be installed to, looks like the 'lenovo recovery' from your last installtion still remains.
     
  18. Prostar Computer

    Prostar Computer Company Representative

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    You can delete all the partitions, but you might want to keep the recovery partitions - especially if you don't have them backed up or the recover discs Lenovo provides.

    Keep the MSR partition, if nothing else, and make sure it is located before the OS partition.

    Understanding Disk Partitions
     
  19. white-k

    white-k Notebook Enthusiast

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    I don't think I have UEFI bios on my W530. But thanks for the tip!
    Yup, I'll make backups of the original DVDs that's sound advice.
    The lenovo recovery remained only because I left it there on the "test-install" that I did. But that's the first one to go now.

    Since the others are quite small I may actually keep them for now. At least the MSR.

    By the way, can we be sure that the embedded product-key is not stored within any of these partitions?
     
  20. DDDenniZZZ

    DDDenniZZZ Notebook Deity

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    Your disk partitions will change if our laptop BIOS supports UEFI, there will be a new EFI one I think, can't remember, but I wouldnt worry about any partitions after a clean install. Ideally you need your disk to be fully formatted before you do the clean install, you should be able to completely wipe the disk clean of any partitions before you start the installer.

    The product key should be embedded within the hardware than on the hard drive.
     

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