Note on archived topics.
07-21-2012 06:59 AM
My HP came with Windows Vista preloaded (no installation disk). My hard drive crashed and im installing a replacement, but It's requiring me to install Vista. Where can i get a Vista install disk without buying it from Microsoft?
07-21-2012 09:36 AM - last edited on 04-19-2016 10:43 AM by OscarFuentes
You have two choices as I see it...
1. You can see if recovery disks are available for your PC by reading the info at the link below.
2. You can make your own if you can read your 25 character product key.
If you can read your 25 character MS product key, you can make your own Windows Vista installation disk. Just download the 3 files you need at the link below, and read all of the instructions to create a bootable DVD installation disk using imageburn.
When I went to compile the ISO file, ImageBurn gave a message that about a WIM file and ISO, and if I wanted to burn it in a different format.
I selected No, make the ISO file.
It was not that hard to do. I burned both the 64 bit disk and the 32 bit disk in case I ever need them.
I tested both of them (just short of going ahead with the actual install) and they appeared to work perfectly.
Apparently when you enter the product key, it knows what version of Vista you have.
After you successfully install vista, you can download the drivers you need from your PC's support and driver page.
05-25-2014 10:29 AM - edited 05-25-2014 10:33 AM
I am the author of the Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide, thanks for referring people to it. Now that I have the guides on WordPress, I am seeing alot of redirects from this thread to download WIndows Vista so here is the up to date guide:
Importantly there is a means of clean installing with a Digital River .iso even if the 25 digit COA is faded... This is via the activation backup and recovery program and requires no call to Microsoft (who in my experience are extremely unhelpful if the COA is faded):
Essentially the program backs up the BIOS system locked preinstallation mechanism. If someone can use the ABR program and provide me the backup-cert from a HP system with Vista OEM factory settings, I can provide a comprehensive solution for all HP systems that came with Windows Vista like I have with Dell. I have fixed a friends HP with Windows 7 (and awful factory settings) so already have the Windows 7 files. Note activation files won't work for a system without a BIOS validated by HP to run that version of Windows i.e. will only work on a licensed system.