How can I reinstall Windows without using a disk?

Billie Henderson October 17, 2012

I have 2 computers I’d like to wipe the hard drive on. I have moved everything to an external drive and would like to make them ‘new’. Every answer has to reinstall Windows using the disk, but one of the computers doesn’t even have a CD drawer! So how do I reinstall Windows?


  1. Aniket Singh
    November 3, 2012 at 7:22 am

    u can install win 7 without using disk.....u can use pendrive.....but u have to make it bootable...u cxan gat best info form this blog..

  2. James West
    October 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    most pre-built computers have a recovery partition on them. Look in the computers user manual and look into how to reinstall OS

  3. Nikhil Gupta
    October 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

    pls download from utorrent and make usb of that windows ....

  4. Siddhant Chaurasia
    October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

    i dont think there is any other way

  5. dhanunjayarao chunduri
    October 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    you can use the usb device for that system you can use the windows7 usb/dvd tool.

  6. Alex Figueiredo
    October 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    theres 2 options, use a usb bootable device like a pendrive or buy a usb cd drive (witch isnt expensive at all and can be a life saver)

  7. Boni Oloff
    October 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    You can install windows via USB Flash Drive,

  8. josemon maliakal
    October 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    you can use a usb installation ...

  9. Saurabh Banwaskar
    October 18, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Use Bootable USB Drive(Flash Drive)

  10. Jim Chambers
    October 18, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Once you create bootable Windows 7/8 USB drive copy some essential drivers such as Chipset Driver to the Updates folder. You might also add your favourite anti-virus installer + updated definitions

  11. Irshaad Abdool
    October 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    create a bootable usbdrive with the windows iso file on it. then boot from the usbdrive and install the os

  12. Nathan Labbe
    October 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I have had success using external disc drives with computers that have to internal drives

  13. Harshit Jain
    October 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Making a bootable usb drive is the way to go. I would give a VERY USEFUL suggestion to you. After you have installed the windows and loaded it with your favourite programs then please make an image of the partition in which your windows is installed. It will help you to save lots of time in future when you wish to have a fast pc againg :)
    Source: Personal Experience

  14. Justin Pot
    October 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Bootalbe USB disk is a great option, as is a USB CD drive if you can't get that working. Remember, though: you still need a product key to install Windows legally.

  15. Harry Barnes
    October 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    create a bootable usb stick with windows on it, the o into the bios and select usb stick as the first boot option. then just turn on the computer with the usb stick in it and you should have the option to reinstall windows

  16. Ahmed Khalil
    October 17, 2012 at 9:38 am

    USB flash is the best solution, but if your PC is connected to a network so you can install it through the network

  17. Dimal Chandrasiri
    October 17, 2012 at 7:39 am

    use a USB to boot.. a 8GB usb would be enough and the internet has lots of guides to do that, but the case is, your pc must support USB booting. or else you must have to find a DVD drive to do this! there is no any other solution.

  18. ha14
    October 17, 2012 at 7:25 am

    perhaps to remove the hard drive from the pc that do not have CD drawer and put it in the one that has CD drawer and to install Windows there, then switch back to its original place. You can activate windows later.

    • Adrian Rea
      October 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Lets hope its not a laptop :) then a USB drive would be needed ;)

    • Jeffrey
      October 18, 2012 at 1:21 am

      You can't simply do that. They are different systems. If you take out the said hard drive and put it back to the one without CD, I doubt if it will even boot. Good luck trying.

  19. Jonas Nordgren
    October 17, 2012 at 6:47 am

    i personally just did this my self, i used the win7 usb tool to create a usb, booted from it. after i installed it though i had no drivers so make sure you have at the very least the drivers you need for connecting to a network, ethernet or wifi. you well also probably need to reactivate windows so dont forget your product keys :) good luck

  20. Deekshith Allamaneni
    October 17, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Use CloneZilla( to clone your hard disk. You can install it as it is again.

    • James Bruce
      October 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

      Not sure how that would help, since the whole point is to "clean" the hard drive. Simply cloning the existing one would achieve absolutely nothing.

      • Drew Butler
        October 17, 2012 at 11:17 am


      • Kyem Ghosh
        October 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm

        keeping a bootable usb for windows is the best way I see in this case.. He needs to collect or buy a copy for this... It seems it is the only way here...

  21. Adrian Rea
    October 17, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Depending on the make, many have a partition containing the install files which an install disc can launch. Which computers are they? make/model

    • Drew Butler
      October 17, 2012 at 3:22 am

      I agree with agree with the first 2 answers but if this recovery partition is available it is the most hassle free. The easiest way to check is by going to my computer and check if there is more than one hard disk listed. It is usually named recovery or something similar. If this partition is available you can type "how to re-install windows on (make/model) using recovery partition?" on google and a guide should be one of the first few links listed. This process usually involves holding a button like F10 or F12 during boot but varies for different PC's. Have a good night everyone :)

  22. Manuel Guillermo López Buenfil
    October 17, 2012 at 1:48 am

    You can use an USB flash drive instead of a CD.
    To do that, you will need to create a USB drive with the contents that would usually go on the CD.
    To do that, you can follow the following guide (doesn't need any extra software):
    A fast Google search turned up another (easier) guide which uses a program to create a bootable USB drive:

    You will also need to set your BIOS to start from that USB drive. That can be set in Boot options (or Boot Order, or something like that), and then choosing your USB drive to take priority. Don't forget to set it back to normal after you finish.

  23. Bruce Epper
    October 17, 2012 at 1:47 am

    For the computer that doesn't have an optical drive, you will need to create a bootable USB drive to do the installation. You can use the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool to create a bootable USB device for the install.

    • Kyem Ghosh
      October 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Its the only method I like... Yes... I have separately kept a pendrive for this and this is the best method above using DVD or CDs. File copying is very fast the only time it takes is just for the installation...

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