Resolved Reinstall Windows 7 on bootcamp without formatting drive

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by GeoffD, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. GeoffD, Apr 11, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014

    GeoffD macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2014
    I am using Windows 7 on Bootcamp and got a bunch of viruses, malware, etc. The bootcamp manual shows how to uninstall Windows by formatting the drive, which I don't want to do. Is there a way to reinstall Windows 7 without formatting the drive?

    I'm running OS X 10.6.8, not sure if bootcamp has versions, but I couldn't find that if it does.

    I got the product key from my registry on the windows side, and I'm planning on using an iso. Also, these are legitimate copies.

  2. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    no, if you want to get back to a true 'clean' w7, then by default everything will be erased and re-installed
  3. GeoffD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2014
    Solved it.

    I actually managed to reformat the windows side without losing my mac side. I ended up erasing the windows partition and formatting it to MS-DOS in the disk utility. I named it "Windows" so that it would be obvious later on in the process. I couldn't use bootcamp, because the documentation says you have to have only one partition, and I already had two. So I downloaded an .iso file of the operating system. I burned the operating system to a dvd and then booted from that. I formatted the drive back to NTFS in the Windows installer. Just make sure you pick the right one. In my case it was partition 0 disk 3:WINDOWS if I remember correctly. Yours will be different.

    Because my Windows operating system still functioned, it was just full of viruses, I was able to get my product key before I reformatted that side. You can download a key finder that will dig it out of your registry.

    Also it is a good idea to download bootcamp drivers (the drivers for the hardware on your computer in a format windows can use). You can do this through bootcamp. If you run bootcamp assistant on mac side select "Download windows support software for this mac). In my case this did not work, and I had to download them from a website based on the modelID of my mac. I didn't save the links, as I was a little flustered and just trying to get it to work, but if someone needs them I can probably find them.

    Hope this helps anyone that needs to go through this process. Keep in mind it is for a Mac running 10.6.8.
  4. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    by formatting the drive, i thought you meant you didn't want to lose your current windows apps/files/etc

    there is a much easier way, you run boot camp assistant and choose the last option to delete windows, close and re-open boot camp assistant and re-install windows

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