How to format Windows 7 without CD

Do you need to format your notebook with Windows 7, but you don’t know how to do it because the DVD player in which you can insert the installation disc is broken? Do you want to restore Windows 7 on an old PC without a burner? If the answer to these questions is yes, fear not, it is not a “mission impossible”. If you give me five minutes or so of your free time I can in fact explain  how to format Windows 7 without CD .

I already anticipate that this is feasible without spending a penny and without necessarily having to be a “geek”. All you have to do is take advantage of the hidden recovery partition included in your computer or, in the absence of the latter, create a USB stick with the ISO image of the operating system in a “traditional way”.

If you are therefore really interested in learning more about the subject, I suggest you position yourself very comfortably in front of the computer and concentrate on reading the instructions on what to do that you find right below. I am sure that in the end you will be able to tell yourself more than satisfied and that in case of need you will also be ready and willing to explain to your friends in need of a similar tip how to do it. What do you say, we bet?


  • Preliminary operations
  • How to format Windows 7 without CD and USB
  • How to format and reinstall Windows 7 without CD

Preliminary operations

Before getting to the heart of the tutorial, going to explain how to format Windows 7 without CD , there are some preliminary operations that you need to do to make sure that everything goes the right way.

First of all, considering that the formatting procedure eliminates all the data on your computer irretrievably, I suggest you make a  backup  of what you think is most appropriate. You can act “manually” by copying the files of your interest to an external hard drive (in this regard, if you do not yet have a disk to use, I invite you to read my purchase guide dedicated to external hard drives ) or you can turn to the ad hoc tools I told you about in my review on backup programs .

If you want to avoid the deletion of data currently on your computer during the formatting process, you can also consider partitioning the disk and creating a new partition intended to contain the new copy of Windows 7 to be installed. To give a practical example, you could create a small partition intended only for the operating system and programs and use the rest of the disk to store data (including files already on the PC and the old version of Windows, to be deleted at the occurrence). To do this, you can use the “standard” utility I told you about in my guide on how to partition Windows 7 hard drives or you can turn to dedicated software such as those you find in my article onhard disk partitioning programs .

If you then decide to format Windows 7 without installation CD by creating a USB stick with the operating system, you must have a  pendrive (if you don’t already have one, you can decide which one to compare by reading my purchase guide on USB sticks ) that it is of sufficient capacity, therefore with at least 4 GB of free space, and empty or in any case without important data as it must also be formatted.

Also for the creation of the key with the OS, you also need the ISO image of Windows 7. Since it is an operating system that is no longer supported by Microsoft, the ISO is no longer available from the company’s website, but there are tools that still allow the download. Furthermore, if you have the installation disk for Windows 7 you can create it yourself, starting from a computer with a DVD player, proceeding as I explained in my guide on how to extract ISO files from DVDs and CDs .

Also have your Windows 7 product key handy , as you may be prompted during the reinstallation process of the operating system. If you don’t know how to find it, read my guide on how to recover product key to find out how to proceed.

How to format Windows 7 without CD and USB

If you want to find out how to format Windows 7 without CD and USB , therefore using the recovery partition , you must first make sure that this is present on the hard disk. Note that this is usually only valid for  formatting Windows 7 laptop without CD .

To do this, you must restart the computer and press the combination of keys indicated for the operation as soon as the first power-on screen (the one with the manufacturer’s logo) appears. The key combination to use varies from computer to computer, however it is usually  Alt + F10  or Alt + F9 . If you can’t access your computer’s recovery partition, try searching for the right key combination on Google , using keywords such as “partition recovery [computer model name]” . For example, if you want to format HP Windows 7 PCs without CD you have to type “HP recovery partition” and add the computer model as well.

If, on the other hand, when the computer restarts, no indication appears regarding the recovery partition and if after searching the Internet you could not find information to that effect, I’m sorry to tell you, but most likely your computer does not have one. If so, you can move on to reading the next step to format Windows 7 without CD via USB stick .

After you have accepted the fact that the recovery partition is present on the hard disk of your computer, once you have accessed it, the process for installing Windows 7 should start. object, in the screen that will be shown to you first click on the  Next button  and then on the  Install button .

In case you are asked, indicate the edition of Windows 7 you want to install on your computer (e.g. if you want to format Windows 7 Home Premium without CD  you have to choose Windows 7 Home Premium , while if you want to  format Windows 7 Professional without CD you have to choose Windows 7 Professional ), then click on the  Next button again . Proceed by placing the check mark next to  I accept the license terms  and click the  Next button again  to accept the terms of use of the operating system.

Now press the  Custom button (advanced users)  and select the partition where your Windows is currently installed. Click on the item  Drive options (advanced)  located at the bottom right and click first on the  Format button  and then on the  OK one .

Afterward, click  Next  to start the Windows 7 installation and wait for the first part of the process to complete. Please note that in most cases it takes about 15 minutes, after which the computer restarts by itself.

After restarting, do not press any key when the message Press a key to boot from CD-ROM or DVD-ROM appears on the screen  , but wait a few moments for the installation of Windows 7 to be completed automatically.

Subsequently, the computer will restart automatically and the initial configuration procedure of the operating system will begin: complete it by typing the username you want to use to access the operating system and click on the  Next button . Then specify the password to be associated with the account, type a phrase to use as a suggestion to remember it and click again on the  Next button  to continue further.

If prompted, also type the Windows 7 product key in the appropriate text fields and click the  Next button  to activate your copy of the system (you must be connected to the Internet). If you don’t have the Windows 7 product key handy, don’t worry, you can also skip this step and enter the key later, once the installation is complete. Then, first click on the item  Use  recommended settings  to enable all the default protection systems of Windows 7 and then on the  Next  and  Home network buttons  to set the time and the network.

At this point, you can finally be satisfied: you have successfully completed the procedure by which to format Windows 7 without CD. To demonstrate this, you will see the desktop appear on the PC screen. There is nothing left to do but install any missing drivers and your favorite programs and start working smoothly with your refurbished operating system.

How to format and reinstall Windows 7 without CD

If your computer does not have the recovery partition or in any case as an alternative to using it, you can format and reinstall Windows 7 without a CD by creating a pendrive with the ISO image of the operating system.

To perform the operation in question, just resort to the use of Rufus , a free software that works without installation, which allows you to create bootable USB drives for all the most popular versions of Windows (and the main Linux distros) and to perform direct download of ISO images.

To download Rufus to your computer, visit its website and click on the Rufus x.xx Laptop link located under the Downloads section .

Once the download is complete, connect the pendrive to the computer to be used in one of the free USB ports on the PC, then open the EXE file you just downloaded and, in the window shown on the desktop, click on the Yes button and press the Yes button again to check its presence. of updates.

Then, select your pendrive from the Device / drive drop-down menu in the main application screen, select the item Disk image or ISO (select) from the menu under the heading Boot selection , click on the arrow next to the menu on the right, select from the latter the Download option , press the relevant button and, acting from the new window shown, select Windows 7 from the Version drop-down menu , then click on the Continue button .

Subsequently, indicate through the appropriate menus the release , edition , language and architecture of the operating system to be downloaded, by clicking on the Continue button each time, then click on the Download button .

If, on the other hand, you have the Windows 7 installation disk and if you have extracted the ISO image of the operating system from it, you can avoid downloading the OS by clicking on the arrow next to the  Boot selection menu above, choosing from it the Select option , pressing the relative button and selecting the Windows 7 ISO file .

At this point, the Rufus parameters should be updated automatically to suit Windows 7, but to avoid problems make sure anyway that MBR entries are selected in the Partition scheme and NTFS entries in the File system section (if not, correct these values ​​yourself ). Once this is done, press the Start button and wait for the procedure to complete.

If you then want to use the newly created key on the computer you are currently using, leave it connected to it, restart the PC and follow the operating system installation procedure that is shown on the screen. Instead, to use the bootable pendrive on a high computer, disconnected from the PC you are using it, connect it to the other station making sure it is off, start it by pressing the appropriate power button and wait for the installation procedure of Windows 7 to start.

In all cases, remember that in order to use the pendrive to format the computer , the USB port must be set as the primary boot device in the BIOS instead of the computer hard disk or DVD drive. If you don’t know how to do this, you can read my guide on how to enter the BIOS  and change the computer boot order.

After booting the key, wait for all the files necessary for installing the operating system to be loaded and follow the instructions I have already given you in the previous step on how to format Windows 7 without CD and USB to complete the procedure.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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