Reinstalling Windows when recovery fails

There may be a number of situations where you need to recover your notebook, but recovery fails.

1) If you have accidentally (or intentionally) removed the hidden BIOS_RVY partition from your notebook's hard drive.
2) Your hard drive has been corrupted, and the BIOS_RVY partition is damaged.
3) You have replaced the hard drive because it has failed.
4) You have not created, or lost, any recovery CD/DVD that was either supplied with your notebook, or were prompted to create using the MSI BurnRecovery software included with your notebook.

MSI (as well as other notebook manufacturers) does not supply complete Windows discs with their notebooks, but as long as you have a genuine Product Key license sticker (which is usually applied to the base of your notebook) it is not so difficult to get around this.

First of all, identify the version of Windows that your Product Key is applicable for. Just look at the sticker, and it is printed on there, for example 'Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit'.

Your Product Key is only valid for that particular version of Windows. You cannot use a 'Windows 7 Home Premium' key to install Windows 7 Ultimate edition.

Secondly, you need to get hold of a Windows disc. You can either borrow one from a friend, or colleague, or you can download an ISO disc image file using a torrent file, or other source, for example MSDN TechNet. We will not provide any direct torrent links to ISO images in this forum, you will have to seek your own, but beware of 'cracked', modified or other rogue files. This forum does NOT condone the use of illegal or otherwise illegally modified Windows software.

Some links to 'official' Windows 7 ISO images can be found here:

These are 'clean', uncracked versions, and will only work with genuine product keys.

For Windows XP and Vista, you will have to find your own.

Thirdly, it is simply a case of booting from this disc (note that for downloaded ISOs, you will either need to burn them to CD/DVD using disc burning software such as Nero Burning ROM or any other alternative, or to make a bootable USB flash drive) and then following the prompts to install Windows on your notebook.

Finally, if you have not done so already, you can download and install any required drivers for your notebook, from your notebook's Product Page on the MSI website.

Windows 'Anytime Upgrade'
If you took advantage of the Anytime Upgrade option to upgrade your Windows version, please note that your Product Key on your notebook is still only valid for that version. You cannot use the Anytime Upgrade product key to do a new clean install with that version.

For example, if you purchased a netbook which came with Windows 7 Starter Edition (for which your Product Key is for), and then later purchased (or received a free upgrade to) Windows 7 Home Premium, you must first install Windows 7 Starter Edition, and then carry out the Anytime Upgrade, using the product key you were given for that purpose. You cannot clean install Windows 7 Home Premium using the Anytime Upgrade key.

Windows Activation
Even if your Product Key is validated during install, and Windows installs successfully, you may find that Windows Activation will fail. This is normal, as your Product Key provided with your notebook is an OEM key, and your original bundled version of Windows is designed to be 'pre-activated'. However, it is not an issue to use the 'Activate Windows by telephone' option, where you call an automated system (usually a 'freephone' number) and follow the prompts accordingly, where Windows should successfully activate.

You should avoid using any illegal softwares to bypass or 'crack' Windows activation, as these crack files normally contain viruses and/or other malwares. As long as you use your Genuine Windows product key, and the correct version of Windows for that key, you should not encounter any difficulties with activation.

Using a different version of Windows, to that which was supplied with your notebook
Simply put, if you want to use any other version of Windows, you will have to purchase a new version of Windows. For instance, if your notebook was supplied with Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit, and you want to use Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, you will have to purchase it.
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