have to install new hard drive on dell 7720r. what is procedure for full clean install of new windows 8?
I believe that there are 5 or more partitions on the hard drive . is the partitioning process part of the installation disc or is it done manually? also are the drivers included on the install disc? i have never done a fresh install to a new hard drive before. Thank you. fred s.
The easiest way would be to use recovery disks. Most new laptops don't come with them but include a utility to copy the recovery partition onto a set of DVDs.
As to the partitions, Windows will create several on it's own, including the largest which is the C: drive as well as a "system reserved" where the bootloader is kept and another small system partition. One or more of the pre-installed partitions is likely a Dell recovery partition containing a complete copy of the factory image, which a stock Windows disk would not recreate.
In new machines that come pre-loaded with Windows 8 the product key is baked into the BIOS, so the disk will automatically detect the key. This means you don't have to worry about the key (it will activate automatically once it gets online)
A windows disk includes many common drivers but not all drivers. Whatever isn't picked up automatically you can get from dell.com. Browse to "Support" on the top bar and enter the service tag that should be on a sticker somewhere on the underside. You can let Dell automatically detect the model if you have trouble entering the tag manually also.