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[Tutorial] Clean Windows Vista Install


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Clean Windows Vista Install - No Activation needed { for OEM versions only }

I am just googling for some one and I have found a nice tutorial for Windows Vista User. So I have decided to share with you.


What you need!

  1. Activation Backup & Restore Program (2.2mb)
  2. Windows Upgrade Anytime DVD or retail vista DVD
  3. Recovery DVD(s) for your computer
  4. USB Flash drive, external hard drive, or second internal hard drive
  5. Device Drivers for your computer
  6. The best place to find the most up to date drivers is the support or download area of your computer manufacturer's website. You will need drivers for your display, network card, wireless card, touchpad or mouse, chipset, modem, card reader, etc.

** Do NOT proceed unless you have recovery disk(s) and any data you want to keep backed up! **


  1. Download the Activation Backup and Restore program above.
  2. Open the file and copy the ABR folder to your USB flash drive, external drive, or second internal hard drive.
  3. Double click activation_backup.exe. This will open a cmd window and extract the OEM Vista key. If all goes OK you will see two new files in the ABR folder.
    • backup-cert.xrm-ms: Backed up activation
    • backup-key.txt: Backed-up product key

[*]Insert the Vista Anytime Upgrade DVD.

[*]Reboot your computer. Your computer should boot to CD/DVD. If not change the option in your BIOS

[*]Choose your language, Time/Currency, and country. Click Next.

[*]Click on Install Now

[*]The next screen is for your Vista key. DO NOT enter anything in this box. Be sure to UNCHECK the activate box. Click Next. The installation program won't believe you, so it will ask you again if you want to enter your key. Choose NO.


[*]You will be asked which version of Vista you have purchased. Highlight the version that came with your computer. Check the box that says "I have selected the edition of Windows that I purchased". Click Next.


[*]Accept Microsoft's license terms. Click Next.

[*]Choose Custom (Advanced) Installation.

[*]Choose where you want to install Vista.

  • Disk 0 is your primary drive and where you should install.
  • If your manufacturer has included a recovery partition you will see Disk 0 Partition 1 and Disk 0 Partition 2. Choose Partition 1.
  • Highlight Disk 0 Partition 1 (should be the first choice.
  • Click on Drive Options (Advanced).
  • Choose Format. This will completely erase your old installation, including all bloatware!
  • The default settings for formatting will be fine. This will take some time depending on the size of your drive.
  • More experienced users my delete the recovery partition and gain back the 10GB of space.
  • If your computer did not come with recovery disks DO NOT remove the recovery partition unless you have burnt the disks yourself!

[*]The installation program will now begin copying files.

[*]The installation program will reboot the computer. You can remove the DVD from the drive now.

[*]Choose a username and password.

[*]Choose a computer name and desktop background.

[*]Choose an automatic updates option. Choose a time zone, set date and time.

[*]The gears of Vista will whirl for a few moments and Vista will start! Go to Control Panel>System and Maintenance>System. You will see that Vista is NOT activated. Close this window.


[*]Insert your USB flash drive and navigate to activation_restore.exe. Double click the file to start.

[*]A cmd window will open and you will see it doing it's thing. It should say "Successful". Close the cmd window.

[*]Go to Control Panel>System and Maintenance>System again. Notice the difference?


[*]Install the device drivers you downloaded before. You will probably be asked to reboot and it is OK to do so. Be careful not to install any bloatware, or unnecessary helper applications.

[*]Open Control Panel>System and Maintenance>System again. Click on Windows Experience Index half way down the window.

[*]This will open the Windows Experience Index window. Click Update My Score. Vista uses this score to determine if it will be able to handle the Aero interface.


There you have it! A fresh, clean Vista installation with NO extra crap. Guaranteed to make for a faster and more enjoyable computing experience! I know the instructions are lengthy, but it really on takes a fraction of the time you would spend removing the extra crap manufacturers add to a new computer.

You can find complete tutorial with more images.

Source: Dave's Computer :thumb_yello:

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