Up until now, there wasn’t a good way to do a clean installation of Windows 7 without the proper media, as Microsoft didn’t offer a way to download the ISO files. Today this is changing, Microsoft recently launch the Software Recovery Center website, where users can easily download the x86 or x64 version of Windows 7 ISO for free.
Before you could download the installation files from Digital River’s servers, but that is no longer an option.
Downloading the Windows 7 ISO file to make a custom installation, run the operating system from a USB drive, or to simply do a clean install of the operating system is a pretty simple process, you only need need a valid Windows 7 product key and you will also need to register your copy of Windows.
If you purchased a retail version of Windows and you lost the DVD, enter the product key found on the package. If you can’t find the product key, use this tool to retrieve the licensee from your current installation of Windows.
Then you’ll have to validate the product key, once Microsoft knows it’s a genuine license, you’ll be able to download the version of Windows 7 for your PC. After downloading the ISO file, use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to burn the installation files into a DVD or USB drive.
Here is the only downside, the new site is to download a retail version of the operating system. If your PC came pre-installed with the operating system, it’s likely that this is a OEM version of the operating system, which means that you won’t be able to download the bits from the new Software Recovery Center. In which case, you’ll need to ask someone if you can borrow the DVD to reinstall Windows 7 with your product key.