Can I Install Windows 7 Without Formatting Hard Drive? (Perfect Solution)

Written By Chirag Arora
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On September 21st, 2022
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading

Does the virus has been infected your computer? Does your PC stops performing as before and its operation speed is getting slower and slower? Basically, these are just two hypothetical states in which reinstalling the Windows can prove effective. So, most of the users are asking how can I install Windows 7 without formatting hard drive.

In fact, installing the OS again can help you in many other scenarios. Yet, remember that doing this will only solve your problem if it does not affect the hardware of your laptop or desktop computer.

Things to keep in mind: Before performing the Windows 7 installation, it is recommended to do a general cleaning of your documents, applications, and temporary files.

Reinstalling Windows is a much faster way to get rid of everything that is slowing down your computer. It is so because sometimes you cannot remove certain annoying files manually. So, without wasting time let’s discuss how to install Windows 7 without formatting hard drive?

Steps to Install Windows 7 Without Formatting Hard Drive?

In this technical page, we are going to disclose the technique to install the operating system on a Windows 7 computer without formatting using the installation disks.

So, we can install/ reinstall Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 operating system even without erasing or formatting Windows drive. In order to do this, a plenty of free space required to accommodate the new installation. Or, we can say that the drive that already contains Windows installation must have a minimum 16 GB space for 32-bit and 20 GB free space for 64-bit to perform a fresh installation of Windows 7.

Note: While installing or re-installing Windows 7 without formatting the drive, Windows setup transfers the existing Windows installation to a new system folder named Windows.old. This means users do not need to backup all their data before installing Windows. Once the Windows installation/ re-installation gets done, users can open the Windows.old folder to recover their data before deleting the same for freeing up the disk space.

If Everything is Ready, Follow These Steps

  • Open your computer and let the Windows load up properly
  • Now, insert the installation disk in the corresponding slot
  • A wizard will pop up that will ask if you want to Run setup.exe or open the folder. You need to choose Run setup.exe (Note: If you are not getting any pop-up window then, open Windows Explorer and select DVD drive then, run setup.exe file)
    install windows 7
  • After this, you will get Windows 7 installation page. Hit Install Now button
  • In Install Windows page, select Go online to get the update for installation optioninstall windows 10
  • Accept the license term via checking I accept the license terms option and click Nextwindows 10
  • Select Custom (Advanced) option from Which type of installation do you want wizardinstall windows without formatting
  • Next, select the partition in which you are going to reinstall new Windows OS. Usually, this is the C: Drive. After this, you will get a prompt saying that your existing files/ folders will be backup to the windows.old files. Hit Next button.
    install without formatting
  • Eventually, let the installation perform its work. During this process, your system will reboot several times. Users must be patient as it may take a while to install the operating system.installation
  • You just need to follow the on-screen instructions to finish the installation. Once it is done successfully, it will ask you to set up the account.
  • Once you have login to your account, you will find that all your data is still intact. Now, go to Windows drive and open Windows.old folder to access the data from the previous installation.install windows 7 completed
  • After recovering all the data, you can reinstall all the wanted software

Note: – Also visit if you want to know how to remove write protection from external hard drive.

Concluding Lines

Windows OS starts performing sluggishly after sometime and it is very common. However, when it stops running properly then, that is the time for re-installation. Users who came across such scenario, ask that can I install Windows 7 without formatting hard drive.

Well, the answer to this question is YES. In this article, we have described that how to install Windows 7 without formatting the hard drive. Hence, now it will be no more difficult for users to execute this task as all the steps to perform the operation are discussed here. It is highly advisable to follow the guidelines carefully and sequentially to avoid data loss.


By Chirag Arora

Having around 9+ years of experience in technical writing. Knows about the core technical areas. Also, provides easy and reliable solutions to resolve difficulties faced by users while working with different platforms.