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Windows 7: Is it a bad idea to install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on an XP system?

15 Apr 2013   #1
Alexander Moore

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Is it a bad idea to install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on an XP system?

Just as the title says. Would it be a bad idea / cause a lot of driver issues?

I'll try to find all the drivers for her computer ahead of time online and download the setup files to a USB, then install Windows 7 and install the drivers. But is there any big problems with doing this that I should be made aware of?

By the way, would the CPU and Motherboard need driver software? I've never messed around with CPU and Motherboard drivers because they seem like the kinda thing you don't wanna screw with unless you really have to. I usually just update GPU, sound card, and WiFi drivers.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Apr 2013   #2
TwoCables

 

The motherboard will need drivers because there are multiple things that could be in use, such as the onboard audio, onboard video, onboard Ethernet adapter, and of course the chipset needs a driver. The CPU will be fine with what Windows installs. There really aren't any available CPU-specific drivers anyway.

So you will need to find out as much information as you can to make sure you have all the drivers you need. Two programs that may be able to help are CPU-Z and HWiNFO:

CPU-Z - CPUID - System & hardware benchmark, monitoring, reporting

HWiNFO, HWiNFO32 & HWiNFO64 - Hardware Information and Analysis Tools
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #3
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

I think it would help to understand what a driver is. Basically, drivers let your computer communicate with hardware or devices. Without drivers, the hardware connected to your computer will not work properly.

What is a driver?

In addition to having the correct drivers, an XP machine may not meet the minimum system requirements to run Windows 7.

Windows 7 system requirements - Microsoft Windows

Microsoft has a free tool that can scan your computer to see if it can be upgraded to Windows 7.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor - Download - Microsoft Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Apr 2013   #4
roboticarm

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi Alexander Moore!

Could you post all the specs of the system on which you intend to install Windows 7?

Windows 7 is certainly better than XP, performs better even on older hardware, but still we need to know the specs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Most XP machines either won't be compatible with Win 7 due to hardware and/or driver issues or will be only partially compatible. For example, when I ran M$ upgrade advisor on my last XP desktop machine, Aero wasn't compatible (I eventually replaced the computer).

Also, keep in mind it's possible that your peripherals, such as printers and scanners, and some programs may not be compatible and will need replacing. I had to replace my printer, a scanner, and several programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #6
Alexander Moore

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I know what a driver is. I know that everything needs a driver, but I wasn't sure if removing and installing a new version of windows would remove all the drivers, or if the drivers for something like a motherboard exist on a chip and aren't required to reinstall them.

All I know right now is that it's a 14" HP Compaq 515, runs on an AMD Athlon x2 64, and it has a Windows Vista Basic sticker on it, even though it was clearly running XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #7
TwoCables

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alexander Moore View Post
I know what a driver is. I know that everything needs a driver, but I wasn't sure if removing and installing a new version of windows would remove all the drivers, or if the drivers for something like a motherboard exist on a chip and aren't required to reinstall them.

All I know right now is that it's a 14" HP Compaq 515, runs on an AMD Athlon x2 64, and it has a Windows Vista Basic sticker on it, even though it was clearly running XP.
Oh, I see what you want to do now. Unfortunately, upgrading from XP to 7 is not possible. A clean installation is required, so you will be formatting and starting over.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #8
Alexander Moore

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Upgrading isn't what we want to do. I always prefer clean installations.

Her computer has tons of junk and viruses on it. I want to clean install Win 7, load up newer drivers for her, install MSE and CCleaner, and teach her how to use a computer properly (EG: NOT DOWNLOADING TONS OF SHIT SOFTWARE FROM AD-RIDDEN WEBSITES)

Oh, and she's using IE. That's gotta go.

She doesn't give a crap about anything currently on the computer, so I could format this thing and she couldn't care less, as long as I get it back to working conditions.

Sorry if I'm replying a bit slow. I have it opened and am trying to clean it out right now. I really despise how they used three different screw types to put it together. I wish people could just choose a screw type and stick with it, instead of me getting halfway into the system and realizing I don't have all the proper tools. I also hate plastic clips that hold crap together. I'm always scared I'm gonna bust one. I couldn't remove the fan so I just tried sticking a hairdryer (not hot) on one end and a strong vacuum on the other end to suck dust out. Got a lot out. Surely not all, but all the excess anyway. I'll have to hit the tool shop.

Just a 19 year old, having fun serving my curiosity by taking electronics apart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #9
TwoCables

 

I think I misunderstood. I was responding to how you said that you weren't sure if removing and installing a new version of Windows would remove all the drivers. So I was trying to point out that you won't be left with anything at all because you'll be formatting and starting over.

Anyway, I see what I missed: there's no chip or anything that contains things like drivers. All the drivers will have to be installed. Some of the generic Microsoft drivers that get installed by Windows are all you'll need, and for other things you'll have to get the correct drivers. Being that this is a pre-built computer, I expect this task to be a little bit difficult. I mean, it's not like when you build a computer yourself and you have easy access to all the drivers you need either on a CD or on the motherboard manufacturer's website.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #10
roboticarm

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alexander Moore View Post
I know what a driver is. I know that everything needs a driver, but I wasn't sure if removing and installing a new version of windows would remove all the drivers, or if the drivers for something like a motherboard exist on a chip and aren't required to reinstall them.

All I know right now is that it's a 14" HP Compaq 515, runs on an AMD Athlon x2 64, and it has a Windows Vista Basic sticker on it, even though it was clearly running XP.
If it's having a Vista sticker, it certainly will run Windows 7 flawlessly. Go ahead and install 7, but still you need to find out the specs so that you can get proper drivers.

Get Speccy - System Information - Free Download and write all the specs down. First search for available drivers online (at HP support pages, etc) and then install 7. 7 can tolerate some XP drivers in compatibility mode.
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 Is it a bad idea to install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on an XP system?




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