I haven't installed Windows 7 yet, which I bought as an upgrade.
I have two separate hard drives on my HP HDX18 laptop: a C: drive with the HP Recovery Partition named D: , and I just successfully shrunk C: so I now have a new partition on that drive named H: consisting of 78.12 GB.
The F: drive is the second hard drive and has 166 GB free. I save all my document, pictures, music files there and backup HP's SW setup files, Easy Transfer files there, a copy of Windows Mail and my cloned image of the Vista and Recovery Partition on the first C: hard drive using Macrium Reflect's free program.
I also try to install programs on the second hard drive if they will do so.
I gather I could make a partition on the second hard drive without deleting any files. True?
I just had to reinstall Vista back to out of the box because when I upgraded to Windows 7 my touchpad and wireless mouse wouldn't work after a week or two. HP doesn't know if it is software problem or hardware but are working with me. With the HDX 18 I get to call Platinum Tier Tech Support in Canada. Microsoft's people were clueless on the two calls I made, although the supervisor of the second technician called me back for feedback and I can email him when I install Windows 7 again and have same problems, and he will call me back and get me a higher level of support.
I only have about two months left on the warranty, so I need to find out if it is a hardware problem.
To keep HP working with me on software problems, I have to have their Vista and Recovery Partition installed. Once I get everything installed the way I want again and working right and everything updated for Windows 7 installation again, I will take another image using Macrium Reflect and save it to an external hard drive as well as D.
Then I will install Windows 7 upgrading the Vista on the C drive. But I want to then reinstall my image of Vista, either on the partition on C or a new partition made on D if it won't destroy everything I have there (even though I made a partition on the first drive successfully it seems, I am nervous.)
On the other hand, I could just do a clean/custom Windows 7 install on the new partition on either drive, leaving the C: Vista as is, just have to figure out which drive's partition would be best.
Someone above alluded to keeping certain drive letters so as to image and that rather escaped me.
You can no longer post questions on Reflect's board if you are using the free edition so I can't ask but they say they reinstall exactly byte by byte and delete partitions and make their own. It sounded to me (but I could well be wrong), that if I reimaged Vista to a partition I made on the second hard drive that it would overwrite all my data, wouldn't want that. Which is a pity, as that forces me to not use my image of Vista which would have let me have all my programs in Vista and Windows 7 intact.
I appologize for the lengthy post.