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Windows 7: Upgrading Dell XPS 410 from Vista x32 to 7x64

17 Mar 2012   #1
jrdegaetano

Windows Vista Home Premium x32
 
 
Upgrading Dell XPS 410 from Vista x32 to 7x64

I have done just about as much research as one person could do on the subject, and I am (fortunately for my nerves) coming to a fairly firm understanding of what I can/cannot should/should not do in regards to my situation. Here's what I am left with:
I am currently running Win Vista x32 on my Dell XPS 410. Here are the specs:

-Dell Dimension DXP061
-Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz 2.39 GHz (Number of processer cores: 4)
-4 GB Ram (PC2-5300 4X1GB Sticks with 2 dual channel slots)
-300 GB Internal Hard Drive
-NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS (Stock GFX Card died, and I replaced it with this less than a year ago)
-Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit (64-bit capable/compatible)
-Intel P965 Chipset

As you can tell, I have not been running this rig to it's full potential...and to be honest, I didn't even realize what it was capable of until about 1 week ago. Here's what I know I can do from here:

1) Install Win 7 x64 (Clean)
2) Install SDD Hard Drive and install W7 (Retail Copy) to new drive.
3) Install up to 8gb ram (with 99.9% certainty, regardless of what dell documentation and crucial says. I know the chipset I mentioned can support 8gb, I have seen countless posts of users with the same system running 8gb, and I can physically put 8gb ram in the system)

Bear in mind that as the amount of money it takes to effectively do what I have listed above goes up, the worth goes down. I purchased the machine in 2007 and the goal here is to optimize for less than it would cost to build a better system.
Now these are the only things that I am still struggling with:

1) Upgrade, Retail, or OEM - The popular suggestion to avoid any potential license related issues would be for me to buy the retail copy of Win7, as the independent liscense would prove valuable (and only then would Microsoft offer tech support from 32-bit to 64-bit install, per microsoft).

-Upgrade @ $100 - Now this really only becomes important when it comes down to looking ahead. If I buy the upgrade, it is my understanding that the $100 I spend on that software, will be eaten up by this machine and this machine alone...and that if anything were to happen where I needed to reboot from disc, I would have to start with Vista every time, then upgrade to Win7. This does not seem appealing.

-Retail @ $200 - This proves to be the best in regards to planning ahead, but the worst for cost effectiveness in the NOW, in relation to how much I am putting into an old machine.

-OEM @ $100 - Independent license, but I am again bound to this machine. (Is that correct?)
Now here is how I end up looking at this. If I spend the $100 to upgrade and it works, I just saved $100. If I spend $100 to upgrade and it doesn't work, I will spend another $100 on the OEM for my new build ($200, but potentially over time). If I plop down the $200 now, I won't have any problems until they release Windows 8 (seems like it could happen fairly soon).

Which option would you go with?

2) New HD: SSD or bigger, faster HDD - I will make this easy right now. In regards to budget, I am ONLY potentially interested in purchasing an SSD for the OS due to how expensive they are right now.

I have already spent $100 on an 1-TB on an external hard drive in preparation for this switch, and data storage in the future. Including this new external hard drive, I have a total of 1.5+ TB of space.

Would there be any point to having only an SSD big enough for OS and using old HDD for all applications and files?

At the end of the day, I am just looking for the best approach as far as spending goes. Any help would be greatly appreciated!



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2012   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

1. Retail
2. Ssd & Hdd
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2012   #3
edwar

7 x64
 
 

I would certainly go with an SSD and use the current drive as storage. I have a 120GB SSD partitioned into 2 drives, C of 45GB and D the rest of the SSD. I have 7 installed on C with all programs and some personal files on D. Space used on C is 18GBs.
You have no worries about going from 32 to 64 bit as you are not doing that. You are installing 7 Clean, not over the top of Vista.

Please review the FAQs as to how to install 7 Clean.

Oh and as far as OEM or retail. I'd say OEM. Do you plan on moving the OS anytime soon to another computer? If not then OEM is fine. All the help you need can be gotten here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2012   #4
jrdegaetano

Windows Vista Home Premium x32
 
 

Thank you so much for your quick reply! A few follow ups.

In my situation, if I was to follow your lead with the SSD, would it be necessary to clone my current drive to the SSD?

If I install 7 on the SSD, would I need to proactively re-format the old HDD? what would happen to it if I installed the new and did nothing to the old?

As far as the future goes, if what I am trying to do here does not work out, I am going to build my own machine. Do you know if any websites offer the OEM for download?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2012   #5
edwar

7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jrdegaetano View Post
Thank you so much for your quick reply! A few follow ups.

In my situation, if I was to follow your lead with the SSD, would it be necessary to clone my current drive to the SSD?

If I install 7 on the SSD, would I need to proactively re-format the old HDD? what would happen to it if I installed the new and did nothing to the old?

As far as the future goes, if what I am trying to do here does not work out, I am going to build my own machine. Do you know if any websites offer the OEM for download?
No do not Clone the Vista install to the SSD. Just install 7 on the new SSD. When doing that disconnect the original drive, install the SSD on the First SATA connector, usually SATA port 0 or 1 depending on how it is labeled on your system.
When setting up 7 make sure you use the Exact Same User Name and password you used on the Vista install. After 7 is installed you can then reconnect the original HDD and Copy over all your user files, Documents, music and the like and then reinstall all your programs. Using the same user name and password will make it much easier to gain access to your old files. If you use a different username and password the old files will have permissions set for that old name and password. Which isn't hard to change but if you use the same name and password you won't have to go through that.

After that is all done then you can delete all partitions and create one new partition and format the original drive.

Your system will fly with the extra RAM and the SSD.

No I don't know of any OEM downloads of 7. You can buy it when you order the SSD and it will get delivered with the SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #6
jrdegaetano

Windows Vista Home Premium x32
 
 

Hang on a second, I just realized something. On this very forum I just read about being able to use the upgrade copy to do a clean install of win 7 with absolutely no license issues at all...furthermore, I think I also read that my theory about having to reinstall vista before I could reinstall win 7 from an upgrade disk, if necessary, is completely invalid. Please let me know if the following statements are than true:

1) If installed from boot, you can use an upgrade disc/license to attain windows 7 if you currently have valid liscense for vista or xp.
2) Once my upgrade license is accepted, I will never have to install Vista on my PC again, I will always be able to refer to my upgrade disc/license.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #7
edwar

7 x64
 
 

That is true and you can do that. But as far as I know a Upgrade copy of 7 Pro is $200 and an OEM version is around $149.
Don't know about the Home versions as I never use them. But I would suspect it would be cheaper for the OEM version then the retail Upgrade version.

I actually used the upgrade version of 7 Pro on my current desktop to do a clean install. But I bought it when 7 first came out on a Promo for $99.

No matter what version or type of 7 you buy you will NEVER have to install Vista on that PC if you don't want to.

You do NOT have to have the previous version on your computer to use the upgrade DVD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #8
jrdegaetano

Windows Vista Home Premium x32
 
 

I have Home Premium, and I think that is where I will start with 7. Upgrade is only $99 per windows online store, and OEM is $99 on New Egg.

I really want to do this in the next day or so...and I just need to figure out this whole hard drive thing.

At what point in the upgrade clean install process does the installer validate the current license? Is it before or after you select what drive you want to install on. If it validates before, than it seems like if I just buy the SSD and install, boot upgrade from disc, I won't have any license problems. I really don't feel comfortable messing around with registries...not enough faith in my tech saviness. I dunno.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #9
gregrocker

 

It is OEM version which cannot migrate to another machine as it is locked to the first mobo installed upon.

Retail Upgrade version can migrate to any machine which qualifies by having come with preinstalled XP/Vista or if you have a retail XP/Vista on hand. As Edwar says you do not need to have the qualifying OS installed to use Upgrade version.

If any OS is on the HD it will see it when you boot to install and allow use of Upgrade version key. If the HD is blank or wiped, you only need to leave the key blank during install and afterwards do the quick workaround given here: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version.

Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Upgrading Dell XPS 410 from Vista x32 to 7x64




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