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Windows 7: Upgrading old XP PC to larger HD and Windows 7


18 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Upgrading old XP PC to larger HD and Windows 7

I have an old Dell Dimension 5100 running XP with a 150GB HD and only 1GB of RAM. I'm going to check with Dell if the system will support Windows 7 as know I can upgrade the RAM to 4GB which I believe is the min needed for Win 7. Assuming this is the case I am wondering if I can also upgrade the HD to a 320GB one I have spare. My cheapest route to upgrade is I can access a cheap achademic upgrade from XP to Win 7 Pro.

So the question is how do I get from XP on one drive to Win 7 on the other drive since the upgrade only operates on the drive with XP installed. I can either:
a) Do a clean install on Windows 7 on the XP HD and then do something fancy to move the whole thing to the new HD
b) Do the fancy transfer first and then upgrade to Windows 7

I suspect the answer will be to do the clean install first and then use something like System image and restore tools in Windows 7 to transfer over? I did find the tutorial on using sysprep in Windows 7, but not sure if that is in additional to the system image method or a differnet memthod. If any one could guide me on the best steps that would be much appreciated.

Mike


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

i might have just answered my own question reading a bit further. Is it that I can just install the 2nd HD and do a clean install from the Windows 7 Upgrade disc and then just copy the files over that I want to keep from the old HD? Thought the upgrade disc woudl be looking for an existing authorised OS before installing, but seems that isn't the case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You have it figured correctly. Just install 7 directly to the drive.

If you are using an upgrade disc you need to have a valid XP license, but you DON"T have to have an XP installation of any type. You will not be asked to provide an XP disc or product key.

Disconnect all hard drives other than the one that will get the Windows 7 installation.

Regarding RAM: Windows 7 runs well on 2 GB and tolerably on 1 GB. I've seen reports of people using even less.

The 32-bit version of Windows 7 cannot make use of more than about 3.2 GB of RAM.

I doubt if you will have trouble with a 320 GB drive, but Dell would be the final authority on that. It's conceivable you would have a BIOS issue, so I'd check the specifications on the Dell 5100.

Likewise, you should go to Microsoft and run their upgrade advisor program that will check your PC to confirm that your hardware will support Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Ok so I'll run the upgrade advisor and check with Dell on the drive. If all fine I disconnect the existing HD, install 320GB HD then install upgrade disc and once Win 7 up and runnnig I reconnect the old HD and copy any fiels across i want to keep. Sounds easy. Thanks a lot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You should connect the new HD to port 0 on the motherboard. It will work if you don't, but that is the recommended method.

Port 0 should be the port used by the current XP hard drive. So just unplug the XP drive from the motherboard and connect the cable from the new hard drive to that same location on the motherboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

If the HD is blank then leave the Product Key blank during install, afterwards do the quick registry workaround given in this tutorial to activate Upgrade version on a new or cleaned HD: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

If there is any OS on the HD, the installer will see it at boot and allow use of Upgrade version key during install without any workaround needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Upgrading old XP PC to larger HD and Windows 7




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